Re: Metric Time (was Re: Why not 13 months? (Was La Systeme Metrique))

MacFAQ (
9 Oct 1995 13:08:03 -0400

>> My parents were having friends over and were making snacks. They
>>sent me out to find a suitable roadside farm stand (we do live in the
>>Garden State, of course) and purchase one pint of strawberries and one
>>quart of raspberries.
>> I get to a suitable stand. All the containers of fruit are sold
>>in 6-ounce packets.
>> I could not remember how many ounces make a quart, or a pint, nor
>>could I remember whether a pint or a quart is larger, nor by how much,
>>neither could the poor person working at the stand. And a person who
>>up to the stand to buy something else didn't know either.
>Me, I'm broadly in favour of the metric system but I can't let that
>one pass. Your problem here was converting from a volumetric
>measurement to a weight measurement, which would have been just as hard
>in a metric system.

Nope. Pints and quarts are both measures of volume. And converting volume
to weight (or mass) in metric is generally easier, if you know the density
of the substance in question, with distilled water having a density of 1.0
grams/cubic centimeter. Admittedly, that doesn't help much with

>P.S. My mother would just trust to me having a little sense and say,
>"Go out and get some strawberries." I would look at the strawberries,
>judge about how many I could eat, multiply by how many people were coming
>to lunch and buy that many (or a few more so I could have them with my
>breakfast tomorrow.) The units involved are just a convenience to allow
>the price to be standardised. I don't mind whether the vendor is selling
>them in pounds, kilos, pints, quarts, or pico-hogsheads.

So that's one vote in favor of the nihilist system of weights and

Les "Nurse, give that skinny guy a little bit of that pink stuff that
makes people sleepy" Jones