CRAZY WEDNESDAY: EARTH CLOCK

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Here’s a fascinating free shockwave flash application that really appeals to the geek in me, and stimulates my curiosity. The World Clock is just one of the free applications you can download html for at Poodwaddle.com. You can embed it on your own web page or blog, and watch as it counts world population, disease, Earth’s temperature, oil produced, cars manufactured, hectares of forest destroyed and many other variables revealing the state of our planet. It’s incredibly clever, and utterly mesmerising.

Earth Clock

Poodwaddle aims to be a customisable home page, similar to iGoogle, but with some definitely very interesting features and lots of freebies, including a whole load of games. In my view, this is very smart marketing indeed. The strange name is sure to catch on, and the whole operation is just one man’s brainchild. As he says, “My name is Shane. This site is my brainchild, hobbie, baby, headache, and family run business. I have no staff or office. I don’t even own a good suit. I am just a solo lunatic dodging manual labor by punching keys for a living”.

Whilst the clock may not be totally accurate – and the oil reserve data looks particularly suss – it takes its baseline information from checkable sources. These include the CIA World Factbook, the World Health Organization, the National Wildlife Federation, Avert and the US Census Bureau. From these baselines, it makes a best estimate of the current figure. If it does nothing other than stimulate enquiry, then I think it is still doing a good job. Watching the figures tick around certainly gets my braincells whirring, and it’s likely to make me go and look at the background to a lot of them.

Amanda

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