Friday, March 19, 2010

The middle of nowhere

In my last entry, we agreed that Upsala wasn't the centre of the universe. I thought with a little research I could prove that it was the centre of somewhere . . . but alas, it was all in vain.

Rugby, North Dakota is the geographic centre of North America. It's only eleven hours west of here . . . even if you drew a really big bull's eye on the map, I don't think Upsala could squeeze in.

Next, I tried for geographic centre of Canada, but I knew that was doomed from the get-go. Northern Canada extends nearly to Santa's backyard . . . so the geographic centre of Canada is Baker Lake, Nunavut. As much of an honor as it would be to live in the centre of Canada, I'm glad I don't live there.

The longitudinal centre of Canada is just east of Winnipeg, and only about five hours west of here. You can either take my word for it, or you can read about it here. That brings us closer, but not close enough. Oh well, at least I tried.

To make sense out of all this geographic gibberish, I included a map with the key central spots marked with black dots.

Rugby is the dot just above the R in America. Winnipeg is on the H in North. Baker Lake is north of Hudson Bay. Upsala is between Winnipeg an Lake Superior. We might not be the centre of the universe, but we're definitely in the middle of nowhere.

My claim that Upsala lies on the far-flung peripheral edge of the universe might be challenged by folks in Baker Lake, and other places in the Arctic, but here's how I look at it: the universe is pretty big, so we can assume that the far-flung peripheral edge is quite long . . . which makes plenty of room for all of us marginals.

On a more firefighterish topic, Phillip and I tried our hand at videography yesterday.

The crosslay strap and video are the result of a couple days work, and several weeks of thought, which sprang from an article that hit the news in January. If you check out my January 28 post, you can read the article and see some better quality video.

The far-flung peripheral edge is as much a figurative term as it is geographical. When it's 3:00 AM and the temperature is -35 and you've been fighting the fire since 4:00 PM and you feel like a knight in armour because your turnout is caked in ice and you know no one is coming to help you . . . you feel very, very far from everywhere.

There. A few more trivial tidbits about our peripheral village. Over the next few posts, I will try to educate the rest of the universe (or at least the part that reads this blog) even further . . . stay tuned.


  1. Um, you're talking into a--what is that?--a cat tail?

  2. Yes, a cattail (plugged into a currant bush . . .). Go ahead and say it - I've lived in the sticks too long :-)


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