Every once in awhile I run out of things to post about. But not this time. I just simply need to take a break from politics for a bit.
What is it about Americans that we can't convert our system of weights and measures to the metric system? Every year about this time I have a whole new bunch of students who pretend that they have never heard of the metric system. And they don't know how to measure in its various levels of units. And all they want to know, when you mention a 3 kilometer distance, is "what's that in miles?"
They always ask things like that. The way you don't go metric is try and convert from english to metric at every step. If you want to know how far a kilometer is, walk it. If you want to know how much 700 grams "weighs" heft 700 grams in your hand. If you want to know how much a liter of beer is drink it (all in one quaff).
Here is why we need to measure in metric:
The basic unit of lengths In English:
12 Inches to the Foot
3 Feet to the Yard
1760 Yards to the Mile
The basic unit of lengths In Metric:
1000 Meters to the Kilometer
1/100 of a Meter to the Centimeter
1/1000 of a Meter to the Millimeter
It goes on and on. Metric is based on a decimal system. English is based on a nonexistent system.
And you can do fun things. In metric, what do you call 2000 Mockingbirds? Answer - Two Kilomockingbird. (tee hee).
Three countries in the world have refused to "go metric". Which ones besides the US? Liberia and Myanmar (Burma). I know there are issues like retooling, but every once in awhile you save some money. Like when NASA lost a Mars orbiter because all of the contractors but one Lockheed-Martin (American) used the metric system in their work, but Lockheed-Martin, used the english system, and the orbiter burnd up in Martian atmosphere. That's a true story.
And I found this in an interesting Go Metric website. I kind of liked it, so I stole it.
Top 10 reasons we should convert to the Metric System (with apologies to David Letterman)
10. People will finally understand my joke about driving attoparsecs per nanocenturies.
9. Gas will seem cheaper at 50 cents a liter.
8. Being 22 kilos overweight does not sound as bad as 50 lbs.
7. Defense will be easier if the offense has to drive 10 meters for a first down.
6. Arizona summers will not seem as bad when its only 40 degrees outside.
5. Its not "metric", its "Digital"!
4. Imagine all the exciting math you will do converting your favorite recipes to milliliters.
3. Less fractions to deal with like, "Do I need a five eighths socket or a nine sixteenths to loosen this nut?"
2. The boy band 98º will not be as popular calling themselves 36.7º.
And the number 1 reason to go metric?
1. Half a liter is more than a pint, which means, MORE BEER FOR EVERYBODY!