The murmur of the snarkmatrix…

Tim Maly § Sooo / 2014-08-27 01:35:19
Matt § Sooo / 2014-08-25 02:10:30
Tim § Sooo / 2014-08-25 00:49:38
Robin § Sooo / 2014-08-21 20:47:35
Doug § Sooo / 2014-08-21 20:40:50
Tim § Sooo / 2014-08-21 18:23:13
Gavin § Sooo / 2014-08-21 18:10:44
Robin § Sooo / 2014-08-21 18:06:14
Bob Stepno § The structure of journalism today / 2014-03-10 18:42:32
Anne Field § The booster pack / 2014-02-15 16:15:39

Divine geometry
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This blows my mind:

In North America, some Muslims pray to the northeast, in the direction of the great-circle route (the shortest path along the planet’s surface) to Mecca, whereas others pray to the southeast.

From an article with a winking title: A sine on the road to Mecca.

If I was Muslim, I think I’d pray to the northeast. It’s counterintuitive, but it’s pretty amazing to imagine a prayer shooting out of your mind and blazing through the cold Arctic reaches on its way to the sweltering kaaba.

2 comments

There’s also the not-entirely-settled questions of which way astronauts in orbit should face:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qiblah#From_space

“Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has stated that one should face the direction of the Earth” — Toasty’s wikipedia link. There’s something kind of poetic about that! If you’re in the space station, I guess that’s the closest thing there is to down. With no intended disrespect to the Qiblah and its lyrical focus on Ibrahim’s altar to Allah, the kowtow/dandavat/full-bow that so many cultures & religions employ (a full fledged kneel with the head on the ground) always points straight at the earth: there’s a divine geometry in the r that attaches us to the planet. You could also imagine placing your head on the ground, and subtly shifting it so that your nose points straight in the direction of the underground secant that connects you to wherever.

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