Google Doodle’s Little Nemo’s 107th Birthday.

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The Google Doodle folks are coming up with some amazing animated graphics these days and today may be the most spectacular of the Google Doodles, though I found it kind of annoying because you could not immediately go off to see what it was showcasing. Today’s doodle features Winsor McCay’s “Little Nemo” comic strip, today celebrating a 107th birthday. This is certainly the *largest* Google Doodle ever, as the animated sequence takes up several screens as you scroll down to reveal more and more of Little Nemo’s dream. It’s a spectacular animation and another in the amazing series of graphics from Google.

Google Doodle Nemo

Google Doodle Nemo

Alan Turing Google Doodle honors Computing Pioneer


Check out the most complicated Google Doodle of all time here, where the Google Doodle of the day  celebrates the birthday of computer science pioneer Alan Turing.   Turing is reasonably considered a founder of computer science even though he never lived to see anything like the current crop of machines we now find in our homes, businesses, and mobile devices.

The Google Doodle is representing a ‘codebreaker’ sequence.   Turing’s brilliancies in cracking encoded Nazi war memos led to major strategic breakthrough when he cracked the “enigma” code routine, giving the allies access to a treasure trove of strategic information about the Nazi war plans.

The “Turing Test” remains an intriguing part of the quest for general artificial intelligence.  Turing suggested that a major step in development of mechanical intelligence would be a human’s inability to distinguish the machine responses from those of another human.  Most current thinking suggests that a machine could pass the “Turing Test” and NOT be considered artificial intelligence, but Turing’s speculations remain some of the most important computing insights of all time.

Turing’s life was tragic in many ways.  He was gay in a time when the government prosecuted people for “indecency”, and his life was cut short by cyanide poisoning – most likely a suicide or accident – at the age of only 42.

Eadweard J. Muybridge Google Doodle


Don’t miss today’s Google Doodle featuring an awesome animation inspired by the work of Eadweard J. Muybridge, a photographer whose innovative work was some of the earliest in the transition to modern day filmmaking.   Muybridge was hired by California industrialist Leland Stanford to settle a bet about whether all four of a horses hooves were off the ground when running.   As you can see from the Google Doodle animation they are off the ground, and many believe it was Muybridge’s innovative technique that provided others with the insights that led to modern day motion pictures.

Juan Gris Google Doodle


Juan Gris was an amazing Spanish surrealist painter, Gris is dead now but he’s celebrated via a Google Doodle at Google.com.   Now, I can’t really say that I’m a huge Gris fan, or even that I knew who Gris was before today, but I CAN say that this will be an interesting experiment in terms of how Google ranks this blog post for the term “Juan Gris”, a fairly obscure reference in the blog literature.     At least until today, when a LOT of blogs will be talking Juan Gris, working the angle of discussing Google doodles.

Violin and Checkerboard, 1913

For more about this amazing painter you really need to go to one of these sites for more information:

Wikipedia:  Early life – Career – Death

Juan Gris – The complete works

Retirement, History, and Google Spreadsheets


I’m working hard on our Retirement website and upcoming retirement blog project called “Retire USA” and wound up having a heck of a time with some data conversions, so I want to outline that process here in case others have the same troubles.

Process ONE – copying records from a Google Docs Spreadsheet to an Open Office “ODS” format spreadsheet:   This sure seemed non-trivial unless I missed something or had data glitches buried in the sheets.   I could NOT complete direct cut and pastes from Google docs to my Open Office “ODS” spreadsheet so….

What DID WORK was this:

1.  Save Google spreadsheet in CSV format within Google Docs

2.  Import that CSV sheet to Open Office and save in ODS format.

3.  Cut and paste between the two Open Office spreadsheets.   IMPORTANT:  When pasting, select ONLY the upper left cell as if you are going to paste everything into that single cell.

 Process TWO – Merge two cells into a new single cell containing contents of BOTH original cells.     In my case I wanted a new combined field name.

Update – review the “DATA/Text to Columns” and the related “Concatenate” functions within Open Office.

Again, I’m not an expert so there may be easy ways to do it, but this did not seem to work directly in Google Docs spreadsheet.    Merge cells is an option, but it only preserved ONE of the cells.    However in Open Office you can celect “Merge Cells” and it should immediately prompt you to include contents of BOTH cells.   Unfortunately I had to merge about 8000 cells and since there seemed to be no bulk process I created a keystroke macro and did them (pretty quickly) manually because I was not clever enough to get a macro that would run this process by itself.

FYI note that you may want to keep your old fields (cells) as well as have the new combined field.   In that case simply make copies of the columns so you have extra ones to combine.

The reason I needed this was to create a CityCategory field name that will work well with our Retirement website.   One painful alternative to this little merge routine would have been to type the extra word into five thousand records!

World Record for Largest Observed Snowflake … on a Google Doodle?


The World record for the largest observed snowflake …

according to the Guinness Book of World Records, was attained this day of January 28th in 1887.  The city was Fort Keogh, Montana and the observer was a farmer.

Google’s doodle of today celebrates his discovery, though it appears he may have been the only witness to this frozen snowflake miracle of nature.

From Wikipedia we learn that Guinness’ recognized the world’s largest snowflakes as those of January 1887 at Fort KeoghMontana; allegedly one measured 38 cm (15 inches) wide.

Google Chromebook Computer


Google just announced a new computing platform called “Chromebook” that looks very promising.    Working with partners Samsung and Acer, the new computers will optimize the computing experience for the web, taking advantage of Google’s Android operating system, the Google Chrome browser, gmail, Google documents, Google maps, and the many other great web-centric products Google has cooked up since they began their amazing online journey from obscure search engine to online advertising juggernaut.

More about Google Chromebook at Technology Report

Official Google Blog: A new kind of computer: Chromebook

Intro to Chromebook