In a rare opportunity, notoriously secretive Google will open its doors to hundreds of outsiders on March 8.
To be sure, this is not carte blanche to go wandering around the campus, gobbling faux-meat wraps in the cafeteria, taking selfies with self-driving cars, and stealing company secrets. This is work. Volunteer work. For a cause.
The Mountain View tech giant has teamed up with charities Family Legacy and Feeding Children Everywhere to put together a quarter-million food packages for orphans in Zambia. Seven hundred volunteers are required.
“There will be music booming, lentils flying and hairnets as far as the eye can see as Googlers and other volunteers roll up their sleeves and work side-by-side in shifts, having fun and packaging meals assembly-line style,” said an announcement from Florida-based Feeding Children Everywhere.
The meals will be distributed in Zambia by Family Legacy, a Zambia-focused Christian charity based in Texas. The orphans will be eating “red lentil jambalaya,” composed of lentils, white rice, dehydrated vegetables and pink Himalayan salt.
The event takes place at Google’s West Campus 2 in Mountain View, from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m, in the Grand Teton Conference Room.
In related news, another project co-produced by Google requires more than a thousand volunteer photographers to work as “citizen scientists” by shooting photos for a “megamovie” about the upcoming total solar eclipse.
For the “Eclipse Megamovie Project,” Google teamed up with UC Berkeley. Organizers are looking for “amateur astronomers and avid photographers” to take photos of the Aug. 21 eclipse, according to a news release from the university.
Volunteers will upload their photos, which will be stitched together into a “90-minute eclipse movie unlike anything seen before.
“The last time anyone tried to stitch together eclipse images like this may have been in the 1800s via hand-drawn sketches, without the benefit of today’s modern digital technology,” the news release said.
Project team members will train the volunteers, but other members of the public can contribute images for a second, much-lower-resolution movie. Both films will be useful to scientists, said UC Berkeley solar physicist Hugh Hudson.
There won’t be another total solar eclipse visible in the U.S. until April 2024.
Photo: Technology workers outside a Google office building (Bay Area News Group)