Google Doodle Takes You 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea

Google is celebrating the birthday of the late French author Jules Verne with an interactive Google Doodle that pays homage to his classic novel 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea.

On Tuesday the Google homepage features an aquatic-themed Google Doodle (a themed version of the Google logo) that puts you at the helm of Captain Nemo's submarine the Nautilus. You can move the Nautilus' control lever on the left of your screen to dive into Verne's aquatic underworld, and a depth gauge on the right indicates how far down you've gone.

If you have a device with a built-in accelerometer, allowing it to sense and react to motion, you can move through the interactive Google Doodle just by tilting your device. In my tests, doodle diving using the accelerometers in the iPhone, iPad and even my laptop worked nicely.

The key to Tuesday's Google doodle, according to the search giant's blog post, is Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) 3. CSS is part of a suite of modern Web technologies that also includes HTML 5 and JavaScript that use the power of your browser, instead of plugins such as Flash, to create interesting effects on the Web. CSS is largely used to control the placement of items on a Web page such as images, banners and text. But it can also be draw lines on a page and add some interactive and animation effects.

Before Google's Verne doodle, one of the coolest uses of CSS I'd seen was this Twitter fail whale created by Steve Dennis. The whale is drawn entirely using CSS and if you view it in either Chrome or Safari for Mac or Windows, you will see the fail whale move. You can find out the story behind the CSS fail whale here.

If plunging the depths of Verne's imaginary world on Google inspires you then check out Verne's original novel about Captain Nemo and his adventures aboard the Nautilus. Twenty-thousand Leagues Under The Sea and Verne's other enduring stories including Journey to the Center of the Earth, Around the World in 80 Days and From the Earth to the Moon can be found on Amazon's Kindle Store for less than $5.

Connect with Ian Paul (@ianpaul) and Today@PCWorld on Twitter for the latest tech news and analysis.

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