Whole Leaf Tobacco

Unit-of-measure-challenged America

deluxestogie

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
May 25, 2011
Messages
15,282
Points
113
Location
near Blacksburg, VA
Here are five consecutive headlines from a news feed today--all regarding the same object and same event:

"Iceberg twice the size of Washington, D.C., breaks off Pine Island glacier..."
"...iceberg bigger than Seattle..."
"...iceberg nearly the size of Atlanta..."
"...Iceberg 5 Times Larger Than Manhattan..."


Bob
 

ChinaVoodoo

Moderator
Joined
Sep 1, 2014
Messages
4,301
Points
113
Location
Edmonton, AB, CA
Gaahhh! Another thing about this that drives me nuts is that nobody, except (maybe) the people in those cities, knows how big those places are, anyways. Like I met a college-attending chick in Dubuque who didn't know where California was.
 

GreenDragon

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2018
Messages
1,005
Points
113
Location
Austin, TX
Most journalists today can't even spell or use proper grammar, (part of my morning routine is counting mistakes in news articles on the web), so why would we expect them to do math?

An iceberg 5 miles across and 10 miles long, or approximately ... ["Hey George, how do you convert miles to kilometers?.... Nevermind!" Picks random city name]... the size of Dallas, TX.
 

deluxestogie

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
May 25, 2011
Messages
15,282
Points
113
Location
near Blacksburg, VA
I think that providing length and width (any units will do)--or diameter for a more rounded object, is meaningful. To me, it's actually more meaningful that "square" measure, which I then have to break down to a guess of length and width in my mind.

With fires in California and Australia, square kilometers or square miles are both fairly meaningless, since the burn areas resemble the shape of Maryland more than Kansas--more like Indonesia than Chad.

To be perfectly clear about the iceberg, it is approximately the size of 40,000 Titanics.

Bob
 

ChinaVoodoo

Moderator
Joined
Sep 1, 2014
Messages
4,301
Points
113
Location
Edmonton, AB, CA
In 2019, 883,414 hectares of Alberta burned. I prefer to think of this as square miles because rural roads are measured in miles in Canada. Range roads run north south and township roads run east west and they are respectively 1 mile apart, so a square mile or a section is one square made by two of each roads.

And this is 640acres, so that 883,000 hectares is, gulp, around 2 million acres, so that's about, ummmm 2,000000÷640 = 3.....um 3000 square miles / sections. So, like 55x55 ish township roads by range roads.

I'm guessing that's bigger than Seattle.
 
Last edited:

tullius

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2019
Messages
342
Points
93
Location
NE Ohio
America is not unit of measure challenged: we have no paucity of measurement units. What we do have is many folks who don't know how to measure or convert units of measure so that they're useful to the audience. "reporters" with not much life experience from large cities are usually the noisiest and therefore first to fill the bill.
 

ChinaVoodoo

Moderator
Joined
Sep 1, 2014
Messages
4,301
Points
113
Location
Edmonton, AB, CA
America is not unit of measure challenged: we have no paucity of measurement units. What we do have is many folks who don't know how to measure or convert units of measure so that they're useful to the audience. "reporters" with not much life experience from large cities are usually the noisiest and therefore first to fill the bill.
I think you nailed it. And to be honest it isn't any different in Canada.
 

deluxestogie

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
May 25, 2011
Messages
15,282
Points
113
Location
near Blacksburg, VA
Distances are fairly easy. Since my typical, intentional walk down my road and back is precisely 17 furlongs, I can usually guess at other distances. Just don't throw rods at me. I was home sick during that day of fourth grade.
What we do have is many folks who don't know how to measure or convert units of measure
Like I said, unit-of-measure-challenged.

Bob
 

Charly

Moderator
Joined
May 1, 2016
Messages
1,777
Points
113
Location
France
This might make more sense
"... iceberg bigger than a Texas ten four."
Tabarnak !
Whatever, I think it's hard to imagine what a big object like this iceberg really looks like, even if you are in front of it.
It can be hard for anyone, not only for american people.
 
Top