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Google's mystery UFO doodle finally explained

The image of a spaceship flying off with one of Google's precious O's is finally explained as a homage to video game Zero Wing.

I know there are some people who have not slept for fear that Google had finally committed itself to some alien culture.

Well, some outerworldly alien culture. Well, some outerworldly alien culture where all beings were green and no one used phrases like "market segmentation" and "41 shades of blue."

You see, a mysterious doodle appeared on the Google home page. It showed an alien spacecraft making off with the second "O" in the word "Google."

Were we really expected to merely gogle now? Didn't that sound uncomfortably close to ogling?

Though there were no references to the Church of Scientology, Google's first pronouncement on the subject did not quell the concern.

The questionably benign company declared: "We consider the second 'o' critical to user recognition of our brand and pronunciation of our name. We are actively looking into the mysterious tweet that has appeared on the Google twitter stream and the disappearance of the 'o' on the Google home page. We hope to have an update in the coming weeks."

The world continued experiencing the occasional shudder, until Google's Twitter page produced this revelatory tweet on Friday: "1.12.12 15 1.18.5 20.15 21.19."

Well, it was revelatory to those who think in a certain way, one to which I can only aspire.

"Yes, of course," those who think that way said to themselves, while simultaneously slapping their heads with a fly-swatter. "It's a reference to that wonderful Japanese video game of the 1980s, Zero Wing."

Now, look, I've heard of Vera Wang. But somehow Zero Wing passed me by, though I think it would be an excellent name for a fashion designer.

However, those on the inside (of the spacecraft) tell me that Zero Wing is terribly cool and features extremely characteristic English translations.

Apparently, Cats, a villain even greater than the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, makes this declaration at the beginning of Zero Wing: "How are you gentlemen. All your base are belong to us."

Well, when you take all those numbers in the Google tweet and turn them into the corresponding letters of the alphabet, you get: "All your O are belong to us."

Why would some Googlies want to feature Zero Wing now? Well, it's the game's 20th anniversary.

So there. The problem is solved. The world is safe. Google has not been taken over by aliens.

Or can we really be sure of that?