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Blog entry by Karson posted 01-18-2009 06:22 PM 1100 reads 1 time favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Since it’s so cold outside. —————

DID YOU KNOW THIS????

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

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 just a vulgar expression, didn’t you?

Well even snopes doesn’t have it right. LOL

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †



21 comments so far

View kolwdwrkr's profile

kolwdwrkr

2821 posts in 2241 days


#1 posted 01-18-2009 06:37 PM

That’s funny and a good way to start the morning. Thanks Karson!

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View Russel's profile

Russel

2199 posts in 2590 days


#2 posted 01-18-2009 06:56 PM

Now that’s funny.

-- Working at Woodworking http://www.VillageLaneFurniture.com

View dustygirl's profile

dustygirl

862 posts in 2380 days


#3 posted 01-18-2009 07:01 PM

Very interesting bit of trivia Karson.Thanks for my chuckle of the day.

-- Dustygirl..Hastings,Ontario.. How much wood can 1 gal chuck if 1 gal can't cut wood?

View Moron's profile

Moron

4666 posts in 2544 days


#4 posted 01-18-2009 07:08 PM

I knew that and have a head full of useless yet interesting trivia

A bit of interesting history.

Subject: “Plucking the Yew! Before the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, the French, anticipating victory over the English, proposed to cut off the middle finger of all captured soldiers. Without the middle finger it would be impossible for the English soldiers to draw the renowned English longbow and therefore incapable of fighting in the future. The famous bow was made of the English Yew tree and the act of drawing the longbow was known as “plucking the yew” or “pluck you”. Much to the bewilderment of the French, the English won the battle and began mocking the French by waving their middle fingers at the defeated French and saying “We can still pluck yew. Pluck you”. Since “pluck yew” is rather difficult to say, the difficult consonant cluster at the beginning has gradually changed to a labiodental fricative ‘F’ and thus the words often used in conjunction with the one-finger salute. It is also because of the pheasant feathers on the arrows used with the longbow that the symbolic gesture is known as “giving the bird”. And yew thought that yew knew everything.”

Cheers

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Napaman's profile

Napaman

5346 posts in 2728 days


#5 posted 01-18-2009 07:29 PM

that was truly an enjoyable story…I love that kind of trivia…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 2537 days


#6 posted 01-18-2009 07:34 PM

Thanks Karson and roman!! Trivia is great stuff.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2300 days


#7 posted 01-18-2009 08:04 PM

nice find, thanx for the storytime… since theres not much else we can do in this weather :)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View scottb's profile

scottb

3648 posts in 2978 days


#8 posted 01-18-2009 08:04 PM

I’d heard this before, and while others don’t believe it… I like it.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- http://blanchardcreative.etsy.com -- http://snbcreative.wordpress.com/

View ShannonRogers's profile

ShannonRogers

540 posts in 2439 days


#9 posted 01-18-2009 08:24 PM

This is one of those stories that you retell at dinner parties during polite conversation and everyone thinks you are quite the witty historian. Great job Karson. Roman, your story I will just share at parties with unpolite conversation.

-- The Hand Tool School is Open for Business! Check out my blog and podcast "The Renaissance Woodworker" at www.renaissancewoodworker.com

View FlWoodRat's profile

FlWoodRat

732 posts in 2560 days


#10 posted 01-18-2009 08:28 PM

Yew guys are killing me. I can’ wait for tomorrow’s Trivia post Karson.

-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning....

View TimberMan's profile

TimberMan

113 posts in 2115 days


#11 posted 01-18-2009 08:34 PM

Great story. I needed that laugh.

View cabinetmaster's profile

cabinetmaster

10874 posts in 2209 days


#12 posted 01-18-2009 08:49 PM

Yew fellas are funny….............ROFLMAO Great stories guys.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 2537 days


#13 posted 01-18-2009 09:14 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Whole_Nine_Yards

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11657 posts in 2339 days


#14 posted 01-18-2009 09:35 PM

Karson , Roman ….... Thank you both for making my day : ) LOL !

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View SteveKorz's profile

SteveKorz

2131 posts in 2365 days


#15 posted 01-19-2009 04:38 AM

Karson Rocks…

That was awesome… LOL… (I’m using that tomorrow.)

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

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