Deconstructing Topeka | A Google April Fool with legs

Two executive employees of Yahoo! are pictured. They're natives of Topeka, Kansas, which is one reason why this Topeka – Google photo appears here.

April Fools, Google! Uh, I mean Topeka. At least they're both from Topeka, Kansas! (Photo: Flickr)

If you dig into Topeka, you’re bound to find good potatoes. That’s what “topeka” means in the Kansa and Ioway languages, according to Wikipedia: “To dig good potatoes.” But if you Google Topeka (or is it Topeka Google?), you will be caught in an infinite loop in which questions like “Why does Google say Topeka?” will cease to have meaning. For you see, Topeka is Google, and Google is Topeka. The search engine giant – in what amounts to more than a mere Google April Fool – has changed its name to Topeka, honoring that capital city of Kansas that just happens to have changed its name to Google. Don’t let it twist your brain into a Möbius strip. Thankfully, you’d need to iron it before that could happen. But first you’d need payday loans to buy a home surgery kit.

All roads lead to Topeka

If Topeka wasn’t an everyday part of your online life, it will be now. On the Official Google (er, Topeka) Blog, Topeka, Inc. Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt quotes Google Mayor Bill Bunten as exclaiming that “Even Google recognizes that all roads lead to Kansas, not just yellow brick ones.” That was before the Google April Fool rift in space-time, so adjust your Element Zero grammar scanners accordingly. By their logic, no matter where you go, there you are in Topeka. While that may actually be possible with a Topological view of the cosmos – one where the entire universe is compact and connected – it would take some time to arrive in Topeka, after you’ve left Topeka. So long as you make it back for Kansas Day on January 29, you’re in for some good BBQ.

Wait, Topeka was Google only temporarily?

I hope Topeka has more resolve to stay the course. As it stands, Mayor Bunten unofficially changed the name of Topeka to Google for a month, in March 2010. A previous name for “the capital city of fiber optics” was “Topikachu,” for the Pokémon franchise that teaches children that animals can be crammed into small metal eggs. Topeka stepped up considerably when it became Google, even if it was a ploy to try to get the company to drop its highest-quality fiber optic lines there. Ideally, Topeka would have officially become Google so that the population could personally serve search results to every Topeka searcher in the U.S.

Eric Schmidt: Google feels ‘a kinship’ with the Great Plains city

Floods and tornadoes never keep a good Topekan down; they rebuild. Google equates that with releasing 2.0 versions of software, which only flies because this is a Google April Fool. Alfred E. Neuman is a typical man of Topeka. It is his kind of “What? Me Worry?” attitude that has steered the Google megalith into such stirring creations as Google Buzz. Just remember that they “aren’t in Google anymore,” Schmidt reminds. It is unclear whether he wrote that before or after he was attacked by flying monkeys.

What will Oliver Google Kai think of the rebranding?

Perhaps his parents will sue. Oliver Google Kai could get a name change with help from mommy and daddy – he’s only four years old – but why would he want to? Topeka is spud nomenclature, and nobody wants to be called a spud unless they’re 1986 NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion Spud Webb or need serious debt management help. Schmidt claims that Topeka will receive no special favors regarding the ultra-high-speed broadband project, but this whole Topeka – Google love fest seems a technological slam dunk.

(Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/yodelanecdotal/ / CC BY 2.0)

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