Watchers of Friday's opening ceremony for the London Olympics were thrown a curveball during the festivities. In addition the many athletes honored at the Olympic Stadium, a long tribute was paid to one Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Even NBC's hosts Matt Lauer, Bob Costas, and Meredith Viera seemed a little confused, jokingly asking viewers to "Google" his name.
What was the joke? Well you couldn't read Google, The Huffington Post, or any other website without Berners-Lee. Why? He's the guy who invented the World Wide Web.
The British computer scientist made a surprise appearance at the Opening Ceremony at the end of a segment called "Frankie and June Say 'Thanks Tim.'" The dance and musical number, directed by Danny Boyle, told the love story of teens Frankie and June, who are only able to reconnect after a chance encounter through technology like smartphones and social networks.
At the end of the piece, Berners-Lee was unveiled sitting at a computer that "powered" the message "This is for everyone" displayed in the stands during the ceremonies. Appropriately, he also tweeted it.
The knighted Briton first proposed the World Wide Web in 1989. According to his biography at the World Wide Web Consortium, Burns-Lee came up with the idea of a global project connecting computers through hyperlinks on the Internet while a 34-year-old working at CERN. His project was the seed that would grow into the current Web.
Watch his appearance in London below (apologies for the grainy footage).