There's nothing quite like the cloud formations one can see from an airplane window.
Note: Has the EXPLORE algorithm been changed? I had a total of 517 pics that had been in Explore, and 50 were currently in. I had been at the number 50 since Oct 2010. Since then I've had many popular shots, but never got off of 50 permanent in Explore. With this photo getting in, now I have 51... Have the limits for how many permanent photos you can have in Explore changed? Could just be a coincidence, maybe Explore competition has gotten even tighter, but as a statistician I take note of these things...
UPDATE: Thanks for all the comments and faves... believe me, I gasped when I saw this, I knew it was an epic photo opp. Odd thing is I had literally just jolted out of a nap, and there it was.
I can tell from the comments that my bit about Explore may need more explanation. No gang, I don't care about getting in Explore except so much as it can get you a lot more exposure... no my interest is a statistician. To me, Explore is based on a mathematical algorithm, and all I can do is observe and guess what's in the black box. As I've mentioned earlier, one can start with Flickr's patents, which link to its "interestingness" calculation is made. I talk about the Explore algorithm here.
In sum, interestingness = f(views, comments, faves, notes, galleries,
and groups), and
Explore ranking = f(interestingness, other stuff)
The question has been, what's that "other stuff"? One variable I think is the number of photos you currently (or "permanently") you have in Explore. My hypothesis is that there has been a limit of 50 photos you can have in Explore. And with this observation, I now hypothesize that limit has been raised.
Oh Explore gnomes, show me a sign, throw me a bone, am I right?
As it turns out I am probably wrong in my reasoning above. A close contact who is in Explore all the time told me he thought Explore went to "sampling" users--that you can only get into Explore for a certain amount of time during each year. This makes sense, explains the evidence, and is actually a more elegant and fair solution.