Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A man, a plan, a canal, Panama...or something like that

a) My name is Marina, and although my moniker is apropos for this class, I have always gone by Larissa. I am an English major of sorts. I do not fancy myself a literary whiz nor do I have lofty notions of novels and movie deals. I can barely punctuate or capitalize my words long enough to make it to the end of a paragraph, so this post should feel like a gift...no I prefer to tear down works and examine words..exposing the faults and the lies and determining how bad something is rather than finding its worth...harsh? Yes. Fun? You bet. I am taking this class like most people for the mandated science requirement, but also because this is the first of two classes that were out of my normal scope that really jumped out at me. I grew up in New Jersey at the shore. Our house was situated in a lagoon area and as long as I can remember we had a boat docked out back and a garage full of fishing poles. I rode, swam and ate right out of my backyard. There was always something comforting knowing that there was water all around me, as though there was an escape route should there be a zombie holocaust in my neighborhood...or worse...conservatives! I would spend hours sifting through the muck finding crabs and sand sharks...feeding the ducks and looking for the egrets nesting in the marsh. So much happens under water that we forget that it is part of this world. It is this alien place to us hidden beneath the horizon...I am both in awe and terrified of what lurks in the depths of the ocean...I am hoping to walk away from this class with a deeper understanding of the things I cannot see, and a renewed love of a home once thought lost, and discovery of a universe in my own backyard. Tranquility and smallness, wonderment and awe, and possibly a bit of educational value ;)

b) To be fair...I have a bit of a wild card up my sleeve with this whole southern hemisphere query...I shot off an email to my
sister-in-law who lives in Bondi, NSW, Australia and asked her to do me a solid and see which way her sink drained. I wanted to make sure that she was using standing sink water and not toilet water which has outside forces (no pun intended) working at moving the water along. She was kind enough to take a short video for me to prove that in fact....the water in Australia does indeed follow the path of northern water...and that is a clockwise rotation.

Should I take her word for it...probably...but just in case she would be tricksy and lie to me...I decided to check out some online sources to see if there was additional evidence to provide credence to her video. I believe that the Library of Congress is a reputable enough source to validate her statement. According to their website:
It all depends upon how the water was introduced and the geometric structure of the drain. One can find both counterclockwise and clockwise flowing drains in both hemispheres. Some people would like you to believe that the Coriolis force affects the flow of water down the drain in sinks, bathtubs, or toilet bowls. Don’t believe them! The Coriolis force is simply too weak to affect such small bodies of water. (source)
It is safe to say that water in both the northern and southern hemispheres can and do drain clockwise.


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