11 January, 2011


Meeting yourself coming back

I'm sure such journalistic units of measurement as the London Bus, the Albert Hall (large volumes), the Wales (very large areas), the African Elephant (weight) and the Human Hair (very small widths) are very useful in helping us visualize the unfamiliar, but how far these factoids from the Torygraph report on the recently opened Qingdao-Haiwan bridge advance human understanding is open to question:
A staggering 450,000 tons of steel was used in its construction – enough for almost 65 Eiffel Towers – and 2.3 million cubic metres of concrete, equivalent to filling 3,800 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
I can just about visualize an array of 65 Eiffel Towers, but 3800 Olympic swimming pools — filled with concrete, no less — overtaxes my tiny mind.

It's odd, isn't it? I've seen that measurement in Olympic-sized swimming pools before, but only ever about liquids!

A swimming pool full of concrete is what is technically known in the building trade as 'not a swimming pool'. Rule of thumb: if you can park an eighteen-wheeler on it, not a swimming pool.

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