Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Stumbling into Day 2 of 90

Today I stumbled up the World Sunlight Map web page. I was so close to re-Stumbling but I promised in my Day 1 post (which should have been Day 2 but whatever . . .) that I would write about whatever I happened upon. No matter what. Although I had to have some exceptions, I am a lawyer after all. We are trained to create loopholes. But this particular site didn't fall into any of my loop holes. It's just that, well, there's not much to it and I didn't immediately think of something to say about it. That's the point of this exercise though. To find something to write about pretty much anything that happens along.

This site shows you the current sunlight and cloud cover across the entire world. It's like your own personal global nanny-cam. Except that you can't see if someone is watching soap operas with your kid instead of playing those Baby Einstein videos you bought. You can see where in the world it is day and where it is night. I guess it's kind of cool but is there any practical use for it? I guess I expect "scientific" websites to have a point. Who's the intended audience for this site? When I last looked at the site a minute ago, it looked like night was just beginning to fall on the east coast of South America. Now what? What do I do with that information? How does that help anyone?

Before I started thinking about this, I would have said that I don't think all websites need to be practical or useful. But I've changed my mind. It seems to me that a website taking up bandwidth on the superhighway should have a point. Even websites that are purely there for entertainment at least entertain (or try to). Even this blog has a point which is to allow me to write all kinds of stuff - good, bad and god awful - in the hopes that someone will read it and connect to it. And it's to record my thoughts and experiences in case my kids are ever interested in seeing a different side of their mom. But why would someone use bandwidth to show what parts of the earth are covered in darkness and clouds? Maybe I'm missing the point. It wouldn't be the first time that happened . . .
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