Here's a fascinating (for certain, functionally pathetic definitions of fascination common to geeks like me) look inside Google's query serving architecture. It takes a look at how they take advantage of parallelism (at the network, hardware, and processor levels) inherent in serving search engine queries and explain their practical choices based on hardware costs, power consumption, and the savings possible when using cheap hardware with fault-tolerant software. (via Aaron Swartz's Google weblog)
While Europe’s eye is fix’d on mighty things,
The fate of empires and the fall of kings;
While quacks of State must each produce his plan,
And even children lisp the Rights of Man;
Amid this mighty fuss just let me mention,
The Rights of Woman merit some attention.
— Robert Burns, Address on “The Rights of Woman”, 26/10 1792