JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
I didn't think that there would be many entries for a series on measuring things with ships--they do pop up here and there, as with this issue of the Scientific American for March 31, 1906. There's probably room for a History of Measuring Things By Uncommon Non-Standard Means series on this blog--after all, there are examples for ships as a measure, and there are other bits on this blog about measuring things in units of the Eiffel Tower, gargantuanly-oversized bread, enormous nails, collections of beef, Trinity Churches, miles of soldiers, and the like. Here are a few examples:
- Measuring Things in Terms of Trinity Churches http://longstreet.typepad.com/thesciencebookstore/2013/12/jf-and-so.html
- Ships in the Skyline http://longstreet.typepad.com/thesciencebookstore/2008/09/comparative-d-1.html
- Ships on the Pyramid http://longstreet.typepad.com/thesciencebookstore/2008/09/jf-ptak-scien-3.html
These units of measurement do seem a little odd, but they really have a capacity to humanize inescapably difficult numbers by putting them in context with a known entity, like Trinity Church. In this new case of ship/measurement, the newest of the Cunard Line's transatlantic ocean liners (that would be named Lusitania and Mauritania) is presented here on the front page of the Scientific American pressed up against structures that are presumably well known amongst its readers.
- [Source: http://longstreet.typepad.com/thesciencebookstore/2008/09/jf-ptak-scien-3.html]
- [Source: Ships in the Skyline http://longstreet.typepad.com/thesciencebookstore/2008/09/comparative-d-1.html}