Somewhere in Texas had 17 inches of rain Thursday night according to the

radio, which is 43cm, or nearly half a metre.  I'm still a metric girl, it makes much more sense just to slam on an extra zero or power of ten and keep making up great new units like the parsec (*) or the nanometre.  True, every ruler in the world is ever so slightly off since they made the metre exactly 1 / 3 x 108 the speed of light, instead of 1 / 2.998 something x 108 light speed, but that's only going a problem for the people doing subatomic measurement work.  How often do you measure the width of a neutron anyway, right?

It bugs me to hear Imperial described as "English" measurements.  The English aren't using it; we've been metric for decades! It's been illegal to sell a pound of apples in England for years now, you have to sell 454 grams, or just round up to half a kilo.  Imperial scales are relics and all apples are grown in metric fields.  Cows are fined for producing gallons of milk instead of litres.  Did anyone else notice that when petrol prices went from gallons to litres, we got our price increases in 4.4 pence per gallon increments instead of just 1p per gallon? Sneaky.

* One parsec is a heck of a long way, and one furlong per fortnight is about as fast as an old age pensioner in a traffic jam.  Good to see those old Imperial measurements have some use...

Subscribe to Quantum Tea

Don’t miss out on the latest issues. Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.
Follow me on Mastodon