For a long time now I've wanted to put together a Google Chocolate Checkout example but didn't have a good enough excuse. This morning I realized that it would be an easy way to sell photographs from a gallery, and wouldn't you know it, I happened to have a gallery of photographs I wanted to sell. Surf on over to Tiny Planets to see them in all their glory, then come back and I'll explain what they are.
When I was a kid I read the Little Prince and loved the idea of having my own little planet. My little volcano, a broom, a rose under a glass dome, those were all the things I'd need for real happiness. I never thought about things like gravity or orbital velocity or tidal forces, just pure unadulterated circumambulation.
Recently I calculated that if the entire Earth and everything on it except chocolate were to disappear, you'd be left with a sphere about the size of the Little Prince's tiny planet. How cool would that be? I mean, other than how you'd try to walk and just float off, or how you'd probably just freeze to death well before you ever got the chance to walk.
Then I discovered the world (pun intended) of Tiny Planets.
You take a 360 degree panorama of a good spot, stitch it all together and warp it around itself until the planet is bounded by the panoramic horizon so no matter which way you hold it it's the right way up. What you get is a snapshot of not just a moment in time, but an entire place. If you stand in the right spot at the right time, you can create a world made entirely of chocolate.
Now all I need to do is figure out a way to get the Earth and everything on it except chocolate to disappear. Meanwhile, you'll have to settle for these Tiny Planets instead.