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The Rim of Space on Audio

Blackstone Audio have release The Rim of Space on Audio as part of A Galaxy Trilogy VOL. 4






















The Mentor

Oct 1983

Having browsed through the R & R Dept. of TM 45, I feel impelled to take up the cudgels in my own defense. Harry Andruschak, in his letter, says that he was thrilled to have caught me out in a mistake.

What mistake?

I admit to not having been sufficiently explicit. I should have said that the nautical mile in one minute of latitude at the equator, not, as I apparently did say, one minute of latitude, period. But it still seems something, which is more than either the land mile or the kilometre do. (Of course, one minute of longitude at either the North or the South Pole means nothing.)

One of my main whinges about metric measurements is the way in which they are taking the poetry out of life. For example, what used to be a common saying: Give him an inch and he’ll take a mile. Can you imagine saying; give him a centimetre and he’ll take a kilometre? Dr descriptive figure or speech: Inching his way forward... Can you imagine anybody millimetring his way forward?

Shakespeare Wrote: Full fathom five thy father lies...

Would have been written: Full metres ten, more or less, thy father lies...?

And from Kipling:

Arid it’s twenty thousand mile
To our little, lazy isle
Where the trumpet orchids blow...

Substitute:
And it’s forty thousand kilometres, more or less, To our little, lazy isle &c.

So not only do we have an utterly illogical - insofar as its basic unit is concerned - system of mensuration foisted upon us but one with considerable built-in ugliness.

Somebody should have applied an aesthetic yardstick before that deplorable decision was made.
Originally Published in The Mentor No: 46 - Oct 1983