Friday, December 29, 2006

11,000 Football Fields

Now that both James Brown's and Gerald Ford's corpses have cooled off a bit, I noticed CNN has decided to report on other stories again, at least until the impending and inevitable demise of Saddam Hussein (Oh No! No 'Zabiba and the King II'! Don't leave me hanging!)

One story today was about the ice shelf snapping off in the Arctic, specifically off Ellesmere Island in Canada. Reporters always like to put the sizes of things in terms you, the layman can understand, one popular unit of measurement being the football field. So in this case, 11,000 football fields. How is that gonna help me? I've never seen 11,000 football fields together. 11,000 is a big number. Is that how many grains are in a bag of rice? Am I supposed to spill the bag on the floor, and then imagine each grain is a football field? I'm kind of adrift here. That's like 'the dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago. That's like 2x10^13 network TV commercial breaks.' It doesn't really help.

Update: Saddam Hussein was hanged 2 hours ago. That's the time it would take a cheetah to travel 140 miles, if he were running on the Bonneville Salt Flats, and had plenty of water stations along the route.

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