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“Measurement Mess!!” • May 16, 2006

Finally a sensible solution!!!

You DNA’s are really pretty strange!

What? You don’t believe that?

Well — I have irrefutable proof of your strangeness — and of course, being a brilliant blond Digital Person, I also have the perfect and obvious solution!

Let’s just suppose you want to know how long something is — or actually, what units do you use for linear measurements? And further, let’s suppose that you are a wacko smarty pants wise guy know it all — someone like THE Boss!  Witness the following conversation.

“Sure, I’ll be glad to pick it up for you, sir.  But — will it fit in the trunk of my car?”

“Yeah — it’s only about 125 million beard-seconds long.”

“Boss!!!  Beard-seconds??? How long is that REALLY?”

“It’s about three quarters of a guz in Mubai.”

WELL — after a great deal of frustration — and a few threats to hit him — hard! — (it wouldn’t have done any good anyway — I’d have just hurt my hand) — I finally found out that the jerk’s package at the post office was 20 inches long.

This conversation reveals two problems.  One — the hassle of dealing with people like THE Boss.  And two, you DNA’s have made an incredible mess of measurements!!!

I did a web search on just units of length — never mind the disaster you’ve made of everything else — and came up with the following “simple” list of linear units — all of which refer to different lengths (I think!) In alphabetical order:

Acre’s breadth, admiralty nautical mile, akker, alen, aln, American foot, ångström, arpent, astronomical unit, ATA point, atomic unit of length, attic foot, attometer, attoparsec, barley corn, barn, Barn-megaparsec, beard-second, Benoit foot, block, Bohr, caliber, calibre, cana, cane, cape foot, centimeter, chain, chebel, cicero, city block, Clarke’s foot, cloth finger, cloth nail, cloth span, cot, cricket, cubit, day’s journey, decimeter, deget, dekameter, didot, didot point, digit, double cubit, duim, ell, elle, engineer’s chain, engineer’s link, European point, famn, fathom, favn, Flemish ell, femtometer, fermi, finger, fitel, fjärdingsväg, fjerdingsvei, fod, foot, football field, fot, funie, furlong, fuss, geographical mile, gigafoot, gigameter, gigamile, grain, gravitational radius, great cubit, Greek fathom, grote palm, gudge, Gunter’s chain, Gunter’s link, guz, hairsbreadth, half-a-Hashimi cubit, hand, hecto meter, hike, hundredfoot, hvat, iftla, Imperial cable length, inch, Indian foot, international cable length, international mile, ixbar, jalka, Jewish cubit, kaapelinmitta, kabellengde, kilometer, kilomile, klafter, kleine palm, klick, kvarter, kvartmil, kyndemil, kyynärä, land chain, landmil, lås, lat de palmâ, league, leghe, legua, lieue, light-day, light-hour, light-minute, light-second, light-year, ligne, line, línea, linie, linja, linje, link, loft, mansion, megafoot, megameter, megamile, meile, meter, metre, metric point, mickey, micrometer, micron, mil, mile, millifoot, millimeter, nail, nanoacre, nanometers, nautical league, nautical mile, norrköping, nymil, ordinary cable length, pace, päivämatka, palm, palmâ, palmac, palme, parasang, Paris foot, parsec, pas mare, pas mic, paso, peninkulma, perch, perche, perchua, pica, picior, picometer, pie, pied du roi, pitch, Plank length, point, pole, poppyseed, postâ, PostScript point, pouce, prâjinâ, prime, pulgada, pulzier, pulzieri, punto, qasba, qasbiet, quarter, rack unit, Ramsden’s chain, Ramsden’s link, rast, Rathborn chain, Rathborn link, ref, remen, rest, rod, rope, royal foot, rute, sazhen, Scottish ell, scruple, Sear’s foot, second, seigbahn, shaftment, sjømil, skogsmil, skrupel, smoot, span, spat, speck, stadium, stang, stång, stânjen, statute mile, steinkast, stenkast, step, stick, stone’s throw, stopa, survey mile, surveyor’s chain, surveyor’s link, syli, talent, telegraph mile, terameter, teramile, thou, thousandfoot, toise, tomme, trail, trek, Trunchet point, tum, tuuma, tvärhand, twip, U. S. cable length, U. S. Navy cable length, U. S. Survey foot, U. S. Survey mile, vaaska, vakomitta, vara, vara chain, vershok, Verstâ, virsta, voet, walk, wicket, wiener fathom, xiber, X-unit, yard, yojana, and zoll!!

By the way, notice that some of these are also the same word used for other measurements — second, scruple, etc.  I think you people are working overtime at creating confusion!!

BUT — there is an easy solution!!

That is — ditch the whole unsightly mess of dumb measurements and use the only rational system.  A system that everyone can understand and appreciate!  And for anyone that is thinking the “metric” system — well, you’re one third right — that is, the first two letters are correct.

So — cue the trumpets, beat the drums, light the fireworks!

Presenting — the Meredith System of Measurement!!  You’re gonna really love this!!

First there is only ONE unit — the Meredith!  Think about it a second, why do we need different words for different kinds of measurements? People know from the context what kind of measurement you are talking about.  “How long is the table? 1 Meredith.” “How much does my car weigh? 20 Merediths.” “How powerful is the Space Shuttle? 200 Mega-Merediths.”

See how easy it is? All the confusion is eliminated!!  You NEVER have to convert units!

And rather than trying to come up with a whole mess of different reference standards for length, mass, etc., etc., you just use one single standard — ME!!!  No more nonsense about the distance from the equator to the pole, or so many wavelengths of some color of light, or how far light can travel in 1/299,792,458 of a second, or “the distance a dog can be heard barking on a clear cold night in still air.” (And I didn’t make that up!  Check out “peninkulma” on the web!)

In old length units, 1 Meredith was 68 inches.  So in the new Meredith system, THE Boss who was 6 foot 4 inches in the old system will now be 1.118 Merediths.  And instead of weighing 205 pounds, now he’ll weigh 1.81 Merediths!!

And we’ll have a whole new terrific system of really useful measurements!!  For example, instead of 36 D, it’ll just be a 1 Meredith Bra.  Instead of a size seven shoe, it’ll be a 1 Meredith Shoe.  Instead of 1 metric ton, it’ll be 1 Daily Meredith of Chocolate!

You’ve got to admit that this is really, really cool and will solve all the problems you DNA’s have with measurements.  As soon as I’m elected President, we’ll be starting the changeover!!!!  (I think I’ll go scarf down a Meredith of Chocolate to celebrate!)



PS — This still leaves “time” a royal mess, but I’ve got a perfect solution for that, too!!  The flamingos and I are gonna fix this nonsense of 365 days 6 hours 9 minutes and 9 seconds once and for all!  (Wait a minute, what about 365 days 5 hours 48 minutes 45 seconds? I think I’m gonna have to have a little talk with the Sun about cleaning up it’s act, too!)

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Last Updated: May 2006

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