So….as someone born and raised in Germany, I was taught from a young age to aspire to the typical German traits – punctuality, discipline, being diligent, hard-working and logical.
And with the last of these characteristics is where I hit a wall in certain environments…namely:
Systems of measurements
For me, whatever is measured, usually follows the same logical divisions, whether it be distance, weight, volume, you name it. And the division is DECIMAL – 1000g in a kilogram, 1000 kilogram in a ton, 1000 tons in a megaton, and so on.
I mean, it`s even right there in the name….KILO, meaning one thousand of something.
But then I get to the US (or even just into the blogging world of long-distance hiking :P) and I am copletely thrown for a loop.
Ounces, quarts, miles, gallon, yards, inches, feet, and so on……WHAT????
I just don`t get it… I`m serious, every time I try to imagine the weight or dimension of something I have to look up the conversions. Not because the single form of measurement might be different, but because the distribution makes absolutely no sense (to decimal-thinking me anyway).
I mean….just look at this o.o:
Liquids: smallest measure is an ounce, 8 ounces to a cup, 2 cups to a pint, 4 cups or 2 pints to a quart, 16 cups, or 8 pints or 4 quarts to a gallon….phew
Solids: smallest measure is an ounce….again, and at least we stick with the weird division of 16, because there are 16 ounces in a pound and then 2000 pounds in a ton – this would roughly be equal to 1000kg, but not quite
And apparently, there`s a measurement called a “grain”, that is equal to I don`t know what fraction of an ounce, but I´ve never come across this in real life.
But let`s continue…
Distance: smallest measurement here is an inch, 12 inches to a foot, 3 feet or 36 inches to a yard, 63360 inches or 5280 feet or 1760 yards to a mile…..huh?!?
I mean….to me a yard is still a place where kids play or you plant a tree or something, but whatever 😀 And what`s with the need to use these weird divisions between measurements…..4, 12, 16, etc. – at least in decimal everything can be divided by 10 (or 1000).
And don`t even get me started on temperatures *eyeroll* …or “stones”.
Well alright, now that my rant is over (and I have probably royally pissed some people off), here`s actually something useful – especially for the weight-savvy hiker 😉 :
Conversions at a glance: