Wrenching questions

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is trying not to complain about the driving thunderstorms that have been hitting the Villainschloss. We need the rain. Mrs Villain’s garden needs water to bear fruits and vegetables. So the prospect of a few tenths of an inch of rain — however it comes — is a good thing. We are in a drought here afterall.

Of course, the driving thunderstorms (complete with theatrical lightning for effect) have been occuring precisely at your Maximum Leader’s peak blogging times. Your Maximum Leader has had enough electronic equipment fried from lightning strikes that he just shuts down computers and reads during the storms. So the plus side of these storms is that your Maximum Leader is edifying himself — at your expense loyal reader.

So… During one of these thunderstorms your Maximum Leader and his sainted father-in-law started to chat. (Father-in-law was visiting…) We chatted about this and that and then your Maximum Leader sprung the big question on him…

Now, your Maximum Leader’s father-in-law is a mechanical engineer by training and profession. Although he is retired now, he is more mechanically knowledgable and inclined than your Maximum Leader will ever be. Armed with this knowledge you will understand that your Maximum Leader didn’t just throw this question out to anyone… This man is a “SME” as the government would say. (That is Subject Matter Expert by the way…)

Question: Tools calibrated along “English” measure (as opposed to “metric”) come in increments divisible by two. (eg: 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32). Why does one find no use of thirds in “English” measure tools? Your Maximum Leader has 5/8 wrenches, and 27/32 sockets; but he’s never even heard of a 1/3, 1/6, or 1/9th wrench.

We didn’t come to any conclusions that we would lay money on as being correct. Your Maximum Leader’s father-in-law speculated that when you are building something you can reduce the something by halfs with ease, but you can’t reduce a built something by thirds with ease. This is to say that if you were building a house, you could build a model to serve as your guide. You could build this model to half size, or quarter size, or even eighth or sixteenth size. It is almost impossible to reduce a structure by thirds. (This is assuming you aren’t using computer aided design where scale is just a click away. We’re talking building structures from antiquity onwards.)

If anyone reading this has an authoritative source in this matter that they can recommend, your Maximum Leader would appreciate it.

Carry on.

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