New Delhi: It's celebration time on the Google home page. The last Google doodle of 2011 welcomes 2012 with a party.
The theme of Google yearender doodle is of a New Year's party and the letters of the Google logo seem to be having a blast welcoming in the New Year.
The Happy New Year doodle is the 260th Google doodle of 2011. This figure is only nominally higher than the 258 doodles that Google put up on its home page in 2010. Some of the doodles were limited to Google's country specific home pages while others appeared globally.
Google recently announced the revamp of its Doodle site (www.google.com/doodles) which houses all Google doodles since the very first back in 1998.
Of the 260 doodles, here are our pick of the top 10 Google doodles of 2011:
10. 50th Anniversary of JFK's Inaugural (January 20, 2011): One of the most famous speeches in the history of the world was delivered by US President John F Kennedy during his inauguration on January 20, 1961 and 50 years later Google transformed the words of the "ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country" speech into a doodle. The visual and symbolic appeal of the word-cloud doodle has such an impact that it is the only static doodle to find a place in our list of the top 10 Google doodles of 2011 (The JFK Inaugural doodle was targeted towards Google's US users).
9. Earth Day (April 22, 2011): Ticklish pandas, frolicking penguins, a growling lion, a cascading waterfall, waterfall climbing fish, a fish devouring bear, birds, butterflies, a koala and a jumping frog got together on an animated and interactive Google logo to celebrate the 41st Earth Day. This doodle was Google's 11th Earth Day doodle (http://www.google.com/logos/2011/earthday.html).
8. 160th Anniversary of the first World's Fair (May 1, 2011): A "Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations" was organised at the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London in 1851. The event is also known as the first World's Fair, The Great Exhibition or simply as the Crystal Palace Exhibition. The first World's Fair was held over a period of five and a half months from May 1 to October 15, 1851. Google celebrated the 160th anniversary of the opening of the fair with an interactive doodle. The Google doodle commemorating the event put together different elements of the fair viewable more closely with a magnifying glass effect that appears when a user hovered the cursor over the logo. The Koh-i-noor diamond, that the British had seized from India was also exhibited at the fair and also in the doodle (http://www.google.com/logos/2011/worldsfair.html).
7. Jules Verne's 183rd Birthday (February 8, 2011): To mark French science fiction writer Jules Gabriel Verne's 183rd birthday Google plunged its users 20,000 leagues under the sea inside a submarine. The Google logi in the interactive doodle took the form of the portholes of a submarine with an interactive lever on the side that could be flicked up, down or sideways to plunge the machine deeper into the sea. Through the portholes, users got a glimpse of the various forms of marine life (http://www.google.com/logos/verne.html).
6. Alexander Calder's 113th Birthday (July 22, 2011): A piece of kinetic art took the place of the usual Google logo to celebrate the 113th birthday of American artist and sculptor Alexander Calder. The doodle showed a mobile, a type of kinetic sculpture that was invented by Alexander Calder. Mobiles take advantage of the principle of equilibrium and have objects hanging from rods. Kinetic art uses motion for an artistic effect. Mobiles are usually brightly coloured free-moving creations in abstract shapes made from sheet metal. The mobile Google doodle swayed on its own and could also be controlled by mouse gestures.
5. 122nd Birthday of Charlie Chaplin (April 16, 2011): Nothing less than a video would have done justice in honouring the silent era's greatest star - Charlie Chaplin. The Google doodle team put up a video honouring the filmmaker and actor to celebrate his 122nd birthday. The Google home page featured a YouTube video starring members of Google Doodle team enacting a Google-themed Chaplinesque scene. Google put up the Chaplin doodle a day ahead of the film legend's birthday (http://youtu.be/3NGSU2PM9dA).
4. Total Lunar Eclipse (June 15, 2011): To mark the longest and the darkest lunar eclipse of the century Google put up an animated and interactive doodle. The lunar eclipse Google doodle showed the various phases of the lunar eclipse that could be accessed through a seek bar. The doodle was also Google's first live doodle and the image refreshed every two minutes to reflect the current stage of the moon in eclipse. One of the O's in the Google logo was transformed into the moon. Google had also put up a live webcast of the lunar eclipse on its official YouTube channel.
3. Freddie Mercury's 65th Birthday (September 5, 2011): Google honoured Freddie Mercury, one of the greatest rock stars of all times, with a music video doodle on its home page. The doodle on hitting the play button played an animated music video set to Don't Stop Me Now, one of Queen's biggest hits that was written and sung by Freddie Mercury (http://www.google.com/logos/2011/mercury.html).
1. 60th Anniversary of Stanislaw Lem's First Publication (November 23, 2011): It is a pity that a doodle as great as the one Google created to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Polish science-fiction novelist, philosopher and satirist Stanislaw Lem's first publication was not put up on Google home pages across the globe but was only limited to European countries. The doodle inspired by Daniel Mroz's illustrations for The Cyberiad, a series of short stories by Lem was also a multi-level puzzle. For its sheer awesomeness the Stanislaw Lem doodle manages to steal the top spot from the amazing Les Paul doodle (http://www.google.com/logos/lem/).
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