Considering how much of our lives most of us spend on Google or Google products at this point, we can safely be forgiven if they occasionally get a little boring. After all, the company basically owns the rights to all of our souls, diary contents, and first born children. What, you never read your user agreement? It’s a little much to ask that we find their products entertaining as well. Today sees two excellent riffs on everybody’s favorite search engine, the NFL-tweaking Replacement Google and the uber-minimalist Google Without Google.
Replacement Google is up first, because its hilarity is matched only by the merciful brevity of its shelf-life. Inspired by the current NFL referees who have proven to be nothing short of disastrous — especially if you’re a Green Bay Packers fan — you can ask Replacement Google anything. It will happily tell you all about something else, at random. Like the refs standing in for striking union officials, Replacement Google is very gung-ho to do the job while paying seemingly zero attention to exactly anything around it. A search for “Key lime pie,” for example, turns up no results for either the delicious desert or the excellent Camper Van Beethoven album, but instead directs one to the search results for “Pete and Pete Season 3,” which is pretty great in its own right. The joke might wear thin pretty quickly, but that’s actually very appropriate considering how fast the NFL’s refereeing situation got real damn old this season.
Google Without Google, meanwhile, takes the recent minimalist design trend to its logical conclusion, replacing the Google front page with a blank white screen, populated by just a single blinking cursor. It is weird and beautiful, and essentially the purest strain of Internet that is available right now. Type a word on a blank screen and then be met by every fact associated with that word. This is straight up, unstepped on, Colombian Internet, with no bells or whistles or even design. It’s like being in a William Gibson novel and mainlining pure information, and unlike Replacement Google, we will never, ever get tired of it. New home page, consider yourself set.
- Okay, Google, this is a pretty cool trick
- Also, the Moog doodle
- And the underwater Jules Verne doodle was pretty great too