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Wheeee.... from Tannu Tuva (Tyva) to my own backyard to Fuji-san in fifteen minutes... I put off downloading Google Earth because I figured since I was on dialup it would be more frustrating than enlightening, but as it happens while it's a mite slow it's still a lot of fun to play with. Much has improved since I tried it out a couple of years ago on someone else's computer; for one thing when you go flying around the world looking down volcanic craters you get to see a lot more of them, plus pictures people have uploaded of them. Mostly I'm finding places I never heard of and taking a look at them, like a scientific research facility on an island in the south Atlantic, or a volcanic island near the West Coast of Africa (OK, most islands there are volcanic). Just give the globe a spin, pick a spot, and go there -- or anyway anywhere between a mile and 2,000 feet up over it anyway, since the pictures do not focus any closer. For the obvious reasons, I should imagine, not because there aren't satellites up there that can pick up a LOT more detail. Any illusion of privacy I may have maintained henceforth is probably doomed to failure. Though given that it labels the wrong house when I give it my address, maybe it's not THAT bad. :)

Ruminating on the latest discussion somewhere or other about the reinstitution of the Draft in the US, I realize that at least in the larger cities of the country it would be a lot easier this time around for folks to get off than it was previously. No need to run off to Canada, just kiss the recruiter (grin). Leastwise if they're of the same sex as the recruit. Yeah, they always refused to let gays serve, but that was when it was considered anything from a mental illness to a sign of Moral Degeneracy by most of society at large, and very few people (especially men) would consider the pretense. However nowadays, in many of the larger cities where an increasingly large portion of the country reside, it's a lot less hazardous to pretend to be Bi. (At least if you're really straight - that way you can still date the sex you prefer without giving the game away.) Of course the folks in charge will realize what's going on, but they're going to have something of a problem figuring out WHO is lying. Ask them to prove it? Er.. how (I'd kiss the next girl over to get out of being shot at)? Let them all off? That'll cut the intake way down, especially as everybody else catches on. Assume they're all lying? That puts them in the position of letting openly gay guys and gals into the service, which they really don't want to do either. In the long run, of course, they'll have to dump the prejudice and let anybody serve... but in the short run a lot of politicians will lose their jobs. Nope, I don't think we're going to see the return of Selective Service just yet. :)


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 26th, 2007 10:56 am (UTC)
Google Earth
Actually, in urban areas they DO focus to much finer detail.

I've been able to pick out my own truck in the parking lot where I work.
That only really works because my truck is a distinctive color, because the detail ISN'T fine enough to tell make and model, but it DOES resolve individual vehicles.
Jun. 26th, 2007 09:33 pm (UTC)
Re: Google Earth
I just checked my own address again, and sharpness begins to fuzz out at about 1,000 feet up. My car is parked in front of my house, like yours I can tell by color. It's more recent than the one they had a few years ago - the house across the street was remodeled in the interim. It's taken before the beginning of this year because there's an empty lot where a building is now under construction.
Jun. 26th, 2007 10:01 pm (UTC)
Re: Google Earth
Yeah; that is always fun to check-in on places where you know there is construction going on. For us, it was the Burger King up the street. For the longest time after the BK opened-up, the GE photo still showed the bulldozed lot where the Texaco station used to be.

Jun. 26th, 2007 10:57 am (UTC)
more Google Earth
IT's a useful adjunct to Mapquest, too.
Neither of them gets the target closer than about a block, but with GE you can see the buildings as well as the street names, and print out a screen capture of the approximate neighborhood.
Jun. 26th, 2007 09:36 pm (UTC)
Re: more Google Earth
Or any other mapper (I don't trust Mapquest all that much - a friend gave a party and fortunately she checked first, and MQ would've sent everybody in the wrong direction.) What I like is being able to actually SEE things like freeway offramps and parking lot entrances. Now all I need is a way to find out about the confusingly marked detour set up around the construction they started the day before I had to drive through... :(
Jun. 26th, 2007 10:06 pm (UTC)
Re: more Google Earth
And they update the photo information sooner than they update the road routing information. [pause to check] The interchange in front of my office building, if you turn on the "roads" level, still shows the old configuration of the exit ramps.

For looking up detours, you need to go to the Department of Transportation of the state. They generally have a website listing current construction zones, and frequently an 800-number to call for more details.
Jun. 28th, 2007 02:46 am (UTC)
Re: more Google Earth
Which works just fine if I think to do it before driving there. :(

Meanwhile, it remains fun to hover about 3,000 virtual feet above Groom Lake and pretend to be a flying saucer. :)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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