If you've checked the Google homepage today, then you know what to say: Happy 14th birthday, Google!
The giant search engine was founded by Stanford classmates Larry Page and Sergey Brin in September of 1998. The two named their project "Google," which is a play on the word "googol," or the "mathematical term for a 1 followed by 100 zeros," per the company's About page.
Mashable credits September 4 as the day Page and Brin officially filed for incorporation, while The Washington Post notes that Google used to celebrate its birthday on September 7 (the day the company was actually incorporated). Either way, in recent years the festivities have officially moved to September 27.
This isn't the first time Google has celebrated its inception with a doodle. While today's is modeled after a chocolate cake with rainbow-colored candles, other images have included cupcakes, a piñata and even an awesome, retro claymation birthday scene in 2011. To see the complete collection of Google Doodles, click here.
So how is the corporation celebrating? Earlier this week, Google posted on the company blog its plans for the big 14:
To celebrate both our birthday and the spirit of entrepreneurship that’s helped get us where we are today, we are hosting our first annual Google for Entrepreneurs Week, which will bring together more than 3,000 entrepreneurs and Googlers around the world.
This program is currently taking place in 28 cities across the world and is scheduled through September 29. For a complete list of events, check out the Google for Entrepreneurs page (here).
We at HuffPost Tech are honoring Google's birthday by naming all the things we don't know how to do anymore (or don't have to do) because we've got Google to do it for us. From performing simple math equations to looking up movie times, Google has made our lives easier at the same time that it's made us lazier and more dependent on its services. Cheers, Google! Perhaps in another 14 years you'll be able to make our toasts for us!
What are some of the things you can no longer do without Google? In the comments, tell us how dependent you are on the search engine. Then, check out our gallery (below) of 13 things we can't do without Google.
Spell Words -- Even Easy Ones
Yes! "Ackward" alweys gits us too.
C'mon -- we all know that Facebook sometimes just isn't <em>enough</em>. And how do you even find Facebook without Googling it?
Find Our Way Around Town
If we're going to meet up with co-workers later in the evening, you better believe we're double-checking how to get there on Google Maps. Even if the place is right around the corner, we can no longer rely on our senses of direction or sight.
This is how dinner often works: "What do we want to eat? Let me Google something new." Then it goes something like, "What do we need to make this dish? Let me Google the recipe." And finally, when you realize you don't have any of the ingredients, you'll say, "Never mind. Just Google the nearest pizza place."
Enjoy Ourselves At The Office
We are <em> fully</em> aware that our ability to concentrate has been lost -- and we're totally fine with that. Thanks to Google, every hour we watch new viral videos on YouTube (just saw another <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dlhhfpFBTk">"Gangnam Style"</a> clip!), or we find ourselves flipping through Blogger. Sometimes we just Google our addresses to check out what's going on in our neighbors' yards. Goodbye, productive work week.
Remember Celeb Names
Thank God for Google Images. Who can tell if this Isla Fischer or Amy Adams!? Google can, friends. Just leave life's toughest questions to Google.
Drive Ourselves Around
OK, OK, so Google's self-driving cars aren't available for the average consumer yet, but U.S. states are beginning to approve their use on public roads, and it won't be long until teenagers grow up without having to practice parallel parking. Lucky ducks!
Figure Out When (Or Where) Movies Are Playing
But wait, really... how do you find movie times in real life? With a <em>newspaper</em>? Oh, hell no.
Understand Other Languages Besides English
Solíamos ser capaces de aprender idiomas, pero ahora sólo tiene que utilizar Google Translate. ¿Funcionó? <a href="http://translate.google.com/">Translate here.</a>
Comprend The Idea Of Debating
Remember when you thought a president was born in 1743, but you friend swore you were wrong? Doesn't matter anymore. Why debate a fact when you can simply search the answer? #TheTruthHurts
Remember Famous Quotes
With Google's auto-complete, we don't really have to know the second half of quotes. For example, Steve Jobs once said, "Stay hungry, stay..."? Uhhh, hold up, let us type that in real quick.
Understand Unit Conversions
How are we supposed to remember the conversion from a pound to a gram... or wait, aren't kilogram closer in mass? Eh, who knows. Someone Google it.
Remember Definitions For Words We Learned In High School...Or Last Week
Sometimes, when people drop big words in conversation, we pull out our smartphones and Google what they just said. (Don't judge. You've done it, too.) Trick for savvy (or stupid?) users: When you search "define: [insert really, really difficult word here]" the definition of the word automatically pops up. You don't even have to click a link. Long live the dependent!
.. because Google + is so awesome and addictive! JUST KIDDING, GOOGLE! Birthday prank! Happy 14th birthday, Google!
Related on HuffPost:
George Ferris and Valentine's Day
On February 14th, 2013, Google celebrated both <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/14/george-ferris_n_2685966.html" target="_hplink">Valentine's Day and George Ferris's 154th birthday</a> with this interactive doodle.
On November 7, 2011<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/07/marie-curie-google-doodle_n_1079560.html" target="_hplink"> Google celebrated</a> what would have been the 144th birthday of the mother of radioactivity, two-time Nobel Prize winning scientist Marie Curie.
International Women's Day
Google celebrated International Women's Day 2013 with <a href="http://www.google.com/doodles/womens-day-2013" target="_hplink">this doodle by Betsy Bauer</a>.
One of the great and super nerdy Google doodles, this Jul 23, 2009 logo celebrates the annual Comic-Con conference.
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/09/how-to-play-guitar-on-google_n_873895.html" target="_hplink">Google introduced</a> a super cool doodle on June 9, 2011, an interactive electric guitar to honor the 96th birthday of legendary musician and guitar innovator Les Paul. The Google guitar could play 10 notes from users' computer screen.
On February 6th, 2013, Google celebrated archeologist <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/06/mary-leakey_n_2630671.html" target="_hplink">Mary Leakey's 100th birthday</a>.
Google celebrated astronomer <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/19/nicolaus-copernicus-google-doodle_n_2717419.html" target="_hplink">Copernicus's 540th birthday</a> on February 19th, 2013.
On January 18, 2012, Google joined Wikipedia, Reddit and thousands of other sites for a c<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/18/sopa-pipa-google-logo-doodle_n_1212187.html" target="_hplink">ontent blackout in protest of proposed Congressional legislation</a> calling for strict enforcement of U.S. copyright law online. The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) drew the ire of web users who feared these bills would lead to unchecked web censorship. As a result of the massive protest, key Congressmen who had previously supported the bills reversed their positions; SOPA and PIPA were tabled indefinitely.
The <a href="http://www.google.com/logos/logos98-3.html" target="_hplink">first-ever Google doodle</a> was a simple stick figure behind the second "O" in the logo on Aug. 30, 1998. It represented the founders' recent trip to the Burning Man festival.
Sir Isaac Newton
On March 1, 2010 Google honored the 366th birthday of Sir Isaac Newton with its first-ever animated Google Doodle.
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/31/happy-halloween-google-doodle-pumpkins-video_n_1066989.html" target="_hplink">Google wished</a> users "Happy Halloween" Oct. 31 with a new video doodle that shows a team of crafty Googlers carving six enormous pumpkins to spell out the search engine's name.
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/24/muppets-google-doodle-jim-henson_n_979011.html#s371509&title=Jim_Henson_Google" target="_hplink">On Sept. 24, 2011</a> Google's homepage featured a medley of Muppets, honoring the 75th anniversary of the birthday of late Muppets creator Jim Henson. On the interactive logo users could play "puppeteer" by clicking on the colored circles beneath each of the characters, which opened their mouths, and the Muppets followed the cursor with their eyes when you moved your mouse. One of the characters would throw his glasses into the air, and another actually ate a fellow Muppet.
Google honored <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/31/jackie-robinson-google-doodle_n_2589665.html" target="_hplink">baseball legend and civil rights activist Jackie Robinson</a> on his 94th birthday on January 31st, 2013.
Happy Holidays 2011
On Christmas Eve 2011, Google posted a holiday-themed doodle that serenaded visitors with "Jingle Bells".
This Google Doodle went live for some on September 4, paying tribute to Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, who would have celebrated his 65th birthday on September 5.
Google's Oct. 12, 2011 doodle illustration featured a brightly colored interactive tribute to artist Arthur "Art" Clokey, who would have turned 90 on October 12. In place of the company's logo, red, yellow, blue and green balls of clay bounced around and sprang to life at the click of a mouse, in an homage to Gumby, Clokey's best known animated character.
In honor of Pacman's 30th anniversary on May 21, 2010, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/25/google-pacman-doodle-devo_n_588605.html" target="_hplink">Google gave its logo</a> over to the iconic arcade game with the first ever playable Google Doodle. The logo had 255 levels.
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/11/martha-graham-dance-google-logo_n_860402.html" target="_hplink">Google celebrated</a> the 117th birthday of dancer Martha Graham -- known throughout the 20th Century as a pioneer of contemporary dance -- with an amazing animated doodle on July 11, 2011.
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/09/roger-hargreaves-google-logo-little-men-little-miss_n_859264.html#s276080&title=Little_Miss_Sunshine" target="_hplink">Google celebrated</a> what would have been the 76th birthday of Roger Hargreaves, creator of the "Little Men" and "Little Miss" series, on May 9, 2011. Google featured a colorful cycle of doodles depicting several of Hargreaves' animated characters, including Little Miss Sunshine, Mr. Tickle and Mr. Messy.
Google's 13th Anniversary
Google celebrated its 13th anniversary on September 27, 2011, with a simple, birthday-themed doodle and a scrapbook-style doodle featuring the company's logo letters dressed in a birthday hats and sitting around presents and a birthday cake. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/27/googles-13th-birthday-doodle-logo_n_982798.html" target="_hplink">Check out more photos here</a>.
On Mother's Day May 8th, Google tipped its hat to moms everywhere with a spring-themed logo with a purple flower in place of the "L."
Google celebrated the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton on April 29, 2011 with a Google doodle depicting a festively illustrated panorama of Westminster Abbey, where the royal knot was tied.
On April 22, Earth Day's 41st birthday, Google celebrated the occasion with a colorful animated doodle. Running your mouse over the illustration's playful animal characters brought the scene to life.
On April 16, 2011 <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/15/charlie-chaplin-google-doodle-_n_849587.html" target="_hplink">Google celebrated</a> what would have been the 122nd birthday of one of film's greatest stars, Charlie Chaplin, with a black and white video doodle.
On 12 April 1961, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to enter outer space. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/12/google-doodle-yuri-gagarin-first-man-in-space_n_847914.html" target="_hplink">Google's commemorative logo</a> was dedicated to Gagarin's flight into space.
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/08/john-lennon-s-birthday_n_756064.html" target="_hplink">Google celebrated</a> what would have been John Lennon's 70th birthday on On Oct. 9, 2010 with the first-ever Google Doodle video. The video played a hand-drawn animated version of Lennon's song "Imagine."