2.01.2009

Brass monkey weather ?


Ok so maybe we don't get as cold as the mainlanders, but hell that's part of the reason I live here. When I step outside and I can feel every bone I ever broke, and every piece of metal installed in me; then it is freakin' cold!
Nuff' about me. Here's a little chunk of Nautical trivia to teach the kiddies.
From back when men were made of steel and ships were made of wood.
On the old warships it was necessary to keep a good supply of cannon balls near the cannon. 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, for
reasons unknown, a Monkey. But if this plate were made of iron, the
iron balls would quickly rust to it. The solution to the rusting
problem was to make them of brass - hence, Brass Monkeys.
Now 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.
Have a great SuperBowl Sunday folks!
Peace

7 comments:

Paige Jennifer said...

Here I'm giggling at the picture and you go and get all academic?!?!? Well, until the last part (heehee).

kodiakgriff said...

Just trying to prove that education can be fun.
That and I didn't have much else to write.
Good to hear from you.
G.

devilsclub said...

That was great, thanks for the education! Now I want a brass monkey statue all for my self.

BBC said...

You got that part of history correct, some get it wrong. Some wise captains didn't use them, they used a wood frame to hold the bottom balls.

I suppose we could come up with something about splinters in balls, ha ha ha.

Fireweed said...

Thank you for enlightening me on the challenges facing our own indigenous apes. Coupled with the cold climate, it explains much.

WSW said...

Now THAT was educational! tee hee!!!

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