theodp writes: At 11:30 a.m. Thursday, the LA Times reported that "John Steinbeck is being honored Thursday with an epic Google Doodle that brings to life a literary career that gave voice to the plight of the poor, the powerless and the underdog." The 'G' in Google stood for The Grapes of Wrath, and Google's homepage said, "In the souls of the people, the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage." The quote — which Spark Notes explains refers to "the contest between rich and poor...one that will-and perhaps must-be fought to the death" — is a good example of the timelessness of Steinbeck's writing. At 12:31 p.m. Thursday, the LA Times reported that Google will fund free bus passes for low- and middle-income kids in a move to quiet the controversy surrounding tech-driven gentrification in San Francisco. In a statement, Google said, "San Francisco residents are rightly frustrated that we don't pay more to use city bus stops. So we'll continue to work with the city on these fees, and in the meantime will fund MUNI passes for low income students [an existing program] for the next two years." SF Mayor Ed Lee said, "I want to thank Google for this enormous gift to the SFMTA, and I look forward to continuing to work with this great San Francisco employer towards improving our City for everyone." But not all were impressed. "It's a last-minute PR move on their part, and they're trying to use youth unfairly to create a better brand image in the city," said Erin McElroy of the SF Anti-Eviction Mapping Project.
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