Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Marooned? Without a Compass?

Today is Marooned without a Compass Day.

Marooned is to be isolated with little hope of rescue or escape. Pirates used to abandon people on islands so they were intentionally marooned. A compass is a device used to determine geographic direction, so it could be useful when trying to become un-marooned. Except for those abandoned by the pirates -- knowing which direction is North is nice, but not very helpful for those surrounded by the ocean in all directions.

If someone was marooned in Europe before the 14th Century, they understood the spirit of the day because the compass had not been invented yet. The Chinese were luckier, though,
because they had a compass as far back as the 11th Century.

Today we have a choice of compasses: There's the electronic compass, the magnetic compass,
and the solar compass which made its appearance in 1836. There are also many other patents, so we can find our choice of compasses.

Some cars even have their own built in compass which is very helpful if only you knew if your friend lives east or west of your house. Sometimes the highways are named to be helpful to those of us who do not carry a compass, but they can be confusing, too. For example, Interstate 35 splits at one point between Waco and Denton, so you might be on East North I-35. Good luck!

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1 comment:

Garry said...

Great post! Just 10 years ago people wouldn't have believed how GPS benefits us today.