Monday, October 17, 2011

We Was Had!

    About that amazing demonstration on how water swirls in opposite directions depending on which side of the  equator you're on as described in Day Two of the Journal? Turns out, it may have been a parlor trick. Alert reader Anonymous provided this link.

An excerpt from the link is as follows:

I’ve heard of charlatans who hang around the equator in Kenya, carrying basins of water. They’ll stand on the southern side of the equator with the basin, pull a plug at the bottom, and show that it swirls out counter-clockwise. Then they’ll walk to the northern side of the equator, fill the basin and pull the plug, and it swirls out clockwise. Irrefutable proof? Be careful! You have to know all the initial conditions in any experiment, and in this one, there is one that is hidden from you. The huckster just has to add a slight rotation to the water before letting it out (for example, pour the water in at a very slight angle to give it an initial rotation, and it will “remember” that rotation as it swirls out of the basin.

Well, he had me fooled. It was indeed hard to believe what I was seeing but there it was! Gullible Gringos.

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