American in Spain

Accidentally Plagiarized

January 15, 2009

Today I was accidentally plagiarized by one of my blogging heroes, Phil Plait, keeper of the Bad Astronomy blog. He wrote a post titled "How far away is the horizon?" in which he goes about explaining how to calculate the distance to the horizon given your altitude above Earth. His methods are slightly different, but his diagram and data almost exactly match my "Distance To The Horizon" post from last March. When confronted about it, he said,

Holy cow. Mine really *is* similar to yours. I swear, I never saw it. I even searched to see if someone else had done this before! Great minds, I guess.

I believe him, of course. Even accidental imitation is a form of flattery.

I still like my post better because I calculate the distance along the surface of the ground and I include a handy javascript calculator rather than a lookup table. Plus, mine has actually been put to good use calculating the distance from Sarah Palin's house to Russia!