Tag Archives: laser

Google Doodles For April Fool’s Day: Can You Spot The ‘Valid’ Doodle?


Anura Guruge

A Few Related posts:
>> All Of Google’s Doodles & Games … — Jan. 16, 2013.
>> Link To Google’s ‘Zamboni’ Game … — Jan. 16, 2013.

≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ Check CATEGORY ‘Google Doodle’ for other posts
—>>> (side bar)


Click here to get access Google’s treasure trove
of archived Google Doodles.

Google is noted for its brilliant April Fool’s Day pranks.

Last year they announced the extremely funny 8-bit Google Maps. Just Google for all their other pranks. Wikipedia even has an entry titled: “List of Google’s hoaxes and easter eggs” .

But google has been quite circumspect when it comes to Google Doodles for April 1, i.e., April Fool’s Day. Here are three from 2009, 2010 and 2012. There wasn’t one for 2011.

Are they all pranks?

No. Only one is a bona fide joke. Can you tell which one that is?

One relies on some poetic license. Can you spot that one.

The other is truly legit, though it is very clever.

Никола́й Васи́льевич Го́голь with his trademark nose. But, he wasn’t born on April 1. Neither did he die on April 1. He was a ‘March’ man: was born and died in March.

Yes, the 2010, ‘Topeka‘ renaming was a ‘joke‘, though rather tame and obvious. Topeka, Kansas, more of less forced Google’s hand by making an official announcement, covered by the media, on March 1, 2010, that they were renaming Topeka, Kansas, ‘Google’, Kansas for a month. So, Google retaliates, so to speak. But it was very obvious.

Nikolai Gogol is real! Honest. He was Russian and only those that truly have an appreciation of world literature would have heard of him. That Google found him was so cute. Bravo. But, they did take some poetic license, which to me, spoilt it. Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol (Никола́й Васи́льевич Го́голь) WAS NOT born on April 1, 1809! He was born March 31, 1809. And Google can’t claim that it was April 1 in the U.S. At best it would have been March 30 in the U.S. So that was cheating.

The ‘VLT‘, standing for ‘Very Large Telescope‘ is very real and it did indeed go public on April 1, 1999. And the names are correct too. So that one is legit, though I have issues with the graphic. The laser shown shooting out of the 4 telescopes is not a common occurrence. Yes, they do shoot a laser to determine atmospheric distortion so that computer software processing the captured images can compensate for it. This is called ‘Adaptive Optics’. Yes, it looks cool, but as an astronomy buff I worry that it creates the wrong impression and that kids, especially, might form this notion of telescopes that shoot lasers into the sky on a routine basis.

The VLT at sunset.

Automatically BMI Calculating Digital Bathroom Scales From Amazon With BIA Technology.


Anura Guruge

Related posts:
It Sure Is Cold. I Vetoed My 5°F (-15°C) Threshold …
>>Jan 24, 2013.

Laser reflector installed on the Moon by the Apollo 11 mission in July 1969.

I will readily admit that I lead a very sheltered life. Though technology was my life for nearly 35 years, I have never had a great desire to own the latest and greatest in technology. Just don’t like the hassle. So, by choice I refuse to have a smart-phone. I have an old-fashioned cell phone with no Internet access. Most of the time, like much of today, I didn’t even know where it was. I don’t have a pad and never will. It is enough that the kids each one. Though I try to stay conversant with technology, I can be very blinkered — my research and writing requiring considerable focus and discipline. So, I had no idea that they are looking at the possibility of using DNA as a storage mechanism until Deanna told me about it a few days ago. Alas, they are still only using synthetic DNA, not that I actually had known that they actually had a thing called synthetic DNA. 20 years ago there was a great proposal for a feasible, extremely high capacity data storage scheme for the world. [Remember, I did use to be at the cutting edge of large data center technology.] This plan is doable right now. Did you know that there are Laser Reflectors on the moon? There has been one on the Moon since 1969. There is at least 3 reflectors on the moon, carried there by Apollo 11, 14 & 15; Apollo 11 the one that carried Neil Armstrong to his historic walk on the Moon. [No, you won’t be able to shine your 2 tripe-AAA battery powered laser pointer at it. Sorry.]

The plan is very simple. Start shooting a powerful laser at the Moon and create a laser ‘Local Area Network’ (LAN) — ‘local’ always a relative term in networking. Then pump data into this laser and have it continually go around the Earth-Moon laser LAN. In reality we (even I) know how to fix, at least in theory, all of the perceived problems — security the paramount.

Well a technology that I had no idea about was Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA). Part of this could be because I try to stay clear away from all things to do with medical stuff. It is bad enough having to go to a doctor. Plus, I can honestly say that even though I have had most tests that can be done on a human performed on me — I have never had my Body Mass Index (BMI) measured electronically. I am amazed and in awe. I am fairly adapt at calculating BMI = weight in pounds/height in inches.

bmiscalesWell it looks fairly certain that our bathroom scales, which I bought at the local consignment store, Trudy’s, because I liked what it showed, has been misleading us. Maybe I am not 180 lbs, but more like 188 or 189. Bummer, though I really cannot lose any weight from my bum. It all has to come from other places. So, I now need to lose 20 pounds rather than 11.

So, the first thing I do when I get back from seeing the cardiologist was to start looking at new scales. [The visit was a total waste of time and will most likely cost me $180. Very nice guy. But, I think he is ill, very ill. I felt bad for him. He looked in much worse shape than me, and he is 20 years younger.]

I first researched analog vs. digital. People swear that new digital is more accurate, though I am skeptical. But, I checked Amazon. Was amazed how cheap digital scales were. Then I noticed that some claimed that they would automatically calculate BMI. In my ignorance, I assumed that you had store your height and all that the scale did was do the division for me. Wrong!

The scales use BIA, and you don’t even feel it. It measures the electrical impedance of your body tissues for an estimate of total body water (TBW). Your weight less TBW provides an estimate of fat-free body mass. The rest is FAT! It does all of this in milliseconds. Amazon likes me. So they ‘said’, electronically of course, that I can have a fairly fancy BIA digital scale, with free shipping, for $21. Plus, they give me a year to pay for it, interest fee. How can I refuse. So, I am now waiting for my new scales. Hope they work. Yes, I gather that if you are extremely athletic and muscle bound, the reading might be off. Well, I don’t have that problem.