2010 was the year of the perplexing Google logo -- and the search engine geniuses did not disappoint on this last day of the year by giving us yet another puzzle to entertain us and/or lower our work productivity, for those of us unlucky enough to be at the shop or in the office today.
Apparently, many people this morning were puzzled by the MMXI on the homepage and embarked on a massive search effort to unlock the code, which, frankly, is puzzling in itself. These are the Roman numerals for 2011 -- any random Arabic/Numerals conversion chart on Google can easily tell you that. Or just your common sense. But apparently, lots of people misread the Numeral One (1) as the Letter L (L) or were reding it as the word GMMXLE etc.
This one is elementary school math compared to some of the other strange Google Logos of 2010. The following 7 were far more intriguing for various reasons:
On September 27, this doodle of a birthday cake created by 89-year-old Los Angeles painter and pop artist Wayne Thiebaud appeared seemingly to celebrate Google's 12th birthday. But techies called foul because the site was founded on the 7th and the domain was registered on the 15th. Turns out the 27th was the date that Google was first incorporated 12 years ago.
On September 7, searchers signed on to Google and found a series of interactive balls that you could mess with using your mouse and browser, and on the following day, the Google logo appeared in black and white, and then morphed into the familiar colors we're used to seeing as you type. Both features were a metaphor for the launch of Google Instant -- "fast, fun and interactive, just the way search should be."
On Google's birthday/founding day September 7, the logo was replaced with a series of dots and splotches. But when you clicked on the logo to get information, nothing happened. No info box came up. Searches dominated for hours, until it was revealed that the hidden message was simply that you expect Google to give you information. That you expect Google to be the source of it all. And when we don't get it, the world stops. Brilliant.
In what might have been the biggest Google related time suck of the year, on May 21 the Google homepage created it's first ever interactive doodle in celebration of Pac-Man's 30th anniversary, where people could play this classic video game favorite for free. And did they. The economy took a major dip that day.
Google ran this logo of children running off a school bus on December 1 to celebrate the day Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus, changing civil rights forever. But in doing so it caused an uproar for shunning World Aids Day by failing to display a red ribbon anywhere on its site, proving you can't please everyone.
On December 23 Google ran this mysterious assemblage of 17 boxes that some interpreted for an odd Advent calendar but what really turned out to be a multicultural holiday card of sorts. If you look closely, you can see how the boxes seem to take the form of the logo.
Is this doodle anti-American? Pro-Muslim? Many people thought so on Veteran's Day November 11, when Google displayed this graphic of the American flag with the light of freedom shining through. Many people interpreted the "e" in the logo to be the red crescent moon of the Muslim flag.
Which one was your favorite?