Tuesday, December 21, 2010


From virtual eclipse viewing to running a virtual marathon

by Larry Geller

A glance out the window last night showed that Honolulu would likely be clouded over during the full lunar eclipse. Darn. (?) No, wait, everything is on the Internet these days. It’s possible to spend all one’s spare time sitting in front of a LCD monitor and never do anything else. A tube-feeding accessory is probably already in the works for release at the next consumer electronics show.So there’s probably a choice of “eclipse-cams.”

And in many places where the eclipse was visible, it was too darn cold outside anyway.

And who has the time.

So for your viewing pleasure, you can watch a time-lapse of the eclipse here. The camera taking the pictures seems to have been left on auto exposure, so the darkened moon isn’t dark. Whether that’s an advantage or not, I don’t know, but it is different from what the human eye probably saw. That’s what the Internet does, though. It defines history. Future generations will refer to this and other clips of the eclipse as actual history.

So don’t miss it. When someone asks if you saw the eclipse, you can say “yeah…”.

By 2020, going outside for anything may be passé. I’m sure we could arrange for the Honolulu Marathon to be conducted by merging the data streams of contestants running in place on their living room Wii exercise pads. Why not. With your favorite electrolytic beverage on the side table and choice of video on the screen, with tweets of your position in the crowd flashing to encourage you, there would be no need to leave home at all, and millions could participate the world over. It’s so much better to run marathons in air conditioned comfort anyway, who would ever go back to the old way?



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