Two years ago, Google committed to changing the world by funding "ideas that could help as many people as possible." Then it got overwhelmed by 150,000 suggestions. But now Google's sorted through everything, held a public vote, and announced the five Project 10^100 winners.
For the sake of ending on a positive note, let's point out two problems here. First, the timing of Google's announcement is terrible, considering that this involves five concepts and a total of $10 million, whereas Mark Zuckerberg just donated $100 million to improve the Newark, New Jersey school system.
Also, Google's bound to encounter some criticism over taking 24 months to reach a decision.
Still, let's get back to thinking happy thoughts and run through the winners. The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences is first alphabetically, and as you might have guessed, it promotes the study of graduate-level math and science in Africa.
Next up is FIRST, which uses math- and science-oriented competitions to similar effect for the sake of young(er) people. Then there's the KHAN Academy, an organization dedicated to putting educational videos online so that everyone can learn for free.
Following that comes Public.Resource.Org, which is trying to make more government documents available online. Finally, there's Shweeb, "a concept for short to medium distance, urban personal transport, using human-powered vehicles on a monorail."
Shweeb's interesting, to see the least. See a pic of a prototype for yourself below.
Now, as that's sure to have put a smile on your face, we'll just wish you a good weekend.