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Google doodles bring a special brand of happiness to a person’s day. A well done doodle has the potential to unleash a procrastination session of epic proportions.
Google has kept us captivated with its ability to translate the simplicity and pure elegance of its logo into the doodles.
“In 1998, before the company was even incorporated, the concept of the doodle was born when Google founders Larry and Sergey played with the corporate logo to indicate their attendance at the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert,” according to Google.
The first doodle was very rudimentary compared to some of the doodles we see today: a simple stick man behind the second “o” in Google, signalling the founders’ “out of office” status. Today things have changed, the doodles have become more sophisticated, and a little more animated.
Google takes the art of the doodle very seriously, employing a specialised team of illustrators — who the search giant calls doodlers — and engineers whose sole task is working on the artistic creations. These are the people behind each and every doodle you see.
Here are our favourite doodles of 2011, in no particular order.
Happy birthday Robert Noyce
Robert Norton Noyce (December 12, 1927 – June 3, 1990), nicknamed “the Mayor of Silicon Valley”, co-founded Fairchild Semiconductor in 1957 and Intel Corporation in 1968. I don’t really think this needs explaining. I would be shocked if Google didn’t recognise this computing pioneer, and in what better way than with a computer chip?
First man in space
This one is pretty cool. It’s animated. Humanity’s quest for knowledge is insatiable and Google did well to remember the momentous occasion of just 50 years ago, when Yuri Gagarin made history as the first man to launch into space.
The greatest star of the silent era
The world’s greatest silent movie star, Charlie Chaplin, wrote, directed, and produced more than 80 films in his lifetime. Chaplin’s iconic career spanned decades and his repertoire included such masterpieces as The Kid, The Gold Rush and Modern Time. Google honoured him with a silent movie worthy of his genius.
Happy birthday Les Paul
This particular doodle generated a lot of buzz. Google stunned the web with its interactive tribute to guitarist Les Paul that allowed users to compose and record their own masterpieces. I gave it a bash, let’s just say I am not about to quit my day job.
This doodle, in celebration of Earth Day, is what Google calls “truly a team effort for a global celebration”. Also interactive, the doodle walks users around the world beginning in Asia, then through Africa, Antarctica, Australia, and America. Well done for honouring the planet Google.
Let there be light: Thomas Edison
Google honoured Thomas Edison with this interactive doodle, that showcased some of his key inventions such as, well, the light bulb, and a telegraph machine. Edison is an icon for innovation and a genius way ahead of his time.
Exploring the ocean with Jules Verne
Using the legendary author’s iconic novel 20 000 Leagues Under the Sea as inspiration, Google doodler Jennifer Hom put together an undersea adventure worthy of Capitan Nemo. Check it out here in HD.
Long live Freddie
Possibly the best Google doodle ever! I can’t even begin to express the ingenuity that Google put into this. Freddie Mercury’s 65th birthday was talked about the world over because of this doodle. The video features an animated Mercury moving through different locations, to the sounds of Queen’s 1978 hit “Don’t Stop Me Now.”
Will all animators please stand up
To celebrate Art Clokey‘s 90th birthday, Google brought the characters from The Gumby Show to life on its homepage. Don’t know who Art Clokey is? Well he is the reason animators are able to do a lot of things with clay. The pioneer and inventor of stop clay animation. Innovation? I think so! It’s a fun doodle anyway.
Math geek for life
Chances are you have never heard of Pierre de Fermat. There is however, a likelihood that you have heard of the documentary Fermat’s Last Theorem. If not, oh well. Fermat was a mathematician who wrote the aptly named: Last Theorem, which states that no three positive integers a, b, and c can satisfy the equation an + bn = cn when n is greater than two. He then wrote that he solved it, scribbling this note on the margins of a book: “I have discovered a truly marvelous proof of this, which this margin is too narrow to contain.” Google’s chalkboard doodle takes us back to the classroom with this “simple” theorem.
Google had a bit of fun here, and one of the reasons it’s on this list, is that if you hovered over it, the words: “I have discovered a truly marvelous proof of this theorem, which this doodle is too small to contain” appeared.
Total Lunar eclipse
Space is the final frontier and Google is “fascinated by it”. To prove just how much the search giant loves space, it put together a lunar doodle to commemorate the 100-minute lunar eclipse of 15 June.
Let’s talk science
Inside everyone is a closet science geek, right? I think so. If you took Chemistry, or ever got your hands on a chemistry set, then you know what a bunsen burner is. Google honoured the man who created it, Robert Bunsen, on his 200th Birthday with this fun doodle.
Happy holidays from Google