Sunday, July 29, 2012

How Do I Measure Thee?

Measurement. Should we use avoirdupois or metric?

Confusing uses of both are what we have now. Quick! How many ounces in a kilogram? We have no useful knowledge of the correlation between the two systems. Do we see the conflict as just another problem of the the Modern World to deal with? Or is it something we can change to make less confusing? Maybe we should recognize and accept legally the measuring system we've been listening to informally for many years. I call it the 'Place and Symbol System.' First we have the 'peanut', measuring small. 'Hey there peanut! When are you going to grow?' Or the plant was 30 peanuts high! Second is the 'golf ball,' a medical measurement. 'His tumor was the size of a golf ball!' [Dimples and all?] Third the walnut is the same type of medical term. 'Her tumor was the size of a walnut with all the wrinkles!' Fourth, a 'baseball,' is another medical term. 'His tumor was the size of a baseball, stitching and all!' 'His fastballs came at the plate pill size! That's why I couldn't hit them!'
Fifth, we have a city bus. 'The rock on the roadway was the size of a city bus!' Sixth, we have an Elephant. 'This machine part is the size of an Elephant and weighs twice as much!' Seventh is a football field. 'His car could race the length of a football field in .0009 seconds.' The size of the fire was about that of six football fields. Eighth is an olympic swimming pool. 'That puddle is the size of an olympic swimming pool!' Then we have the Empire State Building. 'This tower is as tall as 2 Empire State Buildings, one on top of the other.' We also have the States of the Union. 'His farm was the size of Rhode Island!' For larger sizes we have the circumference of the Earth [about 25,000 miles.] "They make enough candy bars every day to circle the Earth 2.6 times!' And finally we have the distance between the Earth and the Moon [about 236,121 miles.] 'His administration spent enough dollars to stretch from here to the Moon four times!' This system is a visual one, and it has more substance than the typical inches, feet, yards, miles, centimeters, kilometers, meters---because you don't need to know the avoirdupois system or the metric system. There are many other candidates for this system, including megaton, the Amazon River or basin, the Sun, Jupiter, distance to Pluto, etc. But, we can officially add them as they gain popularity with other than the self-promoting scientists. See? You can sleep better now in your king sized bed. You know, the one that's as long as a quarter horse. The answer to the inches in a kilogram? 35.27396 ounces. You know, the length of two lap dogs, tail to tail. Or in metric, 6.022e+26 atomic mass units.