Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Louisiana's latest FUBAR disaster is NOT the size of Rhode Island. It's bigger.

A surprising number of sources pointed this one out to me- thanks people! ;)

"An oil spill the size of Rhode Island"
There's a story here, which uses the phrase, but it was apparently used earlier on msnbc.com, who have since changed their phraseology, as well they should.

While this is a story much more fittin' for my other, more depressing blog, Lexacat's Guide To The Doom, my duty to defend Rhode Island from being used as an arbitrary measuring unit calls.

The oil spill is apparently now "an expanding area about 48 miles long and 80 miles wide, but with uneven borders, making it difficult to calculate its area in square miles," according to MSNBC's updated story, which makes it significantly larger than Rhode Island, which is a mere 37 miles by 48 miles. The oil spill is way bigger than Rhode Island. Hard to wrap your head around that, isn't it?

They're planning on lighting it on fire, which I'm sure will lead to excited reporters giddily talking about the fire the size of Rhode Island, and then to even more excited reporters dementedly talking about the pile of dead marine life the size of Rhode Island.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Yellowstone caldera IS the size of Rhode Island!

"Researchers believe the Yellowstone volcano, the size of Rhode Island, erupts every 600,000 years. There are 200 hot springs and geysers in this region with molten lava bubbling below the surface." Original article here.

Oh frabjous day, callooh callay, somebody got it right!!! Although, once again, does "the size of Rhode Island" mean a lot to people from outside Rhode Island? I hardly ever measure things in Delawares, or try to tell people "oh, so and so is about the size of Wales" (although, if I wanted to, a like minded maniac with better programming skills has made it easier to measure things in Wales at Size of Wales, should you get the urge.)

ANYWAY, the caldera at Yellowstone Supervolcano is damn close to the size of Rhode Island. If that thing gets frisky, we are so DOOMED. " The major features of the caldera measure about 34 miles (55 km) by 45 miles (72 km),"*, and Rhode Island is 37(60 km) miles by 48 miles (77 km), so that seems more than fair to me.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Iceland? I don't think so. Grr!

This absurd volcano-drama related headline has taunted me into exploding and raining my ash and lava of persnicketty-ness over the fool who wrote it.
"Iceland is the Disneyland of volcanoes, with 35 active volcanoes on or around the island. The island is about 100 miles long and 60 miles wide, about the size of Rhode Island."
(The wildly inaccurate article can be found here)

WRONG, on so many levels.

Iceland, for one, is not about 100 miles long and 60 miles wide. Neither is Rhode Island, clocking in at about 48 miles long by 37 miles wide, if you're keeping track. Iceland, rather, is approximately 285 miles long by 174 miles wide. *

Rhode Island is 1,545 sq miles in total land area. Iceland is 39,770 sq miles in total land area. Icleand is 25.7 times larger than Rhode Island.

Despite these epic differences in scale, and a mutual love of hákarl (Icelandic for "fermented shark"- tasty! and a favored Rhode Island snack!), the only other real shared attribute of Iceland and Rhode Island is their historical anarchism, as exemplified by the Icelandic Commonwealth (930–1262) Rhode Island (1636–1648.* God, I love the internet.

* http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/David_Oddsson.aspx
* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_anarchist_communities

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Olympic shout-out, courtesy of Bob Costas. Andorra is 1/6th the size of Rhode Island.

The hideously loquacious Bob Costas dropped this nugget during the parade of athletes on the Olympic Opening Ceremonies. "Andorra is one-sixth the size of Rhode Island", he said. He and Matt Lauer then talked, interminably, for hours. Was he right about this, the most important factoid of the evening?

According to Wikipedia, Andorra has "an area of 468 km2 (181 sq mi)".

Rhode Island, as we should all know by now, has an area of 4,002 km²(1,545 sq mi).
Bob Costas is sadly and unsurprisingly wrong. Andorra is about 1/10th the size of Rhode Island. Bob Costas is WRONG. Bob Costas should have to go to Rhody Joe's and eat their food and spin that ridiculous wheel and pole dance as punishment, but there is no justice in this cruel world.