Theres the whole water going down the drain the other way in the southern hemisphere. This will affect the pasta making, which in turn affects the 'handedness' of the macaroni - the traditional right hand rule, becomes a left handed rule (in order to determine the flux, which you dont need anyway ... for anything) - not that hard once you learn to play the saxophone.
Recent experiments by the folk at Cern with the LHC determined that Marco Polo was a fine chap and the 1/100000000 chance of it spontaneously developing a Death Star in orbit were unfounded.
It been suggested its actually just the most expensive crop circle ever...
Instead of measuring the distance from the wall to the node (wherever that may be), I measure the size of the projected image of the window. You will need a few more calibration points for this, but it has the great advantage that it works equally well for telephoto lenses and others where you don't know where the node is.
My "calibration set" is a casket set with 7 cells from 150mm to 750mm focal lengths. That gives me a sheet of cardboard with eight lines - left edge of the window, and one line for each 100mm step. Projecting the image of the window with the left edge lined up with the base line, it's easy to read off the focal length directly to within a +/- 10mm tolerance.
Without a casket set some calculation may be needed to make FL lines on the cardboard, but three or four known lenses should be enough.
Tortellini are too large for this, but spagetti-widths should be a useable unit of measure.