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» One Touch Football - Archive » World » Moments when you really know the earth is round (Page 4)

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Author Topic: Moments when you really know the earth is round
WornOldMotorbike
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Time for my weekly plug for Bill Bryson's 'A Short History of Nearly Everything'.
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Tee-Rex
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There's always Journey to the Centre of the Earth.

Better watch the James Mason film, as the cartoon took some liberties with the science.

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Fatbastard, Hugh Fatbastard
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quote:
Time for my weekly plug for Bill Bryson's 'A Short History of Nearly Everything'.
I'd not noticed - I've been away.

Currently sitting on the back of my toilet is 'Imagining the tenth dimension' - required reading if you've got more than one kid. Sort of helps to stabilise the brain.

As far as the Earth being round - of course it is (to you and me), nothing else makes sense.

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Stumpy Pepys
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There are a few common sense reasons to deduce the earth is round

1. Differences of length of shadows on sundials as Taylor mentioned on page 2

2. The top of a distant ship will first appear over the horizon, followed by the remainder (on a flat earth it would appear tiny and get bigger).

3. Sailors will observe that the apparent height of stars in the sky will change over a long journey (over a flat earth they would stay the same).

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Lardinho
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Ah. Yes. Seeing the Magellanic Clouds when in South Africa, having never seen them in Britain, is one of those moments.
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Spearmint Rhino
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Yeah, hmmm, I thought this might happen. We're all talking at cross purposes. I wasn't talking about proofs of the sphericalness and 3Dness of everything. I was talking about the moments when the sphericalness and 3Dness of everything really hits you. Never mind, never mind.
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Lardinho
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Yeah, but when I see the Magellanic Clouds I really think "bloody hell, I'm on the other side of something now."
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Ginger Yellow
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What Wyatt said about The Elegant Universe stuff. Apart from the bollocks. I'm actually a string theory enthusiast - I just recognise its limitations, and I'm not the best qualified person to judge its merits.
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Andy C
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quote:
There are a few common sense reasons to deduce the earth is round

1. Differences of length of shadows on sundials as Taylor mentioned on page 2

2. The top of a distant ship will first appear over the horizon, followed by the remainder (on a flat earth it would appear tiny and get bigger).

3. Sailors will observe that the apparent height of stars in the sky will change over a long journey (over a flat earth they would stay the same).

1 and 3 would be true if the earth were flat and the sun and stars relatively close. The Flat Earth Society asserts that the sun and moon are flat discs, each 32 miles in diameter and 3000 miles away, with the stars just beyond them.
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hobbes
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quote:
is there a pop science book that a total thickie like me could read about this stuff?
"Quantum" by Jim Al Khalili is really good for this stuff.
"Big Bang" by Simon Singh gives a nice run down of how we got to what we think today.

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noby
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Is there a pop-up science book that a total thickie like me could read about this stuff?
One that pops up in 11 dimensions.

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Gangster Octopus
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quote:
The Flat Earth Society asserts that the sun and moon are flat discs, each 32 miles in diameter and 3000 miles away, with the stars just beyond them.
Still beats religion though, doesn't it...
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Wyatt Earp
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quote:
Yeah, hmmm, I thought this might happen. We're all talking at cross purposes. I wasn't talking about proofs of the sphericalness and 3Dness of everything. I was talking about the moments when the sphericalness and 3Dness of everything really hits you. Never mind, never mind.
Sure, I think people know that; my point is that in a plane, you're not "seeing the curvature of the Earth" at all; you're just seeing a circular horizon, which is what you'd see with a flat Earth, or indeed any sufficiently large Earth of any sufficiently smooth shape.
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Ginger Yellow
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quote:
One that pops up in 11 dimensions.
Up is one dimension.
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Spearmint Rhino
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quote:
Sure, I think people know that; my point is that in a plane, you're not "seeing the curvature of the Earth" at all; you're just seeing a circular horizon, which is what you'd see with a flat Earth, or indeed any sufficiently large Earth of any sufficiently smooth shape.
Well, hold on a moment. What if it was a really long flat oblong? How would you get a curved horizon then? Or what if it just stretched off infinitely, like a computer game? You wouldn't get a horizon at all.
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