I recall roughly around 1997 when i first attempted to get my Flight Simulator logged on & fly with other people around the world.  Somehow the real-time aspect held more gravity when flying around faithful renderings of landscapes & somewhat accurate reproductions of meatspace urban centers.  I banged right then onto a prescient posibility.

If my Flight Simulator could receive so many packets of data representing the other guy’s actions in HIS Flight Simulator, then why couldnt it tap into the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) or any other National Weather data warehouse and get all that information?

Think of damn-near real-time hops to circle whatever hurricane is sweeping the south.  Or a tornado.  What about a volcano?  Or any damned weather pattern or earth based phenomenon of interest. 

Even something as mundane as trans-oceanic shipping lanes could be compelling in their own way when you realize the digital ship your buzzing 1242 south-southwest of Honolulu could very well be within 30m of its actual location in meatspace.

Sure the locations of these artifacts could be parsed in real-time, but all these in-world objects would need to be rendered in real-time.  But i’m figgering that if the data warehouse has the position of the ship, it knows the name, owner, size, etc.  From that, its simply an additional call to ?? database to obtain rudimentary schematics based on the class or manufacturer or year-built.

Why stop there?  And why limit this to flying around within a game? 

When everyone & every thing they have is fitted with a GPS signal, then therefore the locations of these in-world items is ubiquitiously known.  Some genius out there is going to found the company that wrote the code that renders all of that data into a display.  Slap a silly avatar on all your friends.  Obtain 3D models of every building in the city they’re walking around.  Gather data (anonymously of course) from every vehicle that passes them, and render them doing so.  Throw in the aforementioned HD doplar weather data.  Throw in the exact time of day to generate proper shadow casts and ray tracing (for known surfaces).  Throw that all into an intuitive UI and let users put the camera where ever they want

Over ten years on, this door hasnt begun to close.

my JPL hum

I read this about the TAOS HUM.  Got me recalling something from my past which is very much like these hums heard/felt thru-out the Earth.

It was Spring 1995, my first as a resident of Los Angeles, and i was eager to pit my Tucson-bred penchant for stoney hikes with the urban-nature wonderland of the Santa Monica Mountains.  It was only a month earlier that Phil had introduced me to a mine-shaft set a 1000 feet or so at the back of a mountainside cave.  It was drip-filled with Evian-clear water, and i was deeply fascinated.  Like a boy discovering anything patently dangerous, all i could think about thereafter was to return to it & play with it.

So the next moment i had free was a Friday off early.  Parking the old green Jetta at the top of Altadena @ the gates of NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory, i spindelled my way up a fireroad.  My topo’s told me this road would drop my into the canyon where Phil had shown me the cave.  i had a backpack full of rope, my scuba lights, and a fair amount of weed.

As i headed up though, my attention was repeatedly taken by the vantage of a Los Angeles basin in late afternoon.  It was the magic hour, and from that altitude, i saw the whole of downtown unfold & twinkle into west side & the coast.  Stopping repeatedly to gawk at this, it was with some prescient wisdom that i decided to cancel the remainder of the trek, which was almost certainly going to have me hiking down & into a new canyon by night, perhaps sleeping there.

So after collapsing on a ridge & finishing dinner opposite the sunset, i witnessed something down below in the sprawling JPL complex; something so profound to me at the time, that i’m not sure merely explaining it does it justice.

There were these massive round structures, 2 of them, tight next to each other, with some metal infrastructure & piping in the center between them.  Slightly rounded at their tops, they looked easily to be the size of any of the big petro tanks in Point Richmond, but only about 10-15 feet tall.  I thought they were water storage tanks.

It all started when rotating saftey lights lit up on top of and all around the structures.  The faintest sound of a human voice over multiple PA.  Then, at the center of the structures, an abnormally bright set of lights started on, then off.  On, then off.  With a slow & even rhythm, these lights were steady for 10 beats, faster for 10, quite rapid for another 10, then solid on.  This cadence of lights was the visual warning cue of an approaching event, not unlike the self-timers on our cameras.  Then the lights went out.

Then the hum.  It was a frequency far lower then anything i’d heard before or since.  It was felt far more then it was heard.  It was coming from the earth.  It was coming from deep within.  And its proximity to the rhythmic sequence of warning lights down @ JPL was undeniable.  Barely audible; one of those sounds you think you hear, but somehow only confirmed by cocking your head or shifting & freezing your body for a few moments.    

But it was there; This was happening.  It was unmistakable once i allowed myself to accept that it was a concrete & constant hum.  And within about 30 seconds, the low rumble began to fade.  Once gone & confirmed silent, i was at once struck with the realization that this was clearly an experiment being conducted by the geeks down at JPL. 

But what?

Are the hums people hear thru-out the world also the result of deep-earth experiments?