length / height =



in this context, it’s almost as if howard’s seen the deep fuchsia of our office carpeting for the first time.

that, or the wallpaper.

or — better yet — it’s as if he’s just seen the first of 100-some holiday cards come trickling back in with this stamped across the front: ‘return to sender. 17¢ additional postage. non-standard surcharge.’

this was confounding, at first. until we started trolling through obscure statutes and codes on the usps website looking for ostensible causes of 17¢ surcharges, and found the following mathematic expression of what makes an envelope “non-machinable”:

If the aspect ratio (length divided by height) is not within 1.3 to 2.5 (inclusive), the piece is a nonmachinable letter. For example:

For a letter-size piece that is 5 inches by 8 inches, if the address is parallel to the 5-inch (shorter) dimension, the piece is 5 inches long and 8 inches high. The aspect ratio of this piece is 0.625, which is not within 1.3 to 2.5, so it is mailable as a nonmachinable letter.

our envelopes, though they fit within the proffered slot of the trusty ‘first-class-mail-rate-classification-guide’ tool issued to us earlier this year, are 6″ by 6″. giving our holiday piece an aspect ration of 1. clearly not within the neighborhood of 1.3 to 2.5.

mailable but, alas, nonmachinable.

if this were an episode of numb3rs, i’d get that smart guy to calculate the probability of whether or not all of the individual pieces were going to get returned, the daily rate at which they would arrive, and then the likelihood of us getting them sent back out with the additional 17¢ in postage and delivered before … 2008.

know your aspect ratios.


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3 Responses to “length / height =”

  1. Ashley V. Routson Says:

    Allow me to be the bearer of good news. Just minutes ago, much to my excitement, I recieved a beautiful, locally handcrafted holiday card complete with eloquent copy. Who from? Well, my good friend Ryan Morgan and the rest at JDA.

    Thank you. The card is brilliant. You are brilliant. You made my day.

  2. ryan Says:

    oh, good, i’m glad. you just made mine!

  3. AmyD Says:

    oh i love mine too!!!

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