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A doodle salute for Sally Ride

Category: Google | May 26, 2015

Today’s guest blog post is from Tam O’Shaughnessy—life partner of astronaut Sally Ride, and co-founder & CEO of Sally Ride Science. Over the past few months, Tam worked with our Doodle team to create a doodle for Sally’s 64th birthday. In this post, she tells us more about Sally’s life, her flight aboard the space shuttle Challenger, and her passion for helping kids stay excited about science and technology. -Ed.

As the first American woman in space, Sally Ride—who would have been 64 today—captured the nation’s imagination as a symbol of the ability of women to break barriers. But her historic flight represented just one aspect of a remarkable and multifaceted life. She was also a physicist, a science writer, and an inspirational advocate for keeping kids excited about science as they go through school.

Sally was born on May 26, 1951, in Los Angeles. She grew up playing with a chemistry set and small telescope—and playing football in the streets with the neighborhood kids. Later she considered playing professional tennis, but decided instead to study science.

In 1977, Sally was finishing her Ph.D. in physics at Stanford University when she saw an article in the student newspaper saying that NASA was looking for astronauts—and for the first time was allowing women to apply. Sally didn’t hesitate to send in her application, and became one of six women selected as part of the new crop of astronaut candidates. On June 18, 1983, she soared into history as the first American woman in space.

A look behind the scenes of today’s Sally Ride doodle, narrated by the artist of the doodle, Olivia Huynh, and Tam O’Shaughnessy

Looking back at Earth through the window of the space shuttle, Sally was moved by the view of our beautiful blue planet wrapped in its thin blanket of air. She realized how important it is for all of us to take care of our fragile home in space, and became an environmentalist. Many years later, we wrote books for young adults about Earth’s changing climate.

After leaving NASA, Sally became a professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego. She loved being a scientist, but she was concerned that many young people—especially girls and minority students—abandon their early interest in science and math.

Studies show that the reason kids turn away from STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) is not that they don’t like it or aren’t good it. Instead, young people get turned off because society sends false messages about who scientists are, what they do, and how they work. So Sally decided to use her high profile to motivate young people to stick with their interest in science and to consider pursuing STEM careers.

In 2001, Sally and I and three friends started Sally Ride Science to create programs and publications that bring science to life and show young people that STEM is fascinating, creative, and fun. Since then, we’ve trained thousands of teachers on how to spark and sustain interest in STEM and reached millions of students with our books and programs.

Sally died almost three years ago on July 23, 2012, from pancreatic cancer. But I know she would be honored by today’s Google Doodle. With whimsy, it expresses Sally’s sense of fun and adventure, and her ability to inspire young people. And who knows—maybe her Doodle will motivate some girl or boy somewhere in the world to become a scientist and adventurer just like Sally.

Sally said it best . . .

Everywhere I go I meet girls and boys who want to be astronauts and explore space, or they love the ocean and want to be oceanographers, or they love animals and want to be zoologists, or they love designing things and want to be engineers. I want to see those same stars in their eyes in 10 years and know they are on their way!

Posted by Tam O’Shaughnessy, Co-Founder & CEO of Sally Ride Science

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/G7cknFq3dfw/a-doodle-salute-for-sally-ride.html

Through the Google lens: Search trends May 15-21

Category: Google | May 22, 2015

Between finding out what everyone has always wanted to say to Dave Letterman, and singing along to Taylor’s “Bad Blood,” here’s a look at what everyone was searching for this week:

Deadly biker brawl
A shooting between rival motorcycle gangs in Waco, Texas, left nine dead and more than 170 people in jail this week. There were more than 500,000 searches for “Waco shooting” on Sunday as people asked questions like “What biker gangs are in Texas?” and “What county is Waco, Texas in?” to try to understand why the shooting may have happened.

An NBA family affair
The NBA playoffs continue to be a top topic in search as the conference finals began this week, with the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets matchup garnering the most attention. (The Cavaliers made the trends charts on Wednesday, but otherwise all eyes are on the West.) After going down 2-0 to the Warriors, the Rockets are in the spotlight, with 200,000+ searches following their game 1 loss. But the search standout, not surprisingly, is NBA MVP and Warriors point guard Stephen Curry. And not just for his sweet three-point stroke. There were 50,000+ searches for his mom, Sonya Curry, after she appeared looking ageless at Tuesday’s game, while others were interested in his daughter Riley’s post-game press conference hijinks. In fact, three out of the top five Curry-related searches on Wednesday were about his family.

Thanks, Dave
David Letterman ended his 33-year career in late-night TV on Wednesday night. His farewell show featured favorite clips from the past, some classic Dave self-deprecation and a Top 10 list to top all Top 10 lists starring celebs like Steve Martin, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and (Dave’s apparent favorite) Peyton Manning. Dave was at the top of the search list, too, with more than 500,000+ searches—consider it a small consolation for not getting “The Tonight Show.” Top questions leading up to the last show included “How tall is David Letterman?” and “Who is taking over for Letterman?” (Answer: someone else who brought a crew of celebs to his final show last December.)

Billboard stars
The Billboard Music Awards swept the search charts on Sunday, with big-time winner Taylor Swift at the top of the pack. Swift had a big night, taking home eight trophies and a million searches. She also debuted her much-buzzed-about music video for “Bad Blood,” which featured Kendrick Lamar and a full squad of Taylor’s celebrity friends, including Cindy Crawford, Lena Dunham and Karlie Kloss. The video broke the Vevo record with more than 20 million views in 24 hours, and appeared in Hot Trends twice. But even Taylor has to share the spotlight sometime: people were also searching for show performers Iggy Azalea, John Legend, Kelly Clarkson and Wiz Khalifa.

Elsewhere in Billboard news, the soundtrack for “Pitch Perfect 2” climbed to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 this week as fans became hooked on the fun cover songs and mashups. The movie has been big in search over the past week, with lots of interest in the cast, particularly Rebel Wilson.

Tip of the week
Now you can find real-time content from Twitter in your Google search results on mobile. So if you want to see what others are saying about tonight’s Cavaliers/Hawks game, just ask Google.

Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who searched this week for [leighton meester] and [how many cows are there in the world]

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/jRYYC1q-OmA/search-trends-may15-21.html

Tweets take flight in the Google app

Category: Google | May 19, 2015

Starting today, we’re bringing Tweets to Google Search on mobile devices. So now when you’re searching on the Google app or any browser on your phone or tablet, you can find real-time content from Twitter right in the search results.

Whether you’re interested in the latest from Taylor Swift, news about the #MadMenFinale, or updates on the NBA playoffs, you’ll have access to it directly from Google. Let’s use NASA as an example—just ask the Google app about “NASA Twitter,” and in the search results, you’ll see Tweets from @NASA:

Or if you heard today was Malcolm X’s birthday, you can ask the Google app and see what various people and organizations in the Twitter community are saying about it.

It’s a great way to get real-time info when something is happening. And it’s another way for organizations and people on Twitter to reach a global audience at the most relevant moments.

To start, we’re launching this on Google.com in English in the Google app (on Android and iOS) and on mobile browsers, rolling out gradually. We’re working on bringing it to more languages and to desktop, so stay tuned.

Posted by Ardan Arac, Senior Product Manager

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/pAA32Qail5g/tweets-take-flight-in-google-app.html

Through the Google lens: Search trends May 8-14

Category: Google | May 15, 2015

This week people said goodbye to a blues legend, and hello to a (possible) new face of American money. Read on for more on this week in search:

Amtrak’s tragic accident
First up, we saw a rise in searches for Amtrak after a train that was traveling at more than 100 miles an hour derailed Tuesday night in Philadelphia. The accident killed eight people and injured more than 200, and led people to the web to ask questions about the derailment and about train safety in general. There were more than 500,000 searches for Amtrak on Tuesday, and top questions included “How fast do Amtrak trains go?” and “When will Amtrak resume service?”

Madness down under
“Mad Max: Fury Road” comes out in theaters today, and anticipation for the fourth film in the classic series is running high. The movie, a dystopian thriller set in Australia starring Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, appeared on the Hot Trends list twice this week, with more than 500,000 searches yesterday.

While a battle for survival in the Outback takes place on screen, a real-life high-stakes story was playing out this week in Australia. The government told the actor Johnny Depp that he had to remove his two Yorkie dogs from the country by Saturday or they would be euthanized. Australia has strict laws about bringing animals into the country, and Boo and Pistol hadn’t followed proper procedure. There were more than 50,000 searches in the U.S. for the actor as people followed the doggie drama. But that’s nothing compared to searches in Australia:

Sing the blues
Today, people are saying goodbye to B.B. King, who died yesterday at the age of 89. The blues guitarist (the name “B.B.” comes from “Blues Boy”) was a legend in music circles, and influenced stars like Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. More than half a million searches and an outpouring of memories followed the news of his death.

“American Idol” fans are saying farewell to the popular Fox show. “Idol” crowned its 14th winner this week, Connecticut-based Nick Fradiani, and announced that next season will be its last. There were more than 200K searches for the show the day of the finale and announcement. And elsewhere in long-running Fox TV series news, “The Simpsons” voice actor Harry Shearer (the voice of Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders and many other beloved yellow characters), won’t be back for the show’s 27th season. Show co-creator James L. Brooks isn’t giving up hope, though, and neither, it seems, are searchers, who sent Shearer into the top charts yesterday.

Ladies in green
Searches spiked for Harriet Tubman this week after the abolitionist and Underground Railroad hero won an online poll about who should be the new face of the $20 bill. More than 600K people voted in the Women on 20s campaign, in the end choosing Tubman over Eleanor Roosevelt by a slim margin. The petition would need to be approved by the Secretary of the Treasury.

Regardless of whose face is on the front, you’d need 8 million 20s to buy “Women in Algiers,” the Picasso painting that broke records this week at Christie’s in New York when it sold for $160 million. The anonymous buyer made the cubist painting the most expensive to ever sell at auction, and now it’s the top Picasso painting in search to boot.

Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who searched this week for [the craft] and [when did the twilight zone start]

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/4gsnObDLPLw/through-google-lens-search-trends-may-8.html

Green lights for our self-driving vehicle prototypes

Category: Google | May 15, 2015

When we started designing the world’s first fully self-driving vehicle, our goal was a vehicle that could shoulder the entire burden of driving. Vehicles that can take anyone from A to B at the push of a button could transform mobility for millions of people, whether by reducing the 94 percent of accidents caused by human error (PDF), reclaiming the billions of hours wasted in traffic, or bringing everyday destinations and new opportunities within reach of those who might otherwise be excluded by their inability to drive a car.

Now we’re announcing the next step for our project: this summer, a few of the prototype vehicles we’ve created will leave the test track and hit the familiar roads of Mountain View, Calif., with our safety drivers aboard.

Our safety drivers will test fully self-driving vehicle prototypes like this one on the streets of Mountain View, Calif., this summer.

We’ve been running the vehicles through rigorous testing at our test facilities, and ensuring our software and sensors work as they’re supposed to on this new vehicle. The new prototypes will drive with the same software that our existing fleet of self-driving Lexus RX450h SUVs uses. That fleet has logged nearly a million autonomous miles on the roads since we started the project, and recently has been self-driving about 10,000 miles a week. So the new prototypes already have lots of experience to draw on—in fact, it’s the equivalent of about 75 years of typical American adult driving experience.

Each prototype’s speed is capped at a neighborhood-friendly 25mph, and during this next phase of our project we’ll have safety drivers aboard with a removable steering wheel, accelerator pedal, and brake pedal that allow them to take over driving if needed. We’re looking forward to learning how the community perceives and interacts with the vehicles, and to uncovering challenges that are unique to a fully self-driving vehicle—e.g., where it should stop if it can’t stop at its exact destination due to construction or congestion. In the coming years, we’d like to run small pilot programs with our prototypes to learn what people would like to do with vehicles like this. If you’d like to follow updates about the project and share your thoughts, please join us on our Google+ page. See you on the road!

Posted by Chris Urmson, Director, Google Self-Driving Car Project

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/98-Z4Ebwlvk/self-driving-vehicle-prototypes-on-road.html

New data, more facts: an update to the Transparency Report

Category: Google | May 14, 2015

We first launched the Transparency Report in 2010 to help the public learn about the scope of government requests for user data. With recent revelations about government surveillance, calls for companies to make encryption keys available to police, and a wide range of proposals, both in and out of the U.S., to expand surveillance powers throughout the world, the issues today are more complicated than ever. Some issues, like ECPA reform, are less complex, and we’re encouraged by the broad support in Congress for legislation that would codify a standard requiring warrants for communications content.

Google’s position remains consistent: We respect the important role of the government in investigating and combating security threats, and we comply with valid legal process. At the same time, we’ll fight on behalf of our users against unlawful requests for data or mass surveillance. We also work to make sure surveillance laws are transparent, principled, and reasonable.

Today’s Transparency Report update
With this in mind, we’re adding some new details to our Transparency Report that we’re releasing today.

  • Emergency disclosure requests. We’ve expanded our reporting on requests for information we receive in emergency situations. These emergency disclosure requests come from government agencies seeking information to save the life of a person who is in peril (like a kidnapping victim), or to prevent serious physical injury (like a threatened school shooting). We have a process for evaluating and fast-tracking these requests, and in true emergencies we can provide the necessary data without delay. The Transparency Report previously included this number for the United States, but we’re now reporting for every country that submits this sort of request.
  • Preservation requests. We’re also now reporting on government requests asking us to set aside information relating to a particular user’s account. These requests can be made so that information needed in an investigation is not lost while the government goes through the steps to get the formal legal process asking us to disclose the information. We call these “preservation requests” and because they don’t always lead to formal data requests, we keep them separate from the country totals we report. Beginning with this reporting period, we’re reporting this number for every country.

In addition to this new data, the report shows that we’ve received 30,138 requests from around the world seeking information about more than 50,585 users/accounts; we provided information in response to 63 percent of those requests. We saw slight increases in the number of requests from governments in Europe (2 percent) and Asia/Pacific (7 percent), and a 22 percent increase in requests from governments in Latin America.

The fight for increased transparency
Sometimes, laws and gag-orders prohibit us from notifying someone that a request for their data has been made. There are some situations where these restrictions make sense, and others not so much. We will fight—sometimes through lengthy court action—for our users’ right to know when data requests have been made. We’ve recently succeeded in a couple of important cases.

First, after years of persistent litigation in which we fought for the right to inform Wikileaks of government requests for their data, we were successful in unsealing court documents relating to these requests. We’re now making those documents available to the public here and here.

Second, we’ve fought to be more transparent regarding the U.S. government’s use of National Security Letters, or NSLs. An NSL is a special type of subpoena for user information that the FBI issues without prior judicial oversight. NSLs can include provisions prohibiting the recipient from disclosing any information about it. Reporters speculated in 2013 that we challenged the constitutionality of NSLs; after years of litigation with the government in several courts across multiple jurisdictions, we can now confirm that we challenged 19 NSLs and fought for our right to disclose this to the public. We also recently won the right to release additional information about those challenges and the documents should be available on the public court dockets soon.

Finally, just yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 338-88 to pass the USA Freedom Act of 2015. This represents a significant step toward broader surveillance reform, while preserving important national security authorities. Read more on our U.S. Public Policy blog.

Posted by Richard Salgado, Legal Director, Law Enforcement and Information Security

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/gN3FC3gyJgo/new-data-more-facts-update-to.html

Through the Google lens: Search trends May 1-7

Category: Google | May 8, 2015

From new moms to dads in disguise, here’s a look at the week on Google Search:

The princess and the Parliament
The Duke and Duchess welcomed their second child, Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Cambridge, this week—setting off a wave of royal baby fervor worldwide. Searchers were quick to turn to Google to learn more about Princess Charlotte, who is fourth in line to the throne. Search interest in the “meaning of Charlotte” spiked 15X worldwide in the 24 hours following the reveal. In the U.S., Dallas and New York were the places searching the most for the baby’s name.

While U.K. citizens celebrated their new princess, they had something else on their minds: yesterday’s national election. Weeks of polling had predicted a close tie between the Conservatives and the Labour Party, but in the end David Cameron’s Conservative party walked away with the majority in a victory that surprised many. The election dominated search in the U.K.—all but one of the top 20 search terms Friday were election-related—and even in the U.S., it was the second-most trending term on Thursday.

From Jedi robes to couture gowns
Fans around the world donned their best Princess Leia and Stormtrooper costumes for Star Wars Day on Monday. Celebrated on May 4 (May the Fourth Be with You, get it?) thanks in large part to the Internet, the holiday has been growing for the past few years in search, but we saw the biggest spike yet in 2015. In addition to Leia and Stormtrooper, top costume searches on Monday include [yoda dog] and [female jedi costume]. Interest in the upcoming movie “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” doubled, and other popular questions include “Is Star Wars on Netflix?” and “What order should you watch Star Wars?”

That same night, the Met Gala brought people to Google to see some of the daring fashion choices from the event. Searches for the red-carpet affair reached 500K. Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez dominated search as people looked for photos of their sheer, jewel-encrusted gowns. Rihanna’s stunning yellow dress, Anne Hathaway’s coppery hood and Sarah Jessica Parker’s headdress inspired memes as well as searches; and Jason Derulo stumbled into the trends charts after rumors that he’d fallen on the Met’s stairs.

The mascot and margaritas
There were more than a million searches in the U.S. on Tuesday for Cinco de Mayo—in fact, for the past two years more searches for the holiday have taken place in the U.S. than in Mexico. As people looked into the history of the holiday, common questions include “Who won the Battle of Puebla?” and “What caused the conflict that led to the Battle of Puebla?” But for the most part, people seem to be in it for the food (and, we assume, the margaritas).

If tacos aren’t your thing, maybe hamburgers are? This week McDonald’s unveiled its new, updated Hamburglar character—and he’s very different from the masked mascot you remember from the 80’s and 90s. The new Hamburglar is being called the “hipster Hamburglar” and a “hot dad”; others are saying he looks “creepy” or like he’s in a “midlife crisis.” Whether you think the new Hamburglar is well done or a little undercooked, he’s stolen our attention to the tune of 20,000 searches.

Celebrating moms
Finally, Mother’s Day is this Sunday, and search interest around the holiday has been on the rise since April as loved ones look for recipes, DIY gift tips, Mother’s Day quotes and more.

Tip of the week
Sunday’s not the day to forget a phone call. Set a reminder to call your mom with the Google app now. Then give her a ring just by saying “Ok Google, call mom.” Find more Mother’s Day tips at google.com/mothersday.

Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who searched this week for [phantom menace podcast] and [fug girls met ball]

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/gRkcDd1i5cw/through-google-lens-search-trends-may-1.html

Doing more on diversity

Category: Google | May 5, 2015

When we released the composition of our workforce almost a year ago, it confirmed what many people suspected: the tech industry needs to do a lot more when it comes to diversity. Since then, the question I get asked most is—so what are you doing about it?

You may have heard about some of the work we’ve been doing: embedding engineers at Historically Black Colleges and Universities; partnering with Hollywood to inspire girls to pursue careers in computer science; building local initiatives to introduce coding to high school students from diverse communities; and expanding our employee unconscious bias training.

But these programs represent only a sampling of all the work that is going on behind the scenes. If we’re really going to make an impact, we need a holistic plan. Today, we want to share our diversity strategy, which is focused on four key areas:

Hire diverse Googlers: In the past, our university-focused hiring programs have relied heavily on a relatively small number of schools. But, we know those schools aren’t always the most diverse. For example, while 14% of Hispanic college enrollment is at 4-year schools, Hispanics make up just 7% at the 200 most selective schools. In the past two years, we’ve doubled the number of schools where we recruit, to promote student diversity. This year, nearly 20 percent of the hires we make from a university are from these new campuses.

Foster a fair and inclusive culture: We want to ensure that we have an environment where all Googlers can thrive. We’ve raised awareness around unconscious bias—half of all Googlers have participated in our unconscious bias workshops—and we’ve now rolled out a hands-on workshop that provides practical tips for addressing bias when we see it. We’re also drawing on the idea of 20 percent time to enable employees to use their time at work to focus on diversity projects. In 2015, more than 500 Googlers will participate in Diversity Core, a formal program in which employees contribute—as part of their job—to the company’s diversity efforts.

Expand the pool of technologists: Making computer science (CS) education accessible and available to everyone is one of our most important initiatives. Our CS First program is designed to help anyone—a teacher, a coach, or volunteer—teach kids the basics of coding. And since research tells us that to inspire more girls, we need to show them that computer science isn’t just for boys, we started Made with Code—and we’re working with the entertainment industry to change the perceptions around CS and what it means to be a computer scientist.

Bridge the digital divide: We also want more underrepresented communities, including women and minorities, to share the benefits of the web, and to have access to the economic engine it provides. The Accelerate with Google Academy helps business owners get online, grow and drive economic impact.

With an organization of our size, meaningful change will take time. From one year to the next, bit by bit, our progress will inch forward. More importantly, our industry will become more inclusive, and the opportunities for currently underrepresented groups will grow. We’ll share our updated diversity data for 2015 soon. We’re gradually making progress across these four areas, and we’re in it for the long term.

Posted by Nancy Lee, Vice President, People Operations

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/Dw2p04o4XtI/doing-more-on-diversity.html

Appreciating our teachers

Category: Google | May 5, 2015

When I was in 5th grade, I complained to my teacher, Mr. Tomazewski, that there must be more to mathematics than simple arithmetic. He concurred and gave me a 7th grade algebra book because he believed in me. I spent the summer working through every problem! With that simple act, Mr. Tomazewski had set me off on a career path that eventually led to the invention of the Internet.

Me at age 11 in 1954

As students, we have the potential to be or do anything—whether and how we fulfill that potential is largely determined by the guidance and encouragement of our teachers.

That’s one reason why Google is so committed to improving teaching and learning through the use of technology. One year ago this week, we announced Classroom, a tool that helps teachers manage assignments, communicate with students and parents, and stay organized. Since then, we’ve continued to add features that teachers and students tell us they need, and if you stay tuned to the Google for Education Blog this week, you’ll hear about a few of our newest additions.

In the spirit of listening to our teachers, we’re also continuing to improve our CS First materials—free online computer science content developed by educators and computer scientists—to help introduce the art of programming to students in grades 4-8 through after-school, in-school and summer programs.

We also realize the importance of what teachers can learn from one another. So with that in mind, this week we’re hosting Education on Air—a free online event with 100+ sessions led by educators from 12 countries and 29 U.S. states. We’ll cover themes that include empowering students, practical innovation, CS and STEM, and building community. Speakers include LeVar Burton and Google Science Fair 2012 winner Brittany Wenger. We hope you can virtually join us May 8-9 for this online education conference, and make sure to register so you can catch recorded videos of all the sessions.

Our lives would be profoundly different without the Mr. Tomazeskis of the world. Please join us in saying thank you to our teachers this week—in person, online, in a handwritten note, or even a meme—for all that they help us to achieve.

Posted by Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/6nxMGrU4xBs/appreciating-our-teachers.html

What Girls are Good For: Happy birthday Nellie Bly!

Category: Google | May 5, 2015

In 1880, the Pittsburgh Dispatch published an article titled “What Girls Are Good For.” In dismissive terms, the column’s author wrote that women shouldn’t be allowed to work because their place was at home.

Days later, a pseudonymous rebuttal appeared in the paper. The response, by a 16-year-old girl whose real name was Elizabeth Jane Cochran, argued how important it was for women to be independent and self-reliant. Within a decade, the author of that response would become known worldwide as Nellie Bly: a hard-hitting young journalist who went undercover at a lunatic asylum and traveled around the world in a record-breaking 72 days.

Throughout her life and career, Nellie Bly spoke up for the underprivileged, the helpless and minorities, and defied society’s expectations for women. We love her adventurous spirit, and we share her belief that women can do anything and be anything they want (we like to think if she were around today she’d be a fellow fan of trailblazing women like Ada, Anita and Ann). So when it came time to honor Nellie with a Doodle, we wanted to make it special. Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs wrote, composed and recorded an original song about Nellie, and Katy Wu, the artist who created this doodle, created an animation set to Karen O’s music celebrating this intrepid investigative reporter.

Nellie was born on May 5, 1864 in a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pa. After her response was published in the Dispatch in 1880, the editor, George Madden, tracked her down and hired her as a reporter. At the time, women reporters commonly used pen names; hers came from a song by fellow Pittsburgher Stephen Foster. She spent several years at the paper before moving to New York for a job at New York World, which was owned by Joseph Pulitzer. In 1887, she went undercover at the Women’s Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell’s Island to write an exposé about the conditions there. Her resulting book, “Ten Days in a Mad-House,” made her famous.

But Nellie is best known for her trip around the world. Inspired by Phileas Fogg, the hero of Jules Verne’s novel, “Around the World in 80 Days,” Nellie set sail from New York in November 1889 determined to beat Fogg’s time. Traveling by steamships and sailboats, she sent dispatches back to her newspaper as she circled the globe. Instead of sitting idly and just observing, she was always a part of the action and conversation, despite the fact that public spaces were typically reserved for men at the time.

Storyboard for today’s Nellie Bly video doodle, by Katy Wu

When creating the Doodle, we took inspiration from Karen O’s lyrics and Nellie’s journey around the globe. Throughout the video, Katy used newspaper as a unifying theme—with paper tearing, folding and crumpling as the story goes along. And though the video is mostly black and white, she added some color to represent Nellie’s energy and vibrancy.

Back in the 19th century, Nellie fearlessly showed a generation of people “what girls are good for.” We’re excited to tell her story in today’s Doodle—and we hope Nellie inspires women and girls everywhere to follow in her footsteps and show the world what they can do.

Posted by Liat Ben-Rafael, Program Manager, Google Doodles

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/1y-W9Dq0tbE/what-girls-are-good-for-happy-birthday.html