Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Did you know that the US is one of only three countries that have not adopted the metric system? Myanmar and Liberia are the other two. What are we waiting for? It's too expensive? Too much of a hassle?

How much of our kids' education is wasted on learning standard units? Three teaspoons per tablespoon, 16 tablespoons per cup, two cups per pint, two pints per quart, four quarts per gallon. How much extra ink is wasted printing two measurements? Or if they don't, then they're printing two kinds of labels, and storing separately packaged product for export to, oh, anywhere. How much waste is there in that? How many factories have to make things in standard and metric? Wasteful. And when someone screws up converting? Or when someone brain farts and uses the wrong system, as was the case with the Mars Climate Orbiter? There was a $150 million that could've gone to metric education and adoption!

Every time I add up my veggie weight, and I do it in ounces, I have to add up all the ounces, divide by 16, write that number off to the side to save for when I add up the pounds, take the remaining decimal, multiply it by 16 to get the remaining ounces, and then add up the pounds. And that's just for weight.

What a frickin' headache. From now on, it'll all be done in metric.


Dave Brown said...

Well done for making the leap into the present. It's difficult working in metric in a country of idiots like the British and the Americans. My height is 1.88 m and I weigh 102 kg (bit overweight!). My car does 11 l/100 km and my son weighed 4.85 kg at birth (BIG baby). My journey to work is 55 km. If you tell people in the UK they think you're odd, and they don't understand you. In fact THEY are odd, and I don't understand them. Any of them.

Hedgewizard said...

In the words of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman:

"NOTE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE AND AMERICANS: ...It helps to understand the antique finances of the Witchfinder Army if you know the original British monetary system:

Two Farthings = One Ha'penny. Two Ha'pennies = One Penny. Three Pennies = A Thrupenny Bit. Two Thrupences = A Sixpence. Two Sixpences = One Shilling, or Bob. Two Bob = A Florin. One Florin and One Sixpence = Half a Crown. Four Half Crowns = Ten Bob Note. Two Ten Bob Notes = One Pound (or 240 pennies). One Pound and One Shilling = One Guinea.

The British resisted decimalized currency for a long time because they thought it was too complicated."