Expressing Measurements Via Analogies / Comparisons

oxo66

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So the next instalment of 'Colossal Machines' (Sub Zero) has not been as fruitful as I was hoping for, but it did manage to re-use a few of our old favourites in new ways.
So we learned that the 'rotary snow plough' used on trains in snowy places can remove 77,000 tonnes of snow per hour, which is equivalent to the weight of 35,000 cars (but no mention of which type of cars, not even clarifying with 'average' or 'normal').
We also learned that Arctic sea ice can be 5 metres thick, the height of a double-decker bus.
And the 'Arktika' ice-breaker ship is the length of 2 football fields at 170 metres, and as wide as a 10 storey building at 34 metres (I guess they mean as wide as the building is tall).
Also, each of it's 3 motors weighs 270 tonnes, as much as the average house.

I think I'm an episode or two ahead of you, and I've just seen the one on mining equipment. Which showed a higher frequency of comparisons but less variety:

Two of the machines were compared to that average house, the weight of which is now so familiar: the Belaz 75710 dump truck is two and a half times as heavy as the average house while the Marion 8050 walking dragline weighs 'almost 20 times more than the average house' Since the dragline's weight is 3,000 tons the average house must have lost weight since the sub zero episode...

Anyway we also had lots of cars: The Leibherr 9800 excavator weighs about the same as 500 cars but its bucket can lift 80 tons, the equivalent of 40 vehicles of unspecified type. And the bucket wheel excavator Bagger 293, has a conveyer belt 3 metres wide 'big enough to carry away your average car'.

Volumes of spoil moved are of course measured in Olympic swimming-pools-full: 95 OSPF a day for the bagger, 20 OSPF a day for the Leibherr.

The silliest comparisons were for power output: the Belaz has four electric motors each producing 2,300 hp 'twice as powerful as a modern formula 1 racing car' which made me think "wow formula 1 power trains are amazing".

And the Leibherr 9800 was described as 'eleven times more powerful than the average excavator' Very helpful.


It was actually a very enjoyable episode.
 

Trevp666

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I love the way these programmes shoe-horn in a variety of unlikely comparisons with things that are either totally unknown in terms of their dimensions or weight, or comparisons with things that we know already but which only have a vague, ill-defined size/weight etc.
Indeed things like 'car' or 'house' could be anywhere within a certain range, and even then their attempts at making it easier by clarifying with a word such as 'average' or 'standard' is of no help either.

The Leibherr seems a bit weedy compared to the Bagger 293......
 

Trevp666

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Just in case you were at a loose end, and wanting to know if, indeed, a blue whale weighed more than 20 VW Beetles....etc....there is this 'fun' game.

https://www.weighoff.net/
 

Trevp666

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Some new unlikely comparisons from another episode of 'Colossal Machines' last night.
(there were quite a lot throughout this episode but mostly ones we've heard before)
So, the Big Bertha Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) weighs 6300 tonnes, the weight of 30 Diesel Locomotives.
The concrete ring segments that the TBM uses to reinforce and line the tunnel walls weigh an average of 200 tonnes each, which is about the weight of 35 African Elephants.
(so a diesel locomotive weighs about the same as around 37 African Elephants by my maths)
And some massive 3D printer is 6.7 metres wide, 3 metres high and 30.5 metres long, twice as long as a tube train carriage.
 

oxo66

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For a change of pace, BBC Breakfast this morning had a piece on the Tideway Tunnel AKA the super sewer. It was described as up to 65m underground 'the height of 15 double decker buses', 7m wide, enough for three double decker buses, and 15 miles long but disappointingly didn't give this in double-decker-bus lengths (about 2200 by my reckoning)
 

Trevp666

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the Tideway Tunnel AKA the super sewer.
They missed the opportunity to name it 'The Turdway Tunnel'.
Their analogous measurements show little creativity really though, don't they. They could have at least used comparisons that we are less familiar with, just to make it a little more challenging - eg. "...up to 65m underground....the equivalent of 26 domestic, artificial, Christmas trees"
 

Bad Bungle

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Three references to gold in my reading today - final one stated that Tutankhamun's death mask contained approx 10 Kgs of gold in it. Gold is heavy, denser than lead and I know how much a 10Kg sack weighs (yeah I know Kg is a unit of mass) but I can't work out in my head how much gold that is - big bit or liddy bit ? Is there another analogy/comparison for gold content other than units of weight ?
 

cycleboy2

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Three references to gold in my reading today - final one stated that Tutankhamun's death mask contained approx 10 Kgs of gold in it. Gold is heavy, denser than lead and I know how much a 10Kg sack weighs (yeah I know Kg is a unit of mass) but I can't work out in my head how much gold that is - big bit or liddy bit ? Is there another analogy/comparison for gold content other than units of weight ?
About the size of two packets of butter? (But more expensive. For the moment anyway...)

Screenshot 2022-05-08 at 18.06.24.png
 

Trevp666

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Caratage.
The weight of gold is measured in troy ounces (1 troy ounce = 31.1034768 grams), however its purity is measured in 'carats'.
'Caratage' is the measurement of purity of gold alloyed with other metals.
24 carat is pure gold with no other metals.


So in other words a less pure form of gold, at the same weight, would take up a greater volume if alloyed with metals of a lesser density, but not by a lot.

Of course the International Standard for measuring gold is 'the average person's living room'.
"How much gold is there in the world?"
"(...) the world produces a cube of gold that is about 4.3 meters (about 14 feet) on each side every year. In other words, all of the gold produced worldwide in one year could just about fit in the average person's living room!"
https://money.howstuffworks.com/question213.htm
 

Tunn11

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For a change of pace, BBC Breakfast this morning had a piece on the Tideway Tunnel AKA the super sewer. It was described as up to 65m underground 'the height of 15 double decker buses', 7m wide, enough for three double decker buses, and 15 miles long but disappointingly didn't give this in double-decker-bus lengths (about 2200 by my reckoning)
How many average jobbies does this equate to?
 

Mythopoeika

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Three references to gold in my reading today - final one stated that Tutankhamun's death mask contained approx 10 Kgs of gold in it. Gold is heavy, denser than lead and I know how much a 10Kg sack weighs (yeah I know Kg is a unit of mass) but I can't work out in my head how much gold that is - big bit or liddy bit ? Is there another analogy/comparison for gold content other than units of weight ?
Whoa - 10 kgs of gold is worth over 600,000 dollars!
 

Coal

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Three references to gold in my reading today - final one stated that Tutankhamun's death mask contained approx 10 Kgs of gold in it. Gold is heavy, denser than lead and I know how much a 10Kg sack weighs (yeah I know Kg is a unit of mass) but I can't work out in my head how much gold that is - big bit or liddy bit ? Is there another analogy/comparison for gold content other than units of weight ?
Half a UK house brick...
 
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