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Mention again of the great night image of the earth combined with Stephan’s bringing up the Mac cult, of which I am proudly a long-time member, leads me to mention this great way of decorating your desktop:

It’s EarthDesk available from TimePalette. And, yes, it updates as you go through the day correctly indicating where it’s day, where it’s night, where the moon is shining and, of course, where the lights are on. Did I mention it’s only available on the Mac? [smug mode]

There’s so much that is fun about the image of the earth at night, like picking out the Nile by all the lights along it, picking out the Trans-Siberian Railway similarly. Perhaps most instructive of all, the stark line between darkness in Orwellian North Korea and bright lights in capitalist South Korea:

7:30 pm on October 2, 2003