Join 3,572 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


It's not Tarkovsky, but...
November 23, 2011 6:47 AM   Subscribe

For US users, today's Google Doodle is a turkey. For those outside the US, today's Google Doodle commemorates the 60th publication anniversary of Stanisław Lem's first novel, in their most ambitiously interactive doodle yet.

No translation needed, but a quick reading of "How The World Was Saved" from Lem's Cyberiad may help clarify the ending.

If the doodle has vanished by the time you read this, all Google Doodles are archived here.
posted by McCoy Pauley (63 comments total) 46 users marked this as a favorite

 
Also note, may particularly appeal to fans of Machinarium.
posted by McCoy Pauley at 6:49 AM on November 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


That was one of the most profoundly moving, mind-expanding pieces of interactive fiction I have ever been privileged to experience.

Next I'm going to try the Stanisław Lem thing
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:52 AM on November 23, 2011 [8 favorites]


Hmm... not interactive for me. Just a link to a search for "Stanisław Lem."
posted by Jahaza at 6:52 AM on November 23, 2011


Did you mean Tartakovsky?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:53 AM on November 23, 2011


Dude, Tarkovsky.
posted by kmz at 6:56 AM on November 23, 2011


Aw, that was pretty neat. I'd never really thought of those Lem illustrations as something to animate, it adds a weird dimension to that whole aesthetic, but it was fun to see it done.

Did you mean Tartakovsky?

Preeeeetty sure he didn't.
posted by cortex at 6:57 AM on November 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


At what point does it cease to be a 'doodle'? Because I think we passed that point when we were incrementing 7-seg displays in order to give the correct answer to infuriate a robot to death.

Also, that was probably the closest we'll get to a Cyberiad adventure game.
posted by Grimgrin at 6:58 AM on November 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Jahaza, it should be an HTML5 animation (I'm assuming -- it's definitely not flash). Confirmed to work on Firefox 8 and Safari 5.1, and I'm told it works on iPad as well. Are you using an older browser?

Chocolate Pickle, that was a reference to Andrei Tarkovsky, whose movie Solaris was based on Lem's novel.

Enough threadsitting for me -- time to go brave pre-Thanksgiving traffic.
posted by McCoy Pauley at 6:58 AM on November 23, 2011


Holy shit, that was cool! Yes, it works on FF 3.6.
posted by maudlin at 7:00 AM on November 23, 2011


That ending was really neat. If you didn't play through to the ending, you missed a cool thing.
posted by Rory Marinich at 7:00 AM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


... and the mystery of another MeFi handle is solved.
posted by maudlin at 7:01 AM on November 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wow. How cool!
And, how sad they decided to drop a turkey on the US instead. I mean...tomorrow is turkey day.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:02 AM on November 23, 2011


They shoulda had a robot turkey.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 7:02 AM on November 23, 2011


For US users, today's Google Doodle is a turkey.

The traditional Thanksmas Eve decoration.
posted by DU at 7:04 AM on November 23, 2011


They should have a robot Sharia turkey -- extra scary!

(Google.com in Canada shows no turkey, just the usual logo).
posted by maudlin at 7:05 AM on November 23, 2011


"Sodium starts with an s, and I work only in n."

"But in Latin it's natrium."

"Look, old boy," said the machine, "if I could do everything starting with n in every possible language, I'd be a Machine That Could Do Everything in the Whole Alphabet, since any item you care to mention undoubtedly starts with n in one foreign language or another. It's not that easy. I can't go beyond what you programmed. So no sodium."



Ha!
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 7:09 AM on November 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


that was a pretty neat little thing they did there, rewards the reader and entertains the unenlightened. No shellackings though
posted by edgeways at 7:10 AM on November 23, 2011


That was fun!
posted by Pallas Athena at 7:17 AM on November 23, 2011


Pretty cool. I also think we are missing out here in the US.
posted by SLC Mom at 7:17 AM on November 23, 2011


That was really incredible. Teared up, I did.
posted by SPUTNIK at 7:21 AM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I feel like an idiot, because I guess everybody besides me knows this, but can somebody just link to some furrin Google, like maybe Polish Google or something, so I can see this already?
posted by koeselitz at 7:25 AM on November 23, 2011


The reason I feel like an idiot is because I clicked all the links except the one I was looking for. Sorry. Carry on.
posted by koeselitz at 7:25 AM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


They've gone from Google Doodle to a whole new category. Google Awesome, maybe.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 7:30 AM on November 23, 2011


Jahaza, it should be an HTML5 animation (I'm assuming -- it's definitely not flash). Confirmed to work on Firefox 8 and Safari 5.1, and I'm told it works on iPad as well. Are you using an older browser?

Ah, yep, IE 7. Will try it at home later. (We upgraded to Vista a few months ago.)
posted by Jahaza at 7:37 AM on November 23, 2011


You know how people think it's so clever to say that Google isn't a tech company, really, but an ad agency? I think maybe it's actually a web comic.
posted by RogerB at 7:37 AM on November 23, 2011 [8 favorites]


Spoiler-filled youtube vid of the whole animation.
Does this mean we'll finally get a decent translation into English of Solaris?
posted by SyntacticSugar at 7:53 AM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


No HPLDs?
posted by charlie don't surf at 7:57 AM on November 23, 2011


And the USA just gets a damn turkey.
posted by Splunge at 8:03 AM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


That was awesome. I am a philistine and know nothing of Stanislaw Lem, but am now motivated to check him out, so nice job Google.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:09 AM on November 23, 2011


Why is robot angry at math?
posted by mikoroshi at 8:16 AM on November 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


So excellent. Thank you so much. This one post, that I'm sure I would have otherwise missed, is more than worth my $5.

Lem is so tied in to my youth that I'm actually tearing up a little with nostalgia at this.

But I typed an 'N' too early and got kicked to the search page. So time to go back and get to the end.
posted by benito.strauss at 8:29 AM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, now that the braingerm is there, I reallyreallyreally want a Genndy Tartakovsky version of Solaris.
posted by byanyothername at 8:36 AM on November 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


[BTW, Google Translate says that 'nić' is Polish for 'thread', and 'naparstek' is Polish for 'thimble'.]
posted by benito.strauss at 8:39 AM on November 23, 2011


This turkey seems so dry and flavorless.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:42 AM on November 23, 2011


Did someone alert Trurl?
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 8:48 AM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


english version, featuring needle and noodles
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:54 AM on November 23, 2011


Why is robot angry at math?

That is the World's Stupidest Computer. It stubbornly insists 2+2=7. So the machine's creator, Trurl, and the Computer get into an argument.

"You have insulted me for the fourth, fifth, sixth, and eighth times," said the machine. "Therefore I refuse to answer all further questions of a mathematical nature."
posted by charlie don't surf at 8:58 AM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


My dad lent me his copy of the Cyberiad when I was a kid and as a girl who loved both math and fairy tales it was one of the most amazing books I've ever read. I never did return the book, which is now in two pieces from being read so many times, and has reminders of my childhood in the margins. It warmed my heart this morning, and reminded me to email my dad, so thank you.
posted by Zophi at 9:04 AM on November 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


If you haven't read Lem, cease all other activity save for respiration, and remedy with all haste. Even in translation (except for the ropey one of Solaris) his wit shines through.

I remember reading Trurl's Machine as part of a scifi for kids compendium at age 8, and only read all of Cyberiad this year, some 34 years later. Don't wait that long. He could out-Adams Douglas Adams. Memoirs Found in a Bathtub kafkas Kafka.
posted by scruss at 9:10 AM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Google dumbs it down for Americans, don't they? I bet we've missed out on a LOT of cool stuff. Good thing there is an archive.
posted by Renoroc at 9:10 AM on November 23, 2011


LEM! One of my favorite authors from High School that continues to be one of my favorite authors, a small bunch. I still have dreams of directing a film adaptation of The Investigation, the zombie novel that should have been written by Sartre.
posted by lumpenprole at 9:13 AM on November 23, 2011


wow
posted by caddis at 9:40 AM on November 23, 2011


YES! And it is awesome that the animation is in the style of Daniel Mróz, the original illustrator for Lem's books.

Bonus: some doodles by Lem himself.
posted by Tom-B at 9:43 AM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Holy shit. That was awesome.

This is a good time to point out that I am one of the very very few people who has drawn Trurl and Klapaucius fanart.
posted by egypturnash at 10:02 AM on November 23, 2011


This is great!
posted by brundlefly at 10:14 AM on November 23, 2011


Whenever I go through one of those self-delusionary periods whereI think it would be fun to properly learn another language, I find myself thinking along these lines:

"Well, I already know enough French and Spanish to carry on a halting conversation, so it would probably be a lot easier to become fluent in one of those than to start another tongue from scratch. On the other hand, it would be really interesting to learn an Asian language. I already know a little Korean from when I taught English at the temple, and the writing system is super easy. Or Mandarin, after all it has the most native speakers of any language in the world. But, on the gripping hand, if I learned Polish I could read Lem in the original..."
posted by 256 at 11:09 AM on November 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


That was fantastic. Thanks for the heads up,
posted by Gygesringtone at 11:15 AM on November 23, 2011


thanks so much! Something I'd have totally missed if not for this post, being in the US and staring at that cute turkey and all.
posted by sweetkid at 11:47 AM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


So the news about the new translation of Solaris from earlier in the year says that there would be an ebook in late 2011. Did that ever happen? Is it available anywhere?
posted by octothorpe at 12:31 PM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hey, McCoy Pauley, this was your first post! Way to hit it out of the park!
posted by benito.strauss at 1:50 PM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Man, the Polish get the best of everything! Sausage, reverse notation, stuff you put on things to make them shiny, you name it.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:01 PM on November 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sitting here with my family before Thanksgiving, and trying to describe how awesome this was, I gave them roughly the story of Cyberiad and said, well, the one I remember most clearly is the one where they have a robot that can make anything that starts with "N", and then they order "nothing"... so that was really gratifying.

For me, anyway. I don't think my family cared.
posted by cacophony at 2:27 PM on November 23, 2011


I own at these challenges! Woo!
posted by tumid dahlia at 2:36 PM on November 23, 2011


Bonus: some doodles by Lem himself.

I'm not sure those qualify as mere doodles, since a lot of them are illustrations that appeared in "The Star Diaries."
posted by charlie don't surf at 3:18 PM on November 23, 2011


IS there a more long-term link to it? Looks like the one linked has moved on (and if there is one can we get the mods to modify the link to point to it?)
posted by edgeways at 4:47 PM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


The archive hasn't been updated yet, it seems.
posted by hat_eater at 12:20 AM on November 24, 2011


Gah, I still haven't been able to read much Lem. My local used bookstore never has him in stock, and there's apparently no ebook version of any of his work (that I've been able to find, please do correct me if I'm wrong).

And I didn't get to see this doodle either. >sniff<.
posted by nat at 1:54 PM on November 24, 2011


Plans are afoot to perma host the doodle somewhere. Stay tuned for a link.
posted by thaths at 9:17 AM on November 25, 2011


lkjalnfflnabvbeiaGBAIDNn a;benadv;ovienfh!!!!!!!!

I have never been so infuriated by lack of instant gratification. I want to see that doodle, and I want to see it NOW.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:43 PM on November 27, 2011


Well, it's been added to the official Google Doodle gallery, but as an image only. Why don't they save the extra-special doodles like this, the playable Pac-Man one, the interactive guitar, etc., for posteriority? It ticks me off, especially since this was the one doodle that I happened to completely miss out on due to being off the grid all day, so naturally it was THE COOLEST ONE EVER OMG.

(Somebody please Memail me if/when this is ever made available; I know I'm going to forget checking this thread sooner or later.)
posted by Rhaomi at 1:44 AM on November 28, 2011


Bloody annoying. Google does occasionally save a full animated logo (the most recent being this for Lucille Ball's 100th birthday.) So we can hope they'll get around to putting this one in the archive properly, but I don't know the best way to nag them about it.

thaths, please let us know when that permahosting comes to fruition.
posted by McCoy Pauley at 7:10 AM on November 28, 2011


It's up! It's up!

Will contact the mods to update the links in the FPP.
posted by McCoy Pauley at 7:32 PM on November 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


Thanks so much! I look forward to checking this out tomorrow.
posted by Rhaomi at 2:04 AM on November 29, 2011


« Older Shopper Stalking: Starting on Black Friday and run...   |   It would appear that Chris Ons... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments