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Study: Kansas Is Flatter Than a Pancake
Yahoo! ^ | Monday, July 28, 2003 | The Associated Press

Posted on 07/28/2003 4:08:48 PM PDT by Willie Green

For education and discussion only. Not for commercial use.

LAWRENCE, Kan. - Scientists have confirmed what many cross-country motorists long have suspected: Kansas is flatter than a pancake.

A study published recently in the tongue-in-cheek Annals of Improbable Research compares the geography of Kansas to that of a griddle cake purchased at International House of Pancakes.

"Simply put, our results show that Kansas is considerably flatter than a pancake," wrote the researchers from Southwest Texas State University and Arizona State University.

Blame Brandon Vogt, a doctoral student at Arizona State University, for the topic. Three researchers were eating breakfast when the talk turned to how flat their pancakes really were.

Vogt suggested comparing the pancake to Kansas. While a student at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Vogt made frequent trips across the state on Interstate 70 to visit friends in Columbia, Mo.

"It's flatness — there's nothing to see, nowhere to stop," Vogt said.

The researchers used a confocal laser microscope to map the terrain of a flapjack. And then, they compared that data to elevation data for Kansas from the U.S. Geological Survey.

The researchers discovered the pancake is much bumpier than it first appears.

Not everyone is buying into the research.

"My guess is you could put Colorado in there, the way they're calculating it, and it would be flatter than a pancake," said Lee Allison, director of the Kansas Geological Survey. "I think this is part of a vast breakfast food conspiracy to denigrate Kansas. It's a cheap shot."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Kansas
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1 posted on 07/28/2003 4:08:48 PM PDT by Willie Green
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To: Willie Green
In the 1880's thru the 1930's, my greatgrandparents didn't mind a bit how "flat" Kansas is. They prospered greatly as Stock Farmers.
2 posted on 07/28/2003 4:13:35 PM PDT by the Deejay
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To: Willie Green
Director of the Kansas Geological Survey?

Must be a high pressure position! Give that man a vacation.
3 posted on 07/28/2003 4:16:20 PM PDT by djf
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To: djf
Director of the Kansas Geological Survey? Must be a high pressure position! Give that man a vacation.

I dunno, determining the extent of flood plains would be a b*tch...

4 posted on 07/28/2003 4:20:33 PM PDT by Gunslingr3
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To: Willie Green
"I think this is part of a vast breakfast food conspiracy to denigrate Kansas. It's a cheap shot."--Lee Allison

Outstanding quote!

5 posted on 07/28/2003 4:22:54 PM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife (Lurking since 2000.)
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To: djf
Director of the Kansas Geological Survey?

Must be a high pressure position! Give that man a vacation.

I suspect he could survey the entire geology of Kansas from the top of a tall stepladder.

6 posted on 07/28/2003 4:23:17 PM PDT by LexBaird (Tag. You're it!)
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To: the Deejay
Flat is good for farming
7 posted on 07/28/2003 4:24:03 PM PDT by y2k_free_radical (i)
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To: Willie Green
I read once that if the Earth were the size of a cue ball, it would be smoother.

Sort of makes you wonder what it might be like exploring a cue ball the size of the Earth.
8 posted on 07/28/2003 4:25:27 PM PDT by Riley
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To: LexBaird
He probably wanders around the state like that Sprint guy, but instead of "Can you hear me now?" it's "Yup, it's flat here too!"
9 posted on 07/28/2003 4:26:05 PM PDT by djf
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To: Willie Green
Yes, but is Kansas flatter than Gwyneth Paltrow?
10 posted on 07/28/2003 4:26:42 PM PDT by quark
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To: Willie Green
"Simply put, our results show that Kansas is considerably flatter than a pancake," wrote the researchers from Southwest Texas State University and Arizona State University.

Tell that to these intrepid (tepid?) explorers who scaled Kansas' highest peak, Mt. Sunflower.

I N T O T H I C K A I R: Early April 1998 Ascent of the Northeast Face of Mt. Sunflower 4,039 feet above sea level

11 posted on 07/28/2003 4:29:36 PM PDT by TomB
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To: TomB
(Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Kansas' "highest peak" is 1000 feet HIGHER than Pennsylvania's )
12 posted on 07/28/2003 4:30:44 PM PDT by TomB
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To: Riley
"I read once that if the Earth were the size of a cue ball, it would be smoother."

Me too, and I'm suspicious. Earth is about 8000 miles in diameter, and the extreme elevations are about 6 miles above and below the nominal (sea) level. That's a +/-0.075% deviation. Apply that to a 2.25" diameter billiard ball, and you get a deviation of +/-1.7 thousands of an inch on the cue ball. If Everest had a 12 mile cliff next to the Mariannas trench, that would be a little less than the thickness of a sheet of copy paper.

I suppose that with extreme elevation changes being relatively gradual (a half-mile cliff being very unusual, and a mile-high cliff being unheard of), the ball-sized earth probably would feel as smooth, and have a surface deviation characteristics smoother than the ball.
13 posted on 07/28/2003 4:39:01 PM PDT by Atlas Sneezed
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To: Willie Green
Flatter than Eleanor Clift?

I love wide open country!

You just have to look for the nice places!


Atchison, KS


Witchita, KS

And, like Frank Zappa said: 'Who could imagine that they would freak out in Kansas?'
14 posted on 07/28/2003 4:45:36 PM PDT by rockfish59
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To: Beelzebubba
If Everest had a 12 mile cliff next to the Mariannas trench, that would be a little less than the thickness of a sheet of copy paper.

Working very roughly off of my freefall tables that's what, about six minutes of air, from a base jump?!!

15 posted on 07/28/2003 4:57:55 PM PDT by Riley
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To: Willie Green
It is also bigger than a breadbasket. I base that on my detailed survey while driving across it last year. There, now where's my grant money?
16 posted on 07/28/2003 5:03:18 PM PDT by KellyAdmirer
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To: djf
HEY! We have a valley here! I know 'cause my cell phone didn't work there.

But, yeah, the rest is flat. From the top of our local skyscraper (grain elevator), you can see the skycrapers of our nearby towns....

17 posted on 07/28/2003 5:38:50 PM PDT by eccentric
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To: Willie Green
This reminds me of a business trip I was on to Wichita flying 1st class. The stewardess was interested in what why we were going there. I told her we were researching a new location for a ski resort.
18 posted on 07/28/2003 5:43:51 PM PDT by VRWC_minion (Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and most are right)
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Comment #19 Removed by Moderator

To: eccentric
I took this in my backyard.(Well, actually, about a mile away, all I have is trees in my backyard)


20 posted on 07/28/2003 6:05:04 PM PDT by djf
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To: Willie Green
Well, it would be better with a few IHOPs scattered about.
21 posted on 07/28/2003 6:19:41 PM PDT by PatrioticAmerican (Helping Mexicans invade America is TREASON!)
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To: Riley
Sort of makes you wonder what it might be like exploring a cue ball the size of the Earth.

Hey! Don't bogart that, pass it here. ;-)

22 posted on 07/28/2003 6:26:31 PM PDT by StriperSniper (Make South Korea an island)
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To: Willie Green
Something tells me we're not in Kansas anymore...
23 posted on 07/28/2003 6:27:24 PM PDT by boris (The deadliest Weapon of Mass Destruction in History is a Leftist With a Word Processor)
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To: Willie Green
flat-earth.org
24 posted on 07/28/2003 6:31:32 PM PDT by bicycle thug
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To: Willie Green
If you think Kansas is flat, come down and see the Louisiana and Texas Gulf Coast.
25 posted on 07/28/2003 6:34:11 PM PDT by BnBlFlag
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To: All
The Flint Hills sure as heck aren't flatter than a pancake.

Eastern Colorado is more dull than western Kansas, and that is saying something.

Florida is flatter than KS in many spots.
26 posted on 07/28/2003 6:57:01 PM PDT by rwfromkansas (http://www.collegemedianews.com *some interesting radio news reports here; check it out*)
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To: djf
lol
27 posted on 07/28/2003 6:57:45 PM PDT by rwfromkansas (http://www.collegemedianews.com *some interesting radio news reports here; check it out*)
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To: VRWC_minion
How'd you like the airport? Small, isn't it?

28 posted on 07/28/2003 7:01:40 PM PDT by rwfromkansas (http://www.collegemedianews.com *some interesting radio news reports here; check it out*)
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To: Willie Green
Ever since I drove the length of Kansas, I've wondered if Kansans fall asleep behind the wheel with greater frequency than other people.
29 posted on 07/28/2003 7:02:43 PM PDT by squidly
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To: rwfromkansas
Here is a picture of the Flint Hills, which, quite frankly, is much hillier than any place I saw in Florida, though granted I basically saw the east/west coasts, central Florida and the Keys, no other areas:


30 posted on 07/28/2003 7:08:34 PM PDT by rwfromkansas (http://www.collegemedianews.com *some interesting radio news reports here; check it out*)
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To: VRWC_minion
This reminds me of a business trip I was on to Wichita flying 1st class. The stewardess was interested in what why we were going there. I told her we were researching a new location for a ski resort.

Hey, don't laugh! There IS a ski resort on Kansas (and no, it's not for cross-country skiing!) It's called Mt. Trashmore, and it's a closed landfill.

Mark

31 posted on 07/28/2003 7:10:55 PM PDT by MarkL (OK, I'm going to crawl back under my rock now!)
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To: Radix
Pancake Ping
32 posted on 07/28/2003 7:11:17 PM PDT by 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub
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To: rwfromkansas
True. Mt Rainier, about 30 air miles away.
33 posted on 07/28/2003 7:11:47 PM PDT by djf
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To: rwfromkansas
Another pic from KS:
34 posted on 07/28/2003 7:13:36 PM PDT by rwfromkansas (http://www.collegemedianews.com *some interesting radio news reports here; check it out*)
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To: MarkL
I think I saw that on the evening news once....:) lol
35 posted on 07/28/2003 7:14:23 PM PDT by rwfromkansas (http://www.collegemedianews.com *some interesting radio news reports here; check it out*)
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To: rwfromkansas
People probably throng there from far and wide, as much as 15 miles away!

Don't get bent, I'm just joshin ya!
36 posted on 07/28/2003 7:17:49 PM PDT by djf
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To: Willie Green
The only way to really tell would be to pour Mrs. Butterworth's syrup all over Kansas and see how much runs into Colorado and Nebraska.
37 posted on 07/28/2003 7:21:03 PM PDT by frodolives (Moose bites can be pretti nasti)
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To: djf
What Lake is that?
38 posted on 07/28/2003 7:22:24 PM PDT by cmsgop (If you Spinkle When You Tinkle,...Be a Sweetie and Wipe the Seatie......)
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To: Willie Green
Oh. I thought Sheryl Crow was flatter than a pancake.
39 posted on 07/28/2003 7:23:08 PM PDT by rintense (We'll miss you, Bob...)
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To: djf
:)
40 posted on 07/28/2003 7:24:56 PM PDT by rwfromkansas (http://www.collegemedianews.com *some interesting radio news reports here; check it out*)
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To: cmsgop
Tapps. The park on the north end.
41 posted on 07/28/2003 7:25:49 PM PDT by djf
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To: Willie Green
And they needed to spend grant money to figure this out?
42 posted on 07/28/2003 7:27:40 PM PDT by mathluv
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To: BnBlFlag
Yeah, but all those trees get in the way. Give me West TX anytime.
43 posted on 07/28/2003 7:30:35 PM PDT by mathluv
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To: TomB
(Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Kansas' "highest peak" is 1000 feet HIGHER than Pennsylvania's )

My brother worked a winter in the midwest years ago...being from the foothill area of California, he got a kick out of how the locals there would break out their slalom skis when a dog pooped and it snowed shortly thereafter...

44 posted on 07/28/2003 7:32:22 PM PDT by ErnBatavia (Bumperootus!)
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To: djf
Damm, I was gonna say that! Great Pic BTW. I remember in '97 I was renting a house on Lake Sammamish I had the same view in summer, only farther.....LOL!!!!
45 posted on 07/28/2003 7:33:32 PM PDT by cmsgop (If you Spinkle When You Tinkle,...Be a Sweetie and Wipe the Seatie......)
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To: djf
Now dif, you're showing off with Mt. Rainier again!
46 posted on 07/28/2003 7:34:55 PM PDT by Libertina
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To: rwfromkansas
The highest point in Florida is less than 400 ft. Elevation. It is in Northern Walton County.

Actually the area is fairly hilly although obviously not mountainous.

I suspect the lowest point in Kansas is higher than that.

I once lived in Dodge City, and there is some contour even on the plains. In fact less than 30 miles N of Dodge is some very pretty country around Jetmore.

47 posted on 07/28/2003 7:35:37 PM PDT by yarddog
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To: rwfromkansas
And there is nothing flatter than the High Plains around Lubbock, Texas -- God's pool table.
48 posted on 07/28/2003 7:37:08 PM PDT by okie01 (The Mainstream Media: IGNORANCE ON PARADE.)
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To: frodolives
"The only way to really tell would be to pour Mrs. Butterworth's syrup all over Kansas and see how much runs into Colorado and Nebraska."

Dooya know why Kansas can never win at football?

The state's so damn flat that when the Nebraska recruiters jack up the northern edge of the state looking for any Cornhuskers who might've fallen through the crack, all the football players roll south into Oklahoma.

49 posted on 07/28/2003 7:42:35 PM PDT by okie01 (The Mainstream Media: IGNORANCE ON PARADE.)
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To: StriperSniper
Hey! Don't bogart that, pass it here. ;-)

"You know what I want to hear."
"No, I don't."
"You played it for her, you can play it for me."
"Well, I don't think I can remember -"
"If she can stand it, I can. Play it."


50 posted on 07/28/2003 7:44:26 PM PDT by Riley
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