Friday, June 15, 2007

Again, In Case You Ever Wondered...

Live from the North Pole

No, really, NOAA sets up a webcam each year at the North Pole.

They have to do it yearly because the North Pole is in the middle of the Arctic Ocean, and the ice moves over time - so there can never be a permanent marker installed.

I got to thinking about this when a friend from Thailand was talking about the difference between taking a cheaper flight (with a lay-over in Japan), versus a non-stop flight to visit her parents. She said the non-stop flight few over the North Pole! (The pilots even pointed out the blinking red light there).

I fired up Google Earth and sure enough going over the North Pole is the most direct route.

I had always assumed you would fly from NY to Los Angeles, to Japan, to Thailand. Maybe that was the Cold-War route, back when American craft couldn't fly over Russia.

The blinking red light at the pole must be the yearly NOAA installation. Not that any of this is earth-shaking... again, just interesting, in case you ever wondered.