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a wind over the world

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Oh, for a fat pipe at home. No, not a blunt green one, I mean a fat Internet pipe. I appear to have found my “killer app”: NASA World Wind. This is a program for viewing satellite imagery from different sources, and it’s all free.

Today (and yesterday) I had my laptop at work, occasionally viewing parts of the world. The way it works is: you start off with a fairly detailed globe, and zoom in on any part you like. Depending on the part of the world you’re looking at, the available detail varies, with rural or wild areas having the least detail, the USA having more, and then there’s the USGS Urban Area Orthographic data. This has some shockingly detailed images of US Cities: never mind “I can see my house”, more like “I can see your bald spot”. It also contains elevation data, and you can tilt the viewpoint to give a realistic 3D view of the scene.

There is also the “Rapid Fire MODIS” function, which lets you look up selected imagery of events, ranging from phytoplankton blooms to dust storms, fires and hurricanes. Some amazing shots, such as sand from the Sahara getting just about everywhere in that hemisphere.

Speaking of bald spots: I finally ditched the hippie look last Saturday. I have no idea what a good hairstyle for me would be, so I got something acceptable by telling the barber what I didn’t want:

  • not bald, or short-back-and-sides: I want to keep some length overall. The skinhead look appears to be “the norm” where I work, and I’m not buying it. Where’s the fun in that?
  • no hair in my eyes. I even tried gel to help with that problem, but it didn’t last, so I ended up with congealed logs of hair in my eyes;
  • no, no, no! Not a Mullet! I don’t mind losing the long back, if I avoid that particular pitfall.

The result can be called a civilized rock star look, with short “bangs”, some top, and a medium-length back. Boring, I suppose, but I can’t see it unless I look in a mirror, and it’s not often I do that.

Saturday was another of those “good days” I’ve written about before. Technically, it started on Friday evening, when I arrived home to find the camera parts I ordered, but I did the repair in daylight the next day. It was slightly fiddly, I had to use a found screw in one position (since I lost the original and none were supplied), but that was enough of a hassle to make the succesful result all-the-more satisfying. My camera is whole again, with almost no visible damage, and I don’t have to remove half the bottom screws to replace the batteries any more.

What do you do with a good mood? You ride it over normally unpleasant tasks, like housekeeping, so I got out the vacuum cleaner, etcetera. Then shopping, a meeting with friends for drinks, then finally a late movie: Kikujiro. Slow, but rewarding: I ended up recording it, and watching the last third the next day. I had to call it a day, and a Day it certainly was, with a capital D.

Written by brian t

May 31, 2005 at 5:35 pm

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