Friday, July 31, 2009
As for the big question, I started my research by searching the Internet for an answer and soon became overwhelmed by differing responses. However, the majority of sources stated that the Coreolis effect does not affect the way small bodies of water drain. I decided abandon the internet for fear of trusting an unreliable source. Next, I skyped my friend who lives in Melbourne, Austrailia (Phoebe Hammond) and asked her to test out her toilet for me. Yet, it seems her toilet didn’t drain any particular way; the water was just sucked out. But, her sink drained clockwise. In conclusion, I believe the way water in a sink and a toilet is not affected by location on Earth but the shape of the sink or toilet.
See you tomorrow bright and early!
I am interested in the ocean because I spent the majority of my childhood near or on the water. For as long as I can remember my family has had a 20ft. Glastron boat which still today we take out every summer for a number of trips. Obviously many of these trips also included fishing which has always been a huge hobby of my father that he has now passed down to all three of his sons. With many years of fishing under our belts, we have brought up a number of living things from under the surface of the water which definitely were not fish. Not to mention the assortment of fish which we have brought up which I’ve never really known enough to distinguish certain types from others. Even though this course is my final requirement and class, I’m really interested in learning more about what lives below the water and how they live.
After extensive research online I found that the question regarding ‘which direction water flows on the other side of the world’ has been associated with a bit of an urban legend. The legend basically states that water spins in different directions on opposite sides of the hemisphere. In many references this has also been placed in relation to the Coriolis Effect. The Coriolis Effect defined states that objects spin at different direction when viewed from a rotating point of reference. However the forces of the effect are so small that they are only able to affect large things such as masses of air. Therefore as I have encountered many conflicting statements on this topic, my answer based on the research I have done is: the direction the water in a sink or toilet moves is simply based on the way water is pushed or pulled from them. I have come to this answer from information included in the following sources: http://www.snopes.com/science/coriolis.asp, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coriolis_effect.
Hi everyone. My name is Leana and I am originally from
As for the big toilet-flushing question, the consensus of the articles I read tells me that the direction in which a toilet in
See you all tomorrow.
My name is Han. I come from Harbin, a beautiful city in northeast of China . There is heavy snow in winter where you can not only go skiing or ice-skating but also enjoy the ice lantern and snow sculpture. It is fantastic. If you want to travel around , tell me, I will help you arrange a happy time in Harbin.
My major is International shipping in Shanghai Maritime University. Some of my friends will be sailers after graduate and I want to be a broker for shipping trade. It's really hard to work on board, but it can't stop my favor of the ocean. I love the feeling of freedom and ease on board.
And about which way does water drain in a sink , I think, it will be a anticlockwise way of water drained in Australia. For in the north hemisphere, the water will drain in a sink clockwise. why?
First water will be effected by the vertical force of the gravity which make water go down.
Second water will have different horizontal forces which is caused by the earth rotation . Earth is round , and part of the water which is nearer to the equator has the faster surface speed, so the water will go down by clockwise because of the inertia .
That's what happened in the north hemisphere. So to the Australia, which is in the south hemisphere. water will go down by anticlockwise because it is opposite to the hemisphere.
That 's my idea. I do read the research post by:
But I don't agree. I think it will be an anticlockwise way.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Hi all. My name’s Matt and I’ve enrolled in ES 141 because it’s allowing me to take a class which offers a condensed schedule; along with providing me the opportunity of experiencing a rare real world scientific research expedition of sorts (this class also fulfills my final degree requirement). I’m really looking forward to the many interesting days ahead. Additionally, I love the ocean; for its vast open space, for its coastlines, for its wave activity, and for its marine life above and below the surface. Whenever possible, I like fishing (with most anyone), enjoy boating with friends and neighbors within Boston Harbor, and take great pleasure in visiting the many beaches up and down the New England coastline. I also love to build an occasional sand castle, catch and throw a football around in the water with whomever I’m with, and enjoy walking up and down the beach while taking in the natural surroundings.
For example; while serving in the U.S. Navy (back in the day when I was only 19) aboard the U.S.S. Midway (CV-41) Aircraft Carrier, I was fortunate enough to have traveled the Pacific and
My favorite beach on the New England coast is by far Second Beach in Middleton, Rhode Island (note: 2nd beach in Newport and 2nd beach in Middleton are two separate beaches). The skyline on
In regards to my research into the direction of the water when draining down a sink in
I’ll see you all bright and early on Saturday!
I'm Samuel Appiah; a full time student of Boston University and in my final year. I'm from West of Africa and a small country called Ghana. I signed up for this class because I am missing one natural science requirement and my advisor told me about the class.
I was recruited to play soccer for BU so I moved from Ghana to the states in 2006. My experience has not not been too bad neither has it been too fun, but i guess this class will add some fun to my stay in BU. Despite the fact that i'm a horrible swimmer, I really like the breeze from the ocean and the look of the ocean is something you can't resist. Later in the day, the ocean looks so peaceful and the breeze so refreshing.
With regards to the question as to which direction water drains in the sink in Australia, most sites have different views. But what reminds a fact is the idea of how the sink is molded; meaning, the shape of the sink can determine with direction water will drain from it. Others believe that Coriolis force can also determine water movement in a sink, but it has been argued that Coriolos force has no effect on how what drains in a sink.
People are with the view that, the duration of stagnation of water in a sink can also determine with direction the water will drain. Research shows that "in 1962 in the appropriately named Watertown, Massachusetts, the physicist Ascher Shapiro did just that. Built in a windowless room, Shapiro's circular sink was about two metres across and 150mm deep, with a tiny hole drilled in the middle that could be unplugged from below. After filling the sink with water, he left it to stand for more than three days. It took nearly an hour-and-a-half to drain, and sure enough the water went anticlockwise each time. Three years later, a group at the University of Sydney repeated the experiment, and as long as the water was allowed to stand for at least 18 hours, it always went down the plughole in a clockwise direction. "We have acquired confidence in the hypothesis that carefully performed experiments on liquid drainage from a tank will show clockwise rotation, if done in the southern hemisphere," they concluded" (guardian.co.uk). Based on this experiment, i can however say that the direction of water in a sink in Australia will drain either clockwise or anti closewise depending on the number of hours or days that the water had been in the sink, and also on how the sink has been molded and the temperature surronding the water in the sink.
My research is from http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2003/nov/13/research.science
As for the big question on which way the water drains in a sink, it has nothing to do with which hemisphere you are in. Some people say that the "Coriolis Deflection" is the reason that sinks drain differently in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. The truth is that the Coriolis Deflection only effects large bodies of water, therefore the way water drains in a sink has to do which the sink and drain construction.
My source for this answer: http://www.snopes.com/science/coriolis.asp
I forgot to say where I am from and all that. I am from Florida originally, moved to NY in 2005, and now I live in Boston. I am a Criminal Justice major and am learning Arabic. So, if anyone can help me out there, let me know! I love the water. I have always lived less than 10 minutes from the beach, and I hope that it always stays that way. If we are actually going to catch and kill our own fish, I am a bit worried. But, I asked my boyfriend's roommate, and he said that if you are trying to kill a fish just push on its eyes and then jab the brain and it should stop flopping around so much. Gross, but effective? Anyhow, I look forward to learning new things and making new friends.
I love the ocean mostly because of what is in it: the fish, marine animals, reefs, etc. The National Geographic articles on the deep sea have always been my favorite. I am looking forward to seeing sea-life first hand. On the other hand, I despise sand. I hate how sand has a way of clinging to your body and never letting go although I do understand I will have to get over my dislike at least for the time being that we are in this class. Plus, I have yet to see the Harbor Islands and since I'm leaving Boston forever soon, I think this class is a wonderful way in which to experience them.
As far as the water draining question goes, I went to a purely academic site (not) called "The Straight Dope: fighting ignorance since 1973". The site said the theory that water drains different directions in the different hemispheres is indeed a myth. The way in which the water drains mostly depends on the shape of the sink and drain. Although the coreolis effect holds true for natural disasters, it does not for our own bathrooms.
See you Saturday!
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
As for the direction in which water drains on the opposite side of the earth I would have to believe that it would be the same as here, clockwise. From the articles which I have read the coriolis effect has nothing to do with the way water goes down a drain therefore it is that same everywhere in the world. The myth that it drains the opposite way can be put to rest.
See you all saturday,
I am from Montclair, New Jersey and as most of your probably assume the Jersey shores are not the greatest. I was able to truly first fall in love with the Ocean when I saw the beaches in Phuket, Thailand last summer. For the first time I was able to get that calm, breath-taking feeling that you are supposed to get from being at the beach. To get a better idea of how incredible the sight is and why it impacted me so much , here is a picture that I found on Google images of Phuket.
My family spent a week on Phuket and we all dream of going back. During the week, we went Snorkling every day and explored a lot of the Island on boat. Unfortunately, my father and I have always gotten seasick, to the point that it has inhibited us from experiencing the Ocean on a boat. I even managed to get seasick on a pontoon boat on a lake in Indiana which I didn't think was possible. Luckily, when we were in Phuket we took some Dramamine and took the plunge. I am not sure if it was the medicine, or the stunning bright blue color of the water, but my father and I held it together and had an incredible time. It really made me resent my stomachs inability to handle boating because I think its a hobby I could really get into.
I have not been on a boat since Phuket, and I am so thrilled that this class is giving me another opportunity to build up my boating confidence, as well as a chance to explore Boston in a new way. I am very excited to make new memories and meanings of what Boston has meant to me through out these past few years, after my transfer from Indiana University. I look forward to the challange of tackeling science, a subject I now feel I have not spent enough time on, as well as the challange of my stomach. : )
As far as the Question concerning if the water in Australia goes counter-clockwise down the drain or not, I began my research on Google Scholar where I was led to this article titled "Bathroom Buddies: Countering your Clockwise Rotation" from the website agu.org. In this article, it is pointed out that there is a lot of disagreement on if water rotation has to do with the Coriolis Effect because the only fact we have is that Cyclones rotate clockwise in the southern hemisphere and in the northern hemisphere hurricanes rotate counter-clockwise, and that this is not enough reason to believe it is based on the earths rotation. There seams to be a lot of myth to this theory, and that an accurate answer has not yet been determined because many Australians have reported both, indicated by these travelling bloggers from the website: http://goaustralia.about.com/library/uccan5.htm
Looking forward to our weekend adventure!
- Chloe Katz
My name is Jackie and I'll be the TA for Snails to Whales 09'. I initially took this class in 08' because, like many of you, I love the ocean. It is the last unexplored frontier left on Earth, and with global climate change afoot, the ocean will play a huge role in Earth's modern history. I look forward to working with you all, and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.
As for the direction water flows down the drain in China...
No matter where you are in the world, water will flow down a drain the same way. The only noticeable factor affecting the flow of water is how it is introduced to the contained from which it drains, for example the entrance holes on the rim of a toilet. Which ever direction the water is pointed is the direction which the water will spiral down. Of course, the geometry of the container has an effect as well. The idea that water will behave differently in different locations of the world stems from the coriolis effect and how it is observed in the ocean. According to this idea, water should drain counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere, and clockwise in the southern hemisphere. However, a sink is too small a body of water for the coriolis effect to take place, and therefore is unaffected by its location on the planet.
Hey guys, my name is Maycon G. Tambosi but I go by
As I said, I was born in
I'm taking this class because it is a requirement for my major which is Management Studies, but I think I would still take it as an elective I guess. I've always liked science and geography, so I'm looking forward to it and get to know all of you!
I love the ocean! It is too bad that the water temperature he is a lot colder than what I am used to in
I called my best friend on Skype at his father's business and asked him to do me a favor. He didn't believe me at first but after explaining he did for me. It is funny because last December we all went to Brazil on a 3 week vacation and my wife's step dad keep saying "I can't wait to get there and flush the toilet" we were thinking he was kidding you know. He wasn't.
The answer is, the toilet didn't have a clear direction, I think because of the water pressure there. The sink water went on a anti-clockwise direction, believe it or not. If you don't believe me call Rodrigo and ask him to do it again and while he's at it ask him to film it as well.
See you guys Saturday!
2. The water does NOT go in the other direction. That theory is based on the Coriolis Effect but, both a sink and a toilet are to small to be effected by it. This website, math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/general/bathtub.html , explains much better with more detail than I could ever hope. I found it by just "google"ing the question and saw a bunch of links that came up. I looked for one that, I guess, seemed like a "straight-shooter".
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
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.
My name is Alexandra. I am not a Math or Science type of gal, but I have always loved earth science type of classes. I thought that I would enjoy this class as well as fulfill my science requirement So, here I am.
I thought that the water flushed the other way in Australia due to the Coriolis effect. I asked my boyfriend, and he thought that anything in the other hemisphere flushed the opposite way. I "googled" it and found conflicting answers on funtrivia.com and other sources of the like. Finally, I went on Wikipedia. There, I found that my previous assumptions about the Coriolis effect were wrong. The Coriolis effect is able to determine the spin, but only under " certain controlled laboratory conditions". It really depends on the angle of the toilet.
Alright, I will see y'all on Saturday!
Saturday, July 25, 2009
During the summer I teach public policy, communication and marine science at Boston University.
"Snails to Whales" is a blog where my Boston University students can share the work they do in my class marine science class "From Periwinkles to Pilot Whales" with each other and with the public.
I hope you will take a look, and share your comments with them - and with me.
From April - November I live with my wife on my boat "Verandah" at Constitution Marina on Boston Harbor. Did I mention that I like to fish?
Here is a screenshot from the fishfinder on my boat:
If you want to venture a guess as to what's happening in this picture, please post a comment, and I will post a reply.
If you are interested in taking this class, email me today at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can set up a time to talk.
You may also be interested in my other Boston Harbor Class blog, which focuses on the history of the Boston Harbor Clean-up from an advocacy and public policy perspective. You can find it here, at www.bostonharbor893.blogspot.com
You might also be interested in visiting Save the Harbor's site at www.savetheharbor.org . If you are interested in free, fun, and exciting things to do on the harbor you might also want to become a fan of their Boston Harbor page on facebook.
Thanks for visiting.
PS. Here are a few of my favorite maps ...
Learning about the Boston Harbor Cleanup from the waterway’s eyes, ears, and mouthpiece
By Brian Fitzgerald, BU Bridge
On Georges Island, Bruce Berman talks with his students about the history of the Boston Harbor Cleanup,
which is 95 percent complete. Photo by Vernon Doucette
Bruce Berman, aboard a ferry from Boston’s Long Wharf to Georges Island, poses a question to his students: “How clean is clean enough?”
He’s talking about the water below.
It’s a brilliant July day, with the smell of salt spray in the air. The sky is clear, and so is the ocean. But there was a time when Boston Harbor wasn’t so clean, when the stench of sewage assaulted the nostrils of anyone who went near it.
Berman is the communications director for Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, a public-interest environmental advocacy organization whose mission is to help restore and protect the harbor and Massachusetts Bay. He also teaches a Metropolitan College summer course called Politics, Public Relations, and Public Policy: The Boston Harbor Cleanup.
“The Boston Harbor Cleanup is an amazing success story, and I just love to share it with students,” says Berman, noting that the harbor’s “bad old days” weren’t that long ago. Those were the days when untreated human waste, syringes, condoms, and tampon applicators routinely washed ashore. The antiquated sewage treatment plants on Deer Island and Nut Island were so poorly designed and maintained that they flooded during even mild rainstorms, sending millions of gallons of untreated waste directly into the harbor.
Since then, bacteria counts in the water have decreased by more than two-thirds. Now the harbor teems with plants and animals, and people can legally dig for clams on Carson Beach in South Boston, which was unheard of in the 1980s.
“It was one of the filthiest harbors in America, and now it’s one of the cleanest,” says Berman. “What I’m trying to impress upon students is how this incredible comeback occurred, and how business, advocacy groups, environmentalists, and government can affect the outcome of large projects such as the Boston Harbor Cleanup through negotiation.”
Berman points to the left as the boat cruises by the cleanup’s centerpiece: the gargantuan white egglike tanks of the Deer Island waste treatment plant, which in 1995 replaced the antiquated facility. The plant treats an average of 350 million gallons of sewage a day.
“And what comes out of the Deer Island treatment plant?” he asks. Berman, his booming baritone competing with the roar of planes taking off from Logan Airport, has a habit of putting students on the spot to see if they’re paying attention.
“The outfall pipe,” say several simultaneously. “Treated water,” chime in a few more.
“That’s right,” he says with a smile. “The plant separates the solid and liquid waste, and it pumps the treated water through the 9.5-mile outfall pipe, which empties into Massachusetts Bay. The resulting sludge is converted to high-grade fertilizer.”
Now Berman returns to his original question: “How clean is clean enough?” There’s no quick and clear answer to this one. “It’s a question that at the end of the day the federal courts had to decide.”
In 1985, a landmark federal court case required that the harbor’s beaches be made swimmable and fishable by 2000. Save the Harbor/Save the Bay was formed the next year to raise public awareness of the $4.5 billion Boston Harbor Cleanup. Sewer ratepayers in the 43 cities and towns financing the project cried foul over the prospect of astronomically rising bills, but because of the determination of environmental advocacy groups such as Berman’s, the cleanup was largely completed on schedule.
Berman says it isn’t finished, however. There are still frequent beach closures because the counts of Enterococcus bacteria exceed the federal and state standard for swimming. The culprit: filthy storm water and sewage, much of it from leaky pipes and illegal hookups emptying into storm sewers, and then into the harbor.
“So is the harbor clean enough,” the Springfield native asks his students, “when you can’t swim in it one out of five days in the summer?”
Work to be done
Berman and his class look out from Georges Island to Gallops Island (left) and the white tanks of the waste treatment plant on Deer Island (right). Photo by Vernon Doucette
This summer the state approved one of the last parts of the cleanup: the construction, by 2011, of a 2.1-mile tunnel near the Dorchester and South Boston shorelines that will hold sewage and storm water during bad weather. It then will be pumped to Deer Island for treatment.
Berman is ecstatic over this development, the result of “tireless negotiation and consensus-building,” he says. “After 2011, we’re looking at beach closings once every five years, when there is a major storm, instead of once every five days.”
But he is not about to let his guard down. To say that he is a man obsessed with the harbor cleanup would be an understatement. Berman is also Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s “Baywatcher,” and he lives on his 40-foot trawler Verandah. Polluters beware: if you’re discharging oil or sewage into Boston Harbor, the Baywatcher just might be watching.
He is quick to point out that his zealotry is not just on behalf of the harbor’s flora and fauna. “The harbor is for everyone,” he says. “If you’re from a working class or poor family in Boston, and you can’t afford a Cape Cod getaway in the summer, a clean harbor is important. The same is true if you’re a tourist vacationing in Boston or you happen to live in a pricey waterfront condo.”
Accordingly, Berman, who was a political consultant and contributing editor to the Phoenix newspaper before joining Save the Harbor/Save the Bay nearly 10 years ago, also teaches his students about the harbor’s role in the city’s economy. He points out that in the early 1990s, just a few ferries cruised the harbor’s waters. Today, more than 100,000 people visit its islands each summer, discovering their ecological and historic treasures.
“The best way to protect the harbor cleanup,” Berman tells his students, “is to make sure that the public has access to the resources and can see a return on its investment.”
Trevor Kosmolsick (MET’05) has lived in Boston for seven years, but until taking Berman’s course, he had never been to the waterfront. “I’ve also wanted to go camping in the area, but I never knew that you could camp on a few of the islands,” he says. “Bruce Berman is not only a great professor, but the ultimate tour guide.”
He also backs up his words with actions. Sometimes he takes off his shirt and dives in the water to demonstrate to passing boaters that it’s safe to swim. To show people on ferries that fishing is safe, he’s been known to grab one of the bluefish he’s caught and plant a sloppy wet kiss on it.
“What I want everyone to understand is that investment in the environment really does pay off,” says Berman. “We’re willing to pay for a clean Boston Harbor, so we should enjoy it.”