On July 8, a little more than two weeks into Road Trip 2009, CNET News reporter Daniel Terdiman posted this picture, challenging readers to identify what the yellow ball is. His thought was that this might be a fun, interactive, task that could get people involved.
I didn't really intend to make it a daily Road Trip feature, but the response to the contest was huge--and stayed huge for the next three weeks as, each day, I posted a new photo and a new challenge
Of the 23 daily challenges, this one generated the most interesting responses--from nuclear radiation measuring equipment (the photo was taken in Arco, Idaho, the first town in America to ever be powered by nuclear energy), to a recycling bin, to a Cloudbuster, to a portable nuclear/electric power-generating device for military use in remote areas. No one seemed entirely sure what the answer was.
The truth was, I didn't either. (In subsequent days, I always knew what the picture was). But it turns out the yellow ball--and the other one just like it down the same block in Arco--is a former marker strung along power lines so that pilots can see the lines. A little less interesting than a portable nuclear energy-generating device, but there you have it.
Thanks to everyone who participated. And stay tuned for the Road Trip 2010 picture of the day challenge next summer. Click here for the entire Road Trip 2009 package