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It Ain't Necessarily So

132nelson_r1_c1.jpgNot as high and mighty as we all thought, eh, Lord Nelson?

Since its unveiling in 1843 it has been reported that Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square, London was 185 feet from street level to the tip of his jaunty hat. Well, as the column was being restored it was found that that figure wasn't quite right. In actuality the monument was only 169 feet 5 inches, a full 15 feet shorter than had been documented for years.

Consider: Thousands of visitors every day. Millions, perhaps billions of people passing by this monument in the last 160 years. No one thought to question the fact of how tall this statue really is. And we're not talking inches here. And, on top of that, the column had been restored twice before.

My takeaway, don't take facts at face value. Question and then measure for yourself. I think I'm going to march into my bathroom right now and check if there really are 500 sheets of toilet paper in a roll.


surely you're done counting by now...

what's the verdict?

and what kind of TP?

I use scott (the cushy kind in the purply package, not the tissue-papery stuff in the blue package).

Well, you called my bluff, and I'm glad you did. I use Seventh Generation, a green brand of tp. The package actually says 400 sheets per roll, so I was wrong to begin with. And the final tally is... 403 sheets. Do with that as you will.

well thanks. coffee just kicked in.

Legend has it that each pomegranate has 613 seeds. When my father was young, he decided to count them. He found a bit over 400. No doubt the number varies with the size of the fruit, and some have 600 or even more, and perhaps occasionally one does have 613, but it's not standard.

Also see Number Watch.

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