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Old 2012-12-14, 20:13   #1
ewmayer
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Default Antipodean arithmetic

Friday Humor:

In the wake of the Fed's latest announcement that it will buy upwards of $1T of US debt and other debt-related stuff per year for "as long as it takes", there's been much talk about whether the Fed has any kind of viable exit strategy.

I think I actually figured out what the Fed's "exit strategy" is:

"Keep digging, through the center of the earth if necessary, in hopes of eventually emerging on the other side."

The question is: where is "the other side" at which the eventual exit will occur? Hint: It's not in China. (Though our Chinese friends are strongly encouraged to resume robust buying of US debt in order to secure a piece of this great value proposition). No, using the publicly available geographical coordinates of the Fed-quarters building, (38.892778,-77.045833) puts the geographical antipode at (-51.107222,102.954167), which is in the southern ocean roughly midway between the SW corner of Australia and the nearest point of Antarctica.

But fear not - I'm sure Bernanke et al can cite an academic economic model which indicates that by the time their "keep digging ever faster and deeper" policy achieves a "breakthrough", there will be fertile "growthiness supporting" land as far as the eye can see at that location.
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Old 2012-12-14, 21:59   #2
Prime95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
using the publicly available geographical coordinates of the Fed-quarters building, (38.892778,-77.045833) puts the geographical antipode at (-51.107222,102.954167).
That doesn't pass the smell test. Your formula would put the antipode of the north pole somewhere on the equator.
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Old 2012-12-14, 22:13   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prime95 View Post
That doesn't pass the smell test. Your formula would put the antipode of the north pole somewhere on the equator.
Indeed. The first coordinate should be simply -38.892778.
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Old 2012-12-15, 01:56   #4
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As numerous readers have hastened to point out, my antipodean arithmetic suffers from one too many mod-distractions, resulting in topological infractions. The corrected location is still in the deep ocean off the SW coast of Oz, but at a much balmier latitude. Clearly, this is a much more economically feasible exit strategy.

---------------------

Corollary question for our UK readers: Were the mythical character of Mr. Ron Obvious from the famous Python sketch in fact real and did manage to tunnel from his home in the UK straight through to the opposite side of the globe, how close would his emergence point be to the planned exit somewhere on the island of Java? (35 pts, plus a possible 15 bonus points for style).]

Last fiddled with by ewmayer on 2012-12-15 at 03:39
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Old 2012-12-15, 06:47   #5
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I use this.
http://www.antipodemap.com/
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Old 2012-12-15, 16:17   #6
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That is a fascinating tool! Chicago's antipodal point is well off the south west coast of Australia.
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Old 2012-12-15, 16:43   #7
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(48.826842139609354, 2.5468969345092773) where I live, antipodal being S E of New Zeland (-48.826842139609354, -177.45310306549072)
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Old 2012-12-15, 17:10   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kladner View Post
That is a fascinating tool! Chicago's antipodal point is well off the south west coast of Australia.
As expected, I'm not far away from the antipodal point of Antipodes Island. The true antipodal point is near Cherbourg.
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Old 2012-12-16, 20:17   #9
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Looks like I'm (= Cupertino, CA) about 1000 mi SE of the southern tip of Madagascar.

Now we just need to add a plate-tectonic animation feature, to enable us to determine how many millions of years it'll be before we hit "antipodal land". Uncwilly, know of any good tectonic-modeling apps?
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Old 2012-12-16, 21:31   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncwilly View Post
how much of the land has an antipodal point that's on land ?
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Old 2012-12-16, 21:35   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
Looks like I'm (= Cupertino, CA) about 1000 mi SE of the southern tip of Madagascar.

Now we just need to add a plate-tectonic animation feature, to enable us to determine how many millions of years it'll be before we hit "antipodal land". Uncwilly, know of any good tectonic-modeling apps?
Our progression around the globe due to plate tectonics would need to be measured relative to something else of course. What would change sufficiently slowly compared to continental drift to make a suitable frame of reference?
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