cubic acres

Frank Stajano fstajano at
Tue Nov 28 17:22:13 CET 2000

At 2000-11-28 15:42 +0100, Søren Krarup Olesen wrote:
>I don't understand that calculation, Frank, but it may be because I am a...
>>non-mathematicians ready to argue that a cubic acre is the volume of a 
>>cube whose side has a surface of one acre.
>1 acre = 4047 m2, hence the hight of three acres must be the square root
>of 3 times 4047 m2 if we assume the bin to be a true cube. This gives
>us 110 meters--certainly a high building--more than 30 floors or so.

I refuse to perform any arithmetic on barbarian non-SI units such as 
"acres" and "feet" so I'm not going to recheck the accuracy or lack thereof 
of your mantissae, but I believe that the source of the trouble may be the 
confusion between the following two interpretations of "three cubic acres":

(1, perverse): three times one cubic acre, so a volume equal to three times 
the volume of a cube whose side has a surface of one acre.

(2, even more perverse): a volume equal to that of a cube whose side has a 
surface of three acres.

Both violate basic mathematics insofar as they consider the cube of a 
surface to be a volume, but the second adds the extra evilness of applying 
the "cube" to the value instead of just the unit. (Is this bad? Yes. A room 
of 18 square metres is not a square room of size 18 metres by 18 metres. 
Those who believe otherwise will be unpleasantly surprised when they 
attempt to buy a house.)

>Anyway, I complety agree with Vic. All these considerations are more or 
>less meaningless. Who cares if there are one or two doors from the office 
>to some library. Perhaps a certain splash panel would have looked empty 
>without two doors, so Barks put them there. He probably hadn't imagined 
>that years later someone would go and ckeck if those two doors were 
>consistantly used in all his other stories. The very same goes for the 
>butler situation etc. etc.

I, too, agree with this. To enforce and reconstruct this continuity is the 
hallmark of Don's _libido colligandi_, which is one of the most interesting 
aspects of his style -- but is certainly *not* something that Barks himself 
did. This does not make Don's stories any less enjoyable for me, though -- 
in fact I enjoy them even more, as his own creations that nobody else could 
have crafted with such a meticulous and loving attention to detail. I wish 
I'd written all that book stuff in English in the first place -- there's 
nothing more boring than translating your own writings, so I'll probably 
never get round to doing it.

  Frank (filologo disneyano)

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