7 thoughts on “Units and measures; the milliHelen

  1. Often measured in negative millihelens: the number of ships you’d scuttle to get away.

    • The unit of which you speak is the Pelosi, or, centiPelosi, or milliPelosi.

  2. Misread the title as milliHenries. Wait, we’re comparing inductance and ships? Reread title. Ah. I was pre-coffee…

    I suspect negative millihelens maintain their positive sign but change the sign of the exponent to become kilohelens. Need more coffee…

    • I’d think that a kiloHelen, a thousand Helens, is simply going to get a million ships launched.

  3. I think there is a slight imprecision in the use of the unit of measure helen.

    To be more precise, a helen is the amount of beauty needed to launch 1000 Homeric warships of approximately 20 tons displacement, which then destroy a city over a period of ten years.

    According to this scholarly work, the more modern equivalent would be the amount of beauty needed to launch the WW1 battleship USS Delaware, which would then bombard a city to ruins, albeit in days rather than years.

    Similarly, one would need 5 helens to launch the CVN-78 USS Gerald R Ford (displacement 100,000 tons) which would then destroy five cities. To get a full dekahelen, you’ll need to launch the following CVN-79 as well and strike off another five cities or equivalent infrastructure.

    In smaller amounts, a millihelen would be the beauty necessary to launch a single Greek pentecoster and then burn down a house,

    Meanwhile, if my wife launched herself into the bathtub, that’d be worth, by my math, 2.5 microhelens in straight displacement terms, but she’d also have to burn dinner enough that the appliances need replacement.

  4. If Helen’s was the face that launched 1000 ships, imagine what the rest of her could do.

  5. Hmm. Yes, well in posting this, I had hoped it would turn into a lively discussion of the relationship between religion and science.

    Did anyone click and read the link? It’s not a discussion of the milliHelen at all. I just thought that the quote would arouse someone’s interest.

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