tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Dec 01 09:22:22 1999

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Re: cardinal directions

On 01-Dec-99, Ben Gibson wrote:

>Two other factors also are involved, first the direction the
>sun comes up in the east changes from day to day throughout
>the year, yet secondly, every cloudless night, one can watch
>the fixed stars wheel around a common point in the sky.
>While the sun wanders in its dawn position, that fixed axial
>point does not.

>Also there appear to be certain physical restraints to the
>internal magnetic dynamo of a planet. The laws of physics
>appear to indicate that the axis of the dynamo spin is
>roughly the same as the rotational axis of the planet
>surrounding it. These dynamos generate the magnetic field
>which in turn is what makes a compass point the way it does.
>While the sun can be obscured behind clouds, a compass will
>still work.

>(Counterargument: While a compass needle will always point
>north, there is nothing that says what that needle is
>mounted on. A compass card with the appropriate labeling
>need not suffer that problem.)

One of my interests is Geology, it can be proven that at many times in Earth
history the magnetic field of the Earth has flipped. Therefore there were
times at which if compasses existed, they would have pointed the other way.
The magnetic properties of Qo'noS could be vastly different, meaning any
culture developing there would not be as "north" centric as we are. While we
have 360 degrees, why would anyone else have the same number? While we
conventionally zero this on due North, why would a culture with less interest
in "north" do the same?

   Jeremy Silver   |\
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