Google Doodle celebrates the winter solstice
Artwork by Christoph Niemann knits a combined scarf and glove for the southern hemisphere
A new Google Doodle has been released to celebrate the first day of winter in the Southern Hemisphere (readers based in the Northern Hemisphere will hopefully be getting a little something for the start of summer soon).
The Doodle has been created by artist Christoph Niemann and shows a combined scarf and glove being knitted into the shape of the Google logo.
Niemann is a German illustrator and graphic artists whose work frequently appears in The New York Times. As well as creating artwork for print, Niemann has also experimented with digital technology. In 2013 he created an interactive app called Petting Zoo, where various cartoon animals react to the users’ prods and swipes. A behind the scenes story of the app can be read here.
The beginning of winter or summer in various hemispheres is known as the solstice – a biannual event where the Sun appears at either its highest or lowest point in the sky. This variable placement is created by the axial tilt of the Earth, the same quirk of planetary alignment that gives the earth its seasons.
The name solstice comes from the Latin sol for sun combined with the verb sistre, meaning to stand still. The term has been in use at lease since the time of Pliny the Elder – the Roman natural philosopher who used the word in his Natural History, published between AD 77-79.
The opposite of the solstice is the equinox, another word with Latin etymology meaning “equality of night and day”.
In prehistoric times solstices were important markers that helped early farmers plant and harvest their crops. Many ancient structures in Europe are associated with marking the solstice including Newgrange – a site in Ireland that has an approximate construction date of 3200 BC is older than both the pyramids and Stonehenge.
Although archaeologists can only speculate as to the exact significance of Newgrange, its interior spaces and stone passages align with the rising sun, meaning that during the winter solstice light floods the central chamber.
Life & Style blogs
Alexander McQueen at auction: What makes a really great piece of fashion?
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
No female ejaculation, please, we’re British: a history of porn and censorship
Stressed nurses are 'forced to choose between health of patients and their own'
Pornhub: Kim Kardashian's sex tape is the most-watched porn video of all-time
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£15 per hour: Ashdown Group: IT Analyst / Helpdesk - 2 Month Contract - £15ph ...
£35000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This group is the world's secon...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Service Desk Analyst (App...
£35000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: 3rd Line Support Engine...