Tom Spring, writing for Computer World
, describes many of the jokes and tricks hidden in Google's various websites and programs. One that I wasn't aware of is that Nessie regularly surfaces on iGoogle:
set your alarm to 3:14 a.m. and your browser to the beach-themed iGoogle page. At precisely that time 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 programmers' lore, Google developers did it to pay homage to the mathematical quantity Pi.
I don't think I'll ever get to see this, since 3:14 am is way past my bedtime. (I now have great trouble staying up past midnight, unlike in grad school when I would regularly still be awake at sunrise.)
Another hidden Google joke is "Google Gothic". Type this phrase into the Google search engine, and then hit the "I'm feeling lucky" button. You'll be taken to Googoth, a search engine catering to "dark, gothic, industrial, and alternative topics."