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  #101  
Old 06-03-2017, 03:14 PM
Velocity Velocity is online now
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My aunt is a flat-Earther. She is also a 9/11, government-mind-control conspiracy theorist. She also excels at difficult mathematics and is highly educated.

Yeah, it's contradictory.
  #102  
Old 06-03-2017, 03:41 PM
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I think it's very appealing to be able to say "Most people think X is true but I'm smarter than that. I know that Y is the real story." Smart/educated people aren't immune to that ego boost.
  #103  
Old 06-03-2017, 05:28 PM
Dobbs Dobbs is offline
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In fact, if the number of satellites is small, you could just carry around a chart for each one from which you could read the bearing and elevation, no trigonometric tables required.
It was only half a dozen satellites, sure, but the beam width of the antennas was about a degree or two, and to cover all the points on land that that satellite could see at the required resolution would require a coupla dozen pages for each bird, and they would be out of date if it was moved in orbit (it didn't happen often, but it happened), vs. 3 or 4 pages of trig tables and a page (maybe 2) of instructions that you could follow with pencil and paper if you didn't have a 4 function calculator that never went out of date, but, sure, I guess that would work.
  #104  
Old 06-03-2017, 07:07 PM
Napier Napier is offline
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As long as we are discussing this, you do not need to climb to a great height to see ships disappear over the horizon due to curvature of the Earth. [...]
Every summer on my beach vacation I spend a little time trying to detect that ships disappear over the horizon, which many say we can observe for ourselves. I've never seen it. Even on beautiful clear days, the horizon is indistinct on the very tiny scale of the vertical spread of a ship way out there where it starts to become hard to see. Ships look smaller and smaller, and I sure can't tell if it's because the Earth is blocking my view of their lower portions, or just because they are more distant. I have never yet been able to tell they are disappearing over a curve. They just get smaller and more indistinct, like the horizon does.

I'm sure the earth is round, but I'm also pretty sure this is no way to tell. And I've been looking since 1978 when my university astronomy advisor first challenged us to.
  #105  
Old 06-03-2017, 07:58 PM
DPRK DPRK is offline
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Originally Posted by DPRK View Post
As long as we are discussing this, you do not need to climb to a great height to see ships disappear over the horizon due to curvature of the Earth. [...]
I'm sure the earth is round, but I'm also pretty sure this is no way to tell. And I've been looking since 1978 when my university astronomy advisor first challenged us to.
Hmm... as has been noted by several people, atmospheric/refractive conditions can be critical here. Did you try it on a clear day using a telescope, watching a ship with a decently tall mast?

But, yeah, if the ships just disappear into the haze, or the refraction is unusual, I agree it is not a reliable method.

Last edited by DPRK; 06-03-2017 at 08:03 PM.
  #106  
Old 06-03-2017, 08:24 PM
Richard Pearse Richard Pearse is offline
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Have to remember that the ship thing was noticed back in the day of tall ships with great masts and sails. It may not be as noticeable today with a ship with a flatter profile.

You can see it here well enough, even with a very hazy atmosphere.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nUFLLUahSI
  #107  
Old 06-03-2017, 10:23 PM
sbunny8 sbunny8 is offline
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Originally Posted by DPRK View Post
Hmm... as has been noted by several people, atmospheric/refractive conditions can be critical here. Did you try it on a clear day using a telescope, watching a ship with a decently tall mast?

But, yeah, if the ships just disappear into the haze, or the refraction is unusual, I agree it is not a reliable method.
I think it would be easier to see the effect from the other way around. Go out on a boat and look back at the shore. About 5 miles out, you can see treetops but you can't see the beach. If there's a mountain near the shore, you'll be able to see it more than 10 miles from shore, after you can't see the trees at all. You could also try this with a lighthouse. You can see the top long after the bottom is no longer visible.

Last edited by sbunny8; 06-03-2017 at 10:25 PM.
  #108  
Old 06-03-2017, 10:29 PM
Trinopus Trinopus is offline
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Charles Johnson, of the (ugly) Flat Earth Research Society claimed that he made observations of boats on the Salton Sea (this was a long time ago, back when there actually were boats on the Salton Sea.) He claimed that there was no "hull down" visual effect.

I've done the same thing, the length of San Diego bay, and, yes, there is a very definite "hull down" visual effect, even over a measly four miles of water.

I'm sure Johnson would say I was deceived by "choppy water" that rises up between me and the sailboat, making the hull appear to be below the level of the water.

That's the big thing to remember with these guys: You Cannot Win. They have an answer for everything, even if it's complete hogwash.
  #109  
Old 06-04-2017, 12:13 AM
eschereal eschereal is offline
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I've done the same thing, the length of San Diego bay, and, yes, there is a very definite "hull down" visual effect, even over a measly four miles of water.

I'm sure Johnson would say I was deceived by "choppy water" that rises up between me and the sailboat, making the hull appear to be below the level of the water.
This is the first of a series; in this one, he uses a cruise ship, zoomed in, to show horizon occlusion, and also addresses the fact that perspective cannot answer why the sun and moon do not get smaller as they rise and set.

The FECTs are pathetic and in need of therapy. I have read and watched too much of this stuff. It is sad that D-K is not painful to these people, because it is hurting my head.
  #110  
Old 06-05-2017, 08:48 AM
upend upend is offline
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the thing that I haven't seen a flat earther reply to is:

"why is it dark in Australia when it's light in Europe".

I can't think of a plausible answer either (apart from the obvious one!!!)
  #111  
Old 06-05-2017, 04:21 PM
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the thing that I haven't seen a flat earther reply to is:

"why is it dark in Australia when it's light in Europe".

I can't think of a plausible answer either (apart from the obvious one!!!)
This was my go to argument for many years. Then I saw some leading idjit's cosmos where the Sun is always above the Earth, circling about above the tropics. The apparent position of the Sun, including darkness, is caused by a magical, amazing system of refraction that makes it appear to us mortals that the Sun is rising, setting, etc.


Of course this fantastic cosmology just happens to make the motions of the Sun and so on to appear exactly like the Scientific explanation, down to corrections for elliptical orbits, etc.

But with no Science at all? No explanation for the refraction, the motions, or anything at all. After all, you don't have to explain what is true. (Aside from "explaining" why obvious debunking arguments are wrong.)

So don't bother asking why this refraction model keeps both the polar areas similarly cold or anything.
  #112  
Old 06-05-2017, 05:22 PM
eschereal eschereal is offline
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I read or heard some diatribe where the FE invoked Occam's razor, saying that the flat earth model was simpler and more sensible. One of them was saying that gravity is caused by the Earth's upward acceleration – because, when he falls, he sees the Earth rising up to meet him, which is a simpler explanation than gravitons swarming up to pull him down.

But the circling sun model makes no sense and is not simpler than celestial mechanics. These people just seem unwilling to hold really big numbers like Gms, Pms, Zms and the like in their heads. Everything is in this little bubble – that is accelerating upward from/to .....?
  #113  
Old 06-05-2017, 07:57 PM
Princhester Princhester is offline
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Originally Posted by Richard Pearse View Post
Have to remember that the ship thing was noticed back in the day of tall ships with great masts and sails. It may not be as noticeable today with a ship with a flatter profile.
The accommodation block on a modern ship is at least as high as the masts of a tall ship.
  #114  
Old 06-05-2017, 08:17 PM
eschereal eschereal is offline
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The Royal Princess cruise ship gives a draft of 28' and a height of 217' (not sure whether "height" mean from keel or from waterline). The mainmast of the USS Constitution (Old Ironsides) is listed as 207'. So, rather similar.
  #115  
Old 06-05-2017, 08:51 PM
Princhester Princhester is offline
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The figure you are looking for is "air draft". Panamax sized ships (which is a common mid range sized commercial vessel) usually have an air draft of a little less than 200ft but it can be a little over. Tall ships as you say tended to have masts around the same mark.
  #116  
Old 06-05-2017, 09:51 PM
Richard Pearse Richard Pearse is offline
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The accommodation block on a modern ship is at least as high as the masts of a tall ship.
Thanks. I was thinking more of the boats Napier might have been trying to see go behind the horizon. Maybe he was looking at big ships, he didn't specify.

I wonder how FEs explain the increase in radar horizon with height?
  #117  
Old 06-05-2017, 10:59 PM
Malleus, Incus, Stapes! Malleus, Incus, Stapes! is offline
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What is the point to flat earth?

It's flat, it's got no points.
  #118  
Old 06-06-2017, 12:22 AM
eschereal eschereal is offline
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It does have mountains, some of which are pointy.
  #119  
Old 06-06-2017, 10:23 AM
CurtC CurtC is offline
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I wonder how FEs explain the increase in radar horizon with height?
I think expecting them to make any coherent arguments about radio wave propagation would be, uh, optimistic.
  #120  
Old 06-06-2017, 11:10 AM
Riemann Riemann is offline
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It's flat, it's got no points.
It's all points, squished up next to each other.
Well-known examples include Point A and Point B.
  #121  
Old 06-06-2017, 12:07 PM
bikerdruid bikerdruid is offline
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NO point at all.
The very idea of a flat earth is stupid.
Really.
  #122  
Old 06-07-2017, 02:30 PM
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Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos would beg to differ with us.
  #123  
Old 06-07-2017, 02:48 PM
eschereal eschereal is offline
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<snert>
  #124  
Old 06-08-2017, 03:18 AM
Princhester Princhester is offline
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Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos would beg to differ with us.
There was a time when such a story would, without even the tiniest fraction of a doubt, have been an obvious spoof. These days, there's just this tiny little skerrick of a moment where I have to think "wait, that isn't real is it?"

Last edited by Princhester; 06-08-2017 at 03:18 AM.
  #125  
Old 06-08-2017, 01:46 PM
HeyHomie HeyHomie is online now
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I don't get why this is a thing now, in 2017. I remember 20 years ago reading about the Flat Earth Society, which consisted of an old guy, his wife, a printing press, and a newspaper with subscribers in the low dozens. Now Flat Earthers are back, for some reason? WTF?

FWIW, Creationist != Flat Earther. I know a few dozen devout creationists. Not a one of them believes that the Earth is flat.
  #126  
Old 06-08-2017, 03:06 PM
Machine Elf Machine Elf is online now
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Have to remember that the ship thing was noticed back in the day of tall ships with great masts and sails. It may not be as noticeable today with a ship with a flatter profile.
In lieu of a tall ship, we can use the Chicago skyline, which tops out at 1450 feet. Get on your speedboat at Navy Pier, head toward the Michigan shore, and watch as the Willis Tower sinks into the waves. Disregarding atmospheric refraction, the top of the antenna masts should finally disappear when you're about 47 miles out. Even including refraction, the massive height of the tower should make the effect obvious.
  #127  
Old 06-08-2017, 06:55 PM
Princhester Princhester is offline
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I don't get why this is a thing now, in 2017. I remember 20 years ago reading about the Flat Earth Society, which consisted of an old guy, his wife, a printing press, and a newspaper with subscribers in the low dozens. Now Flat Earthers are back, for some reason? WTF?
The internet
  #128  
Old 06-08-2017, 07:03 PM
Lemur866 Lemur866 is online now
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Originally Posted by Machine Elf View Post
In lieu of a tall ship, we can use the Chicago skyline, which tops out at 1450 feet. Get on your speedboat at Navy Pier, head toward the Michigan shore, and watch as the Willis Tower sinks into the waves. Disregarding atmospheric refraction, the top of the antenna masts should finally disappear when you're about 47 miles out. Even including refraction, the massive height of the tower should make the effect obvious.
Disregard refraction? To a flat earther it's all refraction, including the optical illusion of sunset.

This is also why the laser ideas above won't work. Refraction! Just because it looks straight doesn't mean it is! Of course this undermines the "You can just look at things and see that the Earth is flat!" argument.
  #129  
Old 06-28-2017, 04:51 PM
ruh-roh ruh-roh is offline
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Two from my favorite quotes list, both of which I think apply to all of the Flat Earthers, Moon Hoaxers, etc.

One of "Beady's Laws of Social Harmonics" (from when I used to lurk around the Usenet sci.space.history....

#6. "Never try to reason a man out of a position he did not reach through reason."

the other I have no attributed authorship for...

"Some people are like slinkies.
Not really good for anything but they bring a smile to your face when pushed down the stairs."
  #130  
Old 06-29-2017, 01:31 PM
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My homespun theory is that biblical literalists are a mirror-image of Nietzschean nihilism: "If there is no God then there's no referee of truth anyway, so who cares if our beliefs are illogical?".

Last edited by Lumpy; 06-29-2017 at 01:33 PM.
  #131  
Old 07-07-2017, 10:46 PM
Enola Straight Enola Straight is offline
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Distance to horizon for someone about 6 feet tall is about 3 miles.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horizon

I'd figure, if the Earth didn't curve downward and simply stretched out flat a couple thousand miles, the horizon would be...higher.
  #132  
Old 07-08-2017, 12:26 PM
Lumpy Lumpy is offline
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Distance to horizon for someone about 6 feet tall is about 3 miles.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horizon

I'd figure, if the Earth didn't curve downward and simply stretched out flat a couple thousand miles, the horizon would be...higher.
Refraction
  #133  
Old 07-10-2017, 06:17 AM
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In lieu of a tall ship, we can use the Chicago skyline, which tops out at 1450 feet. Get on your speedboat at Navy Pier, head toward the Michigan shore, and watch as the Willis Tower sinks into the waves. Disregarding atmospheric refraction, the top of the antenna masts should finally disappear when you're about 47 miles out. Even including refraction, the massive height of the tower should make the effect obvious.
Ironically, YouTube is full of videos of exactly this that ''prove'' the earth is flat.
  #134  
Old 07-10-2017, 11:19 AM
Loach Loach is online now
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I don't get why this is a thing now, in 2017. I remember 20 years ago reading about the Flat Earth Society, which consisted of an old guy, his wife, a printing press, and a newspaper with subscribers in the low dozens. Now Flat Earthers are back, for some reason? WTF?

FWIW, Creationist != Flat Earther. I know a few dozen devout creationists. Not a one of them believes that the Earth is flat.
All the flat earthers I've run into are crazy CTers. I've never run into any that are creationists. Not saying there aren't any but I don't think it's prevalent. To be a flat earther you have to believe every world government is in on it. NASA has been lying forever. Every scientist is in on it. The government has troops to keep people from traveling to the edge. There are a lot of moving parts other than just God.
  #135  
Old 09-26-2017, 03:38 PM
eschereal eschereal is offline
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Some rapper called B.o.B has apparently begun an effort on the gimme-money site to fund a rocket launch to prove his FECT. Highly successful, he has apparently raise over $200, almost 0.1% of his goal.
  #136  
Old 09-26-2017, 06:51 PM
Hari Seldon Hari Seldon is offline
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Just out of curiosity, is that "four corners of the earth" in the original, or is it a figment of the translation? Of course, they probably believe the bible was written in English anyway. But "four corners of the earth" sounds an awful lot like a language dependent figure.
  #137  
Old 09-26-2017, 07:07 PM
markn+ markn+ is offline
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The expression originates in the Hebrew text of the bible. It came into English from the bible.
  #138  
Old 09-26-2017, 07:46 PM
Silver lining Silver lining is offline
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Recently, I read of a guy who triumphantly proved that the Earth is flat by taking a carpenter's level on a plane flight to show that cruising was always level: if the Earth were not flat, the pilot would have to keep changing the attitude (dip the nose) to adjust for the curvature, which should show up on the level.

Now that you have finished cleaning beverages from you screen/keyboard, what I want to know is "so what?" For a picosecond, imagine that the FEs were correct, that the Earth is indeed some sort of flat thing: what then? What do they hope to gain or change by proving a flat Earth? Does turtle soup become a sin? I mean, I am just not understanding the why.

If the earth were flat everyone would see the same stars, but there are different stars in the northern and southern hemisphere because the earth is round.
  #139  
Old 09-26-2017, 08:14 PM
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The reason you all accept a Ball Earth is because you believe in the fraud that is gravity.


Best part quote starts at 5:24.
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  #140  
Old 09-27-2017, 01:31 AM
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In lieu of a tall ship, we can use the Chicago skyline, which tops out at 1450 feet. Get on your speedboat at Navy Pier, head toward the Michigan shore, and watch as the Willis Tower sinks into the waves. Disregarding atmospheric refraction, the top of the antenna masts should finally disappear when you're about 47 miles out. Even including refraction, the massive height of the tower should make the effect obvious.
[nitpick] You mean the Sears Tower. There is no such thing as the "Willis" Tower. Never has been, never will be. [/nitpick]
  #141  
Old 09-27-2017, 07:21 AM
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What they say is that the Earth is a pizza and the sun-lamp-thing moves in a circle above it. That the sunset is just an illusion of perspective (it only appears to be setting because it looks close to the horizon because it is so far away). This glaring flaw in this argument is that you can watch a sunset and see the sun get bigger as it crosses the horizon as with the harvest moon. I cannot see how the perspective model could address that. For most of the day, the sun subtends exactly the same angle, except at sunrise and sunset, when it is supposed to be farther away but somehow looks bigger.
Sorry for being late to the party, but that's just an illusion. It's been known for centuries and definitely proven to be an illusion using photography today. Interestingly, there is no consensus on what causes it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon_illusion

Maybe the Flat Earthers can finally solve it for us.
  #142  
Old 09-27-2017, 09:47 AM
Alessan Alessan is online now
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The expression originates in the Hebrew text of the bible. It came into English from the bible.
The actual line is "the four wings of the land", with "wings" being a Hebrew euphemism for the edges or corners of a garment.
  #143  
Old 09-27-2017, 07:55 PM
Trinopus Trinopus is offline
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Sorry for being late to the party, but that's just an illusion. It's been known for centuries and definitely proven to be an illusion using photography today. Interestingly, there is no consensus on what causes it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon_illusion

Maybe the Flat Earthers can finally solve it for us.
It is certainly a convincing illusion!

Now, there is the cute bit where the sun's angular rate of movement through the sky slows down, right at sunrise and sunset. The atmosphere refracts the image. When you see the sun exactly bisected by the horizon...in "actuality" the sun has already fully set. You're looking "around the corner" just a bit.

A flat-earther might say that this explains ships sinking behind the horizon...but the fact it that this is exactly opposite of an explanation! Ships don't sink behind the horizon quite as fast as they would if you were seeing them in a vacuum.
  #144  
Old 09-27-2017, 08:42 PM
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The "apparent distance hypothesis" is the only explanation of the Moon illusion that makes sense to me. Explanations that depend on the perception of other objects in the field of vision (trees, buildings, clouds, etc) can't explain why the moon illusion still appears when the moon sets over the cloudless ocean, where there's nothing else in sight.
  #145  
Old 09-27-2017, 08:51 PM
Andy L Andy L is online now
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The "apparent distance hypothesis" is the only explanation of the Moon illusion that makes sense to me.
Me, too.
  #146  
Old 09-28-2017, 09:04 AM
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Once you go irrational on something like the shape of the Earth, people just double down.

E.g., one of the leading (Biblical) Flat Earther's out there uses the usual round disc model with unusual optics.

The disc, of course, does not have four corners/edges. And the optics would mess with Satan showing Jesus all the nations from the high mountain. And on and on.
  #147  
Old 09-28-2017, 01:02 PM
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Well, we cannot know for sure that it does not have four corners. The edge is the Antarctic Ice Wall that holds in the oceans. No one knows what is beyond the Ice Wall. It could have corners, out there in the misty uncertainty.
  #148  
Old 09-28-2017, 02:16 PM
Buck Godot Buck Godot is offline
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Well, we cannot know for sure that it does not have four corners. The edge is the Antarctic Ice Wall that holds in the oceans. No one knows what is beyond the Ice Wall. It could have corners, out there in the misty uncertainty.
Although rumor has that it probably looks something like this.
  #149  
Old 09-28-2017, 11:02 PM
vivalostwages vivalostwages is offline
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If you have a couple of hours to spare for entertainment, try this Flat Earth "documentary":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fk4YqPtvJao
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