Halloween 2014 has six animated Doodles

Google is celebrating Halloween 2014 with a set of delightfully spooky doodles on its homepage.  Unfortunately, they are not visible in India homepage – but surprisingly visible in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan sites.  The doodles, IMHO, are more of fun, rather than evoking horror – the theme of Halloween.

2 sets of doodles each are the handiwork of Google’s monsters artists (Google’s own description, not mine), namely Markus Magnusson, Olivia Huyhn, and Taylor Price.
Magnusson has drawn two bright and colourful doodles for Halloween 2014 :
  • the first of which depicts a chaotic graveyard taken over by green zombies – who are more clumsy than scary; and,
  • the second has the full moon dropping down and transforming the 1st ‘O’ in Google into a Werewolf in mock Santa suit.
Olivia Huyhn’s doodles are dark, but equally funny:
  • the first depicts a witch brewing a potion, which is spewing bats, ghosts and a hand – normally these are put ‘into’ the potion; and,
  • the second pictures a lone ghost – probably the one released from the potion – chasing a terrified man, only to be scared away by a terrier.
Taylor Price’s doodles have a more sombre setting, but are the most funniest:
  • the first depicts a scarecrow of which even the crows are not scared, and a mouse dares to pop up its straw hat ; and,
  • the second depicts two smiling, bobbing Jack-O-lanterns, which are neither scary, nor horrifying.
Here are the 6 doodles for Halloween 2014.

JPG for Pinning:

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Google Doodle for Jonas Salk’s 100th birthday

Google aptly depicted a Doodle with the words ‘Thank You Dr Salk’ on his 100th birth anniversary.  Dr Jonas Salk is the American scientist who developed the first successful vaccine for Polio.  Till 1955 when the Polio vaccine was declared safe and adopted, the debilitating disease was one of the most dreaded in the world.

What is even more heart warming is that Dr Salk refused to patent the vaccine, saying it should be freely available for all the children of the world.  Had the vaccine been patented, it is estimated that I would have earned him more that $7 billion.

Dr Salk's work led to the eradication of the dreaded polio in the United States and also from most parts of the world – in 2014, India was declared ‘Polio-Free’.  Jonas Salk died of heart failure on June 23, 1995, in La Jolla, California, at the age of 80.

Here is the Doodle.


Interestingly the Doodle is not available all over the world, instead is displayed only in select countries.


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Google Doodle for one month of Mangalyaan

Right on the footprints of the news that India has surpassed Japan as the 3rd largest Internet user-base, Google released a doodle today to mark 1 month of Mars Orbiter Mission or Mangalyaan – ‘.  The doodle, understandably appears only on their India home-search-page.

Mangalyaan was launched on 5th November 2013 from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh with the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and India’s first inter-planetary mission entered the Martian orbit on 24th September of this year, 2 days after MAVEN from NASA.

The Mars Orbiter will study the Red Planet’s surface and mineral composition and scan its atmosphere for methane gas in search of life sustaining elements.


Safety with Deepavali fireworks and crackers

They say our online stupidity is archived forever, and it seems to be true.  Searching for Deepavali Crackers brings out my utterly stupid, unsafe ‘Deepavali crackers bursting by hand’ YouTube video on the first page!

Since such idiocy can only be undone by a more responsible, safety conscious post, here are some safety points for a safe, accident-free, Diwali celebrations.  The first 3 are the most irritating, dangerous, inconsiderate safety violations I find in Chennai/India during Deepavali celebrations.
  • do not throw crackers or fireworks – not only at people or animals - but even in air;
  • do not tie/twist 2 or more crackers and light them – it is equal to throwing crackers at others;
  • after lighting crackers or fireworks, do not scoot into your home – move away to the side to warn other people walking/moving towards the fireworks;
  • never, ever, hold (lit) crackers or fireworks in hand – it is dangerous, and stupid;
  • do not place stones, metal, pottery or even plastic cans/material on a cracker or firework – it will act as a mini explosive device – the stone or metal will fly, and can slice/injure people around;
  • do not light crackers or fireworks on loose, sandy soils or on gravel, loose stones – they once again will fly, and can injure people;
  • never place any part of your body above a cracker or fireworks when lighting them – once lit, move away to a safe distance;
  • above all – keep a bucket of water or garden hose nearby.
Here is an infographic lifted from the website of US Consumer Product Safety Commission, and their 2012 study on accidents – causes and injuries – due to fireworks.  Though the statistics are for USA, and pertain to their own fireworks celebrations on 4th of July, the situation must be broadly the same back home during Diwali.

(images courtesy cpsc.gov)

Have a safe Deepavali.  Happy Diwali to all.

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Wish everyone a Happy Deepavali 2014

Deepavali will be celebrated – in Tamil Nadu – on the 22nd October 2014, that is tomorrow, though the Vatican has greeted us for this year’s Diwali on October 23*. 

Unlike the northern parts of India, Deepavali is a one day celebration for the Tamil people.  As per Tamil traditions, it is the day when Lord Krishna, or rather his consort Satyabhama, killed the demon Narakasura+.

Whatever the reason for the celebration, it is a day of joy, feast, and celebrations.  Here is wishing everyone a very happy Deepavali 2014.  As the Vatican says on the occasion, ‘May the ‎Transcendent Light illumine your hearts, homes and communities, and may all ‎your celebrations deepen the sense of belonging to one another in your families ‎and neighbourhoods, and so further harmony and happiness, peace and ‎prosperity.‎’

What more can we ask for?


* Vatican’s Diwali message [http://www.news.va/en/news/vaticans-message-for-deepavali-2014]

+ Deepavali or Diwali is celebrated as the homecoming day of Lord Ram, Sita and Lakshman from Lanka in northern parts of India