The invention of Google and being thankful for knowledge and learning - trying our best.
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The wise may bring their learning (Come and Praise no. 64)
My child, learn what I teach you and never forget what I tell you to do. Listen to what is wise and try to understand it. (Proverbs 2:1)
The Main Text
King Solomon wrote these words to his sons in the book of Proverbs in the Bible:
“My child, learn what I teach you and never forget what I tell you to do. Listen to what is wise and try to understand it.”
He told them to learn and look for answers as hard as if they were looking for a piece of silver or some hidden treasure. Do you always try this hard to learn and find out things?
Perhaps your teacher sometimes gives you a question to answer for homework. The question could be about almost anything – for example:
- Who invented the equals sign?
- Where was the first Tudor king born?
- Which famous Welsh poet was born in Swansea in 1914?
- What is Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson famous for?
If you don’t know the answer you have to do some research to find out.
There are several ways to do this. You could ask someone who is an expert on the subject. You could go to the library and look in an encyclopaedia. Or you could use a computer search engine, such as Yahoo, Ask Jeeves or Google.
Search engines are designed to help you find information on the Internet. They make finding things out quick and easy. All you have to do is type your subject or question into a box. Almost instantly you get a list of hundreds of websites that say something about your question.
The most popular search engine in the world is Google. It was invented by two students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin. They met in 1995 when they were both studying computer science at university in America.
Larry and Sergey were great fans of Star Trek, the science fiction programmes and films. They were fascinated by the spaceship computer, which could answer any question in seconds. They dreamed of inventing something that could do this in the real world.
Internet search engines at the time were slow and did not always give people useful answers. In January 1996 Larry and Sergey decided to try and make a better and faster search engine.
At first no-one would give them any money for their project. So they used their credit cards and bought as much computer memory as possible. They also borrowed money from their families and friends. Then in 1998 a businessman gave them a cheque for 100,000 dollars. It was enough for them to start their own company.
Their first office was in a friend’s garage.
Larry and Sergey carried on with their work and eventually Google was launched. They called it Google because in maths a ‘googol’ is a very high number – a 1 followed by a hundred zeros.
Google was soon being used by thousands of people worldwide because it was fast, easy and accurate. By 2002 it was the biggest search engine on the Internet. More questions have been answered by Google than any other search engine - from sport to science, from music to medicine, from fashion to finance and many, many more. Google’s aim is to organise all of the world’s information and make it easy for people to find and use.
God wants us to be the best we can be. We can learn in many ways. Learning does not only take place in school. We can learn by looking at the world around us. We can learn by listening to what people say. We can learn by doing things and practising something until we get it right. We can learn by thinking about questions and problems and deciding on the best answers and solutions – just like the inventors of Google did!
Prayer: Dear Lord, Thank you for giving us minds that can learn. Thank you for the people who help us learn. Help us to use our minds to explore and learn about the world you have created. Encourage us when we find that our work is difficult and we feel like giving up. May we always, with your help, try to do our best. Amen
Just in case you were wondering:
- The equals sign was invented by Robert Recorde who was born in Tenby in 1510
- Henry VII, the first Tudor King, was born in Pembroke Castle
- The poet Dylan Thomas was born in Swansea
- Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson from Cardiff is a paralympic athlete who has won the wheelchair London Marathon 6 times.