The Mary Sue


Senator Susan Collins Says Anti-Kavanaugh Groups Are Trying to “Bribe” Her. That Is the Opposite of What’s Happening.

Susan Collins says a creative new anti-Kavanaugh crowdsourcing campaign is the "equivalent of an attempt to bribe" her. That's not the case at all.

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Radio Galaxy Zoo Allows Anyone To Search for Black Holes On Their Computer

Because space is really, vastly, mind-bogglingly big.

Man, what did people do on long bus rides before crowdsourced science projects were a thing? Just sit on their hands and wonder about all the science they could be doing? If you've got an Internet connection and a laptop, though, then you can make your science exploration dreams a reality with Radio Galaxy Zoo.

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7 Awesome Crowdsourced Science Projects You Can Help Out With Right Now

Not a scientist by training but still want to lend a hand? There are plenty of ways to get involved with citizen science from the comfort of your own home.

The Fourth of July is a great time for a lot of things, like eating barbecue, shooting off fireworks, and taking a day off work to knock back a couple of cold ones among friends. All of that is terrific, of course -- seriously, those are three of my top three favorite things ever -- but for our American readers, it's only appropriate to reflect for a moment on what our country has done for us, and how we can give back. Here at the Geekosystem offices, we're drastically under-prepared for things like military service -- that would just end up like Stripes, but way less funny -- but we're pretty damn good at the Internet. If you're in the same boat and looking for a way to give back, there are a wide variety of citizen science projects you can lend a hand to from the comfort of your laptop. They may never get your name in Nature, but if you want to do your part, here are seven ways you can chip in to help researchers around the world learn about everything from the populations of the ocean floor to the behavior of cancer cells. 

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Keep Watching The Skies: You Can Help Find Star Clusters In The Andromeda Galaxy

We suspect a lot of you kind of enjoy looking at pictures of space on the Internet. That's a reasonable thing to enjoy, and if you do, we've got a project for you that's more enjoyable than whatever you're doing at work and also offers a helping hand to further scientific research. A group of astronomers from the University of Washington, University of Utah, and several other institutions wants your help identifying star clusters in the Andromeda galaxy in your spare time using their new database -- The Andromeda Project.

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NoPhoto License Plate Frame Protects You From Traffic Cams

Hidden traffic cameras take all the fun out of driving. Even if it seems like there's nobody around for miles, you never know when there's going to be a camera on a traffic light or telephone pole that's going to snap a shot of you driving just a little too fast. There's nothing worse than getting a ticket in the mail that you didn't realize you got nicked for at the time. Jonathan Dandrow knows your pain, and he wants to help: He created the NoPhoto, a license plate frame that detects traffic cameras, and blocks your plate number when big brother tries to catch you red-handed.

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Steam Adds $100 Submission Fee to Greenlight, Displeases Developers

Steam Greenlight recently released to much fanfare. The system provides a way for indie developers to potentially appear on Steam while also gauging the community's response. Essentially, if a game receives enough positive attention from users, Valve will look at releasing it on their platform. This bypasses all the hassle previously needed to see an indie game appear on the service. Much like anything that accepts public submissions on the Internet, however, Greenlight has had a fairly poor signal to noise ratio. To help cut the wheat for the chaff, Valve has implemented a $100 submission fee. Some folks aren't so happy about this.

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Valve Launches Greenlight, Asks You What Games Should Get Developed

If you've been waiting for the chance to give game developers a piece of your mind...we don't really know what you've been waiting for, as that is pretty much all the Internet is for. BUT! If you have been waiting patiently for a chance to make your voice heard in a reasonable manner that may actually have some sort of small weight in determining what sort of games get developed, Valve is opening their doors. The developer's Steam service launched Greenlight today, a service that looks for advice from the community on what games the should offer on their service, and what they can safely mothball.

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4chan Tries To Dub The Dew, Trolls Mountain Dew

Restaurant chain Villa Fresh Italian Kitchen innocently tried to crowdsource the name of its new green apple-flavored Mountain Drew concoction, letting people submit and vote for names online. Well, 4chan decided to take them up on their offer to "Dub the Dew," and results were highly educational. I didn't know there were so many ways to describe a carbonated beverage tasting faintly of green apple, and apparently, neither did Mountain Dew.

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Reddit Tries Crowdsourced Legislation With “Free Internet Act”

When it came to battling SOPA and PIPA, Reddit was on the front lines. Considering Reddit was the first to announce an anti-SOPA blackout and was responsible for calling attention to anti-SOPA and anti-PIPA petitions that the White House was ultimately forced to acknowledge, it's no surprise that Redditors are itching not only to defend the Internet, but also for a new challenge. That's why they're trying their hands at something really ambitious: Crowdsourced legislation.

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500 People Trace Lines, Fail Beautifully [Video]

Vimeo user clement valla gave users an exceptionally simple task: Trace the figure you see on the screen. The twist was that the next user didn't see the original shape, just the previous user's trace. Very quickly, the line barely resembled the original image, became shakey, foreshortened, and then just a collection of hash marks veering off to the right of the screen. The result is not only interesting to watch, but a commentary on communication. Like the telephone game, it becomes impossible to reconstruct the original information, and that even the simplest form of communication -- drawing a line -- is hardly perfect. So, marvel at the horror of our collective isolation, or marvel at the beauty of the animation; but please, marvel. (Vimeo via BoingBoing)

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Gap Kills New Logo: Back to the Original “Blue Box”

A week after Gap's new logo consisting of Helvetica plus a square was met with nigh-universal derision online, the company has announced that they're officially scrapping the idea -- as well as the halfheartedly-proposed logo crowdsourcing initiative -- and will be returning to their "iconic blue box."

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MapQuest Going Open Source

Maps finally join the open source movement: Starting with Blighty and later heading to the United States, AOL's MapQuest is unrolling an open source mapping project today that draws on free and editable map data from around the world. The initiative, named "MapQuest Open," will use the new design for MapQuest, its beta mode unveiled last week. OpenStreetMap, an Wiki community of cartographers, will provide the data. What's more, AOL has announced it will be investing $1 million to encourage open source mapping in the U.S. As the OpenStreetMap site explains, "because most maps you think of as free actually have legal or technical restrictions on their use, [it holds] back people from using them in creative, productive or unexpected ways."

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Vote With Your Stomach: 10 Crowdsourced Foods

Dunkin Donuts' next new donut will be powered by viewers like you. According to Mashable, the company is celebrating its 60th birthday by crowdsourcing the design of their next donut in the "Create Dunkin's Next Donut" contest, with the winner receiving $12,000 and seeing their name in lights their donut for sale at Dunkin.

But they're not the first: below, 10 food and food ideas created by committee:

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