Buried deep in Google

Most stories of hidden teddy bears, a Google Romance beta service, and early morning appearances of the Loch Ness monster on Google home pages turned out to be true

The Google Web site--and many of the company's software programs--are loaded with gags, goofs, and Easter eggs that have helped Google maintain a fun-loving spirit in the cutthroat world of Web competition.

Of course, Google always has a good idea. Thousands of our readers have enjoyed past explorations of wonders like "The Strangest Sites in Google Earth".

Google's Official Easter Egg Game

It's one thing to find Easter eggs, and it's another thing to catch them. In the spirit of Easter, Google has posted its Google egg drop game--where you, acting as a rabbit, hop up and down and to and fro, trying to put all of your eggs in one basket. The only real point of this game other than to catch eggs that spell out G-O-O-G-L-E. Sorry: No chocolate eggs for those who win.

Something Spooky Just After 3am

You could take the high road (or the low road) to Scotland's Loch Ness in hopes of spotting the elusive Nessie, the legendary monster said to reside there. But if you'd rather do your mythic beastie viewing at home in the wee hours of the morning, set your alarm to 3:14am and your browser to the Beach themed iGoogle page. At precisely that o'clock each day, Nessie surfaces for 60 seconds, then takes a deep breath and dives back under the dark loch's surface. Why that time of the morning? Well, according to programmer's lore, Google developers did it to pay homage to the mathematical quantity pi. Other iGoogle pages using themes have spooky Easter eggs of their own. In the Seasonal Scape, the Northern Lights also appear at 3:14am. Look for UFOs to descend on the City Scape. A monster appears in Spring Scape; and in the Tea House theme, ghostlike fox spirits (well known in Japanese folklore) appear and disappear in the mist of the lake as the fox sleeps.

Measuring Spam by the Pound

Ever wish you could simply press a button and have all of your Gmail messages printed, sorted, boxed, and shipped to your front door? If you care about keeping your carbon footprint at something smaller than Paul Bunyan dimensions, you'll be glad to know that no such service exists--despite an elaborate hoax Google perpetrated to make Gmail users believe otherwise. As part of a 2007 April Fool's Day joke, Google announced the debut of Gmail Paper, which would allow users to create a hard copy of their entire Gmail account. In a nod toward environmental consciousness, Google said that it would avoid cutting trees down to print people's Gmail archives, instead using paper composed of "96 percent post-consumer organic soybean sputum. Oh well.

Google Searches in Klingon or Fudd

The United Nations may not recognize Klingon as a language, but that hasn't stopped Google from catering to the fictitious species of extraterrestrial anthropomorphs from the Star Trek series with a specialized Klingon search engine. Nor has it prevented Google from developing a number of other specialty search engine interfaces, including Elmer Fudd and Pig Latin. Google also serves up specialty searches that cater to humans and others who seek information regarding Microsoft, Linux, and BSD Unix.

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Tom Spring

PC World

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