Times Subs – Report for your beating!

Their journey of 22,422 nautical miles (36,084km)

Err, no. That’s the conversion for statute miles.

41525.544 km for nautical.

As Chris Miller of this parish points out in the comments over there:

The kilometre was originally defined as 1/10,000th the distance from the pole to the equator (and, despite some improvement in modern measurement and a change in the definition of the standard, it remains a very good approximation). So any circuit that includes both poles should be at least 40,000 km in length. How then, have they managed to find a route some 10% shorter (36,084km)?

A nautical mile was defined as a minute of longitude at the equator, so (again ignoring minor corrections for the oblateness of the earth) the journey cannot be less than 21,600 nm, which indeed it is not.

Aha! Has someone used a conversion from statute miles to kilometres, instead of from nautical miles? Yes, it would appear they have. Subs: report for your beating!

That one of the Times’ subs is an occasional reader here just makes it all the better…..

12 comments on “Times Subs – Report for your beating!

  1. (i) I’ve heard on the radio a description of a ship travelling at, say, “10 knots per hour”. Should I merely exclaim, or should I throw things at the radio?

    (ii) On the web I see American policemen complaining that someone was travelling at a high “rate of speed”. What is a suitable response?

  2. dearieme

    The first is a simple units error; knots is a semi-technical term (by the standard of the “press” these days, at least

    The second is so widespread (and annoying) that I’ve begun to wonder if it isn’t a key phrase in some legislation. Surely police forces across the nation can’t all be equally incoherent in exactly the same phrasing?

  3. Dearieme

    The first is a simple units error; knots is a semi-technical term (by the standard of the “press” these days, at least)

    The second is so widespread (and annoying) that I’ve begun to wonder if it isn’t a key phrase in some legislation. Surely police forces across the nation can’t all be equally incoherent in exactly the same phrasing?

  4. Gah double posting!

    I theenk my mouse button isn’t properly debounced.

    Apologies to all for waste of photons…

  5. Tejas: Judging by a US pastime we’ve seen over here in movies of kids racing their hot-rods on Main St (is this still a thing?), one might consider that high ‘rate of speed’, i.e. fearsome acceleration, is written into some statute. That cops cite them for velocity rather than acceleration just shows how dumb they are…

  6. TG

    And the bizarre thing is that quite probably generic domestic automobiles of today have all round better performance than said hot rods.

    I like your explanation but it sounds violently at odds with the experienced realities of US traffic laws (which seem uniformly designed to raise revenues, not enhance public safety)

  7. “Surely police forces across the nation can’t all be equally incoherent in exactly the same phrasing”

    So wrong phrasings never enter the vernacular? I could [sic] care less.

  8. I have a book about the development of the car engine, all the way from the very first efforts in the late 1800s all the way through to about 2000 when the book was published. One thing that it mentions is that early efforts to tune side valve V8s in the US involved using longer connecting rods to increase the compression ratio. These were called hot rods.

  9. @Stonyground July 9, 2019 at 7:49 am

    Con rods – Hot rods (higher compression = hotter engine temp)

    Informative, thanks

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