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The Sciences

Sonoma XP

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitApril 17, 2009 12:22 AM


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I found out something of personal interest to me, though many of you probably won't care. Reading Damn Cool Pics, one of my more favorite non-science/skeptic blogs, I found out that the the Windows XP background of the too-green hill -- the one called Bliss -- is a real place, and it's in Sonoma County, California not far from where I used to live.


I know, big deal, right? But the thing is, I used to drive past that hill all the time! DCP links to the hill on Google Maps, and when I zoomed out I realized I used to drive past it to get to Napa, or to take the back way to Vallejo and Sacramento. I must have blown past it dozens of times and never once noticed it. I like to notice things; it's part of being an amateur (and observational) astronomer. You never know what you might see... and I've seen really weird stuff in my time. I drive a lot, and I see a lot. But I've seen the XP picture about a billion times too, yet never noticed the real thing, less than 100 meters outside my passenger window. What else have I missed? What do we all miss?

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