Mozilla Firefox logo is out standing in the field

Oregon State University helped the Mozilla Web browser company celebrate a milestone last weekend with a crop circle carved in the shape of the Mozilla Firefox logo. Students carved the logo in an oat field owned by a McMinnville, Oregon area farmer to celebrate 200 million downloads of the Mozilla Firefox browser. The university supports Firefox because it is so-called "open source" software — publicly available software that has challenged Microsoft for access to the Internet.

The "crop circle" crew included OSU senior Alex Polvi, a McMinnville High grad interning with Google in Manhattan. Polvi grew up on a farm in the Amity-Hopewell area, so his roommate suggested he might know of an appropriate field. Polvi quickly located the kind of tract the crew was searching for — a field owned by Monte Wood. The crop circle is at SE Amity Road and Lafayette Highway, southeast of McMinnville.

On Friday, using boards tied to lengths of rope, the students flattened the field according to a plan laid out on a grid. The project took 14 hours, including a marathon session that concluded Saturday morning. More information about the crop circle project can be found on the OSU Linux Users Group site - including a gallery of photos

Asa Dotzler, community coordinator for Mozilla, told the (McMinnville) News-Register newspaper that he laughed off the crop circle idea at first, but was swayed by the enthusiasm of the planners.

"That's something money can't buy," Dotzler said. "We have all these really loyal fans who do crazy antics."

OSU's Open Source Lab is the global download source for Firefox. The facility serves as a distribution, education and research center for the open-source community and receives support from Google, Red Hat, Linux and many other high-tech organizations.

Google, the Internet search company, arranged for a special satellite flyover so the 200-foot Firefox crop circle logo can be shown on Google Earth (download required), which features high-resolution photos from space.

Steven Garrity, creative director of the firm silverorange, led the Mozilla Visual Identity Team in developing the logo for Firefox. Read more about the process in his blog entry Branding Mozilla: Towards Firefox 1.0

Source: AP • Photo: Oregon State University

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