Monday, November 17, 2008


Jay tagged me, under the assumption that there'd be something geeky on my desk. Boy, howdy, there sure is: Pocket Ref. As seen on Mythbusters! (No, that's not where I heard of it, but thanks for asking.

This is a great, small (pocket sized!) reference book, with a simply astonishing range of information in it. Airport codes, Wire resistence, Minerals sorted by hardness, and, on page 56, Softwood Lumber Sizes.

Why page 56? Well, rules are rules:
Pass it on to five other bloggers, and tell them to open the nearest book to page 56. Write out the fifth sentence on that page, and also the next two to five sentences. The CLOSEST BOOK, NOT YOUR FAVORITE, OR MOST INTELLECTUAL!
Sentence 5 reads as follows: "Board feet = thickness (in) x face width (in) x length (in) /144 or thickness (in) x face width (in) x length (ft)/12."

So it's not computer geeky, unless your computer is made of wood, in which case it may be vulnerable to termites and hackers with hatchets ...

Let me pass the baton before closing with a couple more sentences:

Too Old To Work, Too Young To Retire. I'm betting it's either something about how to save someone's life, or how to end it.

Shoothouse Barbie, because she'll have something wicked smart and scientific. Unless it's a sixpack to celebrate turning in her thesis. Stop by and congratulate her.

Random Acts of Patriotism. Not sure if it will be .NET internals, Teddy Roosevelt's The Rough Riders, or NAVMC-4927. Can't wait to see, though.

Last, but by no means least, Guns and Guts. He even has a separate category for posts about books, so it's a target rich environment there.

So, more enduring prose from Pocket Ref:
The following are quick approximations for calculating board feet:
for a 2x4, multiply linear length (feet) by 0.66
for a 2x6, linear length (feet) = board feet
for a 2x8, multiply linear length (feet) by 1.33


cocked and loaded said...

I have one of those and its
pretty handy sometimes if your
a jack of all trades and master
of none as I am.

NotClauswitz said...

What if the page starts with a line-fragment?
"One satisfactory answer to these questions is to use a table to show the numbers. Tables usually outperform graphics in reporting on small data sets of 20 numbers or less. The special power of graphics comes in the display of large data sets.
At any rate, given the perceptual difficulties, the best we can hope for is some uniformity in graphics (if not in the perceivers) and some assurance that perceivers have some chance of getting the numbers right."

From The Visual Display of Quantitative Information - Edward R. Tufte

Anonymous said...

Oops. Just saw this. A post from me coming soon. Although I doubt five bloggers read my site, or will see it. Expect to be one of them. :)

The Pocket Ref is awesome. I have one as well.