"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.