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Expressing Measurements Via Analogies / Comparisons

Coal

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oxo66

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UK records wettest day ever with enough rain to fill Loch Ness​

“In climate statistics, 2019 will be remembered for possessing the UK’s hottest day, whereas 2020 will be associated with rainfall records.”

Storm Alex, October 2020: (Loch Ness holds 7.4 cubic kilometres of water = 7,400,000,000,000 litres)

https://www.examinerlive.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/uk-records-wettest-day-ever-19113044
I spent an unreasonable length of time yesterday trying to understand how much water is in Lake Windermere and all I kept on finding was "Loch Ness contains more water than all the English lakes combined" and that tidbit - that Loch Ness contains 7.4 cubic km.

"Enough rain to conceal a large supernatural monster".
Indeed it is because Loch Ness is really, really deep - 134 metres on average. Windermere averages only 20m. Which surprised me, frankly. And makes these lakes-full comparisons even more difficult to to visualise.

Windermere contains about 0.3 cubic km of water; Loch Ness has over three times the area and nearly seven times the depth.
 

Bad Bungle

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"Did we get much rain last night ?"
"Oh miles of it - enough to cover the bottom of the Mariana Trench."
 

Trevp666

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I haven't really noticed any 'size comparisons' lately and only yesterday I was mulling that point over in my head.
Then today this BBC news article appears with several excellent ones!

We have:
"A van-sized object dug out a 150m-wide bowl"
"a crater roughly one-and-a-half times the size of London's Trafalgar Square."
"its blast zone would fit neatly in the area inside the UK capital's orbital motorway, the M25."
"It's about 500ft wide, or about two city blocks across"

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-63418056
 

Trevp666

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And how easily the BBC switch between metric and imperial too.
 

Peripart

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And how easily the BBC switch between metric and imperial too.
I generally use (in my head at least) metric for smaller stuff, imperial for larger things. Hence, centimetres and metres, but miles also. I can picture a square metre, but a hectare? I always have to do some mental arithmetic to work out how many acres that is (2 and a bit, since you ask).

As for these "comparative" units, I am not sure whether they are metric or imperial. I suspect that a "Trafalgar Square" is imperial, but "area the size of Belgium" is almost certainly an official SI unit.
 

Trevp666

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No it isn't.
Belgium is about 65 Andorras.
1666958392028.png


Or about 12 times as big as the Chernobyl exclusion zone.
https://mapfight.xyz/map/ad/#be
 

EnolaGaia

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So how many Andorras are there to a Taured ?

That's a sort of "Schrödinger's" question, with two answers reflecting two possible states ...

If you believe a certain Fortean out-of-place traveler's lie to authorities, it's "1";
If you stick to the geographical reality, "0" is the appropriate answer.
 

Mythopoeika

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That's a sort of "Schrödinger's" question, with two answers reflecting two possible states ...

If you believe a certain Fortean out-of-place traveler's lie to authorities, it's "1";
If you stick to the geographical reality, "0" is the appropriate answer.
So it's both 0 and 1? Did Schrodinger's cat come from there?
 

Trevp666

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So it's both 0 and 1? Did Schrodinger's cat come from there?
Ah now, there is no proof that Schrödinger owned a cat.
The feline in question being merely a depiction of the animal used for the purposes of a thought experiment (no actual cats were harmed/not harmed during the experiment).
If Schrödinger did own a cat, or cats, then it/they was/were definitely not (as far as we know) experimented upon by him.
And as he was working in Oxford at the time, then the most likely origination of said kitty would have been some local pet shop.
Some references indicate that Schrödinger might have kept a cat when at Oxford called either 'Milton' or 'Toby', but this is unsubstantiated.
 

Tunn11

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Some references indicate that Schrödinger might have kept a cat when at Oxford called either 'Milton' or 'Toby', but this is unsubstantiated.
This gets more complicated. He may or may not have kept a cat and if he did (or didn't) it may have either been called Milton or Toby. :)
 

Xanatic*

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According to Schrödinger's daughter, he just didn't care much for cats.
 

Trevp666

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This gets more complicated. He may or may not have kept a cat and if he did (or didn't) it may have either been called Milton or Toby. :)
It becomes much less complicated 'when observed'.
 

oxo66

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I spotted a new one on BBC TV news this lunchtime.
Dairy cattle (possibly all cattle) in the UK produce 50 billion litres of manure a year, enough to fill Wembley Stadium twelve times over. I'm more familiar with the Albert Hall as a standard measure so I find that a bit hard to visualise.
 

Trevp666

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I'm more familiar with the Albert Hall as a standard measure so I find that a bit hard to visualise.
Well, Wembley Stadium is 4,000,000 cubic metres and The Royal Albert Hall measures 86,650 cu. m in total auditorium volume.
So a Wembley Stadium is roughly (slightly more than) 46 Royal Albert Halls.
Therefore, 12 Wembley Stadiums is about 554 Royal Albert Halls.
I hope that helps.
 

oxo66

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Well, Wembley Stadium is 4,000,000 cubic metres and The Royal Albert Hall measures 86,650 cu. m in total auditorium volume.
So a Wembley Stadium is roughly (slightly more than) 46 Royal Albert Halls.
Therefore, 12 Wembley Stadiums is about 554 Royal Albert Halls.
I hope that helps.

Thank you. Yes 50 bn litres a year is 50 million cubic metres a year is about 4.2 million cubic metres a month or roughly one Wembley Stadium-ful. And you're saying that one Wembley Stadium a month is about 46 Albert Halls-ful so about one and half Albert Halls-ful a day.

Yep that's a lot.

oxo
 

Trevp666

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so about one and half Albert Halls-ful a day.
Oh, you're talking about the daily rate?
Well in that case we have to use the international standard of 'Olympic Swimming Pools', so that would be 129,975/2,500, which is approximately 52 O.S.P.s per day.
What a load of crap!
 
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Well, Wembley Stadium is 4,000,000 cubic metres and The Royal Albert Hall measures 86,650 cu. m in total auditorium volume.
So a Wembley Stadium is roughly (slightly more than) 46 Royal Albert Halls.
Therefore, 12 Wembley Stadiums is about 554 Royal Albert Halls.
I hope that helps.

How long would it take you to fill them with poo?
 

Trevp666

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How long would it take you to fill them with poo?
What, personally, in the singular, using just what I can produce from my own back passage?
No idea. I might not ever be able to fill them.
But then again, judging by the prodigious production after the Full English I had this lunchtime, it might take me less time than I thought.
 

Trevp666

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Or 'monkeying about'.
 

Spookdaddy

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How about the phrase "I was having a whale of a time"?
If you are just slightly amused, should you compare that to a smaller animal? "I was having two elephants of a time;

Oddly, I've just come across a reference to the slang use of 'whale' in A M Burrage's ghost story, Playmates:

...She astonished and mystified him by using expressions which she could scarcely have learned from any member of the household. It was not the jargon of the smart young people of the day which slipped easily from her lips, but the polite family slang of his own youth. For instance, she remarked one morning that Mead, the gardener, was a whale at pruning vines.

A whale! The expression took Everton back a very long way down the level road of the spent years; took him, indeed, to a nursery in a solid respectable house in a Belgravian square, where he had heard the word used in that same sense for the first time. His sister Gertrude, aged ten, notorious in those days for picking up loose expressions, announced that she was getting to be a whale at French. Yes, in those days an expert was a ‘whale’ or a ‘don’; not, as he is today, a ‘stout fellow’. But who was a ‘whale’ nowadays? It was years since he had heard the term.

‘Where did you learn to say that?’ he demanded in so strange a tone that Monica stared at him anxiously.

‘Isn’t it right?’ she asked eagerly. She might have been a child at a new school, fearful of not having acquired the fashionable phraseology of the place.

‘It is a slang expression,’ said the purist coldly. ‘It used to mean a person who was proficient in something. How did you come to hear it?’...

So that's one option - being good at something.

But also 'whale' is still used in the sense of 'thrash' - so I wonder if a 'whale of a time' is similar in essence to 'a smashing time', a 'cracking time', a 'big hit' etc

Actually - it's kind of odd now I think of it, how many phrases that denote having a good time reference hitting things.
 
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