Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone
In this age of perpetual distraction, at a time when the human attention span continues to shrink like a cotton scarf in a dryer, a search engine needs to enlighten and entertain before it sends you clicking on your way.
Sure, you go to Google to find information. But once you get there, Google wants you to stick around for stuff you never thought about. The Google logo has been revamped hundreds of times to commemorate special events, important dates and to honour historical figures.
Robert Moog played no instruments, yet he changed the music industry. On May 23, on what would’ve been his 78th birthday, Google paid tribute to the man synonymous with synthesizers. This was no static doodle. Users were treated to a playable keyboard, mixer dials, oscillators and filters. There was even a 4-track recorder, conjuring bands such as The Beatles, The Doors and Emerson Lake & Palmer — all Moog enthusiasts in their day.
Featuring images from Winsor McCay’s posthumously-admired comic strip, this doodle took Google users on a detour to Slumberland. A click on the navigational arrows pulled down surreal panels, each one embedded with a new chapter in Nemo’s nocturnal adventures. McCay, who also created the short film Gertie the Dinosaur, was one of the world’s most influential animators and this doodle was, in a word, inspired.
We don’t typically celebrate 46th anniversaries. But since Google is a tech company and techies are almost always Trekkies, a traditional milestone is not needed for a celebration of Gene Roddenberry. A NASA-sized team of designers and engineers created this multi-scene, interactive animated doodle that started on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise, moved to the Transporter and then to a rocky planet for the narrative climax.
4. Feb. 22, 2012:“Heinrich Rudolf Hertz’s 155th Birthday”
To honour German physicist Heinrich Rudolph Hertz, who made electromagnetic discoveries that heralded the invention of radio and television, Google unleashed a special animated doodle on its home page. While not interactive like Pac-Man or as elaborate as the videos for John Lennon and Freddie Mercury, this doodle triumphed with simple elegance. An undulating wave, unfettered by corporate letters, captured the spirit of Hertz.
If this list were titled, “The Most Complex Google Doodles,” this one would rank No. 1. Before there were smartphones and tablets, there was the Turing Machine, a theoretical precursor to the entire field of computer science. This doodle came bundled with 12 interactive “programming puzzles” that, even a century later, provide a glimpse into a genius too few can name.
6. Apr. 22, 2012:“Earth Day 2012”
Nobody can accuse Google of cutting any doodle corners. This year’s tribute to Earth Day was no exception. This doodle was literally grown at the company’s campus. Blue, red, yellow and green flowers were planted in various spots — inside a pop-up greenhouse, on a balcony — until the makeshift garden found a viable home. The seeds then morphed to life and every second was recorded and converted into a time-lapsed video on the home page.
7. Oct. 31, 2012:“Halloween 2012”
A beckoning octopus, two eyes in a doorway, a dancing skeleton, a levitating ghost, a black cat and a flickering pumpkin — searching for information never felt so spooky. Or charming. In this doodle, Google let users “trick-or-treat” by knocking on doors and setting off the effects. Given the resources now devoted to these doodles, one imagines it’s only a matter of time before Google figures out a way to give out real candy.
8. Feb. 7, 2012:“Charles Dickens’ 200th Birthday”
To celebrate the bicentennial of Charles Dickens, Google created images of several popular characters, including Scrooge, Tiny Tim, Pip and Estella. To get the characterization just right, each figure was first drawn on vellum before getting cut-and-pasted into position. With time-stamped flourishes — Victorian lamps, snowflakes falling past a bay window, a muted, sepia palette — this oversized doodle did an admirable job of moving Dickens into the digital age.
9. Aug. 15, 2012:“Julia Child’s 100th Birthday”
Long before celebrity chefs and cooking shows were pop culture fixtures, there was Julia Child. This doodle incorporated some of the dishes she helped popularize in North America beginning during a time of hippies and counterculture. With books, a wildly popular TV show (The French Chef) and her inimitable joie de vivre, Child was a force unto herself and worthy of this doodle the company cooked up with great care.
10. July 24, 2012:“Amelia Earhart’s 115th Birthday”
Before vanishing over the Pacific Ocean in 1937, while attempting to circumnavigate the globe, aviator Amelia Earhart wrote a letter to her husband: “Please know I am quite aware of the hazards. I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.” This doodle, in which Earhart is climbing into the cockpit of her Lockheed Vega, embodied a legacy of fearlessness for a new generation.