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Are you surprised that Lawrence is at the center of the Earth on Google Earth?

Asked at Borders, 700 N.H. on December 21, 2005

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Photo of Darwin Eakins

“No, of course not. It seems like the perfect place to me.”

Photo of Laura Schneider

“Yes. I knew Kansas was at least in the middle of the U.S., but you would think it would be somewhere in central Kansas.”

Photo of Gaurav Bashyakarla

“Yeah, it’s very surprising and actually kind of funny. Why Lawrence? It just doesn’t make any sense.”

Photo of Jaimie Sakumura

“Yes. I’ve never heard that before. It makes me proud to live at the center of the Earth.”

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enochville 12 years, 4 months ago

That's funny. I wonder if some Muslims will be upset that Mecca wasn't chosen. If one looks at 11th century Arab maps, Mecca is always at the center.

enochville 12 years, 4 months ago

I know the guy who designed Google Earth went to KU and so probably chose Lawrence because of his association with our fair city. But, if I were to center Google Earth, I would have chosen the place where the Prime Meridian crosses the Equator, just to be diplomatic.

bluebird 12 years, 4 months ago

I'm not at all surprise since the world revolves around me and I'm in Lawrence.

Linda Aikins 12 years, 4 months ago

Whew. I was afraid you'd opt for Boot Hill.

sweetpeagj 12 years, 4 months ago

enochville, I followed your link yesterday and was nicely surprised at what comments you made. as far as the OTS Yes, I am very surprised.

bthom37 12 years, 4 months ago

You think it would be centered on the fieldhouse, since that's what Lawrence itself centers on!

Topside 12 years, 4 months ago

Jaimie, I thought that the Mole people lived at the center of the Earth.

jonas 12 years, 4 months ago

The universe is an unlimited sphere with an unlimited radius. Therefore we are all at the center of the universe.

Why should the googleverse be any different?

jonas 12 years, 4 months ago

no, no, O-Bob. The point is that you may be the center of everywhere, but so is everybody else. Boog is just trying to confine the googleverse for his own aggrandizement, and so he is a false prophet.

Here, try these mushrooms! It will all become clear. Like water! Like water in rocks!

. . . . rapids. . . .

jonas 12 years, 4 months ago

. . . . glorified virus with shoes, indeed.

cutny 12 years, 4 months ago

Why are you guys ripping on Boog. He's one of the nicest, fairest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. What? Are you the type of person who gets all your news from the LJW, or do you actuallyl take the time to get involved in the politics of local government. You know, those meetings every week are free and open to the public. What? Can't be bothered? That's cool, just sit at home and watch your world go by.

Purell 12 years, 4 months ago

FYI: That is NOT me sunbathing nude in my back yard. That is some other goddess with a book over her face.

rhd99 12 years, 4 months ago

I actually am not surprised. Look, I know that we all don't agree on the issues, but let's think about it: Geographically & politically, Lawrence is THE center of culture, political discource, & location. By the way, way OTR, any of you read the story about Intelligent Design being struck down in Pennsylvania? EAT your HEARTS out, CORKINS & ABRAMS! Your science education standards' days are NUMBERED. Hasta La Vista, ID!

bearded_gnome 12 years, 4 months ago

quick, I'll have to check with "Bill!" and see if he's surprised this time?

the boog cult already has its own music: boogey-woogey.
"I got them center of 'da world blues..."right up there with "big thigh woman." and, "your feets' too big!" yeah! boogey down with boog! 0

bearded_gnome 12 years, 4 months ago


yeah, to the terrorists: "you are here >."

badger 12 years, 4 months ago


Sir, I respectfully submit that there's a great deal wrong with your head.

It's a good sort of wrong, but wrong nonetheless.

I'm not surprised that Lawrence is the center of the world. I'm actually kind of happy about it, because I think Lawrence is a fine city that deserves positive attention.

badger 12 years, 4 months ago

Also wouldn't want the balloon to mislead someone into thinking that he might get a good deal on a car or something, thus leading him to run over the Civic in front of him because he's already driving a Hummer in his mind.

You just can't trust people not to behave irrationally in the presence of a balloon.

Really, we're much safer if they're kept away from us.

ms_canada 12 years, 4 months ago

OMB - 99 red ballooms over the center of the earth, wouldn't that be a sight.

ms_canada 12 years, 4 months ago

Better still 99 red balloons with a fruitcake tied to the tail of each one. Would you like to ride in my beautiful balloon? Way up in the sky in my beautiful balloon? Oh yeh!

craigers 12 years, 4 months ago

bthom37, Google probably would have focused on the fieldhouse but they didn't donate enough to the Williams fund to have that honor!!

wonderhorse 12 years, 4 months ago


Actually, she's a Fifth Dimension fan with that quote.

beatrice 12 years, 4 months ago

Congrats Lawrence, just for being.

Now, regarding the ID subtext running along here -- if we do away with the id won't the ego and superego get lonely?

wonderhorse 12 years, 4 months ago


Would you like to ride in my beautiful balloon? Way up in the sky in my beautiful balloon?

Lyrics from a song by the Fifth Dimension.

Kathleen Christian 12 years, 4 months ago

Oh thanks Googlemeister for attracting attention to us so when the nuke is sent our way Lawrence will be the point blank center target of the US. Couldn't you point that somewhere else? Do you think I'm a little paranoid or something? Nah - Bush has it all under control right? HeHeHe!!

beatrice 12 years, 4 months ago

How about Nena's hit "99 Luftballoons" -- are we aiming for a new theme song for Lawruniverse?

beatrice 12 years, 4 months ago

prospector, I just remember it was shot at night, Nena was on an airfield, and there were large balloons and slow-motion explosions -- and the song was meant to be "serious" because it had to do with war or something.

TOB, As far as the fruitcake "incident" at Aiko's -- you promised not to mention it! Wine was consumed, and accidents happen. If you keep it up, I just might post the images of you doing your Festivus Pole "dance!" As I recall, you made a few bucks that night.

rhd99 12 years, 4 months ago

Frankly, answering the question about ID ego & superego, I don't give a crap if it disappoints the far right here in Kansas if ID is SCRAPPED. It DOESN'T BELONG in science education. That Pa. ruling, it said, hmm, ID is a violation of the separation between church & state. Now, back to the question at hand, whether or not BOOG is at the "Center" of all of this, I don't care. He has created a fire storm of issues that has put Lawrence on the Map, so to speak. We have enough fruit cakes in Kansas on the far right that have slammed the door shut on opportunities. That's a sad record for a state, whose Governor is a Democrat!

rhd99 12 years, 4 months ago

One more thing, I am not blaming our Governor. She is doing her best.

ms_canada 12 years, 4 months ago

Regarding Nena and the 99 luftballoons. Our telephone/internet/tv company telus has the very best, cutest commercials ever. They all feature the cutest animals of all kinds and are accompanied by popular songs. One features the cutest little black and white piggy babies tied with big, red ribbons and bows that are attached to big red balloons and the piggies float up to the Nena tune. It is absolutely darling. Another one featured the head and shoulders of a sleeping tiger. All of a sudden the tiger raises his head in alarm and looks to his rear. The camera pans back and there is the tail of the tiger raised up in the air with an itty, bitty turtle hanging on the end of his tail. Can't remember what tune goes with that one. They are a riot most of the time. The animals and the tunes change frequently.

ms_canada 12 years, 4 months ago

On the web page, I was happy to see that the words of the two versions of Nena's song were listed and the english was not named as a translation because it certainly was not a very good translation according to my Geman knowledge. I had never heard it sung in english. I get a little upset when I see so called translations that do not get it right. Why bother if you can't have it say exactly what it says in the original language. It is possible. We get that all the time here in Canada with our two official languages. I read french and burn when I see the english that does not agree with the french.

beatrice 12 years, 4 months ago

ms_c: Nena sang both versions, one for the world, the other for Americans who couldn't quite grasp enjoying a song in a different language. (Likely aimed for the same people who, when visiting Europe, don't know to pick up the visitors' brochure at various places that have the little British flag on it. Information desks were asked so frequently if they had brochures "in English" that most places now also have brochures with little American flags on them.) The words of Nena's song were likely altered to fit the rhythmic cadence of the original tune. Nothing like a little artistic integrity for ya -- I wonder what ever happened to Nena? Or Nina Blackwood, for that matter.

beatrice 12 years, 4 months ago

b_h: Well, apparently Nena has continued to wow the world with her music, even if those of us in the States have failed to pay attention. Thanks for the info.

Also, according to the site, I stand corrected: "In England the English version "99 Red Balloons" hit Number One on the British charts." It looks like it was the Brits who didn't want to hear a war song sung German. I guess that makes sense.

Linda Aikins 12 years, 4 months ago

Yeah! Beatrice and I are going to Canada! I am guessing with her strong feet, she could walk. I will drive, because I will bring the pole.

Oh thank you Aiko!

bearded_gnome 12 years, 4 months ago

okay, but what are the balloon display laws like in ottawa...could risk jail time for civil disobedience!

ms_canada 12 years, 4 months ago

The way they keep changing the laws in this country is driving some of us nuts. It gets more decadent each year. First legal same sex marriage, now group sex. What next? I think I'll move to Kansas. Will anyone volunteer to scout me out a nice little house for rent, preferably near La Prima Tazza. I will bring some buns and pudding, I promise. And I promise not to speak French when there is no one to translate it properly.

bearded_gnome 12 years, 4 months ago

oh! msc you would live near prima'. there are loft apartments new/expensive! older apartments above businesses...or you could put up residence at the salvation army? there's an exciting place--you never know who's living there!

ms_canada 12 years, 4 months ago

TOB - I didn't think so. I don't speak all that much anyway.

beatrice 12 years, 4 months ago

I have also told TOB that he must pay extra if arriving without a partner -- and a buffalo head under his arm does not count as a partner.

To learn more about the center of the swinging universe, just Google "Lawrence swingers." Or don't -- it might not be pretty.

Linda Aikins 12 years, 4 months ago

Well, I'm off to the Fort Worth Bowl. I wonder if I will return from Texas with all my faculties intact?

Merry Christmas everyone! May your families be fun, and your travels be safe, and your buffalo not be constipated.

beatrice 12 years, 4 months ago

Happy (and safe) travels to all!

TOB: Like I haven't heard that one before! (And I'm not even going to read anything dirty into what your date was doing -- sooner or later!)

DuQuesne 12 years, 4 months ago

If it were up to me, I'd have Google Earth centered on the back seat of my Dad's old Buick. For ..... sentimental reasons. -Schuyler DuQuesne

NorCalChestyLion 12 years, 4 months ago

Lawrence as the center of the world: in our hearts

Jayhawks have migrated to corners of our nation, and the world.

This is a small virtual mark saying Kansas is not just a flyoverstate with an evolutionary contentious nature. Proud,smart rational, creative and loving people reside and grow there.

Call it what you like but we grew up at 9th and Crestline. Why does Bob rate a street name ? It feels like Im referring to the LeaveItToBeaver opening credits each time I say that name.

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