Today I was cleaning up a bit in the bedroom and came upon some old National Geographics. I pulled a couple aside to show Superboy later and out fell a map- "The Earth at Night." Modgirl was there and immediately seized upon it. "Mom, this is such a cool map! I used to have this map. It shows all the lights and what they're from-check this out!"
So we did.
She and I sat on my bed and looked at this map for about a half hour-oohing and ahhing at the patterns of lights,"That must be the Indus River", trying to figure out what was where, "is that Hispaniola or Puerto Rico?", discussing why some areas were so bright and others so dark, turning it over to the regular world map to figure out what those little islands to the East of Madagascar were, and giggling at some of the names (Djibouti was a big hit)...
Big Brother heard all the commotion, came in and got into the act. Another half hour-"What are all the red lights? (natural gas burn-off). Why do they burn it off? Why can't they ship it to us? How do you ship natural gas, anyway? South Florida is like one continuous city, so is the north-east. That must be Phoenix, remember when we flew over it on the way to Alaska? Hey, you can see each city in Alaska-that's Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Barrow! Hey, there's Seward! I love that town. Why is Greenland mostly ice and Iceland mostly green? You know, Greenland isn't really that big. Iceland is splitting in two..."
And we haven't even started school yet!