The Bubnoff

A new unit was proposed in 1968 as a standard measure for geological movements and increments, named after Serge von Bubnoff (pictured below). For example, the average rate of erosion over the Earth’s landmasses has been estimated as about a foot per thousand years, or 30 Bubnoffs. It gets unmanageable at the human scale, though: a brisk walk is about 40 million Bubnoffs. I’m jealous.

The Bubnoff unit, whose symbol is B,
Is far too small for people like me.
One micron a year is a speed that’s so small
Not even a snail would detect it at all.

And what could you measure it with, might I ask?
No ruler that I’ve ever owned fits the task.
It’d have to be stable for aeons of time,
Free from corrosion, protected from grime.

I’d quite like a unit that’s named after me,
But I’d want it to measure a thing you can see,
Like poems in Stonechat*. So, if there were four,
You’d clock up four ‘Judges’ as that issue’s score.

Then folk the world over would know it was time
To count up in ‘Judges’ their output of rhyme.
Immortality beckons; life won’t be the same
Once the unit of verse is the Judge family name.

* Stonechat is the newsletter of the Horsham Geological Field Club.

[Album photo: casiodor.com]
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