Tag Archives: Arts and Culture

Vietnam awaits you with wonders

With its beautiful beaches, lush green landscapes, fresh food and vibrant culture, travelers the world over have been enchanted by Vietnam. In fact, in 2019, Vietnam welcomed 18 million international guests and Da Nang was named the top trending destination for 2020. 

Sadly, the pandemic has had severe implications for travel, and that is one reason we’re excited to share this new project. Before the pandemic, Google Arts & Culture partnered with Vietnam’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, the local tourism boards of Da Nang, Quang Nam, Thua Thien Hue and Quang Binh and National Geographic award-winning photographer Tran Tuan Viet to capture the unique corners of Vietnam. The result is a project made more precious in today’s travel-restricted world: Wonders of Vietnam on Google Arts & Culture. 

Featuring 35 stories and over 1,300 sumptuous photos of iconic sites, historical heritage, nature, cuisine and culture, the project is a unique way for us hungry travelers to virtually explore. The project is an important part of Google’s overall support of the local tourism industry, which has been badly affected by pandemic-related travel restrictions. By showcasing the wonders of Vietnam, specifically from the Central region, we hope to also raise awareness on preserving the sites affected by the recent floods. 

Of course, nothing compares to experiencing the real thing in person. But while many of us aren’t able to do that, this is the next best thing. Here are my top 5 things to explore on a virtual visit to Vietnam on Google Arts & Culture: 


1. Dive into the world’s largest cave

Son Doong cave

Along with breathtaking photos of Son Doong Cave, you can learn about how it is home to an underground river where you can kayak and dive. The cave is so large it even has its own forest and climate. 


2. Learn about Vietnamese culture, such as  royal court music, or Nha Nhac 

Fan dance

Nha Nhac, meaning “elegant music”, refers to a broad range of musical and dance styles performed at the Vietnamese royal court from the fifteenth to the mid-twentieth century. The photos show meticulous details, like colorful costumes and large elaborate fans.  


3. Feast your eyes on the colors of Vietnam

Color filter on Wonders of Vietnam

With our Color Filter feature, you can explore Vietnam by color, taking in the sumptuous reds of temples alongside fiery food or the lush greens of farmers harvesting hairgrass in Hoi An alongside the green wrapper of Bánh nậm. What a feast for the eyes!


4. Sightsee with a soundtrack

Enjoy beautiful sites such as Xep Beach, the Meridian Gate at night or the Linh Ung Pagoda on Son Tra Peninsula while being serenaded by traditional Vietnamese music. 


5. Learn about the Hoi An Lantern Festival

Lanterns at Hoi An market

In the spirit of the coming Lunar New Year, we feature the famous Hoi An Lantern Festival, a monthly celebration of the full moon. The Hoi An lantern making tradition has lasted for over 400 years! 

Wonders of Vietnam walks you through how the lanterns are made with bamboo structures and covered with very fine and vibrant silk. You can learn about the tradition of releasing the lanterns on the river, said to bring good fortune and love, as well as health and happiness. 

With this new project, we hope locals can gain a new appreciation for the wonders of their country, and eager travelers all over the world can discover more of Vietnam, hopefully building more excitement for when they can visit in person. We invite you to visit Wonders of Vietnam and check out some of the other treasures our partners make available—including the Tomb of Tu Duc in 3D—on Google Arts & Culture.  


Still Dreaming: A tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today, we celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through reflecting on our history and volunteering our time to help our communities. At Google, we see his enormous contributions and his impact on the fight for equality as reflected in Americans’ search interests. He’s the most-searched civil rights movement leader to date, and search interest for his “I Have a Dream” speech spikes in the U.S. every January, the month of his birthday. 

This year, in honor of Dr. King, we invite you to visit "Still Dreaming," a miniature gallery created by Tammie Knight, designer and owner of Small Matters Miniatures, with photography from Google Arts & Culture archives curated by mixed-media artist Adrian Octavius Walker.

The gallery takes viewers on a journey through Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. It features rare photos of him taken throughout his lifetime, and you can explore the gallery thanks to footage taken by Nathaniel King. 

"Dr. King was determined to fulfill his dream of one day being treated as an equal. He continuously took action in service of that dream, even when the outcome was uncertain,” Walker says. “These images capture his drive and passion that inspired others to dream of equality in the face of uncertainty, both then and now.”

The miniature gallery also features today’s annual Google Doodle, created by Pittsburgh-based guest artist Noa Denmon. With artwork depicting parallel scenes from the 1960s and modern times, the Doodle celebrates the civil rights activist who has inspired multiple generations to join in the pursuit of equality and social justice.

A Google Doodle showing half a black and white painting of a Civil Rights Movement-era speech, and a color painting of a modern-day protest mural.

Since 2004, the most searched topic in the U.S. for quotations by Dr. King is "love," bringing to mind one of his most-remembered quotations, from his 1963 book, “Strength to Love:” “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

Head to MLKDay.gov to learn about the MLK Day of Service and to find volunteer opportunities in your area.

Santa’s Village is back, firing on all candy canes

The life of an elf is all about working from home, rolling your eyes at sugar substitutes, and being very, very excited about the comings and goings of packages! This year many of us got an unexpected taste of Elf Living—candy binges, living where you work, delivery enthusiasm, and all. And for those of us asking, “Why as the year winds down do I just feel more and more jolly???” (that’s all of us, right?) … The answer is rolling in behindeightnine tiny reindeer!

Santa's sleigh in front of the moon

Little known fact: On top of guiding the way, the addition of Rudolph as the ninth reindeer improved overall "sleigh velocity"--allowing Santa to reach more homes and keep up with world population growth.

For the rest of the season, whenever you search for “Santa” or “Christmas” on Google, you’ll see a familiar red hat on the results page. Click on it and hold on for deer life as you fly off to Santa’s Village. Starting on December 24, you can follow Santa on his journey around the world with Santa Tracker. Until then, help Santa prepare for his trip around the world in Santa’s Village.

Before the big night, keep up with the North Pole from around the world

You can keep track of what’s happening in the world’s coolest spot with your Google Assistant. Just say, “Hey Google, what’s new at the North Pole?” to get updates from the elves via the North Pole Newscast. You can also find out how the world’s getting ready for Santa’s ride by checking out the latest holiday searches. “What do elves eat?” and “Write a letter to Santa” are both up over 5,000 percent worldwide over the past month—and the United Kingdom takes the (fruit)cake for the most searches for “Santa Claus.”

Santa and Mrs. Claus overseeing preparations.

Santa and Mrs. Claus overseeing preparations.

Help get Santa’s elves ready for loading up his sleigh with Elf Maker

After 1,740 magical years at the North Pole, elves know a thing or two about being on ice while sharing the Yuletide joy...but this year they’ll need your help getting Santa’s sleigh ready. Families around the world can help the elves get ready to export the cheer with Elf Maker, which lets you create your own elves. The elves will then be ready to load Santa’s sleigh for the big night!

Help Santa practice for his trip with Present Drop

The love and concern people showed for each other in 2020 inspired Santa. This year, Santa’s “Nice List” broke all records as millions of people and small businesses around the world tried new things and used digital tools to keep each other safe and their communities going. Santa noticed! This year you can help him get ready for the big day with a practice delivery (that also practices social distancing) using Present Drop, which lets you drop packages into chimneys.

Elves helping Santa drop presents

Help Santa practice with Present Drop

Be visited by the artworks of Christmas Past (and color them)

For some festive fun, Google Arts & Culture created a special edition of its coloring book, featuring cheerful coloring activities for children and families. When you  search for “Santa” or “Christmas” on Google, you’ll find a link to explore some classic artworks.

Follow the search for Santa around the world

After helping out in Santa’s Village, it’s time to put out the milk and cookies and refresh the Trends page to see which parts of the world are reporting reindeer sightings. Notice a sudden spike in “reindeer food” for the month of December? That gives you an idea of how many carrots Santa’s reindeer are eating in preparation for the big flight (hint: it’s a lot, pulling that sleigh requires energy!). And with a 300 percent increase in searches for “Where is Santa right now?” we know people around the world will be listening for the sound of silver bells this week. 

So before you turn in for the night, follow Santa’s progress on his journey as he checks off the longest nice list in history.


Ho! Ho! Ho!

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Create a festive song with Blob Opera

Still looking for that perfect present? Why not gift a festive song? Blob Opera is a new machine learning experiment by artist David Li that lets you create your own festive song inspired by Opera on Google Arts & Culture.

Guide the pitch and vowel sound of our four festive blobs who stand ready to transform your musical ideas (no matter how good or bad) into beautiful harmonies. Record your creation and share it with family & friends, especially the person who already seems to have everything — you can be sure this will be their first Blob Opera.

Create a song with Blob Opera
10:25

Create a song with Blob Opera

This experiment pays tribute to and explores the original musical instrument: the voice. We developed a machine learning model trained on the voices of four opera singers in order to create an engaging experiment for everyone, regardless of musical skills. Tenor, Christian Joel, bass Frederick Tong, mezzo-soprano Joanna Gamble and soprano Olivia Doutney recorded many hours of singing. In the experiment you don’t hear their voices, but rather the machine learning model’s understanding of what opera singing sounds like, based on what it learned from the opera singers.

The resulting experiment allows you to play Blob Opera, altering pitch & vowel sounds to create your own composition. The blobs respond and harmonise to your input in real time. But no worries if you’re feeling a bit too shy to compose: You can also have the Blobs put on a festive performance while you sit back and enjoy classics like “Jingle Bells” and “O Holy Night.”

The creative holiday fun doesn’t end there. Google Arts & Culture has also created holiday-themed virtual colouring books. Find them the next time you search on Google for winter holidays like "Hanukkah," "Christmas" and "Kwanzaa."

Or venture a bit farther afield with another machine learning experiment, “The Never-Ending Holiday.” These computer-generated, surrealist-inspired short videos use Google Maps and Street View data to offer mesmerizing explorations of France, Italy and Spain. With travel restrictions in place and winter keeping many of us indoors, they can take you on a journey to famous landmarks and distant shorelines. 


We hope these activities - that we are able to create thanks to our partners - will help you to spend the holidays inspired and entertained. For more things to discover and to stay updated on future experiments and collaborations at the intersection of art and technology, visit the Google Arts & Culture website or get our free app for Android or iOS.

Learn more about the first circumnavigation of the globe

In 1519, an expedition commanded by Ferdinand Magellan set sail from the port of Seville, Spain. The approximately 245 crew members aboard the five ships went in search of a new western route to the Maluku Islands (formerly the Moluccas or Spice Islands) in Indonesia. The voyage ended three years later, with the return of a single ship captained by Juan Sebastián Elcano. He and the 17 survivors became the first people to circumnavigate the globe in a single expedition.


Now you can retrace their path in a new project from Google Arts & Culture, the Spanish Ministry of Culture and the Spanish National Commission of the First World Tour. “The First Journey around the World” explores the details of the Magellan-Elcano circumnavigation. You can dive into historical documents and maps, see where the expedition made landfall, take a virtual tour of a replica of the Nao Victoria, the only ship that returned to Seville, or discover the spices of animals encountered during the expedition.

The new project tells the story of the Expedition, with the details of the journey; the Exploration, with the maps, the nautical tools, and new animal species encountered along the way; and the Transformation of the European understanding of the world, as the exploration confirmed that the Earth was round and that the oceans were made up of a single, interconnected body of water. Now there was a new route to the other side of the world.


The First Journey Around the World,” available from today to everyone through the Google Arts & Culture site and via its iOS and Android apps, has been possible thanks to our partners, including the Spanish National Archives, Spanish Cultural Action, Seville's City Hall, the Naval Museum and the Elkano Foundation


So settle in and launch your own exploration of the world in the path of these sailors.


Magic visits the Natural History Museum in London

What do a manatee and a mermaid have in common? You can learn about their case of mistaken identity with the help of the Natural History Museum and Google Arts & Culture.  From unicorns to dragons, and flying snakes to shrinking lizards, mythical creatures are being united with their real-world cousins in a new project by London’s Natural History Museum, brought online for all to explore. With inspiration from the magical world of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the new exhibition and online highlights allow fans everywhere to discover the links between the real and the imagined.

Take a virtual stroll around and explore the installation in 360 degrees. The project shows off the real-life “magic” of the natural world: the incredible behaviors, traits and features that have evolved, enabling animals to survive and thrive in the wild. The exhibition also reveals some of the biggest threats they face, and hopes to inspire everyone to help save precious natural habitats and their residents.

There are20 new digital stories to explore, created with artifacts, specimens and videos selected with the help of some of the 300 scientists and curators from the Museum. They tell us fascinating tales about the complexity, wonder and fragility of the natural world. Find over 100 incredible specimens from the Natural History Museum collection, including the inquisitive pangolin and the vibrant creatures of the reef.  You’ll also find incredible artifacts from the Fantastic Beasts films, including tools used to capture and care for magical beasts.

Once you’ve learned about a mystery skull from the 1330s or a species of shrinking lizards, have some fun by challenging your friends to a multiplayer puzzle party,or create your own mythical beast with specially designed coloring books. 

Explore the magic at g.co/NHMFantasticBeasts online and with the Google Arts & Culture app for Android or iOS.

Enjoy a special visit to the Palace Museum

The Palace Museum is one of the world’s most renowned cultural heritage sites. As the largest and the best-preserved wooden imperial architecture complex in the world, it served as the home of 24 emperors during the Ming and Qing dynasties. The Museum consists of 9046 rooms and maintains more than 1.86 million pieces in its collection.

Building on our online collection of treasures of the Palace Museum, today, Google Arts & Culture unveils a new exhibition that allows people everywhere to explore parts of this famous site virtually.

The Palace Museum
10:25

The Palace Museum

Visitors can enjoy a 360-degree virtual tour of three main structures—the Hall of Supreme Harmony, the Meridian Gate, and the Gate of Supreme Harmony.  The Hall of Supreme Harmony was the venue for grand imperial ceremonies and, with its double layer of eaves and portico, is among the most prominent examples of ancient Chinese architecture.

360° virtual visit to the Gate of Supreme Harmony, the Hall of Supreme Harmony and the Meridian Gate

360° virtual visit to the Gate of Supreme Harmony, the Hall of Supreme Harmony and the Meridian Gate

In addition, we’re launching 19 new online exhibitions with high-resolution images of thrones and decorations in the Palace Museum, some of which are not usually accessible to visitors. These include rare paintings that show the splendour of life in the Forbidden City, such as an Album Leaf from The Grand Wedding of the Guangxu Emperor, which is being displayed online for the first time.

The Palace Museum is truly a global treasure. We hope this new exhibition allows people everywhere to learn more about its heritage and grandeur. 

Enjoy a special visit to the Palace Museum

The Palace Museum is one of the world’s most renowned cultural heritage sites. As the largest and the best-preserved wooden imperial architecture complex in the world, it served as the home of 24 emperors during the Ming and Qing dynasties. The Museum consists of 9046 rooms and maintains more than 1.86 million pieces in its collection.

Building on our online collection of treasures of the Palace Museum, today, Google Arts & Culture unveils a new exhibition that allows people everywhere to explore parts of this famous site virtually.

The Palace Museum
10:25

The Palace Museum

Visitors can enjoy a 360-degree virtual tour of three main structures—the Hall of Supreme Harmony, the Meridian Gate, and the Gate of Supreme Harmony.  The Hall of Supreme Harmony was the venue for grand imperial ceremonies and, with its double layer of eaves and portico, is among the most prominent examples of ancient Chinese architecture.

360° virtual visit to the Gate of Supreme Harmony, the Hall of Supreme Harmony and the Meridian Gate

360° virtual visit to the Gate of Supreme Harmony, the Hall of Supreme Harmony and the Meridian Gate

In addition, we’re launching 19 new online exhibitions with high-resolution images of thrones and decorations in the Palace Museum, some of which are not usually accessible to visitors. These include rare paintings that show the splendour of life in the Forbidden City, such as an Album Leaf from The Grand Wedding of the Guangxu Emperor, which is being displayed online for the first time.

The Palace Museum is truly a global treasure. We hope this new exhibition allows people everywhere to learn more about its heritage and grandeur. 

Beethoven at 250: Happy Birthday, Ludwig!

One of the highlights in Bonn’s Beethoven House is Ludwig van Beethoven’s iconic portrait by Joseph Karl Stieler. Silver gray mane tousled, scarlet scarf tied messily, a musical masterpiece in his hand--the portrait has shaped the composer’s image since it was created 200 years ago. Today, the painting is also part of “Beethoven Everywhere”, an extensive online collection that celebrates the master’s 250th anniversary on Google Arts & Culture.

As director of Beethoven House, I am particularly happy that the project unites so many cultural institutions of international renown in sharing their Beethoven stories: from Carnegie Hall to Deutsche Grammophon and Karajan-Akademie, from Chineke! Orchestra to Berlin’s State Library and Vienna’s Secession.

When the partnership between Beethoven House and Google was set up in late 2019, I was excited about the vast range of digital possibilities it offered to our ‘classical’ collection - with a virtual 360 tour through the newly renovated museum being a planned highlight. Then 2020 took a completely different route, and with it the course of the many live performances and events planned for the anniversary year - our planned Beethoven celebrations with audiences around the globe had suddenly become impossible. 

I therefore am all the happier that today, two weeks to Beethoven’s 250th birthday, we can publish a digital resource to bring the composer and his legacy to fans around the world. As impossible as it is to name all of the great projects I saw, I feel these highlights might surprise you as much as they did me:

A Global Ode To Joy: By reinventing a year-long concert series for a digital audience and asking musicians and users around the world to share what brings joy to them, the Global Ode to Joy video seriesbrings happiness to many! Conductor Marin Alsop, who initiated the project, will talk about her idea alongside wonderful artists such as Yo-Yo Ma and Daniel Hope in an official live event on December 3rd at Carnegie Hall. 


Beethoven, Beyonce and pop culture: Most people don’t realise it, but Beethoven has left a huge mark on modern culture - we meet him on an almost daily basis, from movies to music. And I never thought that a musical meeting between Beethoven and Beyoncé would be such a great fit!

Beethoven, remixed:Deutsche Grammophon has digitised some of the oldest Beethoven records ever made. Electro musician Christian Löffler set them as the basis for a recomposition, creating small musical gems in their own right - fascinating and beautiful to hear.

Rediscovering a forgotten musician:The story of Black violin virtuoso George Bridgetower is not widely known, although he was the musician for whom Beethoven in 1802 composed the music that would later be famous as “Kreutzer Sonata”. Chineke! orchestra’s Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE tells this forgotten master’s story, and masterly violinist Randall Goosby pays homage with an incredible rendition of the piece itself.

Inspiring the fine arts: Beethoven and his music have inspired paintings, portraits, etchings, monuments and busts of all genres. One artwork surpasses them all: Gustav Klimt’s monumental Beethoven frieze, referring to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and located at Vienna’s Secession. Google Arts & Culture captured it with their super-high-definition robotic camera, allowing everyone to explore it to the last golden pigment. 

Odd Objects and love stories:The famous Beethoven portrait mentioned earlier is just one piece of the collection that our museum’s team showcases online - from his hearing aids, his desk and violin to autographs, letters and conversation booklets, Beethoven’s life can be discovered through the objects he was surrounded by. Another great way to start getting familiar with Beethoven is to explore  whyhis music is so fascinating, why his symphonies might remind you of some office colleagues, or how the composer, who was never lucky in love, expressed his affection

Beethoven’s Musical Secrets:We couldn’t perceive Beethoven as the composer he is without the musicians interpreting his compositions - a world renowned selection of artists including members of the Vienna Philharmonic, conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin or soprano Karita Mattila talk about their lives with Beethoven. 


Deaf artists and Beethoven: Beethoven began to lose his hearing in his late 20s, and went almost completely deaf by the end of his life. Yet he continued to create music, inspiring artists to this very day. One powerful example is the deaf hip hop dance champion Kassandra Wedel, who delivered a moving interpretation of the Fifth Symphony on the occasion of this year’s World Hearing Day.
Beethoven Symphony No. 5 danced by Kassandra Wedel
10:25

Deaf Hip-Hop World Champion Dances Beethoven Symphony No. 5

I am inviting everyone to explore and discover all the content on “Beethoven Everywhere” on Google Arts & Culture - and join me in wishing him all the best for the next 250 years!

Beethoven at 250: Happy Birthday, Ludwig!

One of the highlights in Bonn’s Beethoven House is Ludwig van Beethoven’s iconic portrait by Joseph Karl Stieler. Silver gray mane tousled, scarlet scarf tied messily, a musical masterpiece in his hand--the portrait has shaped the composer’s image since it was created 200 years ago. Today, the painting is also part of “Beethoven Everywhere”, an extensive online collection that celebrates the master’s 250th anniversary on Google Arts & Culture.

As director of Beethoven House, I am particularly happy that the project unites so many cultural institutions of international renown in sharing their Beethoven stories: from Carnegie Hall to Deutsche Grammophon and Karajan-Akademie, from Chineke! Orchestra to Berlin’s State Library and Vienna’s Secession.

When the partnership between Beethoven House and Google was set up in late 2019, I was excited about the vast range of digital possibilities it offered to our ‘classical’ collection - with a virtual 360 tour through the newly renovated museum being a planned highlight. Then 2020 took a completely different route, and with it the course of the many live performances and events planned for the anniversary year - our planned Beethoven celebrations with audiences around the globe had suddenly become impossible. 

I therefore am all the happier that today, two weeks to Beethoven’s 250th birthday, we can publish a digital resource to bring the composer and his legacy to fans around the world. As impossible as it is to name all of the great projects I saw, I feel these highlights might surprise you as much as they did me:

A Global Ode To Joy: By reinventing a year-long concert series for a digital audience and asking musicians and users around the world to share what brings joy to them, the Global Ode to Joy video seriesbrings happiness to many! Conductor Marin Alsop, who initiated the project, will talk about her idea alongside wonderful artists such as Yo-Yo Ma and Daniel Hope in an official live event on December 3rd at Carnegie Hall. 


Beethoven, Beyonce and pop culture: Most people don’t realise it, but Beethoven has left a huge mark on modern culture - we meet him on an almost daily basis, from movies to music. And I never thought that a musical meeting between Beethoven and Beyoncé would be such a great fit!

Beethoven, remixed:Deutsche Grammophon has digitised some of the oldest Beethoven records ever made. Electro musician Christian Löffler set them as the basis for a recomposition, creating small musical gems in their own right - fascinating and beautiful to hear.

Rediscovering a forgotten musician:The story of Black violin virtuoso George Bridgetower is not widely known, although he was the musician for whom Beethoven in 1802 composed the music that would later be famous as “Kreutzer Sonata”. Chineke! orchestra’s Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE tells this forgotten master’s story, and masterly violinist Randall Goosby pays homage with an incredible rendition of the piece itself.

Inspiring the fine arts: Beethoven and his music have inspired paintings, portraits, etchings, monuments and busts of all genres. One artwork surpasses them all: Gustav Klimt’s monumental Beethoven frieze, referring to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and located at Vienna’s Secession. Google Arts & Culture captured it with their super-high-definition robotic camera, allowing everyone to explore it to the last golden pigment. 

Odd Objects and love stories:The famous Beethoven portrait mentioned earlier is just one piece of the collection that our museum’s team showcases online - from his hearing aids, his desk and violin to autographs, letters and conversation booklets, Beethoven’s life can be discovered through the objects he was surrounded by. Another great way to start getting familiar with Beethoven is to explore  whyhis music is so fascinating, why his symphonies might remind you of some office colleagues, or how the composer, who was never lucky in love, expressed his affection

Beethoven’s Musical Secrets:We couldn’t perceive Beethoven as the composer he is without the musicians interpreting his compositions - a world renowned selection of artists including members of the Vienna Philharmonic, conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin or soprano Karita Mattila talk about their lives with Beethoven. 


Deaf artists and Beethoven: Beethoven began to lose his hearing in his late 20s, and went almost completely deaf by the end of his life. Yet he continued to create music, inspiring artists to this very day. One powerful example is the deaf hip hop dance champion Kassandra Wedel, who delivered a moving interpretation of the Fifth Symphony on the occasion of this year’s World Hearing Day.
Beethoven Symphony No. 5 danced by Kassandra Wedel
10:25

Deaf Hip-Hop World Champion Dances Beethoven Symphony No. 5

I am inviting everyone to explore and discover all the content on “Beethoven Everywhere” on Google Arts & Culture - and join me in wishing him all the best for the next 250 years!