7 of our favorite Easter eggs hidden on the Web (and your Terminal)

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It's Easter. 

You know, that one holiday with the egg-stashing chocolate bunnies. Or, depending on the version you celebrate, Jesus basically going:

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And then three days later he was all like:

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In honor of the holiday weekend, in all its incarnations, we’ve got a post for you about Easter eggs! Not the chocolate kind – although you can send those to TNW HQ if you’re feeling generous – but of the quirky hidden treats kind embedded in websites and software.

There’s a long history of Easter Eggs hidden in games, websites, music, movies and promotional material, but here are some of our favorites.

Dinosaur magic at Condé Nast

The Konami Code is a popular game cheat code that was created by Kazuhisa Hashimoto in 1986. He was developing Gradius but kept getting screwed over at how hard it was to play during testing so he created a cheat code to unlock power-ups and make test play easier.

Since then, it’s appeared in games like Metal Gear to reveal character locations and Dance Dance Revolution to unlock ‘super mode’ and hidden songs. On the Web, typing the code leads to some interesting discoveries…

Props to the folk at Condé Nast behind publications like VogueWiredGQ, and House & Gardenfor giving us dinosaurs in stylish hats.

Enter the Konami code (up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A) for the magic to appear.

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Unlock Google’s treasure trove

If Google’s good for anything, it’s good for finding out about stuff. Especially if you need to know something specific but can only come up with vague descriptions, it’s usually got your back.

But with all the billions of facts Google has access to, it’s also a treasure trove of random trivia. Type “I’m feeling curious” and Google will satisfy your inner geek. Impress your family and friends and keep up that winning pub quiz streak.

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(Google has a lot of Easter eggs. We decided to pick one lest this became “our favourite Google Easter eggs” post!)

Your Mac is really into cookies

No, it’s not JavaScript and can’t be used to track your browsing history. We’re talking real-life, flour-and-sugar type discs of chocolate-chipped goodness.

Open up Terminal and type: open /usr/share/emacs/22.1/etc/COOKIES.

Behold, three cookie recipes and some comments from people with strong opinions on cookies. As a keen baker and programmer, it also comes with one of my favorite sayings:

(Recipes are the closest thing, not involving computers,to software.)

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And WTF happened with the Fellowship in Middle Earth?

The only thing harder than resisting the temptations of the One Ring is keeping up with the chronology of the Lord of the Rings. Sure, everything’s all fine and dandy while the Fellowship’s together, but once they get disbanded and the books (or movies) start to follow about five different plot arcs, things get pretty confusing.

Not to worry, because OS X’s terminal has you covered.

Type cat /usr/share/calendar/calendar.lotr in Terminal to find out.

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Watch Star Wars in ASCII text – out now!

Well, it’s been out since 2000 and this isn’t technically an Easter egg but this is a little favourite that non-Mac users can have fun in too.

Enter telnet towel.blinkenlights.nl in Terminal and enjoy a seriously cool ASCII reshowing of Star Wars: Episode IV.

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Rube Goldberg destruction at HEMA

HEMA is a popular store in the Netherlands with outlets in other European locales like Britain and Spain. Nearly 10 years ago, they launched a new product page where you can buy things from pens to a stapler – just don’t even think about mousing over that blue cup…

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A final reminder to always view the source

Some websites like the Oatmeal simply like to share ASCII art:

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Other websites like Flickr, show off their ASCII art with a link to their vacancies page:

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A few other websites with hidden messages or art:

Kanye West‘s website may be sparse but the source code has occasionally changing art.

For some generic art pieces, Coco-Cola Company and Kit Kat are pretty nice.

And Hillary Clinton has hired some savvy developers for her campaign website. (We visited all the current presidential candidates’ websites but Hillary’s was the only one, at time of writing, that had a source code message.)

We won’t spoil the surprise but there are a few Easter eggs hidden on The Next Web’s site – have you found any?

This post was brought to you by our friends over at Index.co.

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