How Many?
May 18, 2003 10:02 PM   Subscribe

How Many? A Dictionary of Units of Measurement Did you know a pace is equal to two steps? That a pinch is equal to 1/8 a teaspoon? Or that the ancient Greeks defined an obolos as 1/6 a drachma? Now you do.
posted by moonbiter (14 comments total)
I've used this site for years. It's very precise. It seems to be the only place that uses the correct plural of "kelvin".

It's "kelvins".
posted by Pretty_Generic at 10:30 PM on May 18, 2003


note to self: revise treasure map.
posted by tss at 11:15 PM on May 18, 2003

I call "no Grandpa Simpson quotes" for the duration of this thread...
posted by Schnauzer at 11:57 PM on May 18, 2003

My car gets forty rods to the hogshead and that's the way I likes it.

*whistles innocently*
posted by zztzed at 12:26 AM on May 19, 2003

I would, at this point, make some smug remark about how I can jump into a linux shell, type "units" and convert almost anything to anything else. But I'm in Windows, dammit. But instead I'll point out that if you're only getting 40 rods to the hogshead, you must be driving a Canyonero.
posted by arto at 1:43 AM on May 19, 2003

But a tad is still equal to 100 gnats knackers.

[Semi O/T : Two fish are sitting on a perch. One say to the other "Can you smell fish?"]

I have the rather strange honour of having feet that are a foot long, and hands that are a hand wide. Any other similarities between myself and Henry 8th are purely co-incidental.

Although if anyone wants to join my religion... ;)
posted by twine42 at 3:40 AM on May 19, 2003

1 foot = 3 hands = 4 palms = 12 inches (thumb widths) = 16 digits (finger widths)

take that metric system! speaking of, when is the u.s. going to make the switch? my grammar school teacher scared us to thinking we're going to switch when we least expected it.
posted by birdherder at 5:57 AM on May 19, 2003

Fascinating. I actually measured my "pinch" once, because then when I'm cooking I don't have to measure most of the small amounts of salt or whatever, and it turned out to be exactly 1/8 of a teaspoon.
posted by rusty at 8:17 AM on May 19, 2003

OK, self link but actually on topic: this little JavaScript converter can download a bunch of units (~250 I think, it's been 6+ years since I wrote it), and can work off-line too...
posted by costas at 9:59 AM on May 19, 2003

But the site is missing the "milliHelen" - the amount of beauty required to launch one ship.
posted by Wet Spot at 4:20 PM on May 19, 2003

Nor do I see the "rch" - an engineering vulgarism for a very small amount. (r is for red, h is for hair, you figure the rest out.)
posted by Wet Spot at 4:22 PM on May 19, 2003

RCH! That's one of the best units of measurement ever. In my blue-collar construction work days we decided that an RCH was most likely equivalent to 1/128th of an inch. Incidentally, a BCH (blonde) was established at 1/256th of an inch. I don't know if these are real-world equivalents, but some standard was needed, because if my RCH is different than your RCH, well everything would just be all fubared.
posted by rusty at 6:14 PM on May 19, 2003

I really get a kick out of conversions and odd (to me) units of measure. I remember when I got my first "Handbook of Chemistry and Physics" in High School and spent lots of time perusing the conversions section. Champagne Quarts!
posted by Eekacat at 6:49 PM on May 19, 2003

As a footnote, perhaps my favorite measure, which is a subjective one and attributable to Pat Paulsen is the "APR" rating of a wine. APR of course means "Automatic Panty Removal". Much better and more useful than those dang Wine Speculator scores....
posted by Eekacat at 6:54 PM on May 19, 2003

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