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Doodle for Google 2012

Google has announced an interesting competition for creative school kids in the US. Children K-12 (Kindergarten through 12th Grade) can participate in this competition to submit “doodles” with the theme “If I could travel in time, I’d visit…”. The prize is a $30,000 college scholarship for the kid plus a $50,000 technology grant for his or her school.
Watch the video below for some more information.

Of course the contest has its own home page, where all the detailed terms and conditions, and entry forms are provided. Although the video above says the participants have to be US citizens, the FAQ clearly says:

At the time of submitting the doodle, the student must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent U.S. legal resident (e.g., must be able to show proof of legal permanent residence, for example, a “green card”), be enrolled in a U.S. based school and be living in the U.S.

The submissions are due by March 23, 2012.

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Law, Sausage and the Apple

Foxconn, Shenzhen, ChinaIt is said that if you love sausage and respect the law, you should watch neither being made. Now here is something that will make you add your favorite Apple gadget to the list of your dear things that you would rather not watch being made. Actually, this applies not just to the Apple devices but most gadgets you use.
This story from This American Life on National Public Radio brings to light the conditions in the factory in China that makes most of the gadgets we use. According to Wikipedia, Foxconn manufactures products for most electronics companies – from Acer and Apple to Toshiba and Vizio. Do listen to this story. Download it to your Apple iPod and listen to it on your way to work, or wherever. But do listen. What is special about this story is the way it is told by a “worshipper belonging to the cult of the Mac”. He uses innovative methods to get the story out of Foxconn, the enigmatic factory that makes “most of our crap”, and where workers are treated such that “Week after week, worker after worker has been climbing all the way up to the tops of these enormous buildings and then throwing themselves off, killing themselves in a brutal and public manner, not thinking very much about just how bad this makes Foxconn look.”

I strongly encourage you to listen to the story by clicking the “play” button above, but you can also read the transcript here, which is not the same as listening to the inimitable Mr. Mike Daisey.