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Thursday, 02 March 2017 10:57

A Columnist’s Correction

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My winter sailing rumination (“Winds, Tides and Weather,” February 2017) contained a grievous misstatement for which I am solely responsible, but about which I was seriously misled.

The mainstream media, pundits, wags and countless others predicted that if a certain event were to occur right here in The Land of the Free, incredible upheavals would result, up to and including that the Earth itself would stop spinning on its axis, and perhaps commence spinning in the other direction.

It didn’t happen. We see every morning that, unless the sun now revolves around the Earth, Earth stills rotates from west to east, and therein lies my error. I mistakenly stated in my column that the opposite was true.

If we were now spinning in the opposite direction, Earth's rotation would have had to slow to a stop first. If it had, the centrifugal force that causes the oceans to bulge at the equator would have disappeared and all our coastal cities would be under 60 or more feet of sea water.

Additionally, since our air is not anchored to the Earth, it would have continued moving at just over a thousand miles per hour for long enough to blow down every building, wall and tree standing; yes, including that wall, if it had been built.

Since none of this happened, I have been proven incorrect and the Earth must still spin from west to east at about 1,040 miles per hour. If our editor does not fire me (and I hope it is tough to fire a volunteer), I promise to double-check my work for accuracy in the future, as will he, I am sure.

Capt. Bill Trandum, USN, Retired

Vaughn

 

Editor’s note: A recent visit to planet Earth by staff confirmed that the orb does indeed rotate from west to east on a tilted axis of 23 1/2 degrees with respect to the plane of its orbit around the sun, creating moderate seasons and preventing temperature extremes anywhere on the planet. We plan to spend more time there.

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