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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Flat Earth Follies: how is it possible I took a picture with clouds behind it

Flat Earth Claim

The Facts

You didn't.  You overwhelmed your camera sensor and the charge bleed into adjacent cells which can be better understood by looking at this YouTube video where the sun appears, not only in front of some clouds, but in front of the power lines.

Please tell me you aren't credulous enough to believe the Sun was literally in between some people and some power lines?


Lack of Research

Handbook of CCD Astronomy (page 17)
CCD Blooming and Anti-Blooming
How To Avoid Blooming

This happens in film also.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Flat Earth Follies: 10 Point Flat Earth Meme "Not a Spinning Ball"

Flat Earth Claim

The Facts

I'll just rip through these one-by-one although many are actually related...

1. "I have never witnessed the horizon curve"

Unless you have never seen a horizon at all, it curves around you 360°, so you are just not paying attention.  Your horizon simply is a circle, that is a fact.  And if it curves around you it is simply impossible for it to also magically extend out to infinity left and right.  It just doesn't.

The horizon below is 180° of my view - the software has simply distorted the image to bend that 180° into a straight line (panorama) but the left of the image is East and the right side is West.  It curves.

The term 'horizon' even means "limiting circle".

Even if the Earth is "Flat" your horizon is a circle due to the limits of atmospheric visibility.

It's roughly equal in every direction (assuming an obscured view).

But once you figure out that, at least the edge of your horizon is a circle, and we know that viewing a circle on edge will look like an ellipse and therefore it would have a bump when you cut part of that view off with a camera.

Here you go, lens distortion corrected, and Sagitta (the bump) height explained in exacting detail.

What Flat Earthers cannot do is explain why the visible horizon is the size it is with the elevation of the observer.  However, it matches perfectly to the accepted Globe model.

2. "I have never felt the Earth spinning beneath me at 1,000 mph"

That's because you cannot feel, sense, or in any way detect speed using a local measurement.  We measure speed relative to something else.  Your GPS measures speed by looking at your positional changes over time, that information comes by comparing transmitted time signatures.  It isn't a local measurement.

The Concorde could cruise at 1,354 mph but nobody had a problem getting up and walking up and down the isles.  This is another flat Earth claim that is just facile.

We've computed the centrifugal acceleration of the Earth's rotation and found it is tiny compared to the force of Gravity and since it is a constant acceleration it merely cancels out that 0.3% portion of Gravity so we feel slightly lighter at the Equator than the Poles (not enough to be able to feel a difference but measurably so).

And we've looked at the impact this would have on planes flying and gyroscopes as well.

3. "There are no actual photographs of Earth from space."

No, you just lie and make excuses, which isn't the same as you proving the images are fakes.

And while you can (perhaps) reasonably object to modeled, composite images such as those from Suomi NPP, even though NASA very clearly explains exactly how they are made, there are a multitude of other image sources that are not made this way.

Himawari 8 and EPIC both constantly send back full frame images of the Earth.

Furthermore I have my original print from 1969 which has been in my Family since that time which was taken on flim.

And there is also the V-2 footage from 1948.

So I find this claim to just be a Flat Out lie.

4. "Water has never been shown to stick to a spinning ball"

Here is water sticking to a ball, I even rotated it with the same force as the water on the Earth experiences.  I cover all the other objections in my more detailed blog post.

5. " Planes do not constantly fly downward as to not end up in space"

Yes, actually, they do.  What you failed to do - as per usual - is calculate how much of an effect this is and bother to actually understand how planes trim for flight.

Fortunately, I have flown a plane and I have explained it in great detail in my blog post on planes.

6. "Gravity is a failed theory and was never proven with any experiments"

This is Flat Earths big lie.  Tell it often enough and they will believe it I guess.  But it is a lie and inexcusable one.

Gravity is the mutual attraction of matter.  If there was not an acceleration acting on matter then when you throw a ball upwards it would not slow it's rate of movement away from you, stop, and then fall back down, all with a constant 9.81 m/s/s that is easily verifiable and has been tested billions of times.  It's been scientifically tested hundreds of times and is constantly being retested and remeasured with greater accuracy.

Just a tiny sample of the scientific basis rendering this claim utterly without merit.

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What is a failed "hypothesis" is the claim that things fall down because of Density which I covered in the above post on water sticking to a ball and for which there absolutely is zero scientific evidence supporting.  It's utter nonsense and disproved by the simple removal of the acceleration of gravity which then causes things to not sort by density.

And the formula for the buoyant force includes the acceleration of gravity: p V g

7. "Water always finds it's level and doesn't bend (they call it sea level for a reason)"

Yeah... unfortunately Flat Earthers, once again, don't seem to have the first clue what they are talking about.  Geodetically speaking...

And this is supported in every modern geodesy book.

And yes, in carpentry or construction 'level' can also be used to mean flat.  That is simply not how the people who define what "Sea Level" is and means, use it.

And I've covered direct measurements of curvature in my post above on the 'ball'.

8. "Light cannot make a straight, vertical reflection over a curved surface"

Which you clearly never tested and demonstrate that you don't know how things work.

Unless the water is still there will be a great many angles from which the water can reflect to the viewers eye.

And here it is reflecting over the VERY CLEARLY convexly curved wave.

And here on a bridge with a large convex curve.

So you are wrong, you clearly didn't bother to test it or understand how it works and that makes you a liar.

Or did the Earth suddenly get curved into a ball?

9. "I have witnessed things from distances that I should not have been able to see if there was a curve"

No, you just don't know what you are doing.  Common failures on the part of Flat Earthers are giving false & exaggerated distances, failing to take into account the elevation of the observer, giving the wrong elevation for the observer, and using the wrong math.

I've done my own, from scratch, derivations for the equations (height obscured), explained why 8" miles squared and why it's wrong, and written my own horizon calculator.

I've covered CN Tower from Olcott, Chicago skyline from MI, Apple Pie Hill to Philadelphia, Mt. Rainer, from airplanes, the 'mountain of errors', Mount Diablo from LoomisMt. Rainer from Brunswick (193.8 miles), and Reunion Island from Mauritius.  Not ONE of those showed a Flat Earth.

10. "Architects and structural engineers do not take a curvature into account when designing roads, bridges or railroads"

How far is it from Dallas to Austin?

195 miles, along that path anyway.

Guess what.  You just took Earth's curvature into account.  Every map we use has this curvature taken into account already.  They flatten the maps out in small enough sections that the distortions are small.  Have you never seen how the sectional maps get more and more distorted as you go further North because you have to stretch out ever shorter distances to make them square.

The distance measurement is really the only relevant value that someone building a railroad or very long bridge would need to know and this is simply how they calculate long distances -- they plug it into a tool where geodetic engineers have already measured the curvature.  That would determine how many rails and ties and bed they would need to plan for.

Do you know how much the curvature plays into that 195 mile measurement?  Let's compare. Our angle (a) is given by 195/3959 (in radians) or 2.8221° and we can find the chord length is 2*R*sin(a/2) = 194.981 miles.   So we're talking about a difference of 100 feet over 195 miles.

You what matters MORE along that 195 miles?  All the hills. You wanna guess what the margin of error is when you are buying railroad supplies for a 195 mile run?  A heck of a lot more than 100' worth.

So you are wrong because when they compute the distances the little bit of curvature is already accounted for so they are using the curvature of the Earth indirectly.  But more importantly, nobody really needs to care about it. I addressed some other points in my post on buildings as well.

And when it does matter they do have to take into account the curvature of the Earth, such as when they built LIGO.

So more Flat Earth lies really.


This 'meme' fails from start to finish to such a great extend as it strikes me as someone actively being dishonest.

Flat Earth Follies: Reunion Island from Mauritius - 149 MILES!

Reunion and Mauritius are two Islands off the coast of Madagascar.

Reunion has 2000 m and even 3000+ m high mountain peaks and Mauritius is a little more modestly appointed but the Piton de la Petite Riviere Noire peak is 828 meters.

On a clear night you can see across the 110 miles of ocean between them very nicely.  Well I was told it was 149 miles by a Flat Earther but on double checking seems it's only about 110 over the water.

Which inevitably means that some Flat Earther is going to claim this "proves" the Earth is flat.

Figure 1. The claim (original photo source possibly here)
I clock the distance between Cascavelle (approximate location of the photo from the source) and the Saddle between Cimendef and Roche Écrite peaks at 219.52 km (136.4 miles) and will estimate the observer at 146 meters.  So kudos on getting the distance pretty close.

Seems the Flat Earthers ignored the Observer height which isn't the worst of it.

The most striking omission from this "meme" is that the Saddle between Cimendef and Roche Écrite peaks - from that angle, is about 1600 meters high.  Highlighted here as LIE #4.

Figure 2. Fixed It For You
With a 14% refraction that would tell us that about 2069.4 meters should be hidden which is entirely consistent with this view.

Was this 14% refraction?  Was the observer higher or lower?   We don't know - but if Flat Earthers can assert without evidence than I'm free to do the same aren't I -- however the difference is:
  1. I'm being honest about the uncertainties
  2. My numbers are within reason
  3. My numbers aren't complete fabrications and lies of omission
  4. Flat Earth cannot explain the missing 1600 meters - not even with their lies about perspective
So this meme is busted at the very least.

We can make better estimates in the future when we have better images and data about them.

Here is what you DON'T see below the horizon...

Figure 3. Google Earth view of the Saddle
Figure 4. Google Earth Elevation analysis of the lowest visible spot from viewer angle

Flat Earth Follies: Another Mountain, Another Flat Earth Failure

Flat Earther calling himself 'W@keTheF@keUp' tried to claim that because we can see Mt. Rainer from Brunswick Mountain that the Earth is 'flat' and of course, he can prove it, by utterly failing at math (which he apparently took from Mr. Thrive and Survive - can't even do his own analysis).

Of course, he also tried to claim that "Canada is 917 miles from Mount Rainer".

Eventually, contradicting himself, he claims it is 193.8 miles from Brunswick Mountain to Mt. Rainer - which seems to be accurate as we find in PeakFinder:

Figure 1. PeakFinder view from Brunswick Mountain to Mt. Rainer

At which point he tries to be a liar and use 'Surveyor Drop' over the entire distance as some kind of "total amount hidden" which is just nonsense.

He calculates the observer horizon and then completely ignores it -- whoops.  I'm sorry the images he used are so terrible but you can see what I say well enough.  He forgot he only needed enough height on Mt Rainer to get back to the horizon point which is now only 100 miles away.

Figure 2. W@keTheF@keUp's Image 1 - calculates the 93.8 mile horizon (bravo!)

Figure 3. W@keTheF@keUp's Image 2 - then IGNORES his 93.8 mi horizon and just lies

This absurd drawing seems to indicate they think that the Bulge of the Earth would be 25000 feet high or something.  I really shouldn't expect any better I guess.

Here is the actual situation:

Figure 4. The actual geometry
Here are the actual calculations showing that only ~6667.6 feet of Mt. Rainer would be hidden by an observer from Brunswick Mountain 8566 feet up and 193.8 miles away.

And YES, the curvature 'drop' is 25030 feet over that distance.  That is utterly meaningless because we aren't at the base of the mountain, we're on top of it.  Even his own pathetic images agree that from 5,866' your horizon point would be about 93.8 miles away and from 6667.6' up your horizon point would be 100 miles away -- which means anything above 6667.6 feet on Mt. Rainer has a clear line of sight from Brunswick Mountain.

Just HOW much of Rainer is missing?

Figure 5. Flat Earth sure is missing a lot of their mountain! (photo credit)
Flat Earth Fails


Figure 5. The Calculations

Flat Earth Follies: Water Curving Around A Ball

Flat Earth Claim

Please show me any instance ever in the history of humanity where water has been observed curving around a ball? You won't find it because it doesn't exist. DEMONSTRATE IT. Not math, but a demonstration.

The Facts

Flat Earthers really have a thing for wet balls. Okay... I'm not going to judge.

All that is required for water to 'curve around a ball' is an adhesive force.

Here is a fairly round rock that is holding onto water quite well despite the Earth's gravity pulling on it. This is because the adhesive force between the molecules of water and the rock surface are greater than the forces pulling them away.


Figure 1. A ball curving water to its surface

Even when I spin it, the water can remain on it -- apparently you just need a force to make water both curve and stick to things...

On the Earth, as we've previously shown, the acceleration on a body due to the Earth's spin is tiny compared to the acceleration of Gravity - which itself is fairly small.  How do we know it's gravity and not 'density'.  Easy, we can remove the acceleration due to gravity and see what happens.


What we find, as you see above, is that DENSITY alone doesn't do shit, you need an acceleration.

This is why the formula for the bouyant force is proportional to the density, the volume displaced, and the ACCELERATION OF GRAVITY.

buoyant force = p V g


I've even heard (what must very uneducated people even among Flat Earthers) whine about "how can Gravity hold all the water of the Earth down but a tiny little insect can just fly away".

That is likely because they slept through the part of Physics where we learn that force is the acceleration times the mass. Every little tiny molecule of water has a Teeny Little Microscopic force of gravity acting upon it. Just as every little tiny molecule of the insect has a Teeny Little Microscopic force of gravity acting on it.

Fortunately, for the insect (and us), the electromagnetic force is many orders of magnitude (for our uneducated readers that means 10 times 10 times 10 a whole bunch of times, about 39 times). So even a tiny little chemical reaction is sufficient to overcome that very weak force of Gravity acting on the insect. We have considerably more mass than an insect so we experience a greater force due to Gravity, which is partly why your lazy ass cannot fly and only a few of us can manage a sufficient jump to dunk a basketball.

It's not hard to verify these things for yourself - you aren't required to remain profoundly ignorant and uneducated.


How about directly measuring the curvature of the Earth itself?

Peter Leane did a very good job at a direct measurement in his video 'Curve of the Earth Measurement Ver 2'.

We can also measure the curvature by observing mountain peaks at different distances and noting that they APPEAR to shrink in every direction we go, just about equally.  I've shown this with Mount Diablo from Loomis and Mt Rainer.  Even McIntyre's OWN 'A Mountain of Evidence' showed the curvature despite his best attempts (along with a SOUND and detailed debunking here, even McIntyre had to admit to the errors).

And you can also measure this curvature using the Sun, or the Moon, or Polaris.

With gravity acting roughly equally in every direction and there being NOTHING other than the very slight counter acceleration due to the centrifugal force (which is a MERE 0.3% that of Gravity) so the NET FORCE, even at the equator there is no reason that the Earth could not hold the Water to the surface IN A CURVE.  So you'll need to do better mewling "SHOW ME THE CURVE, NO MATHS" like an infantile child.

I've shown you AND shown you the math that supports it.

Soundly's observation of towers across Lake Pontchartrain (also with P900)

3D model of curved Earth with towers matching observation by Cara Diann


Flat Earth has failed again.

We've seen that water easily 'curves around a ball'.

We've shown that the nonsense 'density' claim does NOT hold water but GRAVITY does.

We've shown that Gravity poses none of the hypothetical issues ascribed to it by the uneducated.

We've shown direct measurements of the curvature of the Earth itself.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Flat Earthers: Meet the Flintstones

I'll admit up front that this contains a bit of playful ad hominem, mea culpa.

However, I'm not saying their arguments are invalid because they have a bunch of loons in their ranks, I'm just saying - they have a LOT of loons in their ranks and the rest of my blog makes the case that their arguments are invalid because they are wrong in every way - they are illogical, they are riddled with factual errors that are so grotesque they border on flat out lies, and they are grossly under researched and ignore many obvious explanations.

Their machinations remind me very much of the Flintstones...

They have the wheels but push the extra weight of the car with their feet and their story is the same epic failures repeated over and over.

This is a relatively short review of the EIGHT HOUR 'debate' *cough* which mainly involves two Flat Earthers whom I will dub as Anger Management Fred (aka MrPonchoPete) - pictured here in his common mode of communication - screaming, near aneurysm...

and iPhone Optics "Curvature Detector" Barney (aka Steven)

To be fair, there are a few other Flat Earthers who are more reasonable on the call as well but don't seem to talk much (also to be fair, I couldn't bear to listen to the whole 8 hours).

Here is the video in all its glory - WARNING: do not try to play any Flat Earth drinking game with this video [apparently they took it down now].

There are also a few "Globe Earthers" in the chat with the main players being 'Red' of the Reds Rhetoric YouTube channel and Richard, and a few other voices of Reason.  I suppose I'm biased on that point, so be it.

Steven seems to think that his iPhone attached to some binoculars are superior optics to professional gear so, with his infallible iPhone bioptics in hand, asserts (13:52) "and that Sun, DOES change size, sorry".

What the HELL are "full optics"?  lol - they go on about that a bit around this point.  They are cheap binoculars and an iPhone camera.  Compare that with the rigs Thierry Legault uses [YouTube,].

But even screaming Anger Management Fred, MrPonchoPete, admits the size of the apparent Solar Disc doesn't change size (17:38) - he just doesn't think it proves anything because he thinks the Sun "could go back and forth across it (like this) wouldn't even have to go around it because of the magnification itself" and magically the "Dome" would make it appear EXACTLY as if it's going around the Earth "due to assumed mass" and "because of it's angular distance".

He's using terms that don't even make sense like 'angular distance'?

Red presents his hard photographic evidence after this point so you can watch fora few minutes to see his images of the Sun taken throughout a day, and all are the same size photographically (in reality the Noon Day sun would be almost immeasurably the smallest, but less than a pixel).

MrPonchoPete says he is "going back to ancient knowledge" but then when Richard says:

Richard: "what I didn't do was include the Dome, so I'll I'll, change my statement and say that what the experiment proves is that, without a dome, if the sun takes that circle, we've proven that you can't take two different sides with this experiment, if there is a dome...."

MrPonchoPete: you haven't proven anything because you can't second guess, it's been 500 years guys... it's been 500 years.  I agree with Red the Sun does not change size.

Richard: Not proving anything to you.... it's not 500 years they proved the Earth was round 800 years before Christ.

MrPonchoPete: really? I I On a guess.. Again you're going on ASSUMED trigonometry...

Richard & Red: Assumed trigonometry?

MrPonchoPete: It's not the real deal.  No it's not, because you're triangulating on a ball, so it's assumed

Red [interjecting]: hang on

MrPonchoPete: you assumed you're on a ball...

Red: [...] What about the trigonometry was assumed? Let's start there, what about it was assumed though?

MrPonchoPete: what do you mean what about it, well if you're assuming you're on a Ball and you've got no proof of it, and you've got MASS assuming you're on a ball as well then you've got two negatives making a positive in your mind.

#1 what does MASS have to do with it at this point?  They just toss this nonsense around without much understanding.

#2 then this complete drivel about "then you've got two negatives making a positive in your mind".  LOL - it's just rambling nonsense with ZERO understanding about the underlying facts.

#3 apparently MrPonchoPete doesn't ACTUALLY think much of "ancient knowledge" and also doesn't know much about it and he's WRONG that they ASSUMED anything.

There were many ways they KNEW that the sun was distant - the angle to the Sun changes with distance but it DOES NOT change in the same way a parallax angle would change - which I cover Ad nauseam in my post here.  Over smaller distance of a few hundred miles the angular shift is very small which would not be the case for a nearby Sun - but over greater and greater distance the angles shift EXACTLY AS IF you are on a near Sphere.  This is observed with the Sun, the Moon, Polaris, mountains, everything shows the Earth curving off in every direction just about equally.

So it wasn't ASSUMED at all -- it was measured very carefully even in great antiquity and from THERE you can use trigonometry to draw other conclusions.

He kicked the wheels off his own non-functional car!

You really have to watch the sequence to see just how insane this guy is.  And this is him being REASONABLE - just wait...

Next up Red talks about Eratosthenes and how he measured the curvature already knowing that the (near) constant solar disc indicated a distant sun.  At which point we enjoy another rant...


Much screaming - I've already made the points above so I'll let the sane readers be the judge of it all but it is safe to say that AT THIS POINT we're not assuming anything.  The assumptions have been checked and checked and checked and rechecked MILLIONS of times now even if Eratosthenes himself lacked sufficiently strong evidence in his time.

MrPonchoPete then continues his tirad a bit and finally Richard asks...

Richard: What was the evidence that brought the "truth" to you.

MrPonchoPete: I'm not spinnin'

Steven: Where is the curvature and what's up with the antarctic [no 24 hour daylight]

All three claims are arguments from ignorance on their face, never mind they are easily debunked.

MrPonchoPete then goes on a rant at (28:39) because one thing an ego cannot handle is not getting his way...


MrPonchoPete  then continues his story about how he didn't rip Red's friend a new one because he just happened to click on a part of a video where Red's friend was talking about having Gynecomastia.  Whooo the Holy Spirit moves in truly mysterious ways...

MrPonchoPete alleges this Gynecomastia was due to a vaccine.

A bit after this is where MrPonchoPete really looses it because Red says that isn't exactly life threatening.  Red tries to redirect back to the curvature of the Earth but MrPonchoPete isn't having any...




He just about blows his gasket at 30:50

We continue the vaccine / Flat Earth mix...



Holy Shit.


Even Steven is like "whoa dude" at that point.

Calmer heads prevail for a while and they talk about a few subjects without much progress...

Steven and Red talk about the image of the sailboat that Red took but OF COURSE Steven says it's a fake - Red knows it isn't.  Their 'fake detection' skills are called out.  Steven then whips out his binocs again and asserts they prove otherwise.  No evidence is presented supporting Steven's claim.  Steven admits he cannot prove the photo is photo-shopped.

MrPonchoPete tosses out that boats going over the horizon "aren't tilted".  Same old nonsense.  Red explains.  MrPonchoPete explodes into a rant (shocking right).

Red tries to explain the "Law of Perspective".  Steven almost gets it while MrPonchoPete just randomly screams inanities.

Some talk of Theodolites.


MrPonchoPete: I've got a question for you Red. How do you explain the boundary conditions [garbled] of stays on whilst the vacuum of space don't rip it off all at spinnin speeds, I want you to explain the boundary conditions of how that happens please

Red: boundary conditions of what again

MrPonchoPete: how the oxygen, our air, the aether, our air, stays on the spinning ball at 1000 mph, how a rocket leaves the spinning Earth at 1000 mph and into absolute nothing. I want you to explain how all that happens, I want you to explain how the airs stays on the spinning ball.

Red: Ok, so the air stays on the spinning ball BECAUSE GRAVITY you...


Well -- here is my fuller explanation which also talks about escape velocities and other modes of atmospheric escape.  Of course the answer is some of our atmosphere does escape but not enough to be a problem (yet).  Over many millions of years it will be a problem.  But yes, gravity.

And of course we know buoyancy doesn't work without gravity as I've shown before.

That's all I can take for now.

If you need your dose of forehead slaps and head desks for the day dig in!

So Meet the Flintstones - your Flat Earthers.

If that's not enough Flat Earth Insanity for one day you can watch these other prominent Flat Earthers talking about literally drinking their own pee.  I am NOT transcribing that one.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Sun is Setting on the Flat Earth: 100% ABSOLUTE PROOF EARTH IS FLAT!

Sydney, 17 Nov 2016

Silly Globe Earther (and Professional pilot) Wolfie6020 posts this video very clearly showing Sunset from his location.

I thought SURELY this would finally prove the Earth Was Flat at last so I got out my handy Flat Earth Map.  Ok -- let's say it's maybe not 100% accurate -- we'll just try to get an idea of just how WRONG the Globe Earthers are, LOL.

So we jump over to to find out where the Sun was at sunset in Sydney.

Haha, stupid Ball Earthers - they are about to get their ball handed to them...

Look at this! Proof!  I made a map with a line on it!

Um... wait... What did that video show?

The Suns sets where?

What... 246° from Sydney!?  That's South of due West!

Wait... that would mean...


Night night Flat Earthers...

Monday, November 14, 2016

Flat Earth Insanity's First Quarter Review

It's been 4 months (my first post was on July 13th, 2016)!  Wow.

I've covered a lot of ground (57 posts), I've learned a lot & had a good time.  Traffic is now coming in spontaneously, based I think largely on Google results.  You can help my linking to me if you want.

I think the most effort went into my analysis of High-Altitude Balloon footage - that required a lot of thinking about the geometry and how it would look in a camera and then turning that into mathematical model took a while to go back and re-write it all.  We also had to address the Lens Distortion bug-a-boo.

But I found an incredibly solid and crisp image of the curvature of the Horizon short of the ISS, so I was very happy with the final results.

I also finally put together my own horizon curvature calculator and I'm working on some improvements to that which will help to visualize the expected curvature in a photograph - based on the lessons learned from the High-Altitude balloon footage work.

And I managed to get the Catalog of Flat Earth Claims page fleshed out sufficiently to publish the first version.

I was also very happy to complete my post on flight times and looking at how planes fly and why they DO have to 'pitch' over but it's such a microscopic amount that it's irrelevant (and I addressed several bogus #FlatEarth claims about gyroscopes).

All-in-all it's been a good journey and I'm glad to have done it but I suspect this journey is coming to an end soon as there aren't a lot more claims I would like to address at this point.  But I'm sure some things will come up from time-to-time.

I would like to expand on my resource section and link to more excellent blogs & resources on the subject so please share any with me that you've found informative (in comments or via twitter).

Feel free to engage me on twitter!

Flat Earth Follies: Ship Over The Horizon

Flat Earth Claim

YouTube video claims 'Ship visible at 12 miles on horizon':

The Facts

Seems to me either this ship is sinking or we have confirmed Earth's curvature.

I created some side-by-sides up to the 7.8 mile mark -- seems like the missing height is right about where it should be at 13.2 feet missing given your 7.5 foot high observation point.

Figure 1. captures of the ship at various distances, resized for comparison

The last frame in this series shows the horizon/water line has risen to be all the way the back of the boat.

Given the observer height of 7.5 feet and a distance approximation of 7.8 miles we get a height Obscured at that distance of 158 inches (~13.2 feet) [see also derivation for this formula].

As we have reviewed previous, this is NOT explained by perspective.

BTW I think I ID'ed this ship as the CLARA.

This ship is not very high so the 13.2 feet is a very good match at this distance.

Beyond this point the ship becomes very difficult to see and we have no way to know if it's REALLY 11.8 miles out or not.  This is a claim that would need to be substantiated before it's even worth investigating further, but even then the ship does continue to sink further below the horizon curvature but it's far too blurry to measure anything and there is too much water vapor in the atmosphere to tell if we're seeing the effects of refraction.


I think this video confirmed that the curvature estimate is pretty good and that the horizon lines falls where we would expect on a curved Earth.

Meanwhile, the Flat Earth model fails to account for the observation as we would expect to still see all the way down to the water-line with the same clarity that we can see the upper portion of the ship.  There is nothing in the Flat Earth model that explains the sinking ship.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Supermoon is COMING: Nov 14th, 2016

You've probably heard that the Supermoon is upon us, but what does this mean?

Supermoon is defined as:

new or full moon which occurs with the Moon is within 90% of its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit

I'm going to focus on the full moon case because the New moon case is pretty boring since we can't really see it.

Does the Supermoon have a Supereffect on us? (
Biggest Supermoon for 70 years (

What happens is that as the Moon goes around the Earth, and the Earth goes around the Sun they are not always in the same relative position to each other in the Sun/Earth/Moon system so it goes through cycles.  One effect of this is that the exact Apogee (furthest distance of the Moon to the Earth) and the Perigee (closest distance of the Moon to the Earth) distances vary as the extra gravity of the Sun pulls the moon a little further away on one side and keeps it closer to the Earth on the other side.  In addition, the moon isn't always in the same position in its own orbit each year because the lunar and Earth cycles do not perfectly sync up so the effect of this pull also varies with those cycles.

With a great deal of exaggeration and utter lack of scale this diagram attempts to illuminate this pull on the lunar orbit (apogee is also not always towards the Sun, but it's pulled that direction when it is).

Figure 1. the Sun pulls on the Moon and affects the orbit in measurable ways

Some of the other cycles affecting the lunar orbit are shown here:

Figure 2. By Geologician, Homunculus 2 - from English Wikipedia, CC BY 3.0, Link

So what can we expect to see from the Earth?

As you may recall, the apparent angular size of an object g units wide and d units distant is given by the formula:

Using this we can compare the angular size of the moon at apogee and perigee - using a lunar radius of 1738.1 km and comparing the angular size at various distances.  You may note that I just compare the lunar radius - since we're doing a ratio doubling it doesn't change the ratio.

Comparing apogee vs perigee we find that supermoons are about 14% larger than micromoons.

And looking at the variations between supermoons during the 21st century, data from, I found it varied by just 3.2% between largest and 'smallest' of the supermoons (based on perigee at 356429 km and 367980 km respectively).

Naked-eye observers are hard pressed to see the 14% difference from micromoon to supermoon (until you put them side-by-side or in scale with something else) but the 3.2% variation between supermoons would be even harder to notice, but it's sufficient enough to measure carefully.

These variations are measurable and are some of the many observable phenomena that aren't explained by any Flat Earth model which has to give ad hoc explanations for everything whereas the scientific model has extensive predictive power.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Collection of Anti-Flat Earth Sites & Resources

I will continue to update this page over time. Things are in the order I put them in.


Blog: Gordon S. Brooks' Embrace The Ball | Book: The Earth Is Not Flat

Blog: One Big Monkey - Apollo Missions [post Sun Hot Spots]


YouTube: My own collection of YouTube videos for Flat Earth (debunking)

YouTube: Sly Sparkane's channel - lots of incredibly good animations explaining how Flat Earthers are wrong (GoPro Effect, Equinox Analysis)

YouTube: Reds Rhetoric channel - rocket launches and general Flat Earth debunking

YouTube: Jesse Kozlowski's channel - professional Geodetic Surveyor, lots of educational videos

YouTube: Wolfie6020's channel - professional pilot, part-time Flat Earth debunker

YouTube: Frank de Brouwer's - Flat Earth Nonsense

YouTube: Peter Leane's channel - good amateur science, very methodical (see Curve of the Earth)

YouTube: Keigh see's channel - few general debunking vids and some on the curvature math

YouTube: fiveredpears' channel - some salty Scottish debunking, no bs allowed

YouTube: Jennralize's channel - general skepticism w/a few Flat Earth vids.

YouTube: CoolHardLogic's channel - Bollocks!

YouTube: Astrobrant2's channel - Moon Hoaxer debunking | photobucket


Introduction to Mirages (ATY-Andrew T. Young) - a premiere resource on atmospheric refraction, includes a proof the Earth is round.

Geodetic Datum FAQ - nice summary

USGS Cors Articles

Scientific American: Transit of Venus
Scientific American: Wallace’s Woeful Wager

DSCOVR Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) view of Moon transit of Earth at 1 million miles away (video)

Vincenty solutions of geodesics on the ellipsoid (Movable Type Scripts)

Sperry Gryo Compass Manual (pdf)

Book: A History of Ancient Mathematical Astronomy (link)


Calculator: Angular Diameter
Calculator: |  ||
Calculator: CalSky


Experiment to Internally Measure the Earth’s Rotating Speed and the
Calculation Comparison with the Relativistic Treatment (paper)

Measurement of Newton's Constant Using a Torsion Balance with Angular Acceleration Feedback (overview & published paper).Spoilers:
Earth mass M⊕=(5.972245±0.000082)×10²⁴kg
Solar mass M⊙=(1.988435±0.000027)×10³⁰kg


Dynamic Earth Maps - animated winds, temperature, etc

Argument Department

Dark Star's twitter - please come argue with me but bring verifiable evidence & data.

Sunset Timelapse - By Odd Høydalsvik, Bergen, Norway

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Flat Earth Follies: Why Is This Continent So BIG!? NASA FAKE!

Flat Earth Claim

Why Is This Continent So BIG!?  NASA FAKE! LOLS [see video]


The Facts


You know that thing that Flat Earthers get wrong OVER...

Crepuscular rays are parallel and only APPEAR to converge

and OVER...

Like how Flat Earthers excuse buildings hidden by curvature

and OVER...

...called 'Perspective'?


The space station is only 250 miles above a planet with a 24,901 mile circumference...


Are you somehow actually unaware that when you are closer to a sphere you can see LESS of it and therefore an object on that sphere will APPEAR to take up a larger portion of the visible whole?

Far Away (left) vs Up Close (right)

Even at 250 miles up your horizon is ONLY 1429 miles away aboard the ISS.  Because the whole Earth is BIG.  Even at 518 miles up the horizon is still only 2090 miles away.

So yes, a WHOLE CONTINENT is going to be a BIG portion of what you can see when the camera is closer to the Earth - and a SMALLER portion as the Earth is further away.

The above image from from the Suomi NPP mission which was a LOW EARTH ORBIT imaging satellite.  This means the images it takes are from LOW EARTH ORBIT - about twice the distance of the ISS, but still just 513-518 miles up.

And because we want HIGH RESOLUTION images this satellite doesn't take a picture of the WHOLE EARTH at once, it takes long strips of images.

And how do you suppose I manage to know these things?


NASA explained in great detail how this works but Flat Earthers are such liars and terrible researchers they are ignorantly unaware of the facts.

How Suomi NPP VIIRS COMPOSITE images are made (credit)

Just because an image is a composite doesn't mean it is fake.  EVERY COLOR DIGITAL IMAGE IS A COMPOSITE - PERIOD.  CCDs do not take color images, they pass the light through filters which then stimulate different CCD elements in a grayscale fashion (just as the above image shows) and all those pixels are artificially re-colorized back into the image that is stored on your phone.

And when you take a panorama image it's doing the same multi-photo compositing as well.

That doesn't mean that Austin TX is FAKE just because this is a composite - this is good representation of Austin.  Sure, there is distortion in the image, that fence isn't curved like that.

Does this look like a FLAT horizon to you?

And guess what?  That is a 180° view of my horizon - the panorama function has distorted the image to FIT the center of the image into a straight line even though it is, in reality, 180° of a circle around me.  That fence is straight.   CURVE that picture into a half circle and you'll get a better idea of the actual shape.  Anyway, panorama images is a topic for another blog post...

And here is an image from Google Earth where I set my altitude to about 500 miles up and increased my FOV so I could see the whole Globe.  Oh look at that, the continent takes up a larger fraction of the image.

Google Earth SIMULATION showing how proximity = large continent


Flat Earthers don't understand basic optics or perspective or reality.