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A bit of culture


Deskpilot
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Subject: JUST A BIT OF CULTURE

 

It was necessary to keep a good supply of canon balls near the cannon on

 

war ships. But how to prevent them from rolling about the deck was the

 

problem. The best storage method devised was to stack them as a square

 

based pyramid, with one ball on top, resting on four, resting on nine,

 

which rested on sixteen. Thus, a supply of 30 cannon balls could be

 

stacked in a small area right next to the cannon. There was only one

 

problem -- how to prevent the bottom layer from sliding/rolling from

 

under the others. The solution was a metal plate with

 

16 round indentations, called a Monkey. But if this plate was made of

 

iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it. The solution to the

 

rusting problem was to make Brass Monkeys. Few landlubbers realize that

 

brass contracts much more and much faster than iron when chilled.

 

Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass

 

indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannon balls would come

 

right off the monkey. Thus, it was quite literally, cold enough to

 

freeze the balls off a brass monkey. And all this time, you thought

 

that was a vulgar expression, didn't you? You must send this fabulous

 

bit of historical knowledge to at least ten unsuspecting friends. If

 

you don't, your hard drive is going to fall off and kill your mouse.

 

----------------------------------------------x

 

 

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