Why Slashdot still rocks – Earth as a billard ball

Digg, Reddit, kiwi wannabe Scoop and other news-commentary sites may come and go, but the forefather of them all is Slashdot. Here’s a post that may go somewhere to explaining why Slashdot appeals so much to the nerd community.

Bear in mind these are small differences: if you could make a perfect scale model of the sea-level surface the size of a billiard ball, it would be rounder and smoother than the ball.

Mind if be pedantic? Not quite true. The difference between pole and equatorial radii at sea level is 22 km. Add in the height of Mt Chimborazu and the depth of the ocean near the South Pole, and we find that Earth deviates from a sphere by about 33 km, and so it’s spherical to within +/- 0.26%.

The Billiard Congress of America [pool-table-rules.com] requires billiard balls to be 2.25″ in diameter, to an accuracy of +/- 0.005″, or +/- .022%.

So, the Earth doesn’t quite pass muster as a billiard ball.

Published by Lance Wiggs