It’s raining. My only mode of transportation, other than by the two things attached below my butt, is a bicycle. Oh, wait: I forgot Uber. While I like to walk in the rain, even cold rain, riding a bike in the rain just ain’t my thing. So, having gotten tired of watching movies all day, having run out of funny YouTube videos, having eventually gotten in way over my head with Richard Feynman’s lectures, I’m bored. So, I entertain myself…. Wait, no… not that way. Once a day is enough. So I stopped by GC to peruse one of Dissident's posts or check up on Eeyore when luckless stopped me. I made a few idle replies then got stuck at the keyboard. The following is what happened. Anyway, on with the show:
Like I said, most of the morning was spent with Feynman and it takes a lot of his lectures to tire me out. A dimensional prefix discussion comes on the heels of his lectures so you’re stuck with me ranting about them. (Luckless, I just might visit lifeline one day. But I'm more relaxed with a solitary keyboard that can concoct stuff like the following:)
I thought to write about inches but twelve inches is a foot and quite boring. Besides, Canada is (supposed to be) metric. Let’s stick with the silly meter. A parking meter. Uh, no. Feynman would roll over in his grave.
One meter is, well, a meter. But ten meters is called what? I looked it up: ten meters is called a decameter. How you pronounce that is up for grabs. De-ka-meter? De-cama-meter? It can’t be de-sam-eter because that’s something else, almost. Let’s keep going up.
One hundred meters is a heck of a meter, a hectometer.
One thousand meters is what all Canadians get speeding tickets in: killer meters. Or, a kilometer.
I knew a pretty little girl, once, named Megan. I named a million meters after Her. She currently lives in Toronto but is still American, though. She had no idea what a megameter was.
She did giggle, however, when I told Her what it was. So, I named a billion meters after Her comments: giggle meters. Or, a gigameter.
Her Mom came in to see what all the noise was about and saw that Megan’s party dress was a bit out of place. Mom yelled at Megan who ran out of the kitchen crying. As She left, She called Her mother terrible. Thus, a trillion meters became a terrible meter. Or, a terameter.
Her Mom then called me a pedophile. Yup, a quadrillion meters is a petameter. Petameters like little meters, I guess.
I couldn’t find any silliness in the exameter, the zettameter, nor the yottameter. 886.48 Ym – 93.7 billion light years – is the diameter of the observable universe. Beyond that gets beyond silliness anyway. So, let’s go the other way… unless you’re just a bored as I am.
Back to the meter, again. One meter is the approximate height of the top part of a doorknob on a door. Check it yourself. Megan and I did. It’s not exact, but close enough. It’s also about the diameter of the beach ball that Megan still has in Her room that I blew up for Her last summer. For those of you who have seen any of Megan’s favorite movies, a meter is how tall a Hobbit is. Megan is a little bit taller than that but She is my hobbit. Gandalf is almost twice as tall as a Hobbit. I’m not. Oh, well. I’m an Orc. So says Her mother.
A Desimeter has nothing to do with Desiderio Alberto Arnaz y de Acha III, better known as Desi Arnaz. However, one decimeter (see above, decameter) is not in common use but it IS the size of one human hand. It’s also the diameter of an average potato. When I told Her that it’s also the diameter of the human cervix upon entering the second stage of labour, Megan asked if that was manual labour. I pointed in the general direction of where Her cervix is. Cervix, Megan!
That evening, we went outside to the backyard’s deck to see how bright Mars was becoming. I slapped at a mosquito. It was about one and a half centipedes long. A Canadian mosquito is about 1.5 centimeters long. Quite small for such a damned thing but much bigger than an American one. A centimeter is also the width of my fingernail I use to scratch that damned bite bump on my arm.
Because we’re getting into very small measures of things, we’re going to have to leave common sizes of things behind. Well, the diameter of a pinhead is one millimeter. The only Millie I know is Millie Bobby Brown, born 19 February, 2007. She’s sweet sixteen now. But, boy, when She was younger: In 2013, She made her acting debut as a guest star in the ABC fantasy drama series Once Upon a Time in Wonderland portraying Young Alice. Anyway, can we call this size of a meter a millibobbymeter?
The width of one strand of Megan’s hair, and Millie Bobby’s hair for that matter, is about 200 micrometers. Not to get side-tracked much, but the length of a typical human spermatozoon’s head is about 5 micrometers. I chose not to discuss this with Megan.
Here is where we really have to leave Megan and Millie Bobby behind. I do have a photo of both of the girls on my computer. Legal, of course. The hard drive that holds those images has a recording/reading head that “flies” 3 nano-nano meters above the spinning disk. Say “hello”, Mork.
If you peek at a peeko meter, you’ll find that one of them is about the distance between one atomic nuclei in a white dwarf star. Oh, wait! Wouldn’t that be a reference to Millie Bobby? She’s a movie star, white, and, well, short for a sixteen year old. So kind of like a dwarf, eh?
Richard Feynman would smile at me if I told you that one femtometer is the diameter of a neutron. How to make a silly name out of that is beyond me. A feminine meter? Uh, close, but… no.
An attaboy meter would be my next distance lampoon for the attometer. One attometer is the sensitivity of the LIGO detector for gravitational waves. Richard Feyman’s lectures again.
There is the zeptometer but you’ll have to ask one of Feyman’s colleagues about any meaning of one of those. Less than 1 zeptometer you can get into yoctometers in which you are getting close to the Planck length. Measures of distance shorter than this are considered nonsensical and do not make any physical sense, according to current theories of physics. But, you know me. Half of a Planck length is a billion Gimwinklemeters.
So there, luckless. See what you started? Now, I’m going to go watch paint dry somewhere.