Monday, May 2, 2011

The Little Black Dot that Proved to be Very Important

One of the things I like about cable news is the "breaking news" aspect.  Because they are on 24/7 they are better equipped to take on special news situations than network TV.  It was very exciting to watch as the news rolled in last night.  I was fascinated that while Geraldo was speculating that the Obama announcement involved Libya, CNN was taking great care not to speculate, all the while George Stephanopolous was zooming his way to ABC news headquarters and NBC was trying to figure out how to activate Brian Williams.  Looks like Katie Couric missed out on her best opportunity to have a sound byte live on.

While it took all the energy I could muster to stay awake, I was excited about finding out where he has been hiding.  Many times I've thought as I scan a map or google earth that I might be looking at the hiding place.

I never would have guessed it to be right in the burbs of Abbottabad (once I learned where it was).   Most conspiracy theories drive me nuts (this morning on the radio someone said that Obama made the announcement when he did to interrupt "The Apprentice") but Pakistan looks pretty bad in this situation.  The compound is too close to the central Pakistan Government area for comfort.  It's as if we were looking for a DC area celebrity and couldn't find him for ten years, only to discover he was hiding in the luxury suites at Camden Yards in Baltimore.   Add to this the proximity of the residence to a Pakistani military compound and the Google Earth imagery (and of course the fact that nobody thought this giant high security compound wasn't worth investigating) and, like I said, Pakistan looks bad.

The little black dot of Abbottabad just north of Islamabad seems awfully important today.

I have been spending some time over the last two weeks attempting to become more proficient at Google Sketchup.  After familiarizing myself with how not to do things, I went back and watched a couple dozen videos on youtube.  I found Aiden to be particularly helpful, in addition to the Google tutorials.

So I went and grabbed an image of the reported compound and through together a quick sketch model in about a minute. 
And just like that - a recreation of a place which has proved to be much more important than anyone could have imagined.

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