“Working gets in the way of living.” Wise words spoken by the subject of today’s Google Doodle, actor Omar Sharif. In honor of the Lawrence of Arabia star’s 86th birthday, Google is putting Sharif on the homepage of its prolific search engine with a simple animation that fits the actor’s elegant style perfectly.
Born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1932 as Michel Dimitri Chalhoub, Shari adopted the name Omar El-Sharif and began his acting career with a role in 1954’s The Blazing Sun. Since his initial appearance, Sharif saw much success that followed him up to his passing on July 10, 2015. The award-winning performer lived an 83-year-long life of intrigue that earned him recognition outside across multiple continents.
Despite being a time when sexism should have been long-since stamped out, it’s still not unusual for women to struggle in a male-centric environment. So imagine what a woman in the field of chemistry must have gone through during the 1960s when even women’s suffrage in the United States was still relatively new, and equal rights were an even newer concept in other parts of the world.
Often relegated to administrative positions or as housewives, women weren’t known for having the opportunities to make great strides in any field. In fact, it wasn’t until after the Allied occupation of Japan that women saw equal opportunities in education in the proud empire. Yet in 1943, as World War II still raged on, Katsuko Saruhashi, the subject of today’s Google Doodle, graduated from the Imperial Women’s College of Science (now the University of Tokyo). It was a groundbreaking achievement that launched a life of successes and became a milestone for women in science.
March 21, 2018 would have been Mexican astronomer Guillermo Haro’s 105th birthday. Though Haro's is not a household name, his contributions to astronomy make him a worthwhile individual to get to know. Born in Mexico City in 1913, he was subject to grow up during the Mexican Revolution, but that did nothing to quell his future love for discovery and the universe beyond. Nor did his initial interest in law, which disipated in favor of his more philosophical studies.
Before his passing on April 26, 1988, Dr. Haro led a life that revolved around science and philosophy, starting with his studies in philosophy at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. He later turned his attention to the stars in 1943 after being hired as an assistant at the Observatorio Astrofisico de Tonantzintla (Astronomical Observatory of Tonantintla).
Who does today's Google Doodle honor? Geerdt Mageils put it best in his paper for the 1st Conference of the European Philosophy of Science Association, when he said, "Who discovered photosynthesis? Not many people know. Jan Ingenhousz' name has been forgotten, his life and work have disappeared in the mists of time. Still, the tale of his scientific endeavor show science in action."
Jan Ingenhousz was the Dutch physiologist best known for discovering photosynthesis. His work extends far beyond plant and animal research, though. Ingenhousz is also recognized for inoculating family members of the House of Habsburg against smallpox in 1968. According to Geerdt Magiels, he received many rewards for the inoculation, including gifts and a life-long annual income.
Today Google honors hole punch history and the 131st anniversary of the hole puncher. The hole puncher can be traced to German Friedrich Soennecken, an entrepreneur and inventor, who filed for a patent for his Papierlocher für Sammelmappen on November 14, 1886. Papierlocher für Sammelmappen translates to "paper punch for binders."
Soennecken is also the namesake of the international German office products manufacturing company.
Today Google celebrates the end of the Day of the Dead 2017, also known as Dia de los Muertos. The Mexican holiday began on Halloween. Despite its name, the Day of the Dead is actually 3 days long regardless of where it begins and ends, it is not "Mexican Halloween." The holiday existed prior to Spanish colonization in the 16th century but took place during August instead of autumn. Gradually the native celebration was absorbed into the Catholic calendar holidays of All Saints' Eve, All Saints' Day, and All Souls' Day, all which also fall around Halloween.
Halloween itself has Gaelic origins and is now considered the "Celtic New Year." The original Halloween was called Samhain. Samhain marks the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, according to the calendar of the Celtic League.