Celebrating India’s 66th Independence with Google Doodle

It’s that time of the year where people of India pay homage to their leaders and those who fought for India’s freedom. On the 66th Independence Day (67th if you count 15th August 1947 as the first Independence) of India, Google India is celebrating the occasion with a tri-colored doodle on its home page, in the form of a ribbon, which on mouse over will greet you with a message, “Indian Independence Day”.

67th Indian Independence Day commemorated with Google doodle

Google has been celebrating India’s Independence Day with a doodle on its home page every year since 2003, where most of the doodles featured the Indian national flag. However, the 2011 and 2012 doodles were quite different as Google created the doodles by featuring the Indian national symbols in place of the Tricolour. Last year, we saw a beautifully designed colorful peacock with a large plume tail.

On this day, the Prime Minister of India hoists the Indian flag on the ramparts of the historical site Red Fort in Delhi.

Along with India, three other countries celebrate their Independence Day on August 15 – Bahrain, South Korea and Republic of the Congo.

Happy Birthday India.

Google Doodle Celebrates Erwin Schrödinger’s 126th Birthday

Today Google is celebrating the 126th birthday of Erwin Schrödinger, a famous Austrian physicist who won Nobel prize in 1933 for his eponymous equation on quantum wave mechanics. He is perhaps best know for the mind experiment known as Schrödinger’s Cat.
Erwin Schrodinger was born on August 12, 1887 in Vienna, Austria, to Rudolf Schrodinger and Georgine Emilia Brenda. After being tutored at home, Erwin Schrodinger studied in Vienna under Franz S. Exner and Friedrich Hasenohrl. By 1911, he was assisting Exner. Erwin Schrodinger also worked in the fields of electrical engineering, atmospheric electricity, and atmospheric radioactivity, however, he’s mostly renowned for his work in quantum mechanics.
Schrödinger’s cat is one of the most famous experiments, sometimes described as a paradox, devised by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger in 1935. It illustrates what he saw as the problem of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics applied to everyday objects, resulting in a contradiction with common sense.

Here’s a video that gives a brief idea about it —

Born: August 12, 1887, Vienna, Austria
Died: January 4, 1961, Vienna, Austria
Spouse: Annemarie Bertel (m. 1920–1961)
Parents: Rudolf Schrödinger, Georgine Emilia Brenda
Honors and Awards:

  • Nobel Prize for Physics (1933) – for the formulation of the Schrödinger equation
  • Max Planck Medal (1937)
  • Erwin Schrödinger Prize of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (1956)
  • Austrian Decoration for Science and Art (1957)

Google Doodle Celebrates Cesar Chavez Birthday, Generates Controversy

Today Google is celebrating the birthday of Cesar Chavez by honoring the American farm worker, labor leader and civil rights activist with a Google doodle on its homepage.

Google Doodle Celebrates Cesar Chavez's Birthday

The doodle featured on Google’s homepage illustrates a photo of Chavez in the third letter, honoring him on his 86th birthday.  Chavez is known for co-founding the National Farm Workers Association (later the United Farm Workers union, UFW) along with Dolores Huerta.

In the year 2011, U.S. President Barack Obama proclaimed March 31 as “Cesar Chavez Day” to celebrate the work done by the American labor leader. Google frequently celebrates major U.S. and international holidays through the doodles, however, it is a bit surprising that the company did not want to celebrate Easter with an Easter Egg-type of doodle, since it is one of the most observed and celebrated religious holidays for Christians around the world.

Google doodles are something that users on the Internet enjoy a lot. However, in this case, the doodle has generated a lot of controversy. Users on Twitter are expressing anger over Google since the doodle features the labor leader instead of honoring the holiday. Bing, one of Google’s search engine rivals, is celebrating Easter by featuring Easter Eggs as the background image on its homepage.

Bing Celebrates Easter 2013

Angry twitters have gone on rage and are threatening to make a switch to Bing for what Google has done. Here are some of the tweets:

Tweets Over Google Doodle

Don’t Panic: Google Just Paid Tribute To Douglas Adams With An Doodle

Google has done it again. On the 61st birthday of the great Douglas Adams, Google chooses to pay tribute to the author who almost set alight a whole new genre and fired up the imagination of so many people, most of whom became his fans. The scale is massive, the ideas, all taken from his book, span the entire length and breadth of the universe and the doodle epic! Let’s just hitchhike through the whole animated doodle.

Oh that Frood!

Before that, a brief introduction to who Douglas Adams was.  Since you can read up on him on Wikipedia, I’m going to be opinionated and basically give you a fan’s eye view of the genius. Towering at 6’ 5’’, Adams was the perfect example of the gentle giant you read about in literature – the person who melts the hearts of children with his warmth and endears the adults alike with his wide depth of knowledge in so many different fields. And of course, wins over the entire galaxy with his unique sense of humor, sarcastic and dry in parts, warm and witty at other times, but never alienating. His most favorite bragging right included that fact that his initials are D.N.A. (Douglas Noel Adams is his full name).

Remembering Adams

Of course, the one-liners don’t hurt at all. The reach of his imagination spanned till the end of the universe, where he founded a restaurant in which time was just an illusion, especially lunchtime, doing all sorts of crazy things! And that spaceship, the Heart of Gold, which could zap through every point in space-time all at once but then end up in an indeterminate state! And that paranoid android Marvin who could kill a supercomputer just out of depression! And of course, who can forget the mad two-headed Zaphod Beeblebrox, the President of the Galaxy! All of this and much much more make Douglas Adams, who is no longer with us, that same smiling genius towering over all of us, literally and metaphorically, gently imploring us all to think a little bit beyond our own reach.

And of course, 42!

Google’s Doodle

Google does a splendid job with the doodle. Go the page and click once on the calculator, on which is written ‘Don’t Panic’, one of the Adams trademark lines. You’ll be greeted with an animated video accompanied by digital music. Subsequent clicks yield more such scenes. I’ll just describe a few of these – don’t treat them as spoilers, just enjoy them.

Scene: Translation

The first click gives you a small orange creature, which fellow froods (fans of the author) will recognize to be the Babel fish. When implanted into someone’s ear, it feeds off any sound frequency entering and then excretes a sound frequency which the person can understand. Translating from any known language in the Universe to a language understood by the user, this has removed all barriers of communication. Well, there will definitely be consequences of that!

Scene: Flying

Another shows the art of flying. The “knack [of flying] lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss”, says the Hitchhikers’ Guide. An animation shows a figure throwing himself on the ground and finally flying! Mission accomplished.

Scene: Infinite Improbability

There is definitely the Heart of Gold spaceship and the Infinite Improbability Drive which allows it to go through all space-time points all at once!

Scene: Intelligence

And froods also know that humans are the third most intelligent creatures on Earth preceded by mice and dolphins. An animation celebrates that as well. The trusty towel also is not to be missed.

Scene: The Ultimate Answer

The grand finale is definitely the supercomputer, which is built to compute the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything. The animation shows that when it’s asked what ‘1+1=’ is, it shows ‘2’ and when asked what “E=” is, it shows “mc2”, but then it’s asked The question on Life, the Universe and Everything and it computes for millions of years and returns the answer “42”! Of course, the question is unknown!

Google, hats off.  And from a big fan of the author, a big ‘Thank You’!

Google Celebrates Pioneer Copernicus’ Birthday With Cool Doodle

He pioneered a revolution so strong that it lasts to this day. While Galileo is considered to be the first real scientist, Nicolaus Copernicus, yes, the one of the heliocentric model of the universe, was the one who started it all off!

Copernicus was the first great proponent of the theory that the Earth goes round the Sun and the Sun is the center of the Universe. This hypothesis served to explain why we see retrograde motion of the planets (meaning, sometimes, the planets like Venus seemed to go back and then again start moving forward; today this is known as epicyclic motion). His hypothesis contained little mathematical formalism and mostly comprised logical deductions from a set of seven assumptions about the ‘firmament’, Earth and Sun.

The Copernican Google Doodle

Google celebrates the 540th birthday of the pioneer with a brilliant doodle. The doodle sketches the Copernican universe having 5 bodies and the Earth revolving around a central Sun on circular paths. The moon for the Earth has also been indicated. I hope the speeds are in proper ratio but I haven’t checked that. As is usual, clicking the doodle leads you to search results for Copernicus.

Ideas and acceptance

One might have expected a wildfire-like spread of Copernicus’ idea, since it was almost universally accepted, and also severe backlash from the Church, as the basic tenet of the theory violates the geocentric view of the religious majority. None of the two happened. The idea was slow to catch on and the fact that Copernicus was a Catholic cleric – and that too an active one – helped with the latter part of the above. Copernicus himself suspected a backlash, and thus delayed publishing his ideas in a book.

It strikes me as odd how these ideas, about a quarter of a century before Galileo was accepted largely because it hailed from a Catholic cleric, while Galileo, with no direct links to the gentry, was ostracized and threatened with torture.

Science has since made giant strides. Happy Birthday Nicolaus.

Google Doodle Honors Zamboni

Zamboni Doodle

Today, Google honors Frank Zamboni with a really cool video game doodle. From where I sit, the weather is freezing rain and cold so this doodle seems very appropriate on a day like this. The doodle is reminiscent of the old Atari arcade games, except the graphics are a little better. The premise of the game is pretty simple. An ice skater comes out and messes up the ice. It’s your job to operate the Zamboni machine to resurface the ice. There is a catch though, you have to make sure you don’t run out of gas. Each level presents a little more difficulty. It’s not a bad way to pass some time while you are bored.

So what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear Zamboni? For me, hockey came to the top of mind however, for many, it may be ice skating that comes to mind. That’s OK because Zamboni has been honored by both sports by being inducted in the World Figure Skating Hall Of Fame in 2006 and the US Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009. Zamboni’s ice resurfacer was actually patented with his name and like Coke is to the soft drink world, Zamboni is the name most associated with all ice resurfacers, even if it’s a different brand. Zamboni also developed technology to clean indoor turf and to remove paint stripes from turf too. The Zamboni family still runs the company he started in the 50’s. The company has sold over 10,000 ice resurfacers.

If you would like to learn a little more about Zamboni, play today’s doodle and at the end of the game you will see a little magnifying glass symbol. Click that symbol and you will be taken to all kinds of facts about Zamboni from Google.

Google Doodle Celebrates London Underground 150th Anniversary

U.K. users received a pleasant surprise in the morning when they visited Google’s U.K. homepage. Today, the search giant is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the London Underground, the city’s subway transit system.

The London Underground 150th anniversary Google Doodle features the Google logo rendered in colourful Tube lines. The famous Tube map was first designed by Harry Beck in 1931, and eventually introduced as the official public map in 1933. The doodle even uses the real names and colours of Underground lines.

Google Doodle London Underground

The London Underground was opened to the public in 1863, with the first journey taking place between Paddington and Farringdon on the Metropolitan Railway, which now forms part of the Circle and District Line.

When it first opened, there were only seven stations. Today, the city’s subway transit system has 263 more stations. Nearly 1.17 billion passenger rides took place last year. According to the stats based on data from LU Performance Data Almanac, the Underground sees about 3.23 million daily riders, with 3.66 million on weekdays. Comparatively, the New York subway system delivered 1.64 billion rides in 2011.

The Tube’s anniversary is also being celebrated across the country today. The anniversary is being marked with a set of stamps, with London mayor Boris Johnson describing them as a ‘fitting celebration of London Underground’s rich heritage’.

London Underground Stamps

2012 Google Doodle Roundup

2012 Google Doodle

Can you believe it is the last day of 2012? It’s amazing the difference 365 days makes isn’t. If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering how it went by so quickly. For many, New Year’s Eve is a day of reflection and a time to reminisce. Google has created a way to help you reminisce with its 2012 doodle. The doodle looks like a party. The cool thing about this doodle is that each element of the doodle represents a previous Google doodle from 2012.

Star Trek Doodle

In the first picture above, you will notice what looks like a painting of the Star Ship Enterprise hanging on the wall. If you click that picture, you will be taken to the page pictured directly above. This shows the 46th anniversary of Star Trek doodle that was done back in September. If you missed this doodle, you have to go to Google today and try it out. It is an absolutely hilarious doodle. Probably one of the most memorable of the year for me. Take some time to click through the individual elements on the Google doodle to see other interesting doodles.

The best part of today’s doodle is that you actually get the doodle artist’s take on what they were thinking when they created the various doodles throughout the year. It is really interesting and sometimes comical to hear what they have to say. There is also an interesting link at the bottom of the doodle that will take you to Google Zeitgeist. This page will show you the top trends people were searching for world wide. Take a moment to watch the video below.

[Video Link]

2012 had its share of ups and downs. I especially hope that 2013 will be a year of peace for our world and that humanity learns to value the short time we have here on this earth. As you reflect on the year ahead, I hope you find peace and prosperity in all that you do. Happy New Year! Thanks for reading Techie Buzz.

Google Celebrates 125th Birthday of Math Genius Ramanujan With A Nice Doodle

He is the perfect example of the hero ideal you seek in the stories, someone who rises from the poorest of the poor families, fights against institutionalized rigours of society, is exceptionally gifted, but only in a specific field and then goes abroad, on the basis of just his merit, and astounds the world. In the end, he dies a death, which is sad, painful and alone. That in a nutshell is the real-life story of the great Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan!

Today is his birthday and Google celebrates it with nice little doodle.

The doodle depicts a young kid writing a whole lot of formulae on the playground, with a few other kids standing there, ready with their footballs, skipping ropes and even books. This prodigious kid is just amazing as he intuitively comes up with mathematical concepts that seem alien to everyone else in the world. The mathematical symbols in the doodle, spell out, as always, ‘Google’ and the story is really that of Ramanujan and how he held the entire mathematics community in thrall!

Ramanujan had this personal affinity with numbers and infinite series! As a college dropout from a very poor family, it would have taken a miracle for young Ramanujan to gain any sort of footing. That miracle came in the form of G.H. Hardy, who became his mentor and his collaborator. Ramanujan’s immense brilliance was offset by Hardy’s insistence of mathematical rigour and his solid mathematical training and the two formed a very productive collaboration for five years.

Ramanujan arrived at Cambridge, the shy village boy in the big big world! But then, there was Hardy, always his protector; Hardy described him as simply thus: “I have never met his equal, and can compare with only Euler and Jacobi”.

But England and its weather weren’t kind to him. He contracted a fever and even upon returning to India, he continued suffering. He died in 1920, with the world only waking up to the brilliance of this Indian genius.

Happy birthday sir!

French Sculptor, Auguste Rodin, Honored with Google Doodle

Today, Google pays homage to Auguste Rodin, a French sculptor who defied the conventional art of his time. He is best known for his contemplative sculpture called “The Thinker”.

The Thinker

Rodin would be 172 years old today. He was born to a working class family in France in 1840. He received his early training at Petit École, a school that taught decorative artists. He received a strong background in French 18th century art. After several attempts to gain entrance into the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts, Rodin settled into a career of making architectural embellishments and ornamental sculptures. This was definitely a set back as gaining acceptance into the École des Beaux-Arts wasn’t particularly difficult to do. It is thought that he was snubbed due to the fact that he didn’t fall into the Neoclassical style of sculpture.

The path that Rodin took was not an easy one. He served as an apprentice for many years to French sculptor Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse. He would follow Carrier-Belluese to Belgium after an economic downturn due to the Franco-Prussian war. From there he traveled to Brussels and then on to Italy. In Italy, he was inspired by Michelangelo. The Bronze Age, pictured below, is one example of his Michelangelo inspired work.

The Bronze Age
Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Rodin received a commission in 1880 from the French government to design a portal for a Museum of Decorative Arts. Unfortunately, the museum never came to fruition. However, this inspired a lifelong work in Rodin called The Gates of Hell. For 37 years Rodin worked on this monumental sculpture. He would add pieces and remove pieces striving for perfection. Inspired by Dante’s Inferno, Rodin designed pieces that showed both the agony and ecstasy of man. Many of his famous individual pieces like The Thinker, actually began as part of this portal which he took off and used for individual commissions. Sadly, The Gates of Hell was never cast into bronze during Rodin’s lifetime. The Rodin Museum in Philadelphia, PA has the first ever bronze cast made from the original Rodin cast.

For a better look at some of Rodin’s sculptures visit the Rodin Museum’s website at http://www.rodinmuseum.org/. You can also learn more about his life at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auguste_Rodin.