## 1711Hammock Camping Re: utterly amazed I am

Expand Messages
• Jun 10, 2003
Robi,

Nice to see that someone else uses themselves as a measurement.

Regarding the inch... It has a confusing history:

inch

\Inch\, n. [OE. inche, unche, AS. ynce, L. uncia the twelfth part,
inch, ounce. See Ounce a weight.] 1. A measure of length, the twelfth
part of a foot, commonly subdivided into halves, quarters, eights,
sixteenths, etc., as among mechanics. It was also formerly divided
into twelve parts, called lines, and originally into three parts,
called barleycorns, its length supposed to have been determined from
three grains of barley placed end to end lengthwise. It is also
sometimes called a prime ('), composed of twelve seconds (''), as in
the duodecimal system of arithmetic.

Relationship of the foot to the measurement called a foot is
interesting. My foot is size 11 and is 11 inches long... but the
same sort of thing is not true for smaller sizes. Someone with a
size 6 foot has a foot much longer than 6 inches. However someone
with a size 12 foot has a foot about 12 inches long.

If you read the other post, you saw that the nautical and statute
miles are actually metric... 1000 fathoms and paces respectively.
That the minute of latitude and the nautical mile ended up being the
same was a happy accident that really helps find distances on a
nautical chart.

Rick

--- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, robi dawson <beanco@m...>
wrote:
> Hi Rick,
>
>
> >Metric? English? Both are too limited.
> >
> >Actually, I wish we would all get back to anatomic measurements for
> >things like hammocks and kayaks and clothing.
> >
> >See a previous message:
> >
>
><http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hammockcamping/message/757>http://grou
ps.yahoo.com/group/hammockcamping/message/757
>
> very interesting... i do that kind of measuring all the time when i
am
> working from my head. it is when i follow the instructions of
others that i
> turn to the *box* and use meters and feet and yards and centimeters
etc.
>
> but cooking tends to be from sight, sound, feel and taste as does
the cob
> oven i am slowly building in my back yard...
>
> i find it easier to use these anatomic measurements, although i
know the
> terms mentioned i did not know exactly what they referred to.
>
> That being said i suppose the english and metric systems were
invented to
> ensure standards so everybody is talking about the same thing
>
> >It makes everything so much simpler to say that your hammock cloth
> >needs to be a fathom and 3 forearms long and its cords need to be 2
> >fathoms and a forearm long at each end.
> >
> >fathom: as far as you can pull a cord between your outstretched
arms.
> >2 fathoms is just about perfect distance between hammock
trees...you
> >can use 2 paces as well, but they are a little shorter than fathoms
> >(a pace is two steps)
> >
> >forearm: from the elbow to the fleshy part of the thumb where you
> >would hold a cord (fathom = 4 forearms) I make my hammocks 3
> >forearms wide, while Ed suggests a foot wider.
>
> does inch not refer to some anatomic measurement. Huvely
(pronounced
> hoo-vay), the hungary word for inch - a measurement not actually
used here,
> just translated from Eng. refers to thumb....
>
> >handspan: end of little finger to thumb when spread (forearm = 2
> >hand spans) This is about how far the tarp should overlap the
> >hammock at each end.
>
> the way horses are still measured if i am not mistaken...
>
>
>
> >The "english" system went crazy when someone tried to standardize
the
> >lengths. This was necessary for precision (like for machine parts)
> >but we lost all collective memory about how to use our own bodies
to
> >measure things for ourselves.
>
> i have seen lots of survival camping shows of late on TV and they
were
> mentioning measurements like this for making lean-tos and stuff...
> a whole heck of a lot easier than trying to worry about how many cm
long or
> deep you make it....
>
> as for the collective memory.. at the school where i will be taking
the
> kids camping from each 3rd grade class builds a house or structure
of some
> sorts. I was out helping last week. The teacher had a sketching of
this
> round structure with measurements on it... the kids were just
learning
> meters and cm and stuff but they had forgotten their tape measurer.
>
> how do you build a structure to size without an instrument to
measure with?
> they started pacing the distance from the center of the round
building to
> be to the out edge and marked it off. they had to dig a trench for
the
> foundation, 80 cm deep. again no tape to measure with. they knew
the teach
> was just over 160 cm tall so they dug a whole, made her get in and
decided
> where her middle is and adjusted the hole depth accordingly, then
they dug
> the entire trench and it was pretty darn accurate...
>
> another story from the school"
>
> my son had to draw his bedroom to scale, he went around measuring
how many
> *fathoms* two of the walls were and did the math, he actually
figured that
> out on his own because i was busy working and he did not want to
> hold the tape measurer for him.... which i would have done gladly
but i am
> actually happier that at the age of 10 he solved the problem with
what he
>
>
> >My practice is to use personal anatomic measurements and when
> >necessary to convert them to some standard measurement. In the US,
> >by the way, cloth and webbing measurements are not in inches or
feet,
> >but in yards. If I go into a fabric store and asks for 10 feet of
> >ripstop nylon, the clerk looks at me like I am some sort of
ignorant
> >male. She will always stop and correct me... so you want 3 1/3
> >yards? Is that correct??
>
> what you could congratulate the clerk for being able to convert
from whole
> numbers to fractions!
>
> rick, thanks for the message. very good to hear i am not the only
one that
> still uses his body... i would think that the only way to make a
proper
> fitting kayak -a dream of ours BTW - is to measure the body and if
your
> fathoms and arm/hand spans work then who needs a ruler?
>
> the absolute best ladik - Hungarian type of rowing boat for
fishermen - i
> have ever seen were made by craftsman, masters at that, without a
single
> measurement in cm or meters! all spans and paces and done by eye
not blue
> print. they row well, are stable on water and last for ages! and
all wood!
> nice, nice nice...
>
> robi
• Show all 18 messages in this topic