*Throws metal strips in saltwater, changes world forever*
A new Google Doodle is celebrating what would have been the 270th birthday of the Italian physicist Alessandro Volta, who in the year 1800 published a theory that led to the modern battery.
As TIME wrote back in 2007, Volta “realized metals could produce a current and developed the first battery, or ‘voltaic pile,’ a series of copper and zinc strips in salt water that gave off an electric current instead of static electricity.”
Born February 18, 1745 in Como, Italy, Volta’s invention was the result of a professional competition with Luigi Galvani, who discovered that dissected frogs’ legs would twitch when probed with a wire.
Galvani believed the frogs’ muscles generated the electricity, while Volta thought the animal tissue was only a conductor.
The debate galvanized Volta to experiment with conductivity (often on his own tongue). Eventually, Volta put together a stack of metal disks and when metal wires were connected to both ends of the stack, an electric current flowed through the pile, proving that animal tissue was not necessary to generate an electric current.
The Google Doodle honors Volta’s discovery with an animated battery that is reminiscent of both a voltaic pile and a battery life reminder on a modern day smart phone.
Youssef Chahine (Arabic: يوسف شاهين; 25 January 1926 – 27 July 2008) was an Egyptian film director active in the Egyptian film industry since 1950. He was credited with launching the career of actor Omar Sharif. A critically acclaimed director frequently seen in film festivals during decades, Chahine also had his reach to wider international filmgoers’ audiences as one of the co-directors of 11’9″01 September 11.
Chahine was born in Alexandria, Egypt to a Christian family. His father was at some point during his life a supporter of the nationalist Wafd Party. His mother was of Greek descent. Chahine was raised in his father’s Catholic faith. At his childhood home in the cosmopolitan city of Alexandria, the family spoke four languages. In 2001, a trip was paid by Chahine to his father’s land in Zahle, Lebanon, where a street was named after him. Although born a Christian,Youssef Chahine was not a believer in organized religion and it was stated that, if asked of his religion, he would reply: “Egyptian”.
Fascinated by the performing arts from an early age, young Chahine began to create shows at home for his family. Chahine began his education at a Frères’ school Collège Saint Marc. Growing up, he attended Alexandria’s elite Victoria College. In 1946, Chahine convinced his parents to let him travel to Hollywood to study acting, where he attended the Pasadena Playhouse outside Los Angeles, California.
Google is celebrating the first day of the festive holiday season with a new doodle depicting children in a sleigh waving as they are pulled along by a reindeer.
The festive “’Tis the season!” doodle, which gets a new incarnation each year, is the search giant’s way of celebrating the start of the Christmas holiday season for its users across the globe.
Starting on Monday in New Zealand, the doodle will roll out across a number of countries, including Australia, the US, and countries in Central and South America, Europe, parts of the Middle East and Asia.
In previous years Google’s dedicated festive doodle, starting on any day between 21 and 23 December, has wished people a “Happy holidays,” but the message has been tweaked for this particular animation.