On Dec 7, 2007 11:50 AM, Larry Wall <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> On Thu, Dec 06, 2007 at 12:12:36PM -0700, Thom Boyer wrote:
> > Larry Wall wrote:
> >> Good guess, but no.  It comes from the fact that Texas always bragged
> >> about how they were the largest state in the union, and had the biggest
> >> everything, including ten-gallon hats.  That was before we added Alaska.
> >> Now if they pull that stunt we offer to carve Alaska up into 4 states,
> >> in which case Texas would be the 5th largest.
> >>
> >> But Texans still like to think big, and we love 'em all to pieces for it.
> >> Especially Patrick these days... :)
> >>
> >> Larry
> >>
> > So, it's because <<this>> is so much bigger than «this», "this", or 'this'?
> >
> > By the way, as a native Texan, I find offensive your claim that Texas*4 <
> > Alaska. The truth is hurtful enough:
> >    Texas*2.1787 = Alaska
> > I had to carry it out to 4 decimal places so I wouldn't have to round the
> > last digit UP.
> >
> > :-)
> My claim is just that that's how the standard joke goes.  (I suspect
> the 4x probably arises from casual inspection of a mercator projection,
> where Alaska does look four times bigger.  But then, that's the fault
> of Texas for being closer to the equator. :)
> Larry

Like a true Texan* (grin), he skewed the numbers to make Texas look
bigger than it is.  It is between 2.4** and 2.5*** when you include
inland bodies of water, and when you include territorial waters it may
well have a 4 to 1 ratio with Texas (since it is effectively a very
large peninsula and Texas has a relatively small coastline).  I have
placed calls to both Alaska's CGIN**** and NOAA NOS***** and they are
trying to find the area of the two states' territorial waters for
me******.  I was not able to find a Texas resource, but so far it
looks like the NOAA NOS and OCS******* are going to be the best bets

* I am resident of Virgina, so I have no axe to grind; I am just
looking for a definitive answer.
** random sites on the Internet
*** wikipedia: 663267/261797 = 2.5335
**** Census and Geographic Information Network:
***** National Ocean Service: oceanservice.noaa.gov
****** Yes, I am anal, insane, and on narcotics (I had my wisdom teeth
extracted this morning)
******* Office of Coast Survey:

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