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The moose likes Meaningless Drivel and the fly likes Greenland's coastline... Big Moose Saloon
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Greenland's coastline...

Bert Bates
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Sheriff

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8803
    
    5
I get a "daily escape" email with a picture of some cool place I might like to visit someday. I like this service.

That said, I had to laugh at the first sentence in the description of today's picture:

Greenland's coastline is longer than the circumference of the Earth...


So, doesn't that length depend mightily on the length of your measuring stick? Is there a standard measuring stick length for such things as "the length of a coastline"?

Spot false dilemmas now, ask me how!
(If you're not on the edge, you're taking up too much room.)
Paul Clapham
Bartender

Joined: Oct 14, 2005
Posts: 18541
    
    8

Bert Bates wrote:So, doesn't that length depend mightily on the length of your measuring stick?


Well, yes, that's right.

Is there a standard measuring stick length for such things as "the length of a coastline"?


Believe it or not there's a "World Vector Shoreline" database which can be used to produce fun facts like this one. Check out the Wikipedia article which your article's writer may have referred to: List of countries by length of coastline.
Greg Charles
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 01, 2001
Posts: 2840
    
  11

That reminds me of this analogy on why software estimates are so unreliable: http://www.quora.com/Engineering-Management/Why-are-software-development-task-estimations-regularly-off-by-a-factor-of-2-3

The coastline looks much longer when you're standing on it.
 
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