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Dr John Hawkins

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The Limits of My Universe

Posted on 2006/05/24 03:36:14 (May 2006).

[Monday 22nd May]
Tonight was a rare occurrence in that Chie went out, but I stayed in. Some of her old university friends were getting together in Tokyo, but I really needed a quiet night in and a good rest.

I spent most of the evening on the PC, fiddling with stuff on the website. So yet more tweaks and updates to my travel / map pages. I now have a pin in the map for just about every major city I've visited in the world in the last few years. I'd hardly travelled abroad at all prior to my university days - just a few trips to France and one very brief foray into Spain. So actually the map as defined by the last 10 years or so is fairly comprehensive.

Blimey - is it really over 10 years since I started at university? I'm not sure what's worse - the fact that it was so long ago when I started, or the fact that it is, as I write, less than a year ago that my university days came to an official end - albeit that I'd been very much a part timer for the last few years.

Anyway, it is interesting to see the pins in the map as a way of defining the "limits of my universe".

The furthest North I've been in the world is Inverness. As for the furthest South, well, if it was just contained within Europe then it would be Barcelona. As it happens though, Japan is actually pretty far South - even the Northernmost large city (Sapporo) is on about the same latitude as some some relatively Southern cities in Europe - like Florence or Toulouse. So probably Hiroshima gets the prize for the Southernmost place in the world I've visited so far.

Seattle defines my Western limit, and Sapporo or somewhere else in Hokkaido for the East. Although having flown over the International Date Line a couple of times these points somehow seem to lose their relevance a bit!

I found a formula on the web for working out the distance between two sets of latitude,longitude values. So probably the next thing on the "to do" list is to make a sort of virtual milometer for myself. Over the last twelve months or so I've done a crazy amount of international travel - about 20 flights I reckon. I think I've been round the world at least twice in that space of time - albeit at latitudes of 35 - 51, which obviously makes it a somehwhat shorter distance than going round the equator. Still, it would be interesting to see the grand total - I reckon if I add up the last few years it is likely to equate to several circum-navigations, or maybe even a good chunk of the distance from here to the moon!

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