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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Oh, crap!

I started writing this blog post several days ago and it mysteriously vanished. Oh, crap! Fitting since this post is about the Coriolos effect and the impact (or lack of) on Australian toilets.

Australia is in the southern hemisphere. The United States is in the northern hemisphere. This means there are many opposites.

Winter in the northern hemisphere is from mid-December until mid-March; that's summertime in the southern hemisphere with winter happening mid-June until mid-September. In the northern hemisphere you go south for warmer weather; in the southern hemisphere you go north. We're still comprehending all of this.

Image credit: quora / Peshawa B Salih

The other interesting thing about being in the opposite hemisphere from what you're used to is that some things can be impacted by the Coriolos effect. I'm not a physicist but from what I can tell the Coriolos effect is how a moving object veers right in the northern hemisphere and left in the southern.

Image credit: NOAA

When we announced we were moving to Australia, one of the comments people often made was about how the toilet flush would swirl the opposite direction. As if this should be a major concern of ours. I assure, this has not concerned us. And I can tell you, if there is a directional change in flush I have not noticed it.

Joseph Castro from LiveScience had this to say a few years ago: The influence of the Coriolis force on spin direction is real, but it is generally only observable on very large scales, such as trade winds and hurricanes.

The affect the Coriolis force has on a toilet bowl is much too small to actually see in a flushing toilet but that doesn't mean that it doesn't exist.

One of the beautiful things about toilets here is that I've yet to come across one that doesn't offer a low flow option. This allows the user to decide whether the deposit requires just a little water or a lot of water. Such an easy place to conserve. Good on ya, Australia!

So there you have it, America -- the water flushing down the toilet might spin differently but its on such a small scale you can't actually see it.

You know what's not on a small scale? My excitement for our first houseguest! Squeal! My dad is en route from Los Angeles. He'll be surprising the boys and joining us on a 13-day cruise to Fiji, Vanuatu and New Caledonia. Yeehaw! I'll try to post one more blog before we head off but no promises. 😘

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