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Fw: Cannon Balls
Just received this. It also is an explanation for a misunderstood phrase,
it seems. I liked the Bobby explanation. Wonder whether that is the
> CANNON BALLS...
> In the heyday of sailing ships, all war ships and many freighters carried
> iron cannons. Those cannons fired round iron cannon balls. It was
> to keep a good supply near the cannon, but prevent them from rolling about
> the deck.
> The best storage method devised was a square-based pyramid with one ball
> top, resting on four, resting on nine, which rested on sixteen. Thus, a
> supply of thirty cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next
> 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 called
> a "Monkey," with sixteen round indentations. If this plate was made of
> iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it.
> The solution to the rusting problem was to make "Brass Monkeys." Few
> landlubbers realize that brass contracts much more and much faster than
> when chilled. Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the
> indentations would shrink so much that the cannon balls would come right
> the monkey.
> Thus, it was quite literally, "Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass
> (And all this time, you have had dirty thoughts, haven't you?) You must
> this fabulous bit of historical knowledge to at least seventeen
> friends (or enemies) within thirteen and one half seconds. If you don't,
> your floppy is going to fall off your hard drive and kill your mouse.
> Don't send it back to me. I've already seen it.
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