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Today is National Situational Awareness Day. Please take a moment to identify what might have just dropped in to your situation, after which you may continue to abide.

This announcement is brought to you by the National Day Calendar and the good folks at Lebowski Enterprises.

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Good advice from Lebowski. Just drop in to see what condition your condition is in.

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I worked with more than a few new bright college engineering graduates who said they just wanted to find out what they wanted to do in life and may decide not to stick with sailing on ships. Normally working out of the USA I had a map of the world on the wall in my office and would suggest that first they needed to know where in the world they were. You’d be amazed at the number of them that could not find their current country location without a bit of study.

I had two favorite “bar bets” for winning beers.

  • What are the northernmost, southernmost, easternmost and westernmost states in the USA?
  • You are standing at Cape Henry in Virginia Beach. What is the approx. bearing and distance to the nearest French land, or territory?

Actually, I thought that there was only one Rockaway Beach.
And it turns out the US has more than one Bridal Veil Falls.

:smile_cat:

Is the Answer
Northernmost: Alaska
Southern: Hawaii
Western: Hawaii
Eastern: Maine, unless you count Shemya, Alaska which is so far west it is in the Eastern Side if the Dateline.

Cape Henry is closest to the islands of ST. Pierre and Michelon in the North East Direction. The islands are south of the Canadian Coast.

Northermost - Alaska
Easternmost - Alaska
Westernmost - Alaska
Southernmost - Hawaii
(Alaska straddles the International Date Line, so the furthest eastern and western longitudes)

BINGO - most go for St. Martin, but you nailed it. Those two islands are just of the SW coast of Newfoundland.

You might get some argument (I’m sure you’ve had them) of your definition of “easternmost” simply using longitude rather than a general direction related to the earth.

You have simply chucked in an imaginary line (180 degrees E or W) as separating the relative direction of two objects. A ship at 179.9 E sees a ship bearing 090 at 179.9W - by looking west? Really?

How many beers did you win - without a fight?

Well, for the French territory question I specified a point of origin, Cape Henry, for the discussion.

For the E, W, N & S I didn’t specify anything. So, do you want to use Bermuda, Kansas City, Las Vegas, London, or whatever? Seems that Longitude is generally accepted and certainly well know on this forum.

What would you suggest as a Point of Reference, or Origination, for that question? If we’re in Los Angeles and I ask which is further west, Tokyo or London, wouldn’t it be obvious that Tokyo is closer to the west, but London is closer going east…

BTW, I’ve won a LOT of beers, but perhaps partially because the ejeets were too ignorant to argue the point. And free beers taste great!!!

Mmmmmm. I would suggest that a single point of reference is largely irrelevant, as is the 180 degrees imaginary line. The most easterly point is simply the point a bit more to the east of the next most easterly point and so on ad infinitum. Simply grab your handy globe of the world, find/highlight the places you collectively call USA and then make up your mind. Which part is furthest N, S, E, or W?

I’m sure I would have enjoyed that free beer.

All sorts of tricks can be played using the date line and its idiosyncracies. I once arrived in Kwajalein in my ship on the wrong day of the week; they thought it was Tuesday but I had the ship on Wednesday. Buggers were keeping US dates (+12) - I presume to make it easier for people firing ICBMs from the US to do so on the day the islanders were expecting incoming - when the rest of that island nation of the Marshall Islands keeps (-12). No matter as we’d talked in Zulu, but made me check those little asterisks next to foreign nation’s time zones in the almanac thereafter.

Lots and lots of Stars and Stripes flying there, perhaps it would be a contender for most easterly in your book at 167.7 E?

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I too have won a few beers with that test of geography. The standard convention determines the east or west position of a point on the Earth is longitude. The standard has been in place since around 1884. One might consider it arbitrary and the line imaginary but that is the way it is. A small bit of Alaska is in the Eastern Hemisphere.

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You’re clutching at straws there. We weren’t asked for the “east or west position” or anything to do with any “standard convention” - I accept of course that lat/long is a ‘standard’ wrt defining actual (not relative) positions. He simply used the word “easternmost” which any commonsense would tell you is the most easterly or situated the furthest to the east, and it’s relatively to the east of the second most easterly and likewise the third most easterly etc until there’s no more bits by the time you’ve reached the most westerly.

We may have standardised the Greenwich meridian in 1884, but east and west weren’t established then. I’m sure a similar sort of question could have been asked centuries before then of the best astronomers, seamen and explorers and they would have had no trouble agreeing with me. Even village yokels.

Your schoolboy geography would have told you the small bit of Alaska in the eastern hemisphere was still to the west of the rest of Alaska.

But, you argue (and lose) because, as has been admitted here.