Tuesday 2 August 2011

...For the Height of Me...

Sorry about the really weird post title.  A rottenish pun on the phrase "for the life of me", of course.  And wherefore?  Because thusly, Question 6: "How tall are you?"

Five foot seven and a bit. Or, if you're a metricist, 171cm.

Okay, I'm supposed to write at least a 100-word answer to each question, and that was only 12 words.  A bit short of target, no?  So I'll take advantage of the feet/centimetres dichotomy, and the opportunity it affords me to go off and ramble about my approach to units of measurement.

So: I use a strange mix of imperial and metric measurements, depending what I'm trying to measure.  I still prefer to measure myself (and anyone else, for that matter) in feet and inches.  But I never could get my head around Fahrenheit.
  • In terms of linear distance, I'm fine with cms and mms on the smaller scale, but I will sometimes use inches instead for no particular reason, I always think of room measurements and people's heights in terms of feet, and I don't like trying to measure long distances in kms.  I always think of the distance from home to, say, grandparents' houses, or to Cardiff, or wherever, in miles.
  • But if you introduce a third dimension, I suddenly come over all metric!  True story.  I can handle pints in the context of milk bottles and such, but for any other volume measurement I stick to litres.  I'd take mls over tsps and tbsps any day.
  • I think decimal currency is a brilliant idea.  The way forward is definitely to have coins and notes in units of 1, 2 and 5 multiplied by various powers of 10.  That's the way we do it in Blighty, and when the Eurozone designed a new currency from scratch that's the way they did it too, because it is by far the most logical approach.  Not saying I like the Euro as a concept, or the aesthetics of their notes and coins, but I will concede that they did, at least, use all the right note and coin denominations.  Don't get me started on the silly Yankee system, with the missing 2c, the 25c instead of a 20, the missing $2, the weird naming foibles, the ghastly-looking $5 bill and so on.
  • And then there's temperature.  Why on earth does the Fahrenheit scale place 0 at some arbitrary icy point, and call the freezing point of water 32?  I always thought that was a bit daft, and I much prefer Celsius.  Or even better, Kelvin, where 0 is defined as, well, absolute zero.  What a sensible place to start!
So, there you go.  That's how tall I am, and how I like to express how tall I am.

Are you a metricist?

Please don't feed the statisticians:
  • Twenty Questions status: 4 down, 16 to go
  • Days until Root Hill: 18
  • Latest book read: will anybody be surprised if I say Operation Mincemeat?
  • Latest film/TV watched: Top Gear Series 17 Episode 6, on BBC iPlayer
  • Latest music listened to: some Minecraft fan songs Ben showed me on YouTube
  • Latest edible item eaten: half a 'pains au chocolat'
  • Predominant colour of clothes: same as yesterday...
  • Programs and web pages currently running: Microsoft Office Outlook 2007, Firefox (tabs: MatNav 6.1; Blogspot Dashboard; A White Horizon; Blogspot Create Post); The GIMP
  • Webcomics posted today: Cylinder and Miserable #1325

- The Colclough

1 comment:

  1. I'd say I'm about the same as you when it comes to what measurements I'm using. And I agree that Fahrenheit is stupid. Although, did you know that the one temperature when it's the same as centigrade is -40? Which is a cool fact but just emphasises the weirdness of Fahrenheit.