We hope the League of Nations will rule the Tetrahedron well.
January 17, 2005 2:22 PM   Subscribe

What the World May Come To. "THE school books tell us that the earth is a round globe, or, to be more exact, an oblate spheroid - a ball with the ends slightly flattened, as in an orange. This is, of course, true of the general appearance of the earth as it might be viewed from the moon or from Mars, and we may see it proved more or less by watching the earth's shadow on the lunar surface during an eclipse of the moon. But the earth is slowly but surely changing its shape, and already it is in process of becoming a tetraedron, or a pyramid." (Via Incoming Signals, which quite properly calls the author "sort of the Time Cube guy of the World War One era.")
posted by languagehat (20 comments total)
Flat, I tell you, the earth is flat. Enough of this round nonsense, and now tetrahedral? Pshaw.
posted by caddis at 2:49 PM on January 17, 2005

This is surely quackery, but I did learn the (apparently real) words hydrosphere and lithosphere.

He does raise a question, though. Why are the landmasses roughly triangular in shape?
posted by painquale at 2:54 PM on January 17, 2005

This... this CAN'T possibly be real. Can it?
posted by 40 Watt at 2:56 PM on January 17, 2005

Why are the landmasses roughly triangular in shape?

Yeah, especially Australia, Eurasia and Antarctica.
posted by c13 at 2:57 PM on January 17, 2005

Hey, three out of six ain't bad.
posted by Johnny Assay at 3:03 PM on January 17, 2005

I had no idea that the Time Cube guy was taken somewhat seriously. That's pretty interesting.
posted by xmutex at 3:06 PM on January 17, 2005

...and men of science believe that the theory that best fits facts is that the earth is becoming tetrahedral in shape.

I couldn't conceive of a better argument for the advancement of women in science. Nice post, lh.
posted by fatllama at 3:07 PM on January 17, 2005

Yeah, especially Australia, Eurasia and Antarctica.

Eurasia has India, which is triangular. Australia is kinda triangular: the property in question isn't "being shaped like a triangle" as much as it is "having a pointy bottom." And yeah, it looks like most big landmasses have pointy bottoms (Greenland too). In general, there's less land south than north.

I don't want to defend this crackpot, but he does point out that landmasses tend to be thinner at the south than at the north, and that the southern hemisphere is almost all water compared to the northern. This seems like a reasonable observation. Is there a reputable geological explanation of why this should be so, or is it just some weird coincidence, or is landmass evenly distributed from north-to-south despite appearances? His explanation is clearly crazy.
posted by painquale at 3:24 PM on January 17, 2005

Mountains are pointy too!
posted by banished at 3:37 PM on January 17, 2005

So, in the future, the Earth only does 1-4 damage?
posted by FormlessOne at 4:01 PM on January 17, 2005

1d4+1. Moon bonus.
posted by cortex at 4:06 PM on January 17, 2005

No, it's 2-5, 1d4+1. It counts as a magic missile.

If planets that have cooled down to having solid interiors turned into tetrahedrons, then the Moon and probably Mars and Mercury would already be tumbling their pointy way thru space, dealing out damage to orcs and kobolds everywhere. :)

Besides, he invalidates his own supposition by right up front pointing out that although the water surface of the earth is around 3/4 of the total, the earth is mostly rock and the water is a very small amount (1/4540th) of its mass. If you removed the water from the face of the earth, the maximum surface relief (about 15 miles, from the deepest point in ocean to highest point on land) as compared to its diameter (some 7500 miles) is only about 0.2% - in other words, an object that holds its oblate spheroidal shape to a smoothness of 99.8% overall. (So much for your pointy mountains, banished!)

If this guy had done a little research on how much rock shrinks when it cools, he probably wouldn't have written this. :)

/hypernerditation, presented with a wink
posted by zoogleplex at 4:21 PM on January 17, 2005

Curses! Failed to "save vs. Preview"...
posted by zoogleplex at 4:22 PM on January 17, 2005

The reason the continents are pointy at the bottom is because gravity makes them sag.
posted by c13 at 4:26 PM on January 17, 2005

The Wikipedia article on Time Cube is beautiful: a quietly devastating commentary on the dangers of taking Neutral Point of View too far. I'm 99% sure that the whole article is simply a joke, but the more I look at it (and at the talk page) the more it feels like it could just as well be either a particularly well-crafted troll or a sincere but deeply misguided attempt to present "both sides of the issue".
posted by moss at 4:30 PM on January 17, 2005

You know... Nevada is kind of triangular. This is SPOOKY.
posted by theFlyingSquirrel at 4:35 PM on January 17, 2005

I bestow upon myself the "Doctorate of

Wow, that time cube guy is so freaking cool! ;-)
posted by c13 at 4:49 PM on January 17, 2005

And where does Gleaming the Cube fit in? Sadly, Mr. Slater is unavailable for comment.
posted by OpinioNate at 5:00 PM on January 17, 2005

you know what else i heard? that gravity is a force which god selectively creates between objects of his choosing.

now, is that pretty much right? because if he chooses the eurasian landmass, there's gonna be a kind of reshaping process taking place sooner or later.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 7:21 PM on January 17, 2005

Neh... it's already got a triangular India.
posted by c13 at 7:26 PM on January 17, 2005

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