Saturday, July 14, 2012

Hi my name is....What? Who? and the Water does What?

Good Morning Class,
My name is Chynna Pope.  I am a native Bostonian.  I absolutely love everything that this wonderful city has to offer.  I am extremely active, and when the summer comes around I can't wait to get out in a kayak, paddle board, or sail boat.  I love hanging out in the esplanade by the water.  And the best views of Boston are no doubt from a boat in the Boston Harbor.  I have recently been getting involved with a few charities and projects in Boston.  Many of which improve the city and its many features.  I think this class will give me insight and knowledge necessary to be a better advocate for Boston and perhaps find someway to get involved with the cleaning of the Boston Harbor and other waterways around Boston.

As for out little experiment in the ladies room, I thought that water would drain counter clockwise.  My group stood divided with two of us agreeing on this point and the other thinking the opposite.  This caused a huge riff in our group and we got in a huge fight leading one of the members to drop the class all together.   Just kidding.  Our disagreement was purely out of ignorance not out of  conviction.  I don't think that any of us really had any concrete idea of what to expect.   When we did the experiment in the sink we witnessed the water indeed draining counter-clockwise.  We all agreed about that.  We repeated the experiment again to make sure our observations were correct.  From what our eyes were telling us, water did indeed drain in a counterclockwise whirlpool around the drain.  When asked to consider this same experiment in Australia, we again disagreed in our prediction.  Again, with one thinking it went counterclockwise, and the other two thinking the effect would be opposite in a different hemisphere thus forcing the water to drain in a clockwise fashion.  My group is planning a trip to Australia on the days off between our classes, so when we get back we will report.  (Wishful thinking)

With remedial knowledge of such things and light research, it is clear to me that the water will drain differently in different hemispheres.  After all, they drive on the other side of the road down there....everything else must be backwards too!  All sources I consulted on the matter mention the Colioris effect.  The degree in which this theory is supported or challenged varies.  In one article one scientist credits this phenomenon on the Colioris effect, while another accepts his definition of what the effect is he is skeptical of its involvement in changing the spin direction of the water in different hemispheres.  Scientist Brad Hanson, a staff geologist with Louisiana Geological Survey presents the idea that this effect makes the water on the bottom spin faster congruent with the direction of the objects rotation.  WIth the water moving slower on the surface it create the illusion that the water is spinning in the opposite direction.  While agreeing with the effect of the Colioris effect,  Fred W. Decker, Professor Emeritus of Oceanic and Atmospheric Science and Oregon State University notes that it is probably not the reason for the water draining in different directions. he states,  The local irregularities of motion are so dominant that the Coriolis effect is not likely to be revealed."* So he agrees with the change in direction change and with the effect of the effect but thinks other forces contribute to the phenomenon.

I guess we'll find out the answers in class today!


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