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#30814 - 12/19/00 07:59 AM Re: Why I love reference material
Joy
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/02/00
Posts: 322
Loc: London

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Sorry, FishDreamer, I didn't see your question.

Ok, the two tides a day. You know the moon pulls the water towards it, right? That's one of the tides. But the water it pulls towards it is only the water on the sides of the earth, not the water on the far side. So the water on the far side that doesn't get moved is the other daily tide.

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#30815 - 12/19/00 01:58 PM Re: Why I love reference material
FishDreamer Administrator
Ching Shih


Registered: 08/27/01
Posts: 2804
Loc: Windy City USA

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I still don't quite get it, but am willing to let that be one of the imponderables. Maybe if I study oceanography and astrophysics I'll be able to understand!

Thanks, Joy. That's pretty cool.

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#30816 - 12/19/00 10:41 PM Re: Why I love reference material
miercoles
Ching Shih


Registered: 10/29/00
Posts: 877
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI

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Adding to Joy's answer about the tides:

The tidal effect of the moon is a combination of the gravitational force of the moon on the earth, and the internal gravitational force holding the earth together. Together, they cause the earth to take on an "oblong" shape pointed towards the moon (calling the shape this is greatly exaggerated). The land does not budge, but the water moves. Since the shape is oblong, the water moves both to the side directly under the moon, and to the side opposite the moon. (This is where I would draw a nifty diagram. Alas, my ASCII skills are lacking.) Six hours later, the earth has rotated 90 degrees, so those two new points get the high tides. Another six hours later, the two original points have high tides again.

I hope that helps. It took me forever to understand tides, since they're not really intuitive, and I do study astrophysics.

Edited to stay on topic: I'm a sucker for physics and astronomy and math reference books. I have a CRC math book, and I'd love the CRC physics and chemistry. It's over $70, though, so I'm scouting library sales and used bookstores for an older edition (it's not like the speed of light changes, or anything). A lot of my textbooks are really good references too -- one has appendices and appendices of planetary data, stellar data, and computer algorithms.

[This message has been edited by miercoles (edited December 20, 2000).]

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#30817 - 12/20/00 04:50 PM Re: Why I love reference material
FishDreamer Administrator
Ching Shih


Registered: 08/27/01
Posts: 2804
Loc: Windy City USA

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Oh! Okay, I get it. Thanks Miercoles & Joy.

As for reference materials, I like dictionaries of all kinds. I have two American English dictionaries, an etymology dictionary, Japanese/English, Spanish/English, German/English, French/English, and Spanish dictionaries, and a Rogets thesaurus (which i always can find on the shelf, even the day after we moved). I also wish I had my parents' old encyclopedias from when I was little. They'd be horribly out of date now, but I still loved to read them. And I had one of those kid's book of the world style encyclopedias. And yeah, I spout of useless trivia all the time. But my husband is worse, he knows everything. My whole family thought he was a know-it-all on first meeting (he is!) but have mellowed a bit. As has he.

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#30818 - 12/27/00 10:13 PM Re: Why I love reference material
LenaF
Ching Shih


Registered: 12/26/00
Posts: 44
Loc: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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Dictionaries are great, for seeing what a word means where, what it used to mean, and all the roots, going right back to Latin or Greek or Sanskrit. I have the Canadian Oxford and it's full of slang and more swearwords than any other I've come across (lots more than my big ol' Random House, anyway). A thesaurus is like a big garden of words, and seems to cover the entire world, almost like a novel.

Reference books are big, reassuring, endless and all of them differ from each other to make owning them worth it. I don't like to be wrong, but it's more I want to learn as much as I can! (Ugh. I do read things besides reference books!) I like my Roget's because it was my father's, so it's like a link to him, and the 50s, when it came out...

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