Google demonstrates how to use your platform and reach judiciously and subversively

Google is ubiquitous. Everyone everywhere uses Google at some point. And right now, at least in the US and probably Canada, the Google Doodle — the logo Google uses on its main search page and on the top left of every search result page — is sticking it to Russia over the anti-gay human rights violations happening there presently.

Google Doodle, Feb 6, 2014.

Google Doodle, Feb 6, 2014.

A rainbow of silhouetted athletes form the logo, and beneath the search box, this quote:

“The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.” –Olympic Charter

This is not just subversive, it’s downright defiant. The message is clear: the discrimination that Putin and his government have entrenched in his country, the discrimination that anti-gay right-wingers are cheering in America, is a betrayal of everything the Olympics was intended to stand for. Humanity’s colors are at its most vibrant when it is not suppressed by bigotry and intolerance of difference, especially over something so fundamentally human as who you happen to love.

Google has not always entirely lived up to its mission statement of “Don’t Be Evil”. But on this issue, at least, the pendulum is obviously swinging far in the morally righteous direction. Thanks, Google, for siding with the angels this time.

What if every Olympic sport was photographed like beach volleyball?

Nate Jones of noticed a trend while browsing Getty Images for beach volleyball photos. That trend was largely centred on women’s asses.

With the heads cropped out of every photo, it’s no wonder people consider women’s beach volleyball at the Olympics to be nothing short of objectification. There’s nothing wrong with playing beach volleyball, there’s nothing wrong with wearing bikinis while doing it. Hell, these women often like “looking sexy”. The problem comes from the fact that if you’re looking at a photo of beach volleyball, you’ll almost never even have the opportunity to look at the woman’s face. It’s all very “male gaze”.

So Nate recropped many Olympic photos to make the focal point of the photos different. It’s an interesting exercise in objectification, considering you’ll almost never see photos like these otherwise.

But what gets me is the comments. Oh, the comments.
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Local boccia player cut from team; send him to cheer for his teammates at Olympics

Our friend Erin (well, mostly my friend Erin, but she comments around these parts now and again!) asked me to help send a boccia player friend of hers to London to cheer on his former teammates at the Olympics. I’ll forward her request mostly unaltered.

One of my friends whom I’ve know since elementary school, has been playing boccia for a few years now and was on the team that is going to London for the Olympics. Unfortunately, the team had to cut a couple people (I’m not quite sure why) and he was cut.

What you can do, below the fold…
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