Finding north when your axis shifts

According to NASA, the 9.0 earthquake in Japan shortened Earth’s day by just over one-millionth of a second (1.8 microseconds to be exact) and shifted the Earth’s axis by about 6.5 inches. Apparently, by changing the distribution of the planet’s mass, the quake likely caused the Earth to spin a tiny bit faster and shortened the time the planet takes to rotate each day.

It was also recently reported in the NZ Herald that “it sounds unlikely but it’s true – the magnetic north pole is moving faster than at any time in human history, threatening everything from the safety of modern transport systems to navigation routes of migrating animals…Scientists say magnetic north, which for 200 years has been in the icy wilderness of Canada, is moving west towards Russia at about 65km a year.”

Magnetic north is moving rather quickly, our day has just got a teency bit shorter, and as a friend said in an email today “I’m not sure what folks are up to these days, as I think most folks aren’t sure themselves of what they’re up to!”

We’re nearly a quarter of the way through the year. Nearly all of the folk I know are crazy busy and reluctant to commit to anything which might make them spin faster. And seeing as we’re all interconnected – not only with each other, but the planet – I wonder how the shifting axis might be shifting our own internal axes. If animals are having to re-navigate their migration routes, perhaps we too, in ways we’re not entirely conscious of, are having to move in different ways.

Which makes it all the more important, I reckon, to find a moment of stillness each day and find your north.

Just a thought.

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