The first Google Doodle in the U.S. since the launch of Google Instant is a birthday cake by artist Wayne Thiebald.


It has come to be expected that Google will come up with a new Doodle for special events.  A mystery interactive Google Doodle, released earlier this month, had many speculating about its relevance and in May the internet giant introduced a playable Google Doodle celebrating Pac Man's 30th anniversary

Today, the significant event honors an important date for the company.  There are no interactive repelling balls or pac-attacks; this time they have decided to keep it simple.    The Google Doodle gracing the company's home page is of a birthday cake with a candle in it.  The candle represents the “L” in the Google name. 

The image, which was created by 89-year old Los Angeles painter Wayne Thiebaud, celebrates the 12th anniversary of the California-based company.   Google was first incorporated on September 27, 1998.  

Stanford University students Larry Page and Sergey Brin came up with the idea of Google in 1996 while working on a research project.  The two students worked on finding a better system to analyze the relationships between websites. The technology at the time -- called Page Rank -- determined a website’s relevance by its number of pages and the importance of pages that linked back to the original site. 

The duo's project was originally dubbed “BackRub”, because the search engine checked back links to determine site importance.  The company name, later changed to Google, originated from a misspelling of the word “googol”, the number one followed by one hundred zeros.

Thiebaud is often connected to the "Pop Art" movement.  His creations, many painted in the 1950s and 1960s, include paintings of cakes. This artist's work was used with the permission of Visual Artists and Galleries Association (VAGA) New York. 


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