Jun 27, 2014

In the Middle

We all look at records for first and last, top and bottom, largest and smallest, and left and right. Sometimes it is its own reward to be in the middle. Here are a few examples of things that celebrate being in the middle.

Next week, July 2, at noon is the exact middle of the year. It has 182 days before it and 182 days following.

There is a obelisk monument located at U.S. Highway 2 and North Dakota Highway 3, in Rugby, North Dakota, United States  that claims to be the middle of North America. Rugby was named after the town of Rugby in Warwickshire, England (yes, where rugby football was born). It is approximately 15 miles (24 km) from the geographic center of North America, but that is close enough according to locals. (The Geographic Center of the Contiguous United States is located about two miles northwest of Lebanon, Kansas.)

A view of the picture below shows a monument in Ecuador dedicated to being the center of the globe. It commemorates the 200th anniversary of the French Geodesic Mission which charted the equator and measured the shape of the earth. The San Antonio de Pichincha, Mitad del Mundo also has a  painted line on the pavement marked Latitude 0° 0' 0", where visitors take a photo straddling both hemispheres. The original calculations have been proven incorrect by more accurate modern technology and the actual equator line runs about 240 meters north of the monument, but that is close enough for locals.


At exactly 45 degrees latitude, 90 degrees longitude, in  the town of Rietbrock, Wisconsin, Untied States is the exact center of the Northern half of the Western Hemisphere. It is here that the 90th Meridian of Longitude bisects the 45th Parallel of Latitude meaning it is exactly halfway between the North Pole and the Equator and is a quarter of the way around Earth from Greenwich, England. The marker is about 1063 feet away from the actual 45x90 spot, but that is close enough for the locals.

The equator monument, is at Pontianak on the Indonesian side of the island of Borneo. This monument marks where the exact middle of the world used to be.

Due to constant global shift, the true Equatorial line was recorded a short distance south of the monument and, according to GPS readings, the line continues to move south, but that is close enough for the locals.

Before you ask, there is no middle of the universe. According to standard theories of cosmology, the universe began about 14 thousand million years ago and has been expanding ever since. Expansion is the same everywhere, it is not expanding out from a center into space, but is expanding equally at all places. So I have come to the end of the middle, Happy July.