As I was riding home from work today I hear the phrase "black as a thousand midnights" on the radio. I found it pretty strange to talk about blackness as something that can be superimposed. Isn't blackness the lack of color? If you look at the amount of light present in one midnight and add up a thousand of them I think you would get a pretty bright night. It got me thinking of what other silly phrases I can think of that have this same logic (or lack of).

As cold as a thousand ice cubes. (each cube is less then 0C (270 K) so 1000 should be about 270,000 C or 45 times as hot as the outer surface of the sun).

As quiet as a thousand mice. (a quiet room is 40 dB or 10^-8 W/m^2. If we take this as the intensity of a mouse then a thousand would be about 10^-5 W/m^2 or 70 dB, almost shouting).

As empty as a thousand vacuums. (can you get less stuff then nothing?).

Slow as a thousand turtles (a thousand turtles traveling at 4 mph all travel at 4 mph but if we add that would be 4,000 mph, about twice the SR-71 speed record).

As fast as a thousand beams of light. (nothing can travel faster then c so it must be c).

As dense as a thousand black holes. (Can you get any denser then a singularity).

As boring as a thousand English classes (ok, I can understand that one).