Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Introduction / Bathroom Observations
My name is Amir Farhadi, I'm going to be a senior at Tufts University, majoring in Classics and French Literature. I'm originally from Weston, a small town just west of Boston. I'm first generation Iranian on my father's side, and second generation Irish on my mother's side. I love to travel, and I spent my junior year abroad studying in Rome and Paris. I also love the ocean, which is why I decided to take this course. I spend my summers in the town of Dennis on Cape Cod. I also spent a summer living on Nantucket Island, and have traveled a lot (by boat) in the Mediterranean. Some of my earliest childhood memories are of searching through tide pools on the beach at the Cape, looking for sea creatures. I still love searching the beach for crabs at low tide.
As for our bathroom experiment, I made the following observations onsite: I could hardly see the sink from where I was standing, but even if I had been able to see it better, I don't think it would have been easy to tell which direction the water drained, owing to the small volume. As for the toilet, I was able to observe two flushes while in the ladies room, and I am fairly confident that the water drained clockwise. As for the question about toilets Down Under, I did some research online, and found a short and concise explanation of this phenomenon (or myth?) on the Library of Congress science reference website, of all places. In short, their answer to the question of whether toilets in Australia drain in a different direction than those in the Northern Hemisphere was: "probably not" which seems logical to me, since I would assume immediate factors like the volume of the liquid, diameter of drain, and of course the pressure and speed of the water and air, would have more of an effect on the direction of the water draining than the so called "Coriolis Effect" which is a result of the Earth's rotation. According to the website [http://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/coriolis.html] "The Coriolis force is simply too weak to affect such small bodies of water."