by Virginia McConnell Simmons
At times, people like to feel assured that some things will never change. For instance, God’s in his heaven, the Big Dipper points north, and if you go east or west on the 39th parallel, you can take a swim somewhere around the Mediterranean Sea or fry an egg on a rock in Death Valley. Unless you are picky, and geographers do tend to be picky.
Take the 37th parallel north for instance. For 146 years this parallel has been a border running 761 miles between Kansas and Oklahoma, Colorado and New Mexico, and Utah and Arizona, but in 2009 the line was moved 365 feet south. Saving state legislatures and assessors’ offices a lot of trouble, the state line now is N 36?59.939. Whether the bronze disk marking the Four Corners will be moved remains to be seen.