Google Fills Its Home Page with Stories of Love from ‘This American Life’

Brian Heater
Tech Columnist
February 14, 2014

Forget the chocolate hearts and the human-sized stuffed bears: This Valentine’s Day, Google is giving searchers the gift of the greatest public radio show of all time. The popular NPR program “This American Life” has taken over the search engine’s home page via a sextet of pastel candy hearts.

The hearts, of course, are centered around the theme of love. Click on one to set it spinning and hear a TAL-styled story of love or loss. The first one kicks off with a familiar voice, show host Ira Glass’ soft-spoken intro explaining what you’ve just gotten yourself into. 

“For Valentine’s Day,” he begins, “as people everywhere search for love — something a search engine might not be the ideal tool for — each of these candy hearts brings you a true story of love.” Glass concludes by adding, “These are real people.”

And they are. These touching tales of love are a welcome alternative to the Cupid-with-arrow animation we might have been subjected to otherwise.

Those looking for a larger dose of the show can head on over to its site. A box of animated chocolates will greet you, compiling some favorite love stories from the show’s nearly 20-year history. Starlee Kine’s “Love Song” is a personal favorite, because who knows more about love than Phil Collins?

For those looking to share something with someone other than a bespectacled public radio host, Google has also teamed up with Disney to let you “dedicate” a frame of the studio’s new stop-motion animated short Blank to a loved one.

The 37-minute “vinylmation” film is available in full as a free download through Google Play, in case you’re looking for something to do while waiting for those dinner reservations tonight.

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