Google Doodles 112th Birthday of Argentine Author Jorge Luis Borges

Continuing the tradition of celebrating birthdays, festivals and other occasions, Google today are celebrating the 112th birthday of the Argentine author  Jorge Luis Borges,  by creating a doodle, which is inspired by his writings.

Jorge Francisco Isidoro Luis Borges Acevedo, born on August 24, 1899 to a respected family, was inspired by literature by the books in his father’s library. He was not only a renowned writer, but also a great essayist, poet and translator.

His Works

After moving with his family to Switzerland in 1914, Borges continued his education, after which he returned to Argentina in 1921 and began publishing his work in surrealist literacy journals. He also worked as a librarian and public lecturer.
Jorge Luis Borges
The most famous  books,  Ficciones  (1944) and  The Aleph  (1949), are compilations of short stories, and are mostly interconnected by common themes such as dreams, labyrinths, libraries, animals, fictional writers, religion and God. He was awarded the first International Publishers’ Prize for the Prix Formentor, in 1961.

Borges was awarded the National Prize for Literature from the University of Cuyo, and the first of many honorary doctorates. However, Borges was one among several other eminent authors who never received the Nobel Prize in Literature. Borges commented “Not granting me the Nobel Prize has become a Scandinavian tradition; since I was born they have not been granting it to me.”

Google Doodle

112th Birthday of Jorge Luis Borges - Google Doodle

Today’s Google doodle draws heavily from Borges work. It depicts the different architecture, buildings and the great man himself. The doodle has been designed to mimic the outline of the letters which make up the traditional Google logo. Clicking on the doodle will take you to a search results page for Borges.

Google Celebrates Fermat’s Birthday With An Awesome Doodle

In keeping up with its tradition, Google has come up with an awesome doodle today to honour the birthday of the great Pierre de Fermat (kindly pronounce as “Ferma” . The ending ‘t’ is silent.) Hailed as a genius in the world of mathematics and physics, while being virtually unknown to the world outside, Fermat’s fame rests on two basic pieces of mathematical wizardry he presented to the world Fermat’s principle and Fermat’s Last Theorem.

The doodle

The doodle looks like a board in the room of a mathematical genius. Maybe, if Fermat had a board on his wall, it would’ve looked something like this. Strangely though, out of the mathematical mess of seemingly random squiggles, emerge the letters G-O-O-G-L-Ein that order, while also maintaining complete mathematical harmony by spelling out the statement of Fermat’s Last Theorem. This is a masterstroke from the Google artist, unnamed as yet. Try a mouse-over and see the comment. Have patience – the explanation of the mouse-over comment is delicious.

The mathematician behind it

The life of Fermat is, however, way more awesome than the doodle. Starting off as a lawyer, he learned arithmetic, largely by himself. After shedding off the tag of being an amateur mathematician by discovering a method to calculate slopes of curved lines (which we regard as differential at a point), without having any knowledge of differential calculus (which came later), he moved onto things far greater. Newton would come half a century later and would develop calculus into a branch of mathematics.

Insight
A copy of Arithmetica containing Fermat's comment. (No, I don't read Latin either!)

Fermat’s great insight led him to discover the Fermat’s principle. This, in the garb of the language of modern optics, said that light always takes the path that lets it take the least time when it propagates from one point to another. Huygens, nearly two century later, would boldly propose the wave theory of light using Fermat’s principle to derive observed phenomenon of reflection and refraction. Now every branch of physics Classical mechanics, Relativity or even Quantum Mechanics uses this principle, in one form or the other.

Lasting legacy

But this was for technicians in the field. Fermat left behind a delicious puzzle for future generations. He conjectured (and never proved) that three positive integers, x, y and z, cannot possibly satisfy the equation xn + yn = zn, for any n>2 (For n=2, you’d recognise it as the Pythagoras theorem). Fermat supplied a proof for it for n=4, for not a general proof. In his copy of Arithmetica, a book written by the Greek Diophantus, he scribbled on the margin something which said that he had a proof but it was too big to fit in the margin.

Mouse over the doodle, and you’ll see that it says that the discovered proof is too big to fit in the doodle.

The general proof of Fermat’s last theorem is a stuff of legends now, with Andrew Wiles’ proof and his struggles to get to it having been made into TV shows, documentaries and books.

Fermat, pot-bellied and round-nosed, left behind a legacy too big to fit into this one article.

Google Celebrates 64th Indian Independence Day

Happy Independence Day, India.

India is celebrating its 64th Independence Day (65th if you count 15th August 1947 as the first Independence day)  to mark its independence from the British rule. Google has created an awesome doodle placing the Red Fort, which on mouse over will greet you with a message, “Indian Independence Day”.

The Red Fort,  also known as the Lal Qil’ah or Lal Qila was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century. It is one of the largest monuments and a popular tourist destination in Old Delhi (present day Delhi), attracting over thousands of tourists every year. After India achieved independence from the British in 1947, the Indian Army took over the fort, and in December 2003, the Indian Army handed the fort over to the Indian tourist authorities.

Google India Independence Day Doodle

The Prime Minister of India addresses the nation from the Red Fort on 15 August every year.

Well, to celebrate Independence Day, I am using the  Epic browser,  developed by a Bangalore based  start-up  called Hidden Reflex. Epic Browser is an Internet web browser which is based on Mozilla Firefox, which taps into several services to serve content which is useful and relevant to Indian users.

Epic still very much feels and behaves like Firefox. The browser is  reviewed by Pallab De and is rated 4.5 on a scale of 5 (Excellent). Here are some of its features –

  • One-Click Private Data Deletion
    Epic Browser
  • Latest Film Songs
  • Live Cricket Scores
  • Live TV
  • One-Click Private Browsing
  • Anti-Phishing Protection
  • No Browsing Reports
  • Flash Cookie Deletion
  • Tweaked for Speed

Download Epic Browser.

Other Google Doodles

Google Celebrates Alexander Calder’s 113th Birthday with Calder Mobile Doodle

Google continues the tradition of celebrating important events with a doodle, and look what it’s celebrating today. It’s Alexander Calder’s 113th Birthday. Alexander Calder was an American sculptor, artist and most famous for inventing the mobile. In addition to that, he also created paintings, toys, lithographs, and household objects.

He was a playful artist and a leading exponent of kinetic art. Kinetic art is a type of art that works with moving things or depends on motion for its effect. He invented a type of sculpture called Calder mobile. This type of sculpture is usually abstract in shape and bright in color. It moves freely and uses the principle of equilibrium, with rods from which weighted objects or further rods hang.

Google Doodle - Alexander Calder's 113th Birthday

Today’s doodle shows the Calder mobile, honoring the great artist with an interactive doodle on it’s homepage. The following video gives an idea of the interactive moving doodle:

The doodle moves on its own and can be controlled by mouse gestures. Moreover, according to Google’s Marissa Mayer, you can even move  it gravitationally by rocking your laptop. Well, that did not work for me though.

Update: You require an accelerometer-equipped laptop to move it gravitationally.

Google Doodle - Alexander Calder's 113th Birthday

Calder invented the mobile “by bending and twisting wire, he essentially ‘drew’ three-dimensional figures in space,” according to the biography on the Calder Foundation website. The mobile on Google’s homepage is colored according to Google’s logo (characters) and was inspired by a work called “The Star”

Read:  Google Celebrates Charlie Chaplin’s 122nd Birthday With A Video Doodle

This doodle is made entirely using HTML5 canvas, so you would need the latest browser that supports HTML5 to play with it.  Clicking on the mobile will take you to the search results of Calder.

According to the post by Google software engineer Jered Wierzbicki,

It runs a physics simulation on the mobile’s geometry, and then does realtime 3D rendering with vector graphics. Only recently have browsers advanced to the point where this is possible.

The doodle worked brilliantly on Chrome 12 and Firefox 5 for me. However, the doodle causes a  crash in Firefox on Linux  and is not working fine of Internet Explorer 9.

Calder’s Bio

DOB: 22th July 1898
Birth Place: Pennsylvania
Death Date: 11th November 1976
Death Place: New York
Occupation: Sculpture Artist

Other Google Doodles  –

Google Celebrates Summer Solstice with Specially Designed Doodles by Japanese Artist

For folks living in the northern hemisphere, today is summer solstice, or the day with the longest period of daylight. At the same time, folks in the southern hemisphere will be experiencing winter solstice, or the shortest period of daylight in the year.

To mark both these events, Google commissioned Japanese artist Takashi Murakami to create special Google doodles. Murakami is an extremely popular and prolific artist who made it to Time’s “100 Most Influential People” list in 2008. The doodles created by Murakami are (somewhat misleadingly) titled “First Day of Summer” and “First Day of Winter”, and are being displayed by Google across the world. Which of the two you end up getting served depends on the Google Search country-level domain that you are using. For example, Google Search India and France are displaying the summer solstice doodle, while Google Search Brazil and South Africa are serving the winter solstice variant.

Google-Doodle-First-Day-of-Summer
First Day of Summer
Google-Doodle-First-Day-of-Winter
First Day of Winter

Google first changed its logo to commemorate the Burning Man Festival of 1998. It was simply done by Page and Brin to notify users of their absence in case the servers crashed. Since then, Google has changed its logo to mark a wide range of events of varying significance. Their doodles have evolved from being static images to being impressive animations and interactive objects, and have become a medium for both making social statements and expressing creativity. Check out our archives for a collection of some of the best Google doodles.

Google Lunar Eclipse Doodle

Just last week, Google managed to waste millions of user hours by adding one of their most famous ever. The Les Paul Google Doodle allowed users to play their own music through keystrokes. The Les Paul Doodle also got a permanent home like the Google Pacman Doodle.

Google Lunar Eclipse Doodle

Today is this century’s 2nd largest Lunar Eclipse and we have a complete Guide on the Lunar Eclipse out here. However, if you have never seen a Lunar Eclipse in your life, you can do it now playfully with the latest Google Doodle.

The new Google Doodle has a progress meter which shows you how the moon is covered during the Lunar Eclipse. It plays automatically when you load Google.com, but you can also drag the progress bar either way to see it minutely.

This is definitely a fun way for people to learn about this natural phenomenon. Go ahead and check out the new Google Lunar Eclipse Doodle at google.com. You can also watch the Lunar Eclipse live at http://youtube.com/google.

Google’s Les Paul Guitar Doodle Gets It’s Own Homepage

All right, all right. Google’s famous Les Paul Guitar doodle lives in eternity, just like Google’s Pacman doodle.

If you have missed our earlier story, Google’s Les Paul Guitar doodle featured a sweet electric guitar with strings and notes that can be played using your computers keyboard and mouse. U.S citizens were also provided an additional option to record songs and share their recordings using a Google Doodle shortlink.

Seeing the immense popularity, Google tweeted that they would be keeping the Les Paul doodle for one more day. Guess, one day was not enough!

Google has now put up a dedicated homepage for the Les Paul Google doodle, which is available and will be available round the clock, till the Internet lives.

google-les-paul-doodle-homepage

Just as the Pacman Google doodle is still available at Google.com/pacman, the Les Paul   will continue to operate from it’s homepage. The only difference here is that the search box is missing from the Les Paul’s homepage which means you can’t search and play music at the same time. This is unlike Google’s Pacman doodle which lets you search as well as play the game from the same page.

Some Creative uses of Google’s Les Paul Guitar Doodle

Here are some songs recorded using Google’s Les Paul doodle:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnSkaFvxF6U

Tell us your favorites in the comments section.

Google’s Les Paul Guitar Doodle Is Awesome, And Here Is How You Can Play A Song On It

google-guitar-doodleTodays Google Doodle is without doubt the best Google doodle ever.

Go to Google.com and you have a working electric guitar, waiting to be strummed using your computer’s keyboard and mouse. Google is celebrating the 96th birthday of Les Paul the legendary American Jazz guitarist and the person to whom the famous Epiphone Lespaul electric guitar is credited.

les-paul-google-doodle

Playing music on todays Google logo is pure fun. Hover your mouse over the strings and slide it down to strum the Guitar. Make sure your computer’s audio system is properly connected, otherwise you might miss the sound produced by the doodle.

The Guitar doodle also works with your computer’s keyboard, just hit the keyboard button once and press any alphabet (A-Z) or number to hear a unique tone. You can play Do Re- Mi in the sequence: QWERTYUI. Some sources have reported that the doodle also houses a small record button, which can be used to record your notes and you can simply copy the URL of the resulting page and share the piece music with anyone.

As for me, I was not lucky enough to find the record button and record the sequence of notes of a song. However, here is a keyboard sequence of a song which you can play on todays Google Doodle and surprise your friends

Play Titanic’s Title Track on The Les Paul Google doodle

I went crazy enough and recorded half a dozen songs, here is the notation for one of them:

The prelude:

Q W E   WQ WT RTY TREW
YUI UYT RTY TREW

Here are first two lines of the Song:

K KK K JK k JK L ; L
K KK K JK k JK KL G

Sweet, isn’t it?

Playing Chords is also simple enough. If you know the grammar behind creating music, recall the base notes of a chord and you can play any chord by pressing the desired notes all at once.

For example: If you want to strum the C MAJOR chord, you have to hit the musical C E G notes which can be done by pressing the A D and G key on your keyboard. For the A MINOR chord, you have to play the musical A C and E notes which is achieved by hitting the A D and H keys simultaneously. There are two catches though. The doodle does not support multiple octaves, so you won’t be able to play a tune which has notes from multiple octaves. And neither any Sharp notesare supported so you can only play the C MAJOR scale which has all the base notes and no sharp notes in it’s scale e.g C#, D #, F#, G# and A #.

The following video shows how notes and chords work in the Les Paul Google doodle:

You have only 24 hours to check out this fascinating piece so don’t be late.

Earth Day Awareness With Today’s Google Doodle

Google Doodles are a great way to learn about international events, famous inventions, important   dates and what not.   Over the years, Google doodles have always added a fun element to search and today’s Google doodle is no exception.

Inspired from the Earth day 2011, today’s Google doodle is all about the environment, animals, nature and going green.

Google's Earth day doodle

As always, Google wants to create awareness for Earth day by educating users about the global event. For over 40 years, Earth Day (April 22) has inspired and mobilized individuals and organizations worldwide to demonstrate their commitment to environmental protection and sustainability.

This Google doodle is animated and there are a couple of hidden animals which are revealed only when you hove the mouse cursor to specific areas of the doodle.

There is a Lion, a pair of Penguins, a Koala bear, a frog but the scariest of them all are the two Pandas sitting beside the Bambooo trees. Is this the same Panda which has changed the fate of a lot of webmasters because of it’s April 12th global update ? Not to forget that there is a small child panda waiting, so an update to the Panda algorithm might be a work in progress Smile

Jokes apart, the philosophy of today’s Google doodle goes hand in hand with that of Earth day 2011 – a pledge campaign aiming to get a billion people from around the world to pledge their allegiance to the environment.

One question to our readers how many animals can you spot in today’s Google doodle ? Let’s see who can crack the right answer first in the comments.

Google Celebrates Charlie Chaplin’s 122nd Birthday With A Video Doodle

I have come to love and have seen some really artistic one’s, one’s you could play with, one’s with music, one’s with awesome graphics and more.

Google Charlie Chaplin Video Doodle

Today’s is a special one though. It celebrates the 122nd birthday of Charlie Chaplin with a video doodle. Clicking the play button on the Doodle plays a short video of Charlie Chaplin reading a Google Newspaper and performing his antics we are so used too. The entire video is shot in black and white and is definitely worth a watch.

To view the Charlie Chaplin Google Doodle video, head over to google.com and click on the play button, you will definitely not be disappointed. You can also watch the Charlie Chaplin Google Doodle video embedded below.