Faq Part 6

FAQ for newsgroup uk.rec.sheds, version 2&2/7th 1999-11-08 (roughly)

Ride of the Shedheads Theme Tune

Part 6 of 8 : Official bits & pieces

Official shed drug: nutmeg. Really, it's not worth asking why.

Official shed syndrome: Ergophobia .

From the OED: 1905 W. D. Spanton in Brit. Med. Jrnl. 11 Feb. 300/2 "He
has discovered that it often pays better to idle and loaf about than to
[jbex], and the consequence is that a new disease has been engendered,
which I have termed 'ergophobia'"
[thanks Brian]

Official shed attitude is slightly grumpy, like Uncle Mort in Peter
Tinniswood's books, or your late grandfather (the one in the corner
with the pipe and waistcoat).

Official shed units are undecided - and probably undecidable - but
"Niall" suggests:
There is the "opened out fag packet" representing a thickness of about
0.025" or 4 stroke petrol engine plug gap (CB ignition); fold in two for
2 stroke or CD ignition, and that favorite of TV science programs; the
"one bar electric fire" or 1kW.

The furlong/firkin/fortnight system isn't bad: it has the microfortnight
(about 1.2sec) and the millifortnight (about 20min). The mass unit is a
firkin of water, which I think works out to 90 lbs. Thanks Chris Hedley
[In this system the speed of light is 1.79*10^12furlongs/fortnight]
{and the national speed limit (A roads) is 161280f/f}

For angles, Mr Passingham Indeed suggests that the shed unit of rotation
should be the ajar, defined as: the angle between a door and its frame
when there's a slight draught coming through: subsequent discussion
indicates that the chord of this angle will be the width of a British
Standard Cat. Atomic physics has a unit called the "barn", equal to
10^-28m^2, and a Hubble is 10^9 light years, so a Hubble-barn is about 1
and 2/3 pints,or just less than one of those new-fangled litre thingies,
which means that drinking a couple of brown ales is like emptying a
bottle the length of the universe with the cross-sectional area of a
medium-sized nucleus. And you thought it was a long way to the Gents.

Boonie calculates the Hubble-radius barn is about 13 liters. This is the
volume of a straw that has the cross-sectional area of a barn and a
length equal to the radius of the universe (given by H^{-1}c).
If you use the old value of H, 55 km/s/Mpc, you get 17 liters. The
extreme value of H near 100 reduces this by half. The current value is
40 < H < 100 so a median value would give about 13 liters.
The fact that a gallon milk jug has the same volume as a straw with the
area of a medium sized nucleus such as Silicon that reaches to the end
of the universe is one way to visualize just how small and how big those
two numbers really are.

Oh, and thanks to Brian Skinner for clearing up the correct values of
those constants: Frank & Malcolm must have been testing the BA bit when
they sent in their values.
An appropriate unit of jbex is the barn-yard-atmosphere

And lest we forget, which I did, Brian Skinner mentioned and then James
Garry reminded us, a bit smaller than the barn is the shed: 10^-52 m^2.

There's also a furlong/farad,Faraday/fortnight system, but its unit of
mass, the (Faraday^2*fortnight)/(farad*furlong^2) is impracticably small
at about 2.3 atto kg. Thanks to Boonie for finding and posting the file
with these last two paragraphs in it, and for finding:
A microcentury is about 52.5 minutes;
one nanocentury is about pi seconds;
The micro-Fortnight is approximately a second;
The speed of light (c) is 1.80 tera furlongs per fortnight (or 1.80
furlongs per pico-fortnight);
One teaspoon is 1.6 barn mega-parsecs;

Official fractions -

Mathematics are best done in 7ths which lends nicely to 3 & 1/7
equalling pork pi.

Official thread -

Of course, for anything threaded, Whitworth is preferred.

Official cartoonist is Steven Appleby, since he did a nice 4.5 panel
cartoon capturing the spirit of shedding quite well in The Guardian on,
um, Saturday 15th June 1996 I think. Then again there's Paul Sample who
does the Ogri strip in some motorbike mag, as Ogri has a brill shed-cum-

Official shed poet is up for (endless) debate: McGonagal, perhaps? Or
that nice John Hegley, who actually wrote a poem called Sheds.

Official shed artist has been discussed at some length but I can't
remember what (if anything) was decided and Dave was asleep so he can't
help either.

Official shed diva is comedienne Jenny Eclair, since her C4 programme
"If I Were Prime Minister" in which she said she would make it
"One man, one shed" [minimum]. What an election winning slogan!

Thanks to: zvdg03@amoco.com (Dave Healy)
NB Nancy Banks Smith's review of that show in The Guardian was pretty
sheddy in its own right!


Just in case any of you were dropping off, here's a little more light
relief, courtesy of Bob Goddard:

You are old, Father William, the young man said,
And hair sprouts in tufts from your ears.
Is there something you do to encourage it,
Or is it down to the passage of years?

When I was younger, the old man replied,
Hair grew on the top of me head.
Now I'm old and grey it's lost its way
And comes out of me orifices instead.

You are wrong, Father William, the young man said,
You spend too much time in the shed;
And the hair in your ears has grown to keep out
The spiders that drop on your head.

Nonsense, my son, the old sage retorted,
You know naught of my auditory hairs.
Lay off me brown ale, don't touch that pork pie,
Sod off or I'll kick you downstairs!