August 28, 2014
Take a break and enjoy the creativity of Google Doodles.
I have been having an absolute ball with the archive of Google Doodles. These are the colorful and imaginative logos that make use of the word “Google” and periodically appear on Google’s search page. They are used to celebrate holidays and anniversaries of famous artists, pioneers and scientists who have helped shape history.
So today I’d like to encourage you to visit doodles that have appeared around the world since 1998. The idea for this suggestion began on August 4, when the two “o’s“ in the word Google were made from two circles that were partially overlapped. In the overlapping area there was an arrow. When you clicked on the arrow, two large circles appeared.
On the outside of the orange circle on the left there are five small circles with graphics representing the categories of Mammals, Musical, Transport, Vegetation, and Sea Life. When you clicked on one of those, other circles popped up on the right side of a large yellow circle. These represented Tiny, Has wings, Thrives in Cold, Has a Shell, and Mythical.
When you clicked on one of the categories, the two large circles would come together in what is called a Venn diagram and a new graphic would appear in the place where the circles came together.
It was great fun to see how these categories came together to create something new — as with “vegetation” and “can fly” to create “dandelions.”
Of course, I have seen and used all kinds of overlapping circles for years, but didn’t know much about the man who invented this way to express inclusive and exclusive properties of things and ideas. He was John Venn, an English logician and philosopher who was born 180 years ago on August 4th.
You can learn about him, play with the interactive doodle, and see how the doodle was made at http://www.google.com/doodles/john-venns-180th-birthday
Take a Creative Break From Whatever You Are Doing
When I wanted to see the Venn page the next day, it was no longer there — all their doodles stay up only for one day — but I found it in the Google Doodles Archive. Soon I was going all over the archives to see hundreds of other doodles.
So I recommend you take an exploration break on Google. Go to the home page of the archives, which is constantly updated.
As sometimes happens, below the graphic you can read an explanation of how the graphic was made and get an idea of how complex and inventive some of these doodles are.
A Brief Word to Those Who Aren’t As Talented With the Internet as Their Kids
Those of us who grew up before the age of computer games may sometimes be frustrated because many of the interactive games don’t come with instructions. However, if you click “here” or “there,” you are very likely to stumble upon a delightful picture or something to do.
One example is the doodle for Mother’s Day in 2013.
For example, you may notice three rectangles (or circles or other shapes) and when you click on one of them, something unexpected happens. I accidentally got to a place where the doodle offered me a change to print a card I could send someone — just as children can cut and paste cards for their mothers.
Great Talent from Kindergarten to Twelfth Grade
One of the most exciting things I found in the archives was that each year Google has a doodle contest for school children based on a particular theme. This year it was “inventions to make the world a better place.”
On the Overview page of Doodle 4 Google 2014, it says:
Before there was an airplane, there were doodles of cool flying machines. And before there was a submarine, there were doodles of magical underwater sea explorers. Since the beginning of time, ideas big and small, practical and playful, have started out as doodles. One talented young artist — Audrey Zhang, 11, NY got to animate her Doodle and see it on the Google homepage. She received a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 Google for Education technology grant for her school. In addition Google donated $40,000 in her name to charity: water to provide clean water to schools in Bangladesh.
Entries come from all over the country and are sorted into age groups. The Doodle 4 Google guest judges choose the 50 state winners and the public gets to choose 5 national winners.
I very much encourage you to explore around this section of the archives to discover how clever and innovative our children are.