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Nearly Christmas

I finished present wrapping at 9:30 pm, rather late. But though today was off from work, it filled itself with errands: oil change, bank, drugstore, grocery store, dinner-making. A little time out here and there to read the newspaper (yes, we still read a daily newspaper), check e-mail and online news and friends' columns, and, after a fun discussion with my son, a change to the computer's wallpaper. We were talking of Christmas lights and wondering how much that increased the brightness of the earthlights as seen from space, and then were searching for the NASA photos we'd seen before. He pointed out the clear separation of North and South Korea, and the way lights marked the Nile, and I pointed out the TransSiberian railway. It's a beautiful picture, very wintry feeling, very appropriate to the season, and so it's now our wallpaper. The page is here:

http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/view_rec.php?id=1438

Don't be fooled by the thumbnail of Europe; the links show all of Earth. The "gif" ones are black and white and you can't tell absense of human lighting from ocean. The 2400 x 1200 jpeg is the one we used.