Sunday, July 3, 2011

Plum & Plumb



4 comments:

  1. also: plumb: a small mass of lead or other heavy material, as that suspended by a line and used to measure the depth of water or to ascertain a vertical line. Compare plumb line.
    :D construction term.

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  2. You'll notice the guy is checking the verticality of that pipe with a level. I thought a level might be a more recognizable tool in the pictographic format than a plumb line would be. Thanks for keeping me honest, though. :)

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  3. Oh, you got it right, Bruce. The weight on a string is a "plumb bob." If it gets called a plumb then it's being shortened. I noticed the spirit level right away and thought it was perfect.

    The whole point is that the Romans knew that straight up and down was the most stable arrangement for structures. Things constructed well with good verticals were "plumb."

    The bit that I've always enjoyed was that the Romans used lead pipe for their plumbing so consistently that the Latin word for lead is "Plumbum." That's why the symbol for lead on the periodic table is "Pb." Similar etymology puts gold on the periodic table as "Au" (Aurem), Iron as "Fe" (Ferrum), Copper as "Cu" (Cuprum), and—my very favorite—Silver as "Ag" (Argentum).

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  4. ah! totally missed that.
    you're awesome :)

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