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Offline harmony

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maps upside down?
« on: 24/08/2006 00:23:44 »
The geology board did help me with this but I would like to know if theorists have any ideas about up/down of the universe?  And is my post below plausible?

Posted - 23 Aug 2006 :  03:23:12  
If you look at a map of the world, the continents get narrower at the southern part and wider in the northern part of the world (like a top spinning) (gravity?). If there is an up and down to the universe, the southern part of the world could actually be the top. Our world maps may be upside down...


 

Offline Solvay_1927

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Re: maps upside down?
« Reply #1 on: 24/08/2006 02:13:09 »
Isn't this a bit like asking whether a football has an "up" or "down" direction?

The earth is spherical (roughly).  It's just convention that most maps show the northern hemisphere at the top - there's absolutely no reason why Australia shouldn't be at the top.
In fact, I've got a map on my desk which does exactly that - it's called the 'Hobo-Dyer Equal Area Projection' - it shows the southern hemisphere at the top.  (Or is it just that all the country names are upside down? I dunno.[:o)])

There's absolutely no reason why you couldn't produce a map with the equator shown vertically (as opposed to horizontally) - with, say, Asia & Australasia at the top and the Americas at the bottom.

But you have a point about continents getting narrower at the southern point.  Or to put it another way, why is the vast majority of the land mass in the northern hemisphere (and most of the ocean area in the southern hemisphere)?  I dunno.

And as for the universe having an up or down ... can anybody even say what shape the universe is? (Regardless of whether you describe it in 3 or 4 dimensions?)

Come to think of it, what do "up" and "down" mean anyway?  Aren't they just concepts that humans have developed as a result of the fact that we experience gravity?  (So they become meaningless when talking about the entire universe.)

And why is "up" normally associated with "good"/"superior" and "down" associated with "bad"/"poor"? (Or am I now moving away from physics too much and moving into the realm of linguistics & metaphysics?  I think it's time for my bed.)
« Last Edit: 24/08/2006 02:13:47 by Solvay_1927 »
 

Offline syhprum

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Re: maps upside down?
« Reply #2 on: 24/08/2006 19:10:58 »
The idea of the equator being horizontal seems fairly logical as it more or less aligns with the earths orbit around the sun, but of course if you lived on Uranus it would be a different story.

syhprum
 

Offline Solvay_1927

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Re: maps upside down?
« Reply #3 on: 24/08/2006 02:13:09 »
Isn't this a bit like asking whether a football has an "up" or "down" direction?

The earth is spherical (roughly).  It's just convention that most maps show the northern hemisphere at the top - there's absolutely no reason why Australia shouldn't be at the top.
In fact, I've got a map on my desk which does exactly that - it's called the 'Hobo-Dyer Equal Area Projection' - it shows the southern hemisphere at the top.  (Or is it just that all the country names are upside down? I dunno.[:o)])

There's absolutely no reason why you couldn't produce a map with the equator shown vertically (as opposed to horizontally) - with, say, Asia & Australasia at the top and the Americas at the bottom.

But you have a point about continents getting narrower at the southern point.  Or to put it another way, why is the vast majority of the land mass in the northern hemisphere (and most of the ocean area in the southern hemisphere)?  I dunno.

And as for the universe having an up or down ... can anybody even say what shape the universe is? (Regardless of whether you describe it in 3 or 4 dimensions?)

Come to think of it, what do "up" and "down" mean anyway?  Aren't they just concepts that humans have developed as a result of the fact that we experience gravity?  (So they become meaningless when talking about the entire universe.)

And why is "up" normally associated with "good"/"superior" and "down" associated with "bad"/"poor"? (Or am I now moving away from physics too much and moving into the realm of linguistics & metaphysics?  I think it's time for my bed.)
« Last Edit: 24/08/2006 02:13:47 by Solvay_1927 »
 

Offline syhprum

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Re: maps upside down?
« Reply #4 on: 24/08/2006 19:10:58 »
The idea of the equator being horizontal seems fairly logical as it more or less aligns with the earths orbit around the sun, but of course if you lived on Uranus it would be a different story.

syhprum
 

Offline Solvay_1927

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Re: maps upside down?
« Reply #5 on: 24/08/2006 02:13:09 »
Isn't this a bit like asking whether a football has an "up" or "down" direction?

The earth is spherical (roughly).  It's just convention that most maps show the northern hemisphere at the top - there's absolutely no reason why Australia shouldn't be at the top.
In fact, I've got a map on my desk which does exactly that - it's called the 'Hobo-Dyer Equal Area Projection' - it shows the southern hemisphere at the top.  (Or is it just that all the country names are upside down? I dunno.[:o)])

There's absolutely no reason why you couldn't produce a map with the equator shown vertically (as opposed to horizontally) - with, say, Asia & Australasia at the top and the Americas at the bottom.

But you have a point about continents getting narrower at the southern point.  Or to put it another way, why is the vast majority of the land mass in the northern hemisphere (and most of the ocean area in the southern hemisphere)?  I dunno.

And as for the universe having an up or down ... can anybody even say what shape the universe is? (Regardless of whether you describe it in 3 or 4 dimensions?)

Come to think of it, what do "up" and "down" mean anyway?  Aren't they just concepts that humans have developed as a result of the fact that we experience gravity?  (So they become meaningless when talking about the entire universe.)

And why is "up" normally associated with "good"/"superior" and "down" associated with "bad"/"poor"? (Or am I now moving away from physics too much and moving into the realm of linguistics & metaphysics?  I think it's time for my bed.)
« Last Edit: 24/08/2006 02:13:47 by Solvay_1927 »
 

Offline syhprum

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Re: maps upside down?
« Reply #6 on: 24/08/2006 19:10:58 »
The idea of the equator being horizontal seems fairly logical as it more or less aligns with the earths orbit around the sun, but of course if you lived on Uranus it would be a different story.

syhprum
 

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Re: maps upside down?
« Reply #6 on: 24/08/2006 19:10:58 »

 

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