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Geography fun

The Earth is about 40,000 km around. (40,006 polar, 40,075 equatorial.) This isn't a coincidence: the 1790s French defined the meter such that 10,000 km was the pole-equator distance. (Picking that ratio to be close to an existing unit.)

The volume of the Earth is 1 trillion km3. 1.083e12 if you need more digits. This is a coincidence.

Everest is the highest point above sea level. (mean sea level? the nearest ocean?) The land furthest from the Earth's center is Mount Chimborazo in the Andes, which at 1 degree South benefits from the equatorial bulge, vs. the 28 N of Everest.

The northernmost point of land and the southernmost point of ocean are at 83 N and 83 S.

Puzzles:
(mine) What European country is due east of Florida?
(someone else) Which US state is closest to Africa?

See the comment count unavailable DW comments at http://mindstalk.dreamwidth.org/417209.html#comments

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( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
heron61
Mar. 9th, 2015 12:53 am (UTC)
1) I first guessed [Spoiler (click to open)]Turkey and was pleased at myself for thinking of it, but a quick look on a map revealed that to be false, and I was deeply puzzled, until I remembered the existence of [Spoiler (click to open)]Cyprus

2) Interesting question, [Spoiler (click to open)]Nantucket is clearly definitive, but even w/o resorting to islands, it clearly looks like Massachusetts.

Edited at 2015-03-09 12:55 am (UTC)
mindstalk
Mar. 9th, 2015 05:16 am (UTC)
I never knew about lj-spoiler! Neat!

Answers:

[Spoiler (click to open)]
1. I asked a dirty trick question! (My father would be proud, I'm sure.) I'm pretty sure no part of Europe is due east of any part of Florida, not even Spain's colonial enclaves in Morocco. Cyprus was a good guess, but it's about 35 N, Florida doesn't breach 31 N.

2. Not unrelatedly, Nantucket or Cape Cod are good guesses if you're eyeballing it, but Maine wins, whether connected to mainland Africa (Morocco just north of Western Sahara) or to Cape Verde.

Maine is north, but also considerably to the east, and Africa is fairly far north too -- 37 N at peak, though the closest point is just 27. Eastness + curvature still awards it to Maine.
heron61
Mar. 9th, 2015 05:31 am (UTC)
*sigh* - In retrospect, I can see great utility in working this out using actual fold out paper maps rather than computer screens, especially for measuring relative distances with rulers.
mindstalk
Mar. 9th, 2015 06:04 am (UTC)
Depends on your screen! I use Google Earth, which can display a lat/long grid, and also reports the coordinates of the point under the mouse. And it has a ruler tool, which is what I really used for the distance question.

Failing all that, I've got a globe; that plus a string or rubber band would work great.

For the first question, even simple Mercator should work fine.
mcgillianaire
Mar. 11th, 2015 03:55 pm (UTC)
[Thank you for this!]Aye, it works
mcgillianaire
Mar. 11th, 2015 03:49 pm (UTC)
1) Bahamas?
2) I thought it might be the north-eastern most state but couldn't remember which one it was. Having cheated, Maine it is. Interesting.

Fascinating post! This reminded me of a three-part BBC documentary from a couple years ago called Precision: The Measurement of All Things, which unravelled the humble beginnings of the various measurements we take for granted everyday. For those interested, someone has kindly uploaded the first episode onto Youtube. This entry also reminded me of the one about the Victorian Internet. I thoroughly enjoyed that book.

A few months ago I compiled a list of various cities around the world at 41N:

Tashkent 41.16N
Tbilisi 41.43N
Istanbul 41.00.49N
Tirana 41.326N
Bari 41.07.31N
Barcelona 41.23N
Zaragoza 41.39N
Cleveland 41.28.56N
Chicago 41.50.13N
Davenport 41.32.35N
Omaha 41.15N
mindstalk
Mar. 12th, 2015 06:12 am (UTC)
[Spoiler (click to open)]
Interesting guess about the Bahamas. I was thinking mainland countries... but the Bahamas are as independent as Canada, now. Turks and Caicos aren't, but they're too far south. Bermuda is too far north. OTOH, the Canaries are right in the middle latitude, so "Spain is due east (due to the Canaries)" turns out to be a defensible answer.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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