Marlene Dietrich Google doodle honors the legendary actress's career

Marlene Dietrich, the iconic German-born actress, is being honored today on the Google home page on her 116th birthday. She was one of the most well-paid actresses of her time, starting in many well-known Hollywood films such as “Morocco” (1930), “Shanghai Express” (1932), and “Desire” (1936). Google said, “Marlene Dietrich lit up the silver screen during Hollywood’s Golden Age.”

On December 27, 1901, 116 years ago today, she was born in Schöneberg, Germany. She spent a lot of her career in the 1930s in Hollywood. She also held dual citizenship in Germany and the United States. She performed for many years, from 1919 to 1984. She passed on May 6, 1992, in Paris, France at the age of 90.

Google said the Doodle for Marlene Dietrich “was illustrated by artist Sasha Steinberg who captured her mid-performance, suited up in her gender-bending tux and top hat. Steinberg, who is also a drag performer under the name Sasha Velour and winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race (Season 9), counts Dietrich as a major influence in creating their drag alter ego.”

For more on her life and contributions, see her Wikipedia page.

December global festivities Google doodle marks day 2 of Google's holiday doodle series

Today’s Christmas holiday marks day two of Google’s 2017 holiday doodle series. After posting the first of the series on December 18, Google has added two new images to the slide show for today’s doodle.

“Our favorite penguins couldn’t be more excited to reunite with their loved ones. Happy to be together for the season of cheer, this colorfully feathered family can’t wait to sink their beaks into a delicious feast,” writes Google on the Google Doodle blog.

While the December 18 doodle included an image of the penguins making plans over the phone with their bird friends, today’s doodle has replaced that image with the following artwork of the penguins and birds together:

The doodle has also added the following image of all the friends sharing a dinner surrounded by lighted palm trees:

Same as the first doodle, today’s image leads to a search for “December global festivities.” Going off the last image in the slide show that lists the holiday doodle series dates, there are two more holiday doodles to be posted, one for New Year’s Eve and one for New Year’s Day:

Winter solstice 2017 Google doodle marks the shortest day of the year & official start of winter

Today’s winter solstice 2017 Google doodle brings back the animated mouse that has made an appearance on Google’s home page for each of the equinoxes and now both solstice dates.

Previously, the mouse did some spring cleaning all the way back in March for the spring Equinox, enjoyed the sunlight on a summer day during the June 21 summer solstice and prepared for the arrival of fall on September 22.

Leading to a search for “winter solstice 2017,” today’s doodle shows the mouse doing a little ice skating and playing in the snow.

“Though most refer to the solstice as an entire day, in reality, the solstice is defined as a single moment: when the sun is directly above the Tropic of Capricorn,” writes Google on its Google Doodle Blog, “This year, that moment will occur at 16:28 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). After this point in time, periods of daylight will once again begin to grow longer.”

Here are all four of this year’s seasonal doodles in the order they appeared:

Spring equinox

Summer solstice

Autumn equinox

Winter solstice

The winter solstice not only marks the official start of winter for 2017, it’s also the shortest day — and longest night — of the calendar year.

December global festivities Google doodle kicks off series of holiday doodles

Today’s Google doodle kicks off a series of holiday doodles leading up to Christmas and New Year’s Day.

The doodle, which leads to a search for “December global festivities,” includes three animated images that you can swipe or scroll through using the arrows within the artwork.

“The festive season is here and this pair of slippery-footed siblings are excited to spend time with their warm-weather relatives!” writes the Google Doodle team on the Google Doodle blog, “Stay tuned over the next couple of weeks to see what kind of fun this feathery family has in store.”

Here are the three images that make up day one of Google’s holiday doodle:

The doodle is being displayed on Google’s home page in most countries around the world.

Max Born Google doodle marks 135th birthday of man behind the Born Rule in quantum theory

For the second day in a row, Google is highlighting a Nobel Prize winner on its home page. Following yesterday’s Robert Koch doodle, today’s doodle marks the 135th birthday of German physicist and mathematician Max Born.

Born was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1954 for his research in the field of quantum physics that led to the Born Rule, a quantum physics theory used for predicting the location of wave particles based on mathematical probability.

From the Google Doodle Blog:

Previous theories proposed that wave equations were exact measurements, involving cumbersome physical measurement experiments. A gifted mathematician, Born discovered that matrices or “arrays of numbers by rows and columns” could yield a similar result, relying on predictions of probability. This revolutionary theory now provides the basis for practically all quantum physics predictions.

After earning his Ph.D. from Göttingen University, Born would go on to serve a theoretical physics professor at the same university. In 1933, he was forced to flee Nazi Germany and relocated to England, where he took a position with St. John’s College, and then at Scotland’s University of Edinburgh. Born remained in England for two decades and only returned to Göttingen after he retired.

Designed by guest artist Kati Szilagyi, the doodle leads to a search for “Max Born” and features the mathematician working through his quantum physics theories. Szilagyi also added a special wave-function detail within the image. (Hint: It’s the Psi symbol on the end of his red pen, and not the blue line squiggle through the Google letters. As an English major, I only know this after doing a search for “wave function symbol.”)

Google also shared some of Szilagyi’s early drafts for the Max Born doodle:

Google notes Born’s work in quantum mechanics — the area of physics focused on matter at its most granular level — led to many game-changing technologies, including personal computers, lasers and medical imaging devices.

Max Born Google doodle marks 135th birthday of man behind the Born Rule in quantum theory

For the second day in a row, Google is highlighting a Nobel Prize winner on its home page. Following yesterday’s Robert Koch doodle, today’s doodle marks the 135th birthday of German physicist and mathematician Max Born.

Born was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1954 for his research in the field of quantum physics that led to the Born Rule, a quantum physics theory used for predicting the location of wave particles based on mathematical probability.

From the Google Doodle Blog:

Previous theories proposed that wave equations were exact measurements, involving cumbersome physical measurement experiments. A gifted mathematician, Born discovered that matrices or “arrays of numbers by rows and columns” could yield a similar result, relying on predictions of probability. This revolutionary theory now provides the basis for practically all quantum physics predictions.

After earning his Ph.D. from Göttingen University, Born would go on to serve a theoretical physics professor at the same university. In 1933, he was forced to flee Nazi Germany and relocated to England, where he took a position with St. John’s College, and then at Scotland’s University of Edinburgh. Born remained in England for two decades and only returned to Göttingen after he retired.

Designed by guest artist Kati Szilagyi, the doodle leads to a search for “Max Born” and features the mathematician working through his quantum physics theories. Szilagyi also added a special wave-function detail within the image. (Hint: It’s the Psi symbol on the end of his red pen, and not the blue line squiggle through the Google letters. As an English major, I only know this after doing a search for “wave function symbol.”)

Google also shared some of Szilagyi’s early drafts for the Max Born doodle:

Google notes Born’s work in quantum mechanics — the area of physics focused on matter at its most granular level — led to many game-changing technologies, including personal computers, lasers and medical imaging devices.

Robert Koch Google doodle honors German physician awarded the 1905 Nobel Prize in medicine

Today’s Google doodle pays homage to Robert Koch, the German physician and microbiologist credited with ushering in the Golden Age of bacteriology.

Instead of marking his birthday, Google is honoring Koch with a doodle on the anniversary of being named the Nobel Prize winner in Physiology or Medicine in 1905.

“By developing many of the basic principles and techniques of modern bacteriology, he inspired a new generation of scientists and microbe-hunters, ushering in a Golden Age of bacteriology,” writes the Google doodle team on the Google Doodle blog. “During this Golden Age, scientists discovered the microorganisms responsible for causing twenty-one different diseases.”

Designed by doodler Sophie Diao, the doodle leads to a search for “Robert Koch.” The imagery highlights the potato slices Koch used to isolate bacterial cells during his research, as well as Koch’s image in a Petri dish. Google says Koch used potato slices for his experiments until his assistant, Julius Petri, came up with the Petri dish.

As Google notes, Koch understood how solutions to big problems can often be found in their microcosms. It was his research that resulted in scientists’ ability to identify the bacteria for anthrax, cholera, and tuberculosis: “Countless lives have been saved thanks to his role in proving the revolutionary idea that germs cause diseases.”

Jan Ingenhousz Google doodle marks 287th birthday of scientist behind photosynthesis discovery

Today’s Google doodle recognizes Jan Ingenhousz, the 18th century Netherlands scientist credited with discovering the photosynthesis process.

Google notes while scientists were already aware plants produced and absorbed gases, it was Ingenhousz who discovered and published his research on plants producing oxygen in the sunlight and carbon dioxide in the dark.

“He published these findings in 1779, significantly influencing further research on plant life in the centuries to follow,” writes the Google doodle team on the Google Doodle Blog.

Google says Ingenhousz, born on this date in 1730, began to be interested in science related to medicine when he was a teenager. According to Google, Ingenhousz began inoculating people against smallpox when he was only 16 years old.

“He followed that passion to London, where he immunized hundreds of village people who were at risk for smallpox,” says the Google doodle team.

After learning about his smallpox vaccination, the Austrian Empress Maria Theresa brought him to Vienna to inoculate the entire royal family. He went on to serve as family doctor for the House of Habsburg.

Google says that in addition to medicine and his photosynthesis findings, Ingenhousz also made advances in the area of energy generation and particle motion research.

“For those digging into their biology textbooks this school year, be sure to thank Jan Ingenhousz!” says Google.

Google wraps Hanukkah, Festivus, Christmas & Kwanzaa searches in festive holiday decor

Every year, Google brings its own holiday shine to searches for Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and even Festivus (a holiday inspired by the TV sitcom “Seinfeld”), by decorating corresponding search result pages for each holiday term with relevant imagery.

This year’s decorations for holiday searches are now on display. For Hanukkah, which begins on December 12 and will last through December 20, search results include a banner displaying a Menorah, dreidels and Hanukkah sweets.

The Kwanzaa banner follows suit with a Kinara candle holder and a selection of fruits and vegetables connected to the week-long celebration from December 26 through January 1, honoring African-American heritage.

Christmas searches serve up a top-of-page banner with a collection of Christmas-related goodies: candy canes, a gingerbread house, cookies and milk for Santa and a string of Christmas lights.

And last, but definitely not least, is Festivus, which is celebrated on December 23. Inspired by a 1997 episode of “Seinfeld,” Festivus was introduced by the character of Frank Costanza and entails a day devoted to the airing of grievances. Google searches for Festivus do not include a banner, but instead have the Festivus Pole alongside search results.

“At the Festivus dinner, you gather your family around, and tell them all the ways they have disappointed you over the past year!”

Compared to last year’s imagery, Google has definitely put more detail into each of the banners for this year’s holiday search terms. The displays are also not exclusive to the individual holiday search terms. Searches for “dreidel” returned the Hanukkah images, and a “Santa” search served up the Christmas decorations.

Google coding-game doodle marks 50th anniversary of kids learning to code

Google is marking the 50th anniversary of kids learning computer programming language with its first-ever Google doodle that doubles as a coding game.

“Today’s Doodle was developed through the close teamwork of not one or two but THREE teams: the Google Doodle team, Google Blockly team, and researchers from MIT Scratch,” says the Google doodle team on its blog.

To mark the event, Google invited Champika Fernando, director of communications for the MIT Scratch Team (and former Google engineer) to tell her story about how learning to code as a kid impacted her.

“My first experience with coding was in a free after-school program back in the eighties when I was nine years old. We programmed a little green turtle to move around and draw lines on a black screen. That programming language was called Logo,” said Fernando.

“In the 1980s when I wrote my first lines of code, my working-class parents questioned how coding would ever benefit their nine-year-old daughter.”

The “Coding with Carrots” doodle offers an interactive game that teaches basic programming lessons across six levels as players gather carrots by snapping together coding blocks. There’s also a level map for the game that can be found, along with the search and share icons, by clicking on the three-dot navigation menu in the top left corner. (The search icon leads to a search for “kids coding languages.”)

Fernando says it makes her happy to think of all the people — and kids — who will have their first coding experience playing with today’s doodle, and she hopes it will inspire them to learn more about code and programming languages.