Talk:Rock City

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Fat Man's Squeeze[edit]

I recently visited Rock City (12/27/2012) and it appears the name has been changed to Needles Eye. Should this be changed?

Seven States claim[edit]

I have researched the topic of lines of sight extenstively, see [1]. The view from Lookout Mountain (near to Rock City) is here.

Take the claim about Virginia. The distance to the nearest point in Virginia is 150 miles (240 km) and rises to about 800 metres. The height of Rock City is about 700 meters; the height of the relevant intervening terrain is about 200 meters. To get the horizon distance (in km), multiply the square root of the height difference in metres by 3.85.

For Rock City in the direction of Virginia, that's sqr(700-200)*3.85 = 86 km. For Virginia in the direction of Rock City, that's sqr(800-200)*3.85 = 94 km.

Total 180km. Line of sight to Virginia? No way. Even North Carolina is marginal. The fact that they want us to believe that seven states are visible does not alter the terrestrial facts. Viewfinder 03:08, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

I believe the argument is that, from the lookout, you can see mountains that are in the particular states. This may be possible by use of a telescope or similar device.--Bedford 03:30, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Telescopes make no difference. It is the curvature of the earth that is the issue. You cannot see below the horizon even with a telescope. There are higher mountains in Virginia than the one I mentioned but they are also further away. Apparent height loss due to curvature varies with the square of distance. The article [2] admits that the distance claims made at the site of the telescopes are way out. Viewfinder 03:57, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
In fact, closer examination of my SRTM and USGS relief models shows that the relevant intervening terrain contains several intervening ridges rising to 350m which would obstruct the line of sight. But the amusement park has been selling the "seven states" theme for decades. If there were a line of sight it would have been found and illustrated, but the professor cited in the article specifically denies any knowledge that this has been done. Viewfinder 05:01, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Your research is irrelevant. The article you point to doesn't even make the claim that the "Seven States" claim is a myth. If the math is as elementary as you say it is, it should be easy to find someone with a reliable source saying so. But until then, this stuff can't go in the article. WikipediaSnopes.com. 64.126.24.11 22:54, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
With respect, I have been on Wikipedia for two years and have accumulated more than 4,000 edits. I am well aware of WP:OR and WP:RS. There is a distinction between OR and fact that can be verified. The mathematics is not original research, the horizon formula is at Horizon. I made the claim that "no scholarly survey supports the claim" and cited an article that quotes an expert. I don't oppose your rewording of the main sentence, but the citation should be restored, together with the footnote, which states nothing that is not verifiable. That it is claimed at Rock City that Virginia is 120 miles away is hard fact. That it is 150 miles away can be verified by anyone with an atlas and a ruler. Still, we can discuss the wording of the footnote. Viewfinder 01:17, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
By the way, regarding your point about Snopes, see V-sign#supposed_origins, where Snopes is used to debunk a myth. We at Wikipedia are here to inform, and if that includes debunking myths, so be it. Deleting facts that challenge myths is censorship. Viewfinder 01:42, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
You cited yourself as far as I can tell; that's bad form in any case. Whether or not the formula is available in another article is largely irrelevant; if the math is that easy to do, someone will have done it and published it, and then we can post it. Until they do, the debunking remains unverifiable (I'm not talking about the distance miscalculations, although ideally that should be sourced as well). The Snopes reference you point out is not what I'm talking about; that's Snopes' job, not ours.
I've got thousands of edits myself when I'm logged in, but if I fail to follow the policies and guidelines, I expect to be called to account on it. Since this is a fairly low-traffic page, shall we ask for a third opinion or ask for someone from a relevant WikiProject to stop by? 64.126.24.11 18:40, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
The distance miscalculations are sourced, read the article, by a neutral party, that I have cited. As I have said, we can argue about the wording of the footnote, but I do not see why we should not cite the horizon distance formula and state other verifiable facts about the topography between Lookout Mountain and Virginia. Anyone interested in this subject should be able to see that the intervisibility between two points cannot exceed the sum of the two hotizon distance. The horizon article point outs that atmospheric refraction extends the horizon by increasing the effective radius of the earth, and from this statement the 3.85 formula can be verified. Variations in atmospheric refraction, and some freak visibility claims are discussed on my site at [3]; we could mention such freak claims, but no photographs in support of any freak claims have been published. We can leave the readers to make up their own minds about the visibility claim, just like the article I cited does, and like we do at Turin Shroud. Get more opinions if you wish, but I stand by my claim that I am stating relevant and verifiable fact and not my own original research. Incidentally, (i) responding to what we don't want to hear or read by calling it "irrelvant" is a stock response, and (ii) if Snopes debunk a myth, then we can cite Snopes. Viewfinder 21:02, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
You're not understanding what I'm saying; if Snopes had a debunking of this claim, we could link to it. But as far as my search could determine, they don't. The expert you're quoting on viewfinderpanoramas.comorg doesn't give a conclusive answer that it *must* be false, and you can't just "extrapolate", it's not how things are done here. The measurements being wrong? Sure, we mention that that is wrong. But you have to find someone else who has described the maximum visible distance on the earth's surface, not your own calculations, sorry. -- nae'blis 00:19, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
I have conceded we should not give a conclusive answer, but we can supply the verifiable facts about the horizon distance and the topography that lies between Rock City and Virginia. By the way, viewfinderpanoramas.com does not exist. As I made clear, the above link is to a page on my own site. Viewfinder 12:28, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
You're right, I was writing that URL from memory and got the domain wrong. 64.126.24.11 16:12, 16 August 2007 (UTC) (nae'blis, not logged in)
  • Third Opinion Hi everyone. Well I'm going to have to side with Nae'blis on part of this issue. Extrapolation is bad and, although this does seem to be simple math, because nobody else appears to have calculated it in a reliable source, it's best to avoid making assumptions from it. Whether the calculations can be added, without any commentary, is another issue. I think they can as long as the numbers used in the calculations are verifiable. Addition is not OR. No conclusive "rejections" or "acceptions" can be made without an explicit source rejecting or confirming it. So Nae is right on that. The calculations, themselves, aren't original research though. Bulldog123 17:50, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
The formula at horizon is d = \sqrt{13h},, but in practice, as stated at horizon, the radius of the earth should be increased by about 20% to allow for normal atmospheric refraction. It can therefore be verified that this amends the formula to sqrt(15.6h), or 3.95 * sqrt(h). I was using 3.85, the same near enough. Viewfinder 21:18, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Fourth Opinion - I think the math can be excluded from the article. The statement that the veracity of the claims that you can see seven states is enough, and it that statement is covered in the article as it is. If the statement read "the claim that you can see seven states is entirely false" then the mathematics would be required to prove it, but since there is no such claim, I believe the article does not require the mathematics. -- Steven Williamson (HiB2Bornot2B) - talk ▓▒░ Go Big Blue! ░▒▓ 15:30, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
The claim that you can see seven states is entirely false, and the mathematics can easily can be rolled out to prove this. But it seems that there are objections to "OR", "debunking" and "extrapolation". If editors' opinions will not stand for this, then so be it. But hard and verifiable facts, i.e. the horizon distances from Rock City and Pinnnacle mountains, and the distance falsehoods at the site, are relevant and should not be removed. Viewfinder 21:25, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
Given that the arithmetic is in a footnote that can be easily ignored except by those who are interested, I do not think we should have a problem with it. But if we do, we can replace it with "numerically minded readers can apply these figures to the horizon distance formula". You do not need to be a mathematician to do this; other than basic arithmetic, all you need to know is what a square root is, and where to find it on a calculator. Viewfinder 21:43, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm not saying that it hurts the article by being included. In fact, I did the math as well, and it is false that you can see the seven states. I was merely stating the opinion that the math doesn't need to be included in the article as readers can figure the numbers for themselves. It's fine with me either way. (Besides as the article that's referenced mentions, the claim that you can see seven states isn't a big deal anyways, as you can see more than that when you're in an aircraft.) It wasn't my intention to sound as if I wanted it removed, I was just voicing an opinion. -- Steven Williamson (HiB2Bornot2B) - talk ▓▒░ Go Big Blue! ░▒▓ 14:26, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Fat Man Squeeze Pic[edit]

The current image is a copyrighted one... I have one that can be uploaded to commons. Would that be preferable? (Assuming quality is good enough?) Benders Game 19:22, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

It's 4 months since you posted, but if you are still paying attention I say go ahead; non-copyrighted is always better.--King Bedford I Seek his grace 11:41, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
Never mind, that kind of copyright is OK, as it's free use. I copyright pictures like that and put them on Wikipedia all the time.--King Bedford I Seek his grace 11:42, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

See Rock City[edit]

There are at least six barns in Illinois and seven in Indiana that say "See Rock City", including one just off of U.S. 41 just south of Fort Branch in southern Gibson County, Indiana. Rhatsa26X (talk) 17:40, 26 July 2010 (CDT)

I was surprised not to see any mention of the birdhouses. A b'house on a tshirt was mentioned in the pop culture sec, but does no one else remember seeing the Rock City birdhouses, painted just like the barns in red and black, all along the highways of the south? I don't have facts or figures, but there were many more RC b'houses than barns, at least one allegedly in Hawaii. Byers may have painted them as well, but i doubt it. There were just too many of them for one guy.

The deal on the barns was interesting. The legend is that no money changed hands with the barn owners: if u wanted a good free paintjob on your barn, RC would give you one. Innovative advertising, and some wealth was generated.

Ragityman (talk) 11:05, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

Promotional Tone?[edit]

The last two points in the Culture section (about music and events) seem promotional and biased.