What 20,000 Pages of Inappropriate Emails Look Like

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Nov. 13 2012 1:10 PM

What 20,000 Pages of Inappropriate Emails Look Like

U.S. Gen. John Allen reportedly sent 20,000 to 30,000 pages of “potentially inappropriate” emails to Tampa socialite Jill Kelley. We got to wondering, what would 20,000 pages of inappropriate emails look like?

We stacked up 40 reams of office paper each containing 500 sheets. To provide a point of comparison, we stood them beside Slate’s tallest staffer—Executive Editor Josh Levin, who is 6 feet 5 inches tall—as well as one of Slate’s shorter editors, Katy Waldman, who is 5 feet 3 inches tall. The tower reached just to the level of Levin’s hairline, a height of 6 feet and 4 inches.

121113_TwentyThousandSheets_SizeComparison
Slate Executive Editor Josh Levin, Assistant Editor Katy Waldman, and 20,000 sheets of paper

John Swansburg is Slate's deputy editor.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

Politics

Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

Florida State’s New President Is Underqualified and Mistrusted. He Just Might Save the University.

  News & Politics
Jurisprudence
Sept. 30 2014 2:36 PM This Court Erred The Supreme Court has almost always sided with the wealthy, the privileged, and the powerful, a new book argues.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM Going Private To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  Life
The Eye
Oct. 1 2014 9:26 AM These Lego Masterpieces Capture the Fear and Humor of the “Dark” Side
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 8:46 AM The Vintage eBay Find I Wore to My Sentencing
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 1 2014 7:30 AM Say Hello to Our Quasi-Moon, 2014 OL339
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.