About the size of it

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Macmillan, Nov 15, 2007 - Mathematics - 155 pages
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About the Size of It is a serious, but seriously funny book about measuring things. Readers will find out why an old Wellington boot is as important an instrument of spacial awareness as was ever invented; why the size of a space shuttle's fuel tanks has more to do with the proportions of a horse's rump than rocket science; and why how tired your ox gets, how much water it takes to drown you, and how much you can hold in one hand while doing something else are all essential principles that explain how man has balanced and judged his world since the dawn of time. In part a case for the continued use of traditional British measures, this book also celebrates the richness and commonality of systems from around the world, and how they were formed by the one guiding principle of measurement no one ever mentions: that most of us have better things to think about. 'Fun and fascinating - the secrets and tricks of how we measure the world around us' Conn Iggulden 'A full and convincing account of why our well-tried and trusted traditional measures make human sense' Alexander McCall Smith 'His direct, engaging conversational prose is a delight to read... inspirational' Andrew Roberts 'Absolutely masterly. Lucid and wise and touching and absolutely right' Jilly Cooper

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About the author (2007)

Born in 1962 in Dagenham, Warwick Cairns now lives in Windsor with his wife and two daughters. After studying English and Psychology at Keele and English at Yale, he went on to drill wells on a Sioux reservation in Dakota and travel to Africa with Wilfred Thesiger, before settling on a career in advertising. This is his first book.

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