back to article Beeb gets the measure of the London Eye

Regular readers will know that the Vulture Central Weights and Measures Soviet, which a few years back set the maximum velocity of a sheep in a vacuum and quantified a raft of new benchmarks including the jub and the linguine, has been keeping a close eye on the BBC's own efforts to measure our world. In August last year, we …


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  1. Loyal Commenter


    That's 1.19 MegaJubs, and 4.8 Waleses respectively?

    1. Gavin Jamie

      That a whole lot of Wales

      Do phone books really require the cutting down of trees in an area four times the size of Wales or has a decimal point gone wandering?

  2. jake Silver badge

    "slightly more than three times"?

    One wonders if the "more" component approximates 0.1416 ...

  3. Mike Tubby


    But... what's the weight in Sheep? Come-on... we have used Sheep in the Standard Model for some time now... usually for height, but they also have an average weight of 58Kg according to the Welsh Halfbred Sheep Association.

    So... what's the saving that BT are going to make in standard Welsh Halfbread Adult Ewes?


  4. Jelliphiish

    other weights and measures

    the SI definition of a Tad: there are two sniggets to a tad. there are two widdlewats to a snigget. and about 14000 Kettles to a widdlewat, depending upon atmospheric density at the time of the Kettle. A Kettle is defined as the time between someone heading towards the Brew Machine and someone jibbing onto this and blagging a crafty one.

    1. Marvin the Martian

      What we rather want to know ---

      The size of the envelope being pushed, is it C6? Or more or less ambitious?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about not sending them out

    A lot of people need only 2 numbers:

    1) Their electricity company

    2) Their ISP

    1. AndrueC Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Very true.

      Make phone directories 'opt-in'. If people want them let them ask for them. I can't remember the last time I needed one. Most of my friends use mobiles so they aren't even listed.

      As for companies - who the hell uses a telephone to contact businesses? If you can't find the company on the web then they aren't worth doing business with.

      1. Crazy Operations Guy

        I needed one once...

        But that was just to shore-up a server rack with a bum foot, in retrospect a .Net book would have worked just as well (After the developers figured out how to use IntelliSense and MSDN, the books have been relegated to holding other objects in place).

        1. Francis Boyle Silver badge


          last time I used a phonebook was to replace a broken castor on a swivel chair. Tough buggers but unfortunately not much good against sheer forces.

      2. Gavin King

        That's interesting

        In my experience, the companies that you can't find on the internet are the ones that tend to be the most worth dealing with. Better people, and a far better quality of service from them.

        Admittedly, most of what I do is agricultural (and in New Zealand at that), so it may be biased more than a bit, but that's what I reckon.

        That said, I do think that phone books may as well be "opt-in"; the vast majority of people don't tend to use them anymore, and it does seem like a bit of a waste to have the tonnes and tonnes of books floating around.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    but how many...

    ... Olympic sized swimming pools can be filled with the saved paper?

  7. Kubla Cant

    Saving trees

    It's not that I don't get the joke, but I always find it bizarre when people talk of saving trees by using less paper (as in "save pine forest covering 4,813 MilliWales from the chop").

    You might as well talk about saving wheat by eating less bread. The conifers used to make paper are a crop, specially grown for the purpose. In the unlikely event that paper use really is reduced, there will be fewer of these trees, not more.

    I have an uncomfortable suspicion that quite a few people (present company excepted, of course) think that "saving trees" is good because paper is made from Amazon rainforests.

    1. Bilgepipe


      I did a search, Amazon don't sell rainforests.

      1. AndrueC Silver badge

        They do sell trees though


  8. jimbarter

    ...but neglect to give figures for the African swallow.

  9. Chris Collins


    Softwood, with its short growing cycle, is only beneficial to the environment if we keep planting it. Reducing the demand for softwood (e.g. by recycling paper) means that there is less financial incentive to plant and maintain softwood forests. The land will be re-used to do something else, most likely not acting as a carbon sink. So it's actually deleterious to the environment to reduce your paper demand. Paper when used as fuel is not releasing fossil carbon into the atmosphere, either. The increase in demand for new hardware (with it's rare elements, poisons, shipping from China etc) to store information previously on paper means that this is in fact an anti-environmental move and should be advertised as such - BT's planet-destroying policy.advertised by Beeb.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    stupid beeb

    Most people can have no comprehension of the weight of the London Eye. (can't afford to go on it?)

    What was wrong with buses?

  11. Andy Neillans

    Phone Book? What's that?

    Not used one in years ... they should make them on request. Problem solved. Oh wait, sod it, we pay a fortune to these idiots, we might as well get a door stop out of them.

    1. Bob Wheeler

      Re: Phone Book? What's that?

      PhoneBook - It's like FaceBook but not quite the same.

      Ok, I'm going back to the pub now.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    a raft of new benchmarks

    OK, so how many benchmarks are there in one raft?

    (only seven, according to the linked article)

  13. Bilgepipe


    MilliWales? I thought it was JimmiWales?

    I'm so confused...

  14. Gronklenut

    Extension to Reg units - include time

    They missed out time however, and I make a plea for the millifortnight (20.16 minutes)

    This is a very useful length of time, what can you usefully do that takes less than that. (I said usefully!)

    It also scales well,

    centifortnight - 3.36 hours

    microfortnight- about 1.2 seconds

    10 microfortnights- just over 2 minutes


    The eruption of Vesuvius took out an area of 13 milliWales, although the effects of the blast were felt up to a thousand brontosauruses away. Survivors reported rocks and pumice the size of Bulgarian airbags falling from the sky for a centifortnight before the tragedy, and experts have calculated the total debris would fill around 120,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

    1 year is 26 fortnights (and one day, but as that day is New Years Eve, and most people don't remember it, it doesn't count)

    I know, I know I should be doing real work, but, it's a Friday.

  15. Trundle
    Thumb Down


    So 4,813 MilliWales? Thats equal to 4.813 Wales, surely you mean MicroWales ?

  16. Wanda Lust
    Paris Hilton


    Prefer 1.19 MegaJubs.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Capitalisation and precision, too.

      Whilst we're here, the article's KiloJubs and MilliWales should be kilo and milli and quoting five places of precision for an area of forestry simply isn't credible unless they control the width of their landrover tracks to a disturbingly anal degree.

      Your 1.19 MegaJubs is/are just fine, of course.

  17. Bernd Felsche

    So which is larger?

    A ship of fools or a BBC of fools?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Won't somebody think of the squirrels

    At least they get to keep their, tree down tree up homes in the more respectable area codes

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