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Who Has Seen the Wind?
It was one those weirdly windy days when trees whip around like headbangers and buildings rattle in a way that reminds you that they are just buildings. We were walking down the street, hair striping our views, when my daughter said grumpily, "Mama, make that wind stop!" And as I heard myself explaining why I didn't actually control the weather, I had the thought, "And thank goodness for that."
There's nothing like the wind to remind us of how little about the world we actually do control. It can be heart-stoppingly lovely, as when a spring breeze releases a rain shower of petals from a blooming cherry blossom tree. And, as we've seen all too much lately, it can be catastrophic, wreaking havoc on human lives -- from last year's tsunami in Japan to this week's tornadoes in Texas.
Is that what makes this moving Wind Map so hypnotic? I can't get enough of this thing. Just watch the patterns of the winds as they swirl around the country. After a few moments, the winds are constellations, they are whorls on a tree stump, they are lines on a palm. (Zoom in!) Zoning out to the Wind Map makes you think about how the wind doesn't seem to pay any attention to our clever partitions (red state, blue state, any state at all), makes you consider how little -- yes, it's scary sometimes, and yes, it's wonderful sometimes -- we really control.
It's Blue O'Clock. Do You Know Where You Are?
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