Sheep—when viewed form a distance, maybe gambolling along the side of a lush green hill—are lovely picturesque animals. However, when viewed up close, they can be seen to be filthy beasts. Thus, if ovine picturesqueness is plotted versus distance, there must be a point at which sheep go from being postcard pretty to just plain ugly.

The left side of my brain wants to know what this distance is.

I have previously—armed with a 1/4 scale picture of a sheep against a green background—asked an independent adjudicator to gauge the distance at which the scenic-to-ugly transition occurred. Based on the result—12 m—I can determine the point at which sheep cease being scenic to about 50 m.

In spite of some recent vocal criticism—mostly concerning whether the picturesqueness of a sheep decays linearly or in an inverse-square manner—I stand by this preliminary result.

Short of actually going to Wales armed with a tape measure, does anyone have any design improvements? Also, I would find it interesting if other people could send in their results, including the original scale of the sheep. Together, we can get a definitive answer. Nothing can stand in the way of progress!

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