Thursday, July 29, 2010

Emily Palena

Hello All,
My name is Emily Palena. I grew up just a few blocks away from BU in Brookline and I am currently an undergrad at Pitzer college in Southern California contemplating a dual major in community studies and dance. I have always loved the ocean and spent most of my summers on the beach in Cape Cod and Santa Barbara. I love everything about the water; swimming, boating, looking for seashells, attempting to surf, and just plain lying around. I am so exciting to be taking this class and to learn more about the ocean around where I grew up!

As for the little experiment in class... I am sure I saw both the sink and the toilet water drain out clockwise. I have, in fact, heard the myth that water in the northern hemisphere drains clockwise and water in the southern hemisphere drains counterclockwise. However, according to my research this myth is not true, water does not necessarily drain one a specific way in the northern or southern hemispheres. According to "If there were no other forces on that water in the sink or toilet, that would be true. The Coriolis effect does actually make hurricanes rotate the opposite direction in the two hemispheres. But for toilets and sinks it’s another story. " It is, in fact, the drain itself that determines how water drains. "Even if you don’t give the water an initial swirl, tiny pits and imperfections in the basin can give the water a rotation — which may be clockwise or counterclockwise, but doesn’t depend on which hemisphere you’re in!"

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