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Rules of Thumb, and then some

GAYS MIILS - Do you have a favorite rule of thumb? Most people have a few of these homespun recipes for making a guess. A rule of thumb is an easy-to-remember guide located somewhere between a mathematical formula and a shot in the dark. They come in handy, these mental tools and can help you quickly appraise a situation or solve a problem. In former days, rules of thumb were used to make up for a lack of information. These days with too much information available, the collected wisdom of thumb rules can help us to guess with precision.

These examples of thumb rules are from a book called ‘Rules of Thumb - a Life Manual’ by Tom Parker


• One ton of grapes will make 170 gallons of wine

• Warm hands indicate relaxation. Cold hands indicate tension.

• A moderately experienced Scrabble player should average 20 points per word.

• Rancher’s Rule:  Always leave a gate the way you found it.   

• To eat like a thin person, rate your hunger from 1 to 10.  Eat only when you’re hunger is 1 or 2 and stop when it’s at 5. Sidebar: this would entail eating slow enough to feel the change. It takes about 15 minutes for your appestat to kick in, indicating satiety. 

• If the wind is raising loose paper off the ground or raising dust, it’s too strong for the average kite.

• Under normal conditions, the distance that a river runs straight is never greater than ten times it’s width.

• If a dog misbehaves, you must correct the behavior within 1.5 seconds. Otherwise the dog won’t make the connection between the behavior and the correction.

• Your wingspan (arm span) is about the same as your height.

• A rule of finger: the length of the last digit of your middle three fingers is about one inch.

• The width of a U.S. quarter is just a shade under one inch.

• Rental property should sell for about 100 times its monthly rent income

• Every full bus keeps 40 cars off the road

• To maintain an even keel at social events, make every other drink soda or water.

• Never go cheap on your bed or your shoes. You’ll be in one or the other your entire life.

• The more colorful and attractive a bird, the more likely that it is a male.

• One large tree has the cooling capacity of five air conditioners running 20 hours a day.

• Fish have vertical tails. Sea mammals have horizontal tails.

• To roughly convert Celsius to Fahrenheit, double the temperature and add 30.

• Carpenter’s rule:  Measure twice (or more), cut once.

• When dealing with a computer it’s wise to remember treat it like a small, (but very obedient) child.

• If in any doubt about e-mail, delete before opening.

• Prior to contacting tech support, the internet or any other source, FIRST reboot your computer.

• Volts hurt. Amps kill.