Musings of Navigating The Finite remainder of life from Porchville, with the hope of a glimpse of The Infinite

Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day Google Doodle and Good Friday

Note, click on images to see full size.

Today is both Earth Day and Good Friday.  I am not sure that they have ever fell on the same day and I doubt that there is any more significance to the fact than the lunar eclipse occurring on the winter solstice as it did last December.  Today is also my last paid holiday.  My last day of employment is next Friday then I drift off into retired bliss.  So for me all sorts of coincidences are taking place today and spring finally got here. 

The Google Doodle first.  It is an animation.  Moving your mouse over separate areas of the Doodle causes different actions (not the one shown here but at Google).  While it is still on Google, for extra credit see if you can find all the actions.  I listed the ones I found at the end of this post.

Oh no!  The Earth has fallen apart.  I don’t know what happened here, but reloading the window fixed it.

And as if to prove one of my tired observations in a previous post we have the symbolic “I ♥ Earth” in Google images.  The sentiment behind Earth Day of course is good.  We should have an awareness of the Earth and how our actions impact it.

Here is what pops in my mind for the typical American Earth Day celebration.  Mr. and Mrs. Jones and their 4 children all put  on I ♥ Earth tee shirts, exit their 3000 square foot home through the 3 car garage, pile into their 403 horse power Escalade SUV and drive off to the Earth Day Jamboree on the other side of town.  Caught in a traffic snarl, they miss the Earth Day Spectacular, but make it time to see the mimes do a rendition of “Be Aware of the Earth’s Pain”.  They walk past the boring sustainable energy sources lecture.  They each get a tree seedling, have hamburgers and tacos at the concession stand, listen to the blue grass band play, “Luv the Earth and It Will Luv You” and return home through another traffic jam. 

Upon returning home Mrs. Jones finds the house to be a bit uncomfortably warm so she turns on the whole house air, not wanting to get the spring pollen in the house from open windows.  The family, still donning their tee-shirts, go out in the backyard and plant the seedlings.  That evening Mrs. Jones, knowing that none of the family will wear the funky Earth day tees again, collects them from the hamper and throws them out.  The following July after returning from a 3 week vacation touring the US in the Escalade, Mr Jones forgets about the seedlings in the high grass and mows them down with his prized 26 horsepower John Deere riding lawn mower.

Yes I am a cranky old bastard, and most of Earth Day festivities strikes me like Vito Corleone dutifully going to mass on Sunday.  Put on tee shirt, watch some mimes, plant a tree, and by God you are a friend of the Earth.  Well awareness is a good thing! 

Good Friday.  As we all know, I am not the poster boy for a good Christian, yet to me Good Friday is the most important holiday in Christianity.  Well we all know that Easter is supposed to be the most important, (even though our favorite is Christmas) but I have never liked Easter.  Yes, I am an Easter Scrooge, as well as an Earth Day Scrooge and a New Years Day Scrooge.  On the physical side of things, I despise Easter eggs, pastel colors, Sunday bonnets, Easter finery, Easter Bunnies, and Easter Baskets.  OK I do like candy and jelly beans but eating a chocolate cross is a poor excuse for a claim to being a Christian.  On the spiritual plane, I have a lot of problems with the bodily resurrection of Christ.  Ergo, not too terribly long ago, my beliefs would have got me burnt at the stake.  Although I assure you, my beliefs are plastic enough to avoid such unpleasantries.  I have never felt inclined to martyrdom.

Good Friday appeals to the darker elements that lurk in my Soul.  I don’t have any problems believing that Jesus’s suffered terribly at Gethsemane and Golgotha.  That is real.  That is something that He could have easily walked away from yet did not.  There is a Divine contradiction in the suffering of Jesus.  God becomes Man and dies for our sins.  The Man must know doubt and abandonment and the terrible suffering of crucifixion. In order to truly suffer, He must come to doubt His own Divinity.   That appeals to me.  God loves us so much that He is willing to sacrifice and abandon His Son for us.  What I am not willing to accept is that any of this is God’s requirement.  I will accept that it was mankind's requirement and God gladly fulfilled it.  For while I have a lot of troubles with Christianity, its exclusive clauses, its claims of hell and damnation, its insistence on believe this way or burn for eternity, I do believe that God loves us enough to genuinely experience the passion of Gethsemane and Golgotha for us.

Earth Day Google Doodle Animations

From left to right:   1. Pandas under G laughs or something.   2. Bird flies out of the tree to the left of the sun O.   3. The napping lion under the sun O yawns or roars    4. Penguin dives off the top of snow O.  5. Goldfish takes a swim from the tail of the stream second G, arduously climbs the waterfall only to get eaten at the top by a dark brown blob, perhaps a bear.   6. What appears to be a pair of mating hawks descend from the tree above the stream and fly over to the water fall to get a drink.   7. Black bird or butterfly flies out of the center of the tree canopy that make up the L.   8. A frog jumps from the mound of grass below the final (and to me invisible E) to the stream bank, goose him with the mouse again and he jumps in the stream.

My wife, who has far better visual discernment than I, states that the blob is a bear, the mating hawks is actually a koala, and the black bird is a butterfly.      

Earth Day Quote

 "Subversive elements plan to make American children live in an environment that is good for them."  a Daughters of the American Revolution member lamented to Time magazine, shortly after the first Earth Day in 1970.  From:  National Geographic, Earth Day: Conservationist or Communist? Behind Google's Doodle

The above National Geographic article indicates that perhaps Earth Day is more successful at creating awareness and environmental action than my gloomy thoughts would indicate.  The link to the Time article goes back to the original Earth Day in 1970.  

Image Credits:

Google Doodle:   Google (only on 4-22-11) 

I ♥ Earth:  ZME SCIENCE, Earth Day 2009 – don’t let it be just another day!

From Modest To McMansion:  NPR, Behind the Ever-Expanding American Dream House

Crucifixion:  Wikipedia, Cristo de San Plácido, by Diego Velázquez



  1. Those Google Doodles are amazing...are they not? Tough to make out all the google letters. Someone has too much time on their hands to be drawing and planning all that google stuff..!! what am I saying...course their being paid to do it, but neat nonetheless.

    I don't know, I think I've more than done my 2 bits for earth day, and probably for a 1000 other people to boot..can you imagine how many plants, flowers, shrubs , trees et al, I have brought into this world ??? Over the last 38 yrs or so, I've seeded, propagated, planted a bazillion growing living things.....all the oxygen I have helped put back into the atmosphere and all the CO2 and pollutants I have helped eliminate. bout the 3 R's...all the old cars I've reused and recycled over the same 38 years.....but that's Ok...I'm more than happy to do it.
    I guess I've put my fair share of pollutants back into the world too.
    Hmmmm...I wonder if the balance still tips in earths favour ?? I hope I still have a credit balance.

    Do you think the Easter Bunny will visit me this year ? Perhaps a solid chocolate VW Bus hidden for me to find on Easter morning. Dandy eh.
    A touch of quilt strikes me tho.......suppose I should be looking for the Risen Christ instead. Good Friday and I didn't go to church either.
    Say a prayer for me Sextant.....maybe say one for both of us !

    Well....Happy Easter anyways.

    No worries
    VW Busman

  2. On the Earth Day score, the fact that you live in Manitoba with all that hydro electric power odes well for you as well as your green thumb, and rehabing cars (except the 440 New Yorker, HA!). I am afraid that I am a horrid sinner in the Earth Day score. Our power comes mostly from coal fired plants and I have not planted much in my life. I do eschew air travel which I think is energy intensive and I only had one child. I read once that a child born in western democracy will have 30 times the impact on the environment that a third world child has. However, I rather imagine that my Earth Day credit balance would not be a source of pride.

    I don't believe that you need a prayer from the likes of me. Remember I always tell God a dirty joke. Everything will be OK. Feel guilty if you must, but realize that is your requirement, not God's.