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Prometheus
Prometheus

Diamond In The Rough
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Member Since: 30th Jun 2002
Total posts: 459
Posted:I don't know where else to turn...

My friend an I were having one of those late night discussions about everything, when for some reason, and don't ask how, the subject of toilets came up.

My friend maintains that water will drain clockwise in the northern hemisphere, and counter-clockwise in the southern, due to the Earth spinning. I, of course, disagreed with him, saying it was a popular mis-conception. I tried to explain about axial rotation, the Coriolis effect, etc. I even pointed out that most toilets are DESIGNED to drain one way, but none of it was proof enough.

So I call upon those of you who live south of the equatorial line: Go check right now if yer not sure, and tell me which direction your water drains, so I can collect my winnings.


Dance like it hurts; Love like you need money; Work like someone is watching.

Never criticize someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes. That way, when you DO criticize them, you are a mile away, and you have their shoes.

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BigPants
member
Location: Surrey
Member Since: 9th May 2002
Total posts: 99
Posted:I'm afraid i have to agree with your friend. I've seen TV programmes where they are at the equator and stand on one side and the water goes down the plug hole one direction and step over the equator and it goes the other. In case you don't believe me have a look at this web site

http://www.shu.ac.uk/schools/sci/sol/cgi/answers/sf129.htm.
br>
xxx


The bigger the pants the better!

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TheBovrilMonkey
TheBovrilMonkey

Liquid Cow
Location: High Wycombe, England
Member Since: 3rd Sep 2001
Total posts: 2629
Posted:hmm, interesting.
What would happen to a toilet exactly on the equator?
Would the water just go straight down the bowl or something interesting, or would it just be boring and drain in a spiral like other toilets?


But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

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Glåss
Glåss

The Ministry of Manipulation
Location: Bristol
Member Since: 8th Nov 2001
Total posts: 2523
Posted:You win,
toilets drain in the direction that they are designed to because in a toilet the forced flow is much stronger that the forces due to earth rotation. (trust me so that I don't have to go into the details on dynamic flow systems, they're even more boring than parallel weaves)

Baths do drain in different directions N and S

But at the equator and a few hundred miles n and s of that the effect is so weak that they drain whatever way they're in the mood to
michal palin did it on pole to pole.

The whole step over the equator thing is crap, it just the guy holding the bowl faking it.
Its not like the equator is some line in white chalk, like on a football pitch, step over it and your out.

Applied Science answers at your service,

cheers
Glass


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Mark P
Mark P

old hand
Location: Bath, England
Member Since: 26th Oct 2001
Total posts: 1031
Posted:Well,

I have lived in Bath for the last 7 years and I still havent managed to find the plug

When I do I will be sure to tell you what way the water drains out

Mark P


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Flynt
Flynt

Intrepid Penguin

Member Since: 12th May 2002
Total posts: 5635
Posted:ahhhh ok, here we go
a toilet drains straight down (usually) because of the design
however, any bath, sink, or contained water, will drain in an anti clockwise or clockwise motion, depending on teh side of the earth you live on. So, if your toilet is of an older design, you will probably find it will drain in a way related to where you live.

So you were both right `


Currently on the right side up of the world.

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Prometheus
Prometheus

Diamond In The Rough
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Member Since: 30th Jun 2002
Total posts: 459
Posted:The problem is that the Coriolis Effect only produces a measureable effect over huge distances and long periods of time. A bathtub drains too quickly and is thousands of times too small to demonstrate it. Obsessive would-be physicists have actually determined that it would take about three weeks for the random swirls, eddies and currents in an average sink to sunside enough to see an appreciable affect from the Earth's rotation.

Ya know, I happened to catch that episode of Pole to Pole, where Michael Palin visits someone who claims to demonstrate the equatorial puzzle. If you watch closely enough, you can see through the scam. He holds a basin of water and walks a few meters north of the 'equator,' then turns to his right to face the audience. (He adds matchsticks to help them detect the swirl of the water.) He opens a drain and the water obligingly rotates clockwise. He then walks a few meters south of the line and turns to his left to face the audience. You gussed it, the water spins counter-clockwise. Apologies, Mr. Palin, but it's a fair court...


Dance like it hurts; Love like you need money; Work like someone is watching.

Never criticize someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes. That way, when you DO criticize them, you are a mile away, and you have their shoes.

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Twirl'N'Burn
Booojakasha
Location: Brisbane QLD Australia
Member Since: 29th Nov 2001
Total posts: 121
Posted:Did any of yer all see the simpsons where bart has this debate with lisa and he ends up causing a huge fight with Australia ?

Simply an excuse to play with fire.

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Pink...?
Pink...?

Mistress of Pink...Multicoloured
Location: Over There
Member Since: 6th Apr 2002
Total posts: 6140
Posted:Twirl.. thats what i was gonna say!

It was in a Simpsons episode. Bart phoned up Australia to find out... And they had a cool toilet in the American Embassey in Australia...



Never pick up a duck in a dungeon...

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