Author PhotoBy Scott Knaster, Google Developers Blog Editor

Each year Reporters Without Borders presents the Netizen of the Year Award to someone who makes a notable contribution in defense of online freedom of expression. This sort of activism is vital, and can be hazardous: bloggers and others are sometimes jailed for what they write online. This year, Internet users (that’s us) get to vote for the winner of the award. There are nine nominees. You can learn their compelling stories and vote for your choice at youtube.com/netizen2013.

Netizen of the Year logo

The winner will be announced on March 7th and will be invited to receive the award in person at Google’s office in Paris on March 12th, which is World Day Against Cyber Censorship.

Moving from strong online voices to strong insects, researchers have found that Asian weaver ants have an incredibly strong grip, enabling them to hold 100 times their weight with their foot pads. These creatures can even rapidly expand their foot pads if they need more holding power, as when the wind causes the surface they’re standing on to move a bit. This will probably make us feel even worse about dropping our mobile phones.

Finally, spend some quiet time this weekend gazing at these animated Mathematica-based images. They prove that math is beautiful.


Another Friday is here, and we’re back with our Fridaygram, news that's both/either interesting and/or fun. Hold on tight, and enjoy your weekend!