# Why can’t they use the right damn measurements?

Penguins threatened by iceberg ‘the size of Somerset’

As everyone knows the correct comparator for land areas is the “Wales”. This being some 200 milli-Wales or, if we are to be entirely proper about this, one third of a mark of a Wales sterling.

Some do use Luxembourg as their comparator but that’s metric so who cares what J. Foreigner does.

## 25 thoughts on “Why can’t they use the right damn measurements?”

1. That’d be about two Isles of Wight then

2. How many olympic-sized swimming pools are there to the Wembley Stadium?

We could call these the Postimperial Measurements.

3. Penguins deserve to die if they can’t get out of the way of a drifting iceberg*. Natural selection can be ugly sometimes.

Maybe if they put it in polar bear equivalents, I could care.

BWTM: The iceberg is 100 fathoms deep. It well run aground 80 furlongs off shore.

*The iceberg has traveled a thousand miles in 3 years. ‘Collide’ is rather melodramatic.

4. @VftS

On the basis of “Cuius est solum, eius est usque ad coelum et ad inferos” I would be surprised if that iceberg is more voluminous than my back garden…

5. ‘ The bus is a unit of length, so I suppose the question should be “bendy or rigid?”’

The Double-Decker is the unit of height, stacked for low rise, then it is the Nelson’s Column for taller things. (The metric unit of height is the Eiffel Tower, stacked, or unit of length, laid end to end.)

The Imperial unit of length is the Football pitch.

6. My old copy of the highway code had double-deckers so I take that to be the imperial standard 🙂

7. Icebergs have previously caused problems for the penguin colonies on South Georgia. The penguins lay their eggs near the shore, so they can pop out for some fish to feed the young ‘un – then a dirty great berg bumps up and their short waddle becomes a marathon. This means the loss of a year’s cohort of young, but that’s not a catastrophe for penguins, which are relatively long-lived birds. No doubt such events have been happening from time to time for as long as there have been penguins.

8. But Chris, that is exactly our darwinian paradox. If this happens on such a frequent basis, how come the penguins haven’t found somwhere less hazardous to live, like Croydon ? Or devised some anti-berg protection, such as lining the coast with whale blubber or bits of Argentine submarine ?

Are such events beyond the collective memory of a penguin colony ? Shouldn’t someone tell them ? Perhaps a few “Beware of the Icebergs” signs might help them. There are plenty of soldiers down in the South Atlantic these days, the Royal Engineers could put them up. Oh why doesn’t the government do something useful instead of wasting all that money on HS2.

9. But Chris, that is exactly our darwinian paradox. If this happens on such a frequent basis, how come the penguins haven’t found somwhere less hazardous to live, like Croydon ?

My niece lives in Croydon, from what she says the penguins are better off taking their chances with icebergs.

10. No paradox, Otto. As I said, penguins are adapted to survive perfectly well the loss of an entire year of young. It would be a problem if this happened every other year, but once every decade or two really doesn’t matter.

11. Don’t get squaddies involved with penguins – they’ve already had far too much fun getting the buggers to look up, up, up and then fall over backwards. At scale, and tremendously amusing, apparently.

12. “Icebergs have previously caused problems for the penguin colonies on South Georgia. The penguins lay their eggs near the shore, so they can pop out for some fish to feed the young ‘un – then a dirty great berg bumps up and their short waddle becomes a marathon.”

That’s what the Times wants you to think. The story is bogus; this ‘berg is way too big to get close to shore.