Sunday, November 25, 2007

Trace the water you drink from rainfall to your tap. Q3 of the Big Here Quiz

The water from my home's taps is pumped by A.J. Brian Pumping Station from The Detroit River (although this site says it from local rivers). From there it travels across the street to the Albert H. Weeks Water Treatment Plant. After traveling through pipes (will approximate distance once I can figure out an address for said station and plant), it lands in my coffee pot.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

When Was Sunset. Q2 of the Big Here

Sunset was at 5:13 pm today.

Favourite recommendation:
Complete Sun and Moon Data for One Day from the U.S. Naval Observatory Astronomical Applications Department.

Using the link above, I determined that for Detroit, Michigan, the length of the shortest day of the year begins at 7:59 am and ends at 5:03 pm and that for the longest day of year, the day begins at 5:55 am and ends at 9:13 pm.

I never gave the matter much thought before but now I find it odd that sunrise varies over only 64 minutes while sunset varies over 4 hours and 10 minutes during the course of a year (at my present the latitude).

So using the Sun and Moon Data website again, I plugged in the opposite geographical coordinates of Detroit. Instead of N42, I plugged in S42 and instead of W83, I put in E83 and then lo and behold, I found a place where the sun rises at 3:49 AM. That is, if I plugged in the right time zone. I've always had difficulty wrapping my brain around the concepts of time and longitude.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Point North. Q1 of the Big Here

I'm tackling those things I've been meaning to do. One long standing item on my list is doing Kevin Kelly's The Big Here Quiz - 30 questions to elevate your awareness (and literacy) of the greater place in which you live.

Question One: Point North.

Actually, we are south of the border

Local answer:
Contrary to sign above, Detroit, Michigan lies directly north of Windsor, Ontario.

So if you are near the Detroit River, you simply scan the horizon for the Renaissance Center, or as some of the locals call it, the RenCen.

Favourite Recommendation:

In England all you need to do is look at a church. Old English churches are always aligned along an East-West axis with the tower in the west. It is very rare to see an exception to this.

If you look at the church yard surrounding the church you will often see the ground level is lower on the north side. The cold north side is less popular for burials and successive centuries of interments have raised the ground level on the other three sides.