How do you measure features on faces?

When you draw a face there are lots of tools to help. One I think of is using the width of the person’s eyes. It is not always right but it gives you an idea… All this is approximate…

One eye width between the eyes..

Two eye width for length of nose

Two eye widths for width of mouth

Three eye widths centre of eye to corner of mouth.

And one eye width from bottom of mouth to chin….

One eye width for bottom of nose.

Also if you draw a line down from the centre of the pupil it should hit the corner of the mouth.

Remember, this is just approximate. It depends on the face you are drawing, not measurements. Everyone is different! Also if you look closely faces are lopsided. One side of a face is often bigger than the other!

When 4ft =4ft 9″?

My wooden slats to replace the old ones on our garden bench we’re ready for collection today. I went up and collected them but a nagging doubt tickled the back of my brain. So by the time I’d got them (5 of them) to the car I thought these are too long? I stood them up on end, I thought they were about six inches shorter than me, which would make them about 4ft 9″, not the 4ft I had ordered! I went back in the office. Just ask someone to cut them down to size was the response. I walked down to the warehouse and was called inside a huge, cavernous building, with bits of wood stacked and strewn everywhere. I spoke to a young lad who said they had probably left the timber a bit long incase I’d measured it wrong (I didn’t say his boss had measured it). Fine, just cut it to a bit over 4ft. We agreed to this. Then an older man who was supervising the young lad came over. I explained what had happened. He helped set up the machine and I asked for the timber to be 4ft.

I finally left with my bits of wood plus some short, 9″ lengths left over my hubby can use on his model railway.

I got home and tried the slats out against the bench. They are about 6″ too long! So the boss didn’t measure it right in the first place! Argh!



The photo is an illustration and it doesn’t actually show parallax.

Do you know what parallax is?

Hold out your thumb in front of you and close one eye. Place it so that it covers something, perhaps a flower outside, or something in front of you. Maybe the moon.

Now without moving your hand open your eye and close the other one.

What do you see? The moon or the object appears to have moved! That is because your eyes are seperate. They are the base of a very long thin triangle and believe it or not you can measure distance that way.

Now stick a piece of wood in the soil on the equator, and a similar one a few miles north or south of it. At midday on the equator the sun will be directly overhead and there will be no, or hardly any shadow. But the one miles away will cast a shadow. The further away from the equator the longer the shadow. If you know the distance between the sticks, and the angle the shadow casts by the other stick. (measure the angle from the top of the stick and the end of the shadow) you can actually work out the distance to the Sun (which is casting the shadow). In this way the ancient Greeks did this and also worked out the size of the Earth approximately. You can use this idea if you look at a star at one end of the Earth’s orbit and six months later the other side of the orbit. That’s how they work out distances to stars. Amazing what you can work out by using your eyes, a couple of sticks and your thumb!

Old measurements


We were discussing old measurements this morning and started talking about the transition from the old imperial measurements to metric. I was only a child when it happened and we went from pounds, shillings and pence to pounds and pence during ‘decimalisation’.

I was trying to think of old words for measurements of size and volume. The ones I remember, but don’t know the sizes or amounts are… Gill (still used) , peck, chain, acre (still used), pint (still in use) fluid ounce (still used), mile (still in use). Quart and Gallon(still in use). Stones, Pounds, ounces, (still used). I’m sure there are lots more, but I was young when they changed. You can see Britain over the last fifty years has acted very slowly. It has used dual measurements over the last few decades, with some things measured in litres and kilograms and kilometers.

I do worry that we might have to revert back to the old weights and measures when we leave Europe. Its a mad world we live in! I think the British want to go back and live in a simpler age, like the 1950’s! But we can’t time travel despite having a popular TV programme that does just that! (Dr Who).

How to tell the earth is a sphere…


So how can you tell the Earth is a sphere? The ancient Greeks worked it out ( I don’t remember the name of the person who did).

The experiment was to put a stick in the sand at or near the equator, so it would have a tiny shadow directly underneath the it at mid day as the Sun was directly overhead.

If you place a stick upright, at 90° to the Eaths surface either North or South of the equator, the stick casts a shadow at mid day. (Look at the hands of a clock the hands move round in the same way). Say the equator is 3pm and the Sun is overhead, you would get no shadow, then as you go further away from the stick at the equator you get increasing angles (see diagram). Eventually at the poles the shadows would be at their longest.

So how can you tell its a sphere? The angles add up. You can calculate the curvature of the planet from these simple experiments. The ancient Greeks got very close to calculating the circumference of the Earth. Their calculations were only a small percentage out on their measurement.