Cool Toys Pic of the day – Astro_Clay

This was WAY too much fun not to share, and had so many oddball
synchronicities it just makes my head spin. Let me step through this.

Picture 1:
A tweet by Astro_Clay
“Clay’s “Pic of the Day:” Today a bit tougher…a beautiful tapestry
of color…but where? Go for it Tweep geogra http://twitpic.com/2ysnkr

So I click through, thinking if it is a pic of the day, it will be
like my pics of the day, right? Food, friends, a restaurant/workplace
or other social space you went by. Right? Ah, but no. This is from an
astronaut. Where do astronauts spend their days? Well, if they are
lucky, NOT ON EARTH. See next image.

Picture 2:
The TwitPic by Astro_Clay
http://twitpic.com/2ysnkr

So what is the picture of? EARTH. Duh. /headsmack
So what’s going on? Did he, what, post this from outer space? Did he
take this pic actually today? My mind is getting a tad overexcited at
this point, but I don’t jump to conclusions, but instead dig a little
deeper. Read the comments. 😉 This is a puzzle, a game. He posts a pic
of the earth from outer space, and the game for his Twitter audience
is not “Where on Earth is Waldo?” but simply, “Where on Earth?”

Picture 3:
TwitPic: Astro_Clay
http://twitpic.com/photos/Astro_Clay

He posts the pic, let’s folk guess for a day, then posts the answer,
and often a new pic. See this list? This isn’t new, this is something
he’s been doing for a while, and he typically has over a thousand folk
each day viewing and trying to guess or deduce where the daily image
is from. What an utterly amazing concept. So simple, so educational,
and so engaging. Hey! That would make a great acronym — SEE: Simple,
Educational, Engaging.

Picture 4:
Earth Observatory: Bechar Basin, Algeria:
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=7934

One of the comments mentions that Clay’s images are used by experts to
do research and other work. He (PC01010) gives a link. Ah, this
explains a lot. The image is from 2007, when Clay was hanging out on
the International Space Station. Really. I can prove it. Meanwhile,
the Earth Observatory cleaned up version of the image explains which
team took it, when and where, all that.

Picture 5:
The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth:
http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/

The Earth Observatory image also linked to the original.
http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/scripts/sseop/photo.pl?mission=ISS015&roll=E&frame=15323

Looks familiar, doesn’t it? I was so delighted to discover the Gateway
to Astronaut Photography of Earth. A mouthful, but what a fun idea!

Picture 6:
NASA: Missions: International Space Station: Expedition 15:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition15/index.html

See? I said I could prove Clay had been hanging out on the ISS. The
Earth Observatory page linked to this one also.

Further digging showed that other astronauts are also back here on
earth sharing images from their days off Earth, and others have also
made similar kinds of games out of them. I think the gaming is such a
wonderful idea.

I thought about showing more than one astronaut doing this, but
decided against it. Why? Lots of reasons! All that synchronicity I
mentioned earlier.

Clay ANDERSON? Hello, possibly a long lost relative of some sort. His
hometown is Omaha (I have relatives there). He got his Masters degree
at Iowa State (Go, Cyclones!), and I am an alum there also. My degree
from ISU is partly music composition / vocal performance / piano, and
guess what? Clay likes those, too. What a small small world, even if
the picture didn’t already make that very clear.

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