In Philipp Lenssen’s "55 Ways to Have Fun with Google" (now CC and free download as mentioned yesterday) chapter 13, he described a magic trick with Google.
Quoting from the 13th chapter:
Here’s a magic trick to surprise your friends with. What they will see is this: you are at the Google homepage, and you casually ask someone to watch the Google logo. Then, you move two of your fingers to completely cover the “o”s in the Google logo. When you remove your fingers, to much surprise, the letters “o” will be missing from the logo. Now you ask your friend to move her fingers over the missing “o”s. After your friend removes the fingers, the logo will be complete again!
The trick here? It’s not really the Google homepage you and your friend are looking at – it’s a fake page (darkartsmedia.com/Google.html). And when you click on the page, the letters of the logo will disappear after five seconds. Clicking again will make them reappear after five more seconds. So when you move your fingers to cover the Google logo, simply click anywhere on the page, and wait a bit before you remove your fingers… and when your friend covers the letters, you click again. (A third click, by the way, will change the page to an actual Google homepage so you can perform searches to “prove” the page is real.)
An alternative implementation
I do think it is rather odd to be discussing the best way to implement a joke but it the joke page annoyed me as it didn’t look much like the way Google renders on my system and I knew it wouldn’t catch out anyone I knew. I thought I’d create an alternate implementation.
Alternatively, make this link a bookmarklet by dragging it onto your bookmarks toolbar (this will stop Firefox from changing the address bar).
Follow the same instructions as above – this time when you click once on the real Google homepage, the logo will change after 3 seconds. When you click again, it’ll return to the normal logo again after 3 seconds. I couldn’t be bothered to photoshop the Google logo without the "oo" so I used a picture of Steve Ballmer instead.
The great thing about this implementation is it looks exactly as it would render normally in your browser (font sizes, custom CSS, etc) and everything still works as normal.
Enjoy hours of endless fun of proving to people that Microsoft own Google and spamming Digg with proof that you’ve found exclusive information about Google’s next holiday doodle.