One foot out…

It’s amazing the things I remember from childhood. I can’t remember how to calculate the circumference of a circle (or, for that matter, I can’t remember if circles even have circumferences), but I do remember that when you are placing a ladder against the side of a building, you should go one foot out for every four feet up.

I know this from a campaign from the Construction Safety Association of Ontario that must have run in the 1970s and 1980s on television in Ontario.

I also remember, from an Ann Landers column I read a long, long time ago that when you are driving at night and are approaching a car coming the other way, you can focus on the white line on your side of the road to prevent your eyes from focusing on their headlights (and, presumably, therein increasing the danger that you will drive right into them).

And although I didn’t have a farm upbringing (something my farm-raised partner Catherine often points out), I know that you’re supposed to avoid getting your hair caught in the PTO shaft. I learned this, of course, without knowing what a PTO shaft (I figured that out later).

Finally, I have avoided for many years buying gas at Sunoco (which is easy to do here in PEI, admitedly, as the brand doesn’t exist here) because I have a foggy memory of my Dad telling me that his friend Tony said not to buy gas there because they sold “bad gas.” My Dad has no memory of this, and claims it’s not true.


mike rukavina's picture
mike rukavina on December 21, 2001 - 06:21 Permalink

I think that you must have your stories crossed…although I’m sure there is a story out there involving both Dad and bad gas…

Oliver's picture
Oliver on December 21, 2001 - 07:26 Permalink

2 pi r, Peter, 2 pi r. I’m sure you’d be better off if you were able to call that up on command…though I can’t say why. I can say, though, that pi r-squared is very good for deciding whether to get two medium pizzas or one extra large.

Dave Moses's picture
Dave Moses on December 21, 2001 - 13:59 Permalink

i think my memnonic(sp) for remembering these formulae was:
2 pi R better than 1
pi r squared in size.

From my childhood television watching i remember this:
“some people will do anything for a cigarette”…
“a wigwag bar is three hands high”…
and “from the atlantic to the pacific and to the far north our canadian forests suffer many hardships but their greatest enemy is fire!”

Annie's picture
Annie on December 21, 2001 - 15:38 Permalink

I am very grateful for that ladder tip…really. In excahnge, may I offer you, “a pint’s a pound, the world around.” The most valuable thing I ever learned in school was how to divide fractions. I hated it at the time, but I use that tiny skill every time I cook and am glad that Mrs. Epstein stuck with me until I figured it out.

Annie's picture
Annie on December 21, 2001 - 15:45 Permalink

Too late, I realized there was a spelling mistake in my last message. I plead the Ralph Klein defense (although, strictly speaking, it isn’t the case, it seems to have gotten him off the hook in all matters great and small)

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on December 21, 2001 - 15:46 Permalink

I have no idea how to divide fractions. But I can spell the word beginning (with two n’s) because Mr. Sarabura made me write it out 1,000 times in Grade 9 English when I spelled it wrong. Odd that I appreciate that he did that now, but still loathe the boring and pointless process of reading Shakespeare’s plays. I realize that there is probably some good to be taken from them thar plays, but I will never be able to capture it because of the bitter taste that high school english left in my mouth.

Alan's picture
Alan on December 21, 2001 - 16:13 Permalink

three n’s” ;-)

My best lesson was
6 times 7 is 42
My mother
over and over
grade 4

dave moses's picture
dave moses on December 21, 2001 - 16:30 Permalink

it’s too bad about shakespeare, peter, as he is awesome… my favorite “learning shakespear” story is an island one…. glen was a know-all student who raised his hand during one of his high school english classes— the teacher had been going on and on about imagery in some play, how shakespear was doing this and that with the language —- “Yes, Glen?” asked the teacher. Glen sat back in his seat and said something like, “I don’t buy it. If Shakespeare did all this stuff in his plays he’d have to be some kind of literary genius or something!”… Glen’s a lawyer now.