Aerial Exploration: Toronto to San Francisco

After spending a few days in Montreal in early 2011, I connected through Toronto on my way back home to California. For once, I had a good window seat and the center of the country was not covered with clouds. We flew over the Great Lakes -- Michigan and Superior -- and then southwest toward San Francisco. Because we flew west into the sun, I had enough daylight to take pictures from start to finish. If you click on the photo to the right, you can see Toronto's most prominent features -- Read more [...]
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Bucket List: International Travel

When I was single and had only just started traveling internationally, I made this list of "20 Things to Do In the World before I Die" with the help of a friend. I feel privileged to have checked off even a few of the items on the list. As for the others, it's still exciting to dream of future travels to exotic places. What would you add to the list -- either as a future wish or past memory? Watch the sunset from the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Drink Vodka with a Russian in Moscow. Read more [...]
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Earth at Night

I am a big fan of NASA's Visible Earth image showing the world at night. The image above from Oct 2012 is actually a composite of cloud-free, nighttime satellite images stitched together to show one clear view of the earth at night. The images are captured by Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite. The lights show major metropolitan areas -- but it would be a mistake to think that the lights are equal to population distribution. For example, there are a lot of people living in Africa Read more [...]
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Earth from Russian Satellite

Thanks to the Russian weather satellite, Elektro-L,  we now have the highest resolution single image of the earth to date provide by the Russian Space Research Agency's Research Center for Earth Operative Monitoring. NASA has produced beautiful "Blue Marble" images of the earth by stitching together different photographs. The Elektro-L,22,000 miles above the equator, can take a single 121 MB picture of the whole earth every 30 minutes. Because the Elektro-L is geostationary, in a fixed position Read more [...]
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Bucket List: 20 Must See Sights in the USA

America is a big country with many beautiful things to see. Every American has a preference for their favorite locations  -- but if you met someone from a foreign country and they asked you what 20 sights are "must see" in the United States, what would be on your list? Below is my list. It also serves nicely as a 'bucket list' of USA destinations to visit in your lifetime. What did I forget? Leave me a comment and let me know. New York City. See the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Read more [...]
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Aerial Exploration: LAX to SFO

Flew from LAX to SFO (almost a year ago now). Even though I was on the wrong side of the plane --  always better to be on the side opposite the sun and not staring into it -- the images came out pretty good with a little help from Photoshop. Channel Islands of California Google Maps Wikipedia The Channel Islands are located just off the cost of southern California and consist of eight islands: Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rose, San Miguel, Santa Barbara, San Nicolas, Santa Catalina and San Read more [...]
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United States Wind Map

OK, I'm a sucker for visual maps and this one is fantastic. Surface wind data from the National Digital Forecast Database was used to animate the wind patterns across North America (or at least the lower 48 of the USA). The still on the right doesn't do justice to the data so you really need to click on the link below to watch the animation. When you get there, check out the gallery to view different days and different wind patterns. Having grown up in New Read more [...]
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Aerial Exploration: JFK to LAX

I traveled to Europe for a week but with clouds everywhere and a lot of night flying I had no aerial photos to show for the trip. If I hadn't made the mistake of connecting through New York's JFK, I wouldn't have a blog entry for this trip. It's never good when you are traveling toward New York City and thanks to horribly overcast conditions end up in Boston to get more fuel. By the time I reached New York, my connection was long gone. Unlike Lufthansa two months earlier, America Airlines Read more [...]
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Nonsensical Blog Comments

When I started writing this blog, my plan was to build up some content before sharing the link with anyone. I was surprised to see comments start to roll in almost immediately. My 'instant fans' were in fact instant 'spam.' Comment spam is a common occurrence in blogs with spammers attempting to push out as many links to their products/services as possible. WordPress, the software I chose to power my blog, has some built-in spam protection, but I wasn't taking full advantage of that protection. Read more [...]
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Aerial Exploration: Zurich to SFO

Another European trip. Five countries in five days which is a little more exciting in the winter. Not the good exciting. More of a Russian roulette with weather delays serving as the bullets. SFO to Lyon, France to Munich, Germany to Budapest, Hungary to Florence, Italy. My luck ran out on the way to Dusseldorf when I got stuck in Frankfurt due to weather. Got to love Lufthansa though. It was a weather delay, but they put everyone up in hotels, paid for my taxi and gave me a food voucher. U.S.-based Read more [...]
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