lotus dweller
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Does water go down plug-holes in opposite directions in the North and South Hemispheres?
Theory presented at Wikipedia says that we should not see any correlation between hemisphere and direction of rotation at plug-hole in house-hold sized baths, sinks, hand-basins and troughs.

If you want you can join in an experiment to find out if the theory is correct.

Null Hypothesis: There will be no significant association between being located in the North or the South hemisphere and direction of flow at your plug-hole.

edit: Version IV
Equipment: Bath., water, plug, food coloring.

Method:
Stage 1. Partially fill bath. Put in drops of coloring. Check that ther is no discernable rotation of water around bath. (If water is moving around wait 3 minutes.) Remove plug using straight non-spiral tool; kitchen tongs. Observe and note direction of flow at plug-hole once direction of flow becomes obvious.
Repeat process 5 times.
Input the most common direction of rotation of the 5 tests into the "Poll".

Poll
Locations and observations.
  The water rotated clockwise as it went down the plug-hole. The water rotated counter-clockwise as it went down the plug-hole. The water did not go down the plug-hole as I had not removed the plug.
Northern Hemisphere
Southern Hemisphere
Equatorial
      7 answers
Poll created by Pinook
 
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Matthew Kloth
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Re: Science Experiment: the Coriolis Effect and your plug-holes.

*Why is this in Religion, Sex, and Politics?
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Re: Science Experiment: the Coriolis Effect and your plug-holes.
Destroy the dictators!

Edit:
Its a thinly veiled attack on all religions that reject knowledge gained through the use of the scientific method.

edit 2: thats a very cool sink. How common are they in the northern hemisphere?
 
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Re: Science Experiment: the Coriolis Effect and your plug-holes.
Many of us have been in both hemispheres. The effect is real.
 
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Re: Science Experiment: the Coriolis Effect and your plug-holes.
I blame the devil
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Re: Science Experiment: the Coriolis Effect and your plug-holes.
OK you devil-blamers - are you going to be theoretical physicists all your lives?

Note Version II method edit above.
 
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Re: Science Experiment: the Coriolis Effect and your plug-holes.
Terrible thing observation.
I had a firm belief that the water always went down the plug-hole in a direction defined by the hemisphere.
Tonight my hand-basin sent the water down straight on 2 tests out of 4.
Clockwise on 1 and anticlockwise on the other.

Which supports the null hypothesis.

Show me this ain't so.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coriolis_effect
Section: Draining in bath-tubs and toilets
"The Rossby number can also tell us about the bathtub. If the length scale of the tub is about L = 1 m, and the water moves towards the drain at about U = 60 cm/s, then the Rossby number is about 6 000. Thus, the bathtub is, in terms of scales, much like a game of catch, and rotation is unlikely to be important."
I don't like the look of this reasoning - it appears to be treating each water molecule as a independent entity in a compressible medium - which is far from the reality as I see it. I'd be expecting feedback loops and system-wide facilitation.

But maybe a bath will yield better data than a hand-basin?
 
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Re: Science Experiment: the Coriolis Effect and your plug-holes.
whac3 wrote:
Many of us have been in both hemispheres. The effect is real.


The effect is real on bodies of air that cover hundreds of miles. And on cannon balls. Not so much on sinks or toilets.
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Re: Science Experiment: the Coriolis Effect and your plug-holes.
The coriolis effect on such a small mass is negligible compared to other effects such as the sink being not perfectly horizontal, imperfections, etc.
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Re: Science Experiment: the Coriolis Effect and your plug-holes.
What result matches when blood comes shooting out of the drain and lights start shining through the cracks in the walls?
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Re: Science Experiment: the Coriolis Effect and your plug-holes.
TheChin! wrote:
What result matches when blood comes shooting out of the drain and lights start shining through the cracks in the walls?


I didn't know you've been to my house.
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Re: Science Experiment: the Coriolis Effect and your plug-holes.
has been done to death by numerous ppl, there's no "hemisphere X equals direction Y" plug-hole rule. latest try i remember was in brainiac, one sink in london, one in sydney. the water went the same way in both.
 
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Re: Science Experiment: the Coriolis Effect and your plug-holes.
So far the demonstration of science as it being based on unevidenced opinions, minimally evidenced claims and poorly argued theory is proceeding worse than I expected.

Creationists: If what you see above is all that science has to offer then I see no problem with rejecting evolution.

Science lovers: Where is your objective evidence? Where is reasoning that addresses the system that is being investigated? (Ignoring HavocisHere and Marshall for the sake of inflaming the situation)

see OP for Version IV
Method and Equipment Version 3 now in OP.
Especially note requirement for long axis of bath to be perpendicular to axis of rotation of earth. ie North/South.
 
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Re: Science Experiment: the Coriolis Effect and your plug-holes.
OK Chit-Chatters - can you do better science than RSPers?
See above for their stumbles.

Whatcha made of?
 
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Re: Science Experiment: can Chit Chatters do better science than RSPers
The North/South hemisphere thing fooled a lot of people for a long time, but it was merely a coincidence. In fact, the way the water flows depends on whether you flush the toilet in a right wing or left wing country. That partly explains why the North/South hemisphere myth is so widespread: these studies were conducted in the USA where water has always been flowing the same way. But in fact you could move the USA system and population below the equator, and water would still flow in the same way.
The first to publicly question the old myth were the Australian, whose water has been flowing in pretty odd fashion for a while now. But people in South America had long noticed the flaws in the original theory though it was hardly made public for reasons best not talked about.

Now I hear people doubting this theory, but there's the crucial fact for you: water flows counter-clockwise in right wing countries, which makes perfect sense and indeed falls nicely into the grand scheme of the universe.

By the way, an independant observer in Honduras noticed that water stopped flowing altogether. The situation is expected to go back to normal in a matter of days.
 
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Re: Science Experiment: can Chit Chatters do better science than RSPers
AT 22 wrote:
The North/South hemisphere thing fooled a lot of people for a long time, but it was merely a coincidence. In fact, the way the water flows depends on whether you flush the toilet in a right wing or left wing country. That partly explains why the North/South hemisphere myth is so widespread: these studies were conducted in the USA where water has always been flowing the same way. But in fact you could move the USA system and population below the equator, and water would still flow in the same way.
The first to publicly question the old myth were the Australian, whose water has been flowing in pretty odd fashion for a while now. But people in South America had long noticed the flaws in the original theory though it was hardly made public for reasons best not talked about.

Now I hear people doubting this theory, but there's the crucial fact for you: water flows counter-clockwise in right wing countries, which makes perfect sense and indeed falls nicely into the grand scheme of the universe.

By the way, an independant observer in Honduras noticed that water stopped flowing altogether. The situation is expected to go back to normal in a matter of days.
Ordinarily I wouldn't discuss politics in ChitChat but the admins seem to have decided that this thread needed to be here. I bow to their omniscience and omnipotence.

AT 22 your explanation makes perfect sense for the "grey water" produced by the various political systems.

From outside the USA, the Bush administration appeared to have had things spinning so fast that it was not water disappearing down the plug-hole but instead the contents of the sewers geysering up into a rain of faeces. Not all the Americans on RSP agree with this view but its how it appeared to me. What do you think?





 
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Re: Science Experiment: can Chit Chatters do better science than RSPers
As a scientician, I delved deeply into the literature and found:

"This episode perpetuated a popular myth that the Coriolis effect affects the motion of drains in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.[11] In reality, the Coriolis effect affects global weather patterns. The amount of water in a toilet or sink is much too small to be affected by it.[12]"

Full reference here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bart_vs._Australia
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Re: Science Experiment: can Chit Chatters do better science than RSPers
JoshBot wrote:
As a scientician, I delved deeply into the literature and found:

"This episode perpetuated a popular myth that the Coriolis effect affects the motion of drains in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.[11] In reality, the Coriolis effect affects global weather patterns. The amount of water in a toilet or sink is much too small to be affected by it.[12]"

Full reference here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bart_vs._Australia

Ah - the quotation of a source, a step away from opinion. Good. Best theoretical offer yet

Lets consider the nature of the source and the content of its argument.
1. Fluids going down drains on earth are effected by the Coriolis force.
2. It is not the amount of water that determines if the Coriolis force is active.
3. The Coriolis Effect is not limited to global weather systems. 4. Nor is it limited to large objects.
Score: 0/4
Wikipedia!, maybe the source cited is good?
"12. Michel, Roger; Beth Teitell (April 28, 1996). "Toilet Flush Goes with Flow the World Over". The Boston Herald. pp. 78."
Appears from title to be concentrating on toilets alone. Wikipedia has extrapolated to "drains". But they want $ to show me the article.

And this here thread addresses baths too.

So Wikipedia has disgraced itself again, but you've done the best so far Josh.



 
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Re: Science Experiment: can Chit Chatters do better science than RSPers
mdp4828 wrote:
whac3 wrote:
Many of us have been in both hemispheres. The effect is real.


The effect is real on bodies of air that cover hundreds of miles. And on cannon balls. Not so much on sinks or toilets.

Marshall is "not so much real" "non-cognitive"?
I know that you know that the Coriolis Effect is active on moving objects and fluids in sinks and toilets on earth. Either that or you are not the engineer that I imagine you to be.

How about a "cognitive" response?
 
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Re: Science Experiment: can Chit Chatters do better science than RSPers
I do science gooder!
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Re: Science Experiment: can Chit Chatters do better science than RSPers
mdp4828 wrote:
whac3 wrote:
Many of us have been in both hemispheres. The effect is real.


The effect is real on bodies of air that cover hundreds of miles. And on cannon balls. Not so much on sinks or toilets.

Excuse me, Marshall, but my toilet is built out of that frictionless surface stuff we dealt with in intro physics. I even used a massless string in the flush mechanism. Don't TELL me it's dominated by other practical realities or I'm goign to stop treating you as a pointlike object.
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Re: Science Experiment: can Chit Chatters do better science than RSPers
Well as a member of RSP it goes without saying that I (as well as most here) march to a different drummer and we can't really follow directions (except in boardgames)... but I did need a leak a few minutes ago and for the first time actually paid attention to the "swirl patterns" as I flushed the toilet (as opposed to other surf watches where I just make sure the turds disappear completely)... of course my toilet is in our 140 year old house and it's one of those 5 gallon fully copper tanks suspended above the toilet dealies where when you flush it... it's like watching the perfect storm in miniature.

So long story short... after Katrina-in-a-bowl subsided, my whiz and the tide that went out with it appeared to be traveling somewhat counterclockwise. We are pretty much as far south in the Southern Hemisphere as it gets on BGG (NZ) so I'll mark one for CC in the South.
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Re: Science Experiment: can Chit Chatters do better science than RSPers
A bit off topic... hell a lot off topic (but this is RSPChitChat, when do we stay on topic?)... but I found this interesting article about the power of copper... interesting stuff.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1081359/Copper-doo...
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Re: Science Experiment: can Chit Chatters do better science than RSPers
nexttothemoon wrote:
of course my toilet is in our 140 year old house and it's one of those 5 gallon fully copper tanks suspended above the toilet dealies where when you flush it... it's like watching the perfect storm in miniature.

Interesting.
I am getting the idea from reading about the Coriolis effect that water flowing down a pipe at high speed might be one situation in a home where we might get visible rotation happening.

Though a very clean entry into the toilet bowl would necessary for that hypothetical rotation to make the toilet rotate in the same direction.

 
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Re: Science Experiment: can Chit Chatters do better science than RSPers
Its probably been obvious but there have been 2 experiments running here.

1. What experimental evidence on the direction nof flow in the Nth and Sth hemispheres can we get. And comparing the results I find the null hypothesis is supported by the data to date.

2. Has an educated group formed an accurate understanding about the Coriolis Effect and can they communicate that understanding in a reasoning manner?
The answer here is that our science education systems appear unable to successfully encompass non-Aristotelian mechanics for non-specialists.

Putting it crudely, once things get more complex than "common-sense" then a normal education fails. And as some-one on RSP pointed out the common-sense, normal world analogies fail as we move away from the "normal world" and into deep time, the quantum level, the speed of light, etc.

Viewed in this light rejecting evolutionary theory if it contradicts your interpretation of your sacred text is totally normal.

The trust that many people place in science appears the same trust that others place in the authority of their religion. Most people in both groups do not understand the underlying reasoning behind the world-views being presented by "authorities", and so, in more complex areas, function at the level of poorly or mis understood slogans.





 
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