Google's Ascii Easter egg
Google's gaggle of geeks has always been careful to wrap its complex projects in very user-friendly packages. The behind-the-scenes code is esoteric at best, but the presentation is clean, simple, and designed for grandma. Yet, every once in a while, Google gives a wink to its fellow geeks.
For example, search for "Ascii art." If you're nerdy enough to have heard of Ascii, you'll quickly get the joke.
The usual Google logo in the top-left corner has been replaced by an Ascii version.
Never heard of Acsii? It's a kind of digital art that uses computer letters to paint objects – something like a Lego project but instead of bricks it uses dashes, hyphens, X's, O's, slashes, and whatever else your keyboard can come up with. Google's logo is pretty simple, but Acsii experts have crafted alphanumeric masterpieces, such as pictures of supermodels, TV celebrities, and monocle-wearing velociraptors. You can find some great examples here.
It's unclear when Google planted this Easter egg, but it seems many people learned about it for the first time last night after the company's search czar Marissa Mayer revealed it in a tweet. Searches for "Ascii art" shot up around midnight, according to Google Trends.
On the topic of hidden gems, here's another goofy one: Go to Yahoo's homepage and click on the exclamation point in the top-and-center logo. I won't spoil the surprise – just make sure your volume is at an appropriate level.
Editor's note: The original version of this article mixed up left and right. Remember, if your pointer finger and thumb form an "L" shape, that is your left hand. ;-)