The 12 Settings of GMail’s Tea House Theme

In ancient China there used to be the concept of 时辰 (Shi Chen), each lasting 2 hours long, to make up the day. They name these “bi-hours” using the 12 zodiac animals.

Here’s an illustration of that using Gmail’s tea house theme 🙂

5am – 7am: Rabbit

7am – 9am: Dragon

9am – 11am: Snake

11am – 1pm: Horse

1pm – 3pm: Goat

3pm – 5pm: Monkey

5pm – 7pm: Chicken

7pm – 9pm: Dog

9pm – 11pm: Pig

11pm – 1am: Mouse

1am – 3am: Cow

3am – 5am: Tiger

Here’s a video of an earlier incarnation of this theme for iGoogle.

[kml_flashembed movie=”” height=”355″ width=”425″ /]

Images © Google 2008

Updates: There are more!

3:14am: Probably a play on the number PI (π)
Thanks to Knux The Fox (see comments)

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28 Responses

  1. Honestly, I love the Google theme at their first launched of the iGoogle. It impressed me even with a simple interface as compare to other. 😉

  2. There are also interproximal scenes which happen during special times. I’ve found one thanks to a tip from someone on youtube. It’s 314am [img][/img]

    If anyone finds any more, please let me know.

  3. times I’ve confirmed so far, and you can put those times in the url in place of 314am to see the image. It’s 2am, 314am, 4am, 6am, 8am, 10am, 2pm, 4pm, 6pm, 8pm, and 10pm. There must be different codes for noon and midnight, so I’ll play around with it.

  4. Noon and midnight are simply “noon” and “midnight” in the time space. So, there is a scene every 2 hours on the hour, but the special scene at 2:14am Central time, though the code reads 314am unless it’s a glitch and someone put it as 2:14am by mistake instead of an hour later.

    after a co-worker asking about my new iGoogle theme,(teahouse fox) I have fallen in love with the little kitsune. After many hours of-Googling- I found the creator (MEOMI @ Flickr) and my search ’twas complete-except for a complete set of Gmail screenshots. You have made my day-THANKYOU!!
    Now all we need is a backstory from the author……

  6. Hello,
    Could I use your images to make a screen-saver. With due acknowledgements of course.
    Best regards and many thanks,
    p.s. You could mail me your answer.

  7. Oh, Thanks. I’ve searched these scenes of the tea house thema. I love it. Can I use these scenes on my blog? If you wouldn’t like it, please let me know.

  8. Thank you for the little fox.

    Maybe you can help me finding the original drawer, and maybe tell me why are there just trees (about 1 second) when updating the iGoogle page.

    And is there a difference between your version of the theme and mine (in France)? Maybe because your is the Asian one.

    I would be grateful for your answer, feel free to answer on my mail. Thanks. See you.

  9. Kaki, I don’t know the original artist. It’s likely that the “just trees” you’re seeing are repeated “background images” while the main picture on the left (which is larger) is loading.

    Post the French version :o) and share the link – merci!

  10. to mmeacham Said in December 31st, 2010

    At 3:14 am those are chinese vampires.

    They are usually controlled by a Taoist priest (fox in the yellow) who makes them follow him by ringing a bell. (This only works when there is a special spell attached to their foreheads, else they just go wild and hop about and attack people. (I think this particular Taoist priest is nervous because his vampire/zombies got away.)

  11. Just noticed (6am) a greedy tortoise, chomping away on the pink flowers the fox has in the C-shaped garden rockery while he sleeps! 😮

  12. Actually the “Chicken” scene was replaced with the “Rabbit” scene. Otherwise awesome

    I really want to see the 3:14 scene for myself, tho.

  13. GMail is still to this day displaying like 4 of them at various stages..I can see the sun moving! I get such a big kick out of watching the little guy but I wish all of them would still play out 🙁

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