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Last updated: 3/14/06

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Measuring Up to Rhode Island: A Display the Size of R.I.

Rhode Island is often used as a unit of measure as it is compared geographically to the size of icebergs, deserts, wildfires and asteroids, and figuratively to things like body parts, clothing, and jewelry.

Rhode Island is the smallest state in the US with its area measuring 1,045 square miles or 1,545 square miles if you include Narragansett Bay. The rounded-off figures of 1,000 or 1,500 square miles make RI a convenient measuring tool. Its small size also makes it a target for jokes and exaggerations.

This display shows examples of news stories and Web sites that use RI as a measuring tool and includes a handy conversion chart to compare different countries to the size of the Ocean State.

Selected Bibliography

How Big is Rhode Island?

Staggering end to Antarctic ice shelf

Development outpaces conservation in Amazon rain forest

Conservationist singled out as 'Hero for the Planet

Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula

Rolling wheat fields are also Wi-Fi country

A Forest the Size of Rhode Island in PNG

Brown Admission: Providence

Chatham Island temperate forests (AA0401)

Yapen rain forests (AA0108)


About the Size of It

Kodokai Karate & Zen

Rhode Island-sized iceberg moves into Antarctic ship lanes

World's land turning to desert at alarming speed

Lord of the Flies, the movie scene locations

Plane, ship photograph huge iceberg

Hawaii Vacation Rentals

Massive Jade Deposit Unearthed

U.N. Says Globe Drying Up at Fast Pace

Cooking Light - Hawaii,13803,408944,00.html

Earth turning to dust, U.N. says

Denali State Park

The Icewoman Cometh Back to Campus

New Hope for the Bali Starling?

Hazardous Wastes from Large-scale Metal Extraction: The Clark Fork Waste Complex, MT

B-15A Iceberg (the Size of Rhode Island) Blocks McMurdo Sound

DePalma, Anthony. “In Catskills, It’s Development vs. the Drinking Supply.” New York Times, (9/17/2005) Metropolitan Desk, B1.

Mamsnerus, Laura. “The Giants, the Jets And Coach Codey.” New York Times, (8/21/2005) New Jersey Weekly Desk, 5.

Broad, William J. “In Guatemala, a Rhode Island-Size Jade Lode.” New York Times, (5/22/2002) Foreign Desk, A1.

Joyce, Terrance. “The Heat Before the Cold.” New York Times, (4/18/2002) Editorial Desk, A27.

Chang, Kenneth. “Early Warnings When the Volcano Starts to Slip.” New York Times, (3/5/2002) Science Desk, F3.

Kinzer, Stephen. “A Faded City Brightens in Nicaragua.” New York Times, (2/17/2002) Travel Desk, 10.

Associated Press. “Imagine Being Rammed by Rhode Island.” New York Times, (8/18/1999) Foreign Desk, A4.

Finkel, Michael. “Wide Open Trails in a Postage-Stamp Land.” New York Times, (12/15/1996) Travel Desk, 8.

Compiled by:

Jim Kinnie
Assistant Professor/Humanities Reference Librarian / (401) 874-9240

University of Rhode Island Libraries

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