Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I can see my house from here

Since 1805, when Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort came up with a scale of wind speeds that included laymen's descriptions ("Force 6: Strong Breeze. Difficulty with umbrellas"), there has been an agreed scale that's rather more meaningful than "A bit breezy." For any scientists who might have accidentally blundered upon this post, the empirical formula is:
    v = 0.836B1.5

    where v is wind speed in metres per second and B is the Beaufort Scale number.
Similar empirical scales might be applied to other well-known but hitherto unquantified phenomena. Such as:-

The Beaufort Scale of Domestic Cleanliness

    Force 0

    Clinically spotless. Gleaming. The clean room of a biological weapons research laboratory.

    Force 1
    Recently dusted show house. Only ever seen in computer simulations of proposed real estate.

    Force 2
    As featured in 'House Beautiful' magazine, the place is immaculate except for copies of 'Horse and Hound' or 'Country Life' strategically placed in the vain hope of giving it a 'lived in' look.

    Force 3
    This is about as clean and tidy as a real residence can ever achieve. Some dust on inaccessible horizontal surfaces and the occasional fallen leaf from potted plants.

    Force 4
    Dusty surfaces, occasional coffee cups, cans and crockery on tables. Toys and games stuffed under furniture.

    Force 5
    DVDs, books and magazines on many horizontal surfaces. Empty beer cans, crockery and pizza boxes near armchairs. Unused toys scattered around the floor.

    Force 6
    Minimum achievable in undergraduate accommodation.

    Force 7
    Crockery, Chinese takeaway cartons and pizza boxes contain the putrefying remains of long-forgotten food. Spilled drinks have dried into carpets, and uncarpeted floor areas are sticky.

    Force 8
    Difficult to walk around the rooms without impaling oneself on toys, cutlery or motorcycle parts.

    Force 9
    All horizontal surfaces covered with tools, papers, cans and packets. Real floor is invisible, and walls largely obscured by boxes, boards, piles of books, CDs and engine parts.

    Force 10
    Dog, cat and toddler mess remains insitu until it has dried and turned into dust. Moribund consumer electronics serve as storage areas and furniture.

    Force 11
    Pathogens multiply uncontrollably. Anyone entering this place without full biochemical protection risks contracting diseases.

    Force 12
    Dead bodies left putrefying where they expired. New invertebrate species evolve spontaneously from the feet-deep miasma coating all surfaces.

This blog post was inspired in part by this piece of inanity.


Keefieboy said...

Our house is at Force 8 right now. Yeuckk!

lawfulgoodofcowplain said...

So you do remember 239 Fawcett Rd then. And Mayflower Drive, and Empshott Road and...

Grumpy Goat said...

"Sea area Wight. Force 9. Continuing. Poor."


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