Wednesday, 16 March 2011

How Time Flies 101

Take two balls - both the same weight but different sizes.

You then start them spinning using the same amount of force as possible.

The smaller ball will spin much faster than the larger ball, wouldn't it?

Let's say that the larger ball is Mama Earth BEFORE the 3 catastrophic quakes that occurred in the 2000's ie. Aceh, Chile, and Japan.

These quakes were the results of some of Mama's crustal or tectonic plates subducting one under the other.

When a section of one plate now lies below another, Mama becomes slightly smaller at that point - just like what happens when human mamas go get a little of their facial skin nipped and tucked behind their ears... their faces contracted and tightened up.

Let's say the smaller ball is Mama Earth AFTER the 3 quakes. Mama is now spinning faster than before.

When Mama spins a little faster, then one single rotation is now less than the 24 hours that we were used to before the quakes.

And the day is a teeny bit shorter, a few microseconds worth - but over a year how much is that?

There's another thing.

When the plates subducted, Mama's weight distribution became somewhat off-balanced, just like pregnant human mamas - as their pregnancies progress, they re-adjust their postures and walk differently.

Scientists say that when the 3 recent quakes Aceh, Chile and Japan happened, Mama's rotational axis shifted each time about 7cm, 8cm and 10cm respectively off linear.

Well, on the scale of Mama those are very, very, very, verrryyyy small.

But I wonder, had the first two shifts been enough to perhaps produce climate changes that had wreaked havoc in for instance, Queensland or closer to home, Kedah and Perlis where there had been floods like never before?

Come to think of it, pregnant mamas get weepy too sometimes.

Apparently Mama's rotational axis shift is permanent.

Well, so are those of human mamas who have been pregnant... right?

Here are a few links about the shifts:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/03/100302-chile-earthquake-earth-axis-shortened-day/

http://articles.cnn.com/2011-03-12/world/japan.earthquake.tsunami.earth_1_tsunami-usgs-geophysicist-quake?_s=PM%3AWORLD

Here's famous American physicist Michio Kaku's take on the same subject:

11 comments:

Wan Sharif said...

Kalau macam ni ayoh wang kena bawa ayam panggang dan pulut kuning.. pi belajar science of earth.. dengan Zen... serious!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Zen,
My Mama gets a headache reading your entry and all these Mama analogies. Yeah....maybe we don't need Daylight Savings Time anymore. purrr....meow!

Nin said...

Kak Zen... you know what these kind of anxiety provoking stories do to me, don't you? Adehh... help....

Zendra-Maria said...

Aduhai Ayoh Wang... ayam panggang dan pulut kuning boleh bak sini... tapi ilmu bumi tu Ayoh google lah sendiri OK?

Zendra-Maria said...

Alamak Cats... now I have to apologise to your papa for your mama's headache... time you all give her a cuddle pulak.... hehehe

Zendra-Maria said...

Lady Nin... it's not about our earth kan? It's about your condition ler nih... udah, udah... pi ambik tisu :)))

Tommy Yewfigure said...

does this mean we r getting short change? :((

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Zendra, Coming here, reading your very interesting diagnosis I am enlightened, ha ha.
You a science graduate?
Really sad to see whats happened and happening in Japan now.

But one think that strikes people here watch the TV is how orderly things are, and not one mention of any looting, unlike some other countries.
Have a pleasant weekend, Zendra....
Lee.

Zendra-Maria said...

Hmmm... Tommy, we'd have less time to play FB :)

Zendra-Maria said...

Indeed Lee, it's a quadruple whammy they are getting: quake, tsunami, nuclear crisis and now tidal flow...

However, how the Japanese are coping as shown in the media is a testament to their national psyche in the face of disaster which we observers find worthy of emulating but we are probably not really that "zen"-trained as a nation/people...

A good weekend to you too, Lee :)

zafi said...

nice infos!!!