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 Post subject: Re: In the news
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:28 pm 
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I routinely espouse the philosophy that the Earth is flat. I do so regularly on Facebook. In fact, I always take that position whenever the question comes up. I mean, it's obvious, isn't it?

The thing I really do - genuinely - admire about the idea of arguing that the Earth is flat, is that it is a fantastic intellectual exercise. It requires huge mental agility and imagination, in the face of everything stacked against the idea, to keep arguing that the Earth is, indeed, flat. It's not good enough to repeatedly say so; one should be able to reason, preferably with supporting evidence, that the Earth is flat.

Try it. It's a genuine challenge.

:)

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 Post subject: Re: In the news
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:36 pm 
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Gaah. Too lazy.

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 Post subject: Re: In the news
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:42 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
Gaah. Too lazy.

See? That's the trouble. That's why so many people believe all this fake news that the Earth is round, when it's clear just by looking that it's flat.

:D

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 Post subject: Re: In the news
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 6:20 pm 
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Here, you take the lead. Maybe you can inspire me.

"Atmosflat", fercryinoutloud... way too much duct tape. He should call it the atmostrome or similar instead.

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 Post subject: Re: In the news
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 6:24 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
"Atmosflat", fercryinoutloud...


I thought that was witty.

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 Post subject: Re: In the news
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 6:34 pm 
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s1m0n wrote:
Nanohedron wrote:
"Atmosflat", fercryinoutloud...

I thought that was witty.

Oh, it is, all right. Cartoon-style witty, just like the rest of the whole bombastic show. It's hilarious, really, and I do love it. But then I'd have to give him credit for having the wit it takes for such bizarre theater rather than for being a full-on loon willing to risk his life. And it's because of that last bit that until I see enough evidence to the contrary, TBH I'm just not quite ready to do that yet. I'm never surprised at how crazy people can be, although I admit this one's capital-S Special, so you do make a case. Give me time.

I really do want him to launch. Not that he should get hurt, of course, but just to see him properly put the cherry on top. I picture him popping into the sky like a champagne cork, and probably staying up just as long. Hope the joyous moment goes to YouTube. Maybe I'll send him bouquets with cards signed, "From an Adoring Round-Earther Fan."

You say he's done publicity stuff like this before, s1m0n. Do you know this for sure?

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 Post subject: Re: In the news
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:25 pm 
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Okay, Ben, try this one on for size: Boffins in the news say our equator has shrunk. True story. We're nowhere even near to looking like an 8, of course, but apparently there will still be a marked increase in tectonic disturbances like earthquakes and volcanic activity, especially in Equatorial zones (around the world, I dare say), because of it.

Plenty of fodder, I should think, to gyrate your mentations over. How say you?

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 Post subject: Re: In the news
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:50 pm 
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benhall.1 wrote:
I routinely espouse the philosophy that the Earth is flat.


On a small scale, of course, you're absolutely right.

One way to get an absolutely flat reference surface is to use water. If you let it sit quietly long enough, it will be flat and level. This was used for a hundred years or so when optical surface measurement (interferometry) was new. A friend and colleague, around 20 years ago, tried to use this technique with a surface maybe 300 mm across. The measurements had progressed to the point where he said he wasn't measuring a perfect flat, he was measuring the curvature of the earth.

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 Post subject: Re: In the news
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:53 pm 
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That's a good one, all right. C'mon, Ben. :poke: :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: In the news
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:46 pm 
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chas wrote:
benhall.1 wrote:
I routinely espouse the philosophy that the Earth is flat.


On a small scale, of course, you're absolutely right.

One way to get an absolutely flat reference surface is to use water. If you let it sit quietly long enough, it will be flat and level. This was used for a hundred years or so when optical surface measurement (interferometry) was new. A friend and colleague, around 20 years ago, tried to use this technique with a surface maybe 300 mm across. The measurements had progressed to the point where he said he wasn't measuring a perfect flat, he was measuring the curvature of the earth.


Scientists at the Greenwich Observatory in London used this method - only with a pool of mercury* rather than water - as their horizon when calculating the location of the prime meridian. There's a monument there today, with an iron (I think) line inlaid in the pavement showing the location. Interestingly, it's off by 100 yards from what present day visitor's GPSs show as 0° long. The explanation is that back in the 19th C when the experiment was being conducted, the presence nearby of a large mass was just enough to alter gravity locally and throw the instrument off, slightly.

Here’s Why The Greenwich Prime Meridian Is Actually In The Wrong Place

*In theory, a pool of mercury, at rest, makes a perfectly horizontal mirror.

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 Post subject: Re: In the news
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:16 am 
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s1m0n wrote:
chas wrote:
Scientists at the Greenwich Observatory in London used this method - only with a pool of mercury* rather than water - as their horizon when calculating the location of the prime meridian. There's a monument there today, with an iron (I think) line inlaid in the pavement showing the location. Interestingly, it's off by 100 yards from what present day visitor's GPSs show as 0° long. The explanation is that back in the 19th C when the experiment was being conducted, the presence nearby of a large mass was just enough to alter gravity locally and throw the instrument off, slightly.

Here’s Why The Greenwich Prime Meridian Is Actually In The Wrong Place

*In theory, a pool of mercury, at rest, makes a perfectly horizontal mirror.

I must admit, I don't understand this at all. As the article points out, the position of the Meridian line is entirely arbitrary, so how can it possibly be in the wrong place? It could be anywhere. :-?

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 Post subject: Re: In the news
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:33 am 
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Nanohedron wrote:
Okay, Ben, try this one on for size: Boffins in the news say our equator has shrunk. True story. We're nowhere even near to looking like an 8, of course, but apparently there will still be a marked increase in tectonic disturbances like earthquakes and volcanic activity, especially in Equatorial zones (around the world, I dare say), because of it.

Plenty of fodder, I should think, to gyrate your mentations over. How say you?

That one's easy. The equator is, of course, halfway between the centre of the disc (what rounders call "The North Pole") and the ice wall. I suppose it may well be shrinking. Now, that could be the whole disc shrinking (and who doesn't think the world is getting smaller these days?) or possibly a sort of crinkle in the disc. That would almost certainly cause disturbances such as earthquakes etc.
chas wrote:
benhall.1 wrote:
I routinely espouse the philosophy that the Earth is flat.


On a small scale, of course, you're absolutely right.

One way to get an absolutely flat reference surface is to use water. If you let it sit quietly long enough, it will be flat and level. This was used for a hundred years or so when optical surface measurement (interferometry) was new. A friend and colleague, around 20 years ago, tried to use this technique with a surface maybe 300 mm across. The measurements had progressed to the point where he said he wasn't measuring a perfect flat, he was measuring the curvature of the earth.

If you measure almost any body of water, there will of course, be curvature. Measuring a pool of water 300mm across is tricky. It's a bit small, really. And the edges will either curve upwards or, depending on what is holding the liquid, possibly downwards if the water is sitting on a surface - in the form of a drop, for instance.

But proper scientific people have proved that water is actually flat. You've heard of The Bedford Level Experiment have you?



(I must admit, I'm not the best at this sort of argument yet. I probably need to practise more. :D )

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 Post subject: Re: In the news
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:16 am 
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benhall.1 wrote:
I must admit, I don't understand this at all. As the article points out, the position of the Meridian line is entirely arbitrary, so how can it possibly be in the wrong place? It could be anywhere. :-?


The prime meridian was defined mathematically (or astronomically) a century before it was located physically. The earliest definition was about navigation, so it provided ships with a way to fix their position dependant on the location of various stars, relative to the horizon at various times. At sea, navigators use a sextant to record the height of the sun, or of a number of reference stars, above the horizon at a pre-determined time (noon, for the sun. Or midnight for the stars). From this, and from pre-determined information about the sun and star's positions relative to the earth at any given place and time, it is possible to determine place, if you know angle and time. Or time, if you know angle and place.

The Victorian boffins wanted to calculate place, using the known positions of a handful of reference stars. Stars are smaller, visually, and much farther away than the sun, so any sighting of them will be much more accurate. At sea, a navigator uses a sextant, measuring the angle between the horizon and the sun at noon. That works, although the accuracy isn't perfect. The victorians wanted better.

So they set up a super-sextant that would record the angle between the horizon and several stars (polaris, etc). Only that meant they had to do it at night, and not at sea, so no horizon would be available. The pool of mercury was an attempt to create a false horizon. The Victorian boffins' super sextant worked better than any previous attempt, but it wasn't perfect.

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 Post subject: Re: In the news
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:38 am 
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s1m0n wrote:
Only that meant they had to do it at night
No, through a theodolite the bright stars used in determining location are visible on a clear day. They are much brighter than the moon, and you can see that in the daytime. It helps to know roughly where they will be, so roughly where you are.

s1m0n wrote:
the angle between the horizon and several stars (polaris, etc).
I think what they wanted was the angle between the horizontal and stars. The horizon is below the horizontal but don't ask Ben why that is so.


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 Post subject: Re: In the news
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:41 pm 
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Let's try another one, Ben. Here's an artist's interpretation of the neighborhood:

Image

Here we see our brave little (flat) planet orbited, counter-Copernicanwise, by the Sun and Moon. Since evidence suggests that stars and planetary masses all share a more or less common form, why then would the Sun and Moon be spherical, as they clearly are here? One would think they should be flat, too. If it's artist's oversight, I'll bite my tongue and play along by defending the inconsistency. Tell me how I do:

Of course other heavenly bodies are spherical. Only a fool would dispute that, and the evidence rests on the fact that they're unpopulated: In the end, the only thing you can do on a sphere is slide off of it (which should be even more evidence that the 1969 Moon "landing" is a hoax). Only a flat surface can support life, in the most physical sense of the word. It might well be that Earth, and Earth alone, is flat in aaaaaalll the universe. An anomaly. A frisbee among the balls. A lonely little petunia in an onion patch. But we might not be all that unique; after all, the boffins (if they are to be believed) routinely announce it when they detect Earth-like planets. But what it really means, then, is that they've found more flat ones, and they're just not telling us that part of it. Typical.

Okay, how was that? Not as scientific as you, sure, but I thought the whiff of paranoia at the end was a nice touch. Baby steps, right?

On a side note, it seems to me that Flatters should probably ditch trying to account for the Equator any more; that's the stuff hernias are made of. I wouldn't even begin to try time zones. No, wait. I might even get there. :twisted:

Anyway, while you're at it, if you'd also like to explain our other planets' places and roles in our solar system (strictly as a bonus, of course), we'd be most indebted. :wink:

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