Google Earth 5 + Flight Sim Easter Egg = Out-of-this-world Flying

Google released version 5 of its world exploring product Google Earth [Google] yesterday. In this newest version, among other things [Google], they released new imagery of the Earth's oceans and an interface allowing you to survey Mars.

In an earlier version of Google Earth, the developers hid a special Flight Simulator feature. I've found it thrilling to be able to fly above the satellite imagery of Google Earth, it adds a certain flare of reality which is sometimes lacking in other simulators.

With the release of Google Earth 5, and its new features, I suddenly had an itch I needed to scratch... How would the Flight Sim interact with these new features?

First, I decided to hop on over to LAX and see how my plane would interact with the newly added water. After flying over to deeper waters in the Pacific, I made a nose dive with the plane. The blue of the ocean was getting closer and closer. Would I crash (as can happen on land)? The moment of truth! No crash. I was underwater. I pulled up and turned about. I could no longer see the sky above me, just the surface of the ocean.

Next, I selected the "Mars" view in Google Earth.... The screen changed, bringing the red planet into view. Zooming in on to its surface, I again started up the Flight Sim. There I was cruising above the Martian landscape. Awesome.

Google Earth 5 + Flight Sim Easter Egg = Plane + Submarine + Spaceship

Thank you, Google Earth Dev Team!

If you'd like to have your own Flight Sim fun in Google Earth, here's the secret: Press Crtl+Alt+A repeatedly until the Flight Sim selection window pops up. Once it does, you'll have the Flight Sim option in your Tools menu from then on. Enjoy!


Groundhog Day 2009

As another Groundhog Day draws to a close, I urge you to take a deep breath as you reflect on the experiences of Life. In these difficult times, it is easy to feel that Winter is never-ending and Spring will always be one more day further away. Remember, though, that it is the warmth from within which helps us to withstand the cold; and if you bundle yourself tightly against the howling winds, sharing your warmth with those around you, you will survive the seemingly endless Winter night.

And when that Spring morning finally comes, you will see that the day has been made brighter by its contrast to the harsh darkness of Winter; and the glow of the sun will feel even warmer as you share in it with those who you hold most dear.

Happy Groundhog Day!