Thursday, October 4, 2012

Your Feet Are How Big, Exactly?

I was a late bloomer, continuing to grow into my early 20's; I stand 180, and my feet are now about size 28.  I curl 28 plus the bar, but my bum knee won't let me squat more than 105.
I could tell you my weight, but then I'd have to kill you (don't worry, I'd have to catch you first...)

Now the Aussies, Kiwis and Brits out there are thinking "So what?"  So are the people from every other country on Earth except the US.

That's because we Americans are imperialists, baby!

I'm not talking about the land-grabbing, resource-gobbling kind of imperialist, I'm talking cups, pounds and inches.  We Americans learn the metric system in junior high or high school, and then promptly forget it, other than in science class.

It's such a simple little thing, really, but something most people (including me) don't think about until they have to deal with it on an everyday basis:  if you want to live in any country other than the US, you'll need to brush up on your metrics.

Grams and kilograms instead of ounces and pounds, meters and centimeters instead of feet and inches, Celsius instead of Fahrenheit.  While spoons and tablespoons have the same volume, an American cup is 240ml, but the Japanese one is only 200ml.  And if you buy Betty Crocker or other American boxed cake mixes, they're probably produced in Australian factories, where the cup is 250ml and the tablespoon is 33% larger (I made a couple of real hockey pucks before I clued into that fact).  My US XXL and XXXL shirts are 6L or 7L here, and too damned short.

Ready to try a little practice with me?

1) As I said, I'm just a smidgen over 180 cm tall.
2) I wear a size 28 shoe.
3) I paid 144 yen per liter for 61.5 liters of gas today.  And my Alphard only gets 8km/l.
4) Winds reached 45 m/s when the typhoon gave us a near miss last week.
5) It was 27 degrees today.
6) My dog weighs 11.5 kg.


1) 5' 11" (and that missing inch was the bane of my college experience!)
2) For men, basically subtract 19 (they're on the narrow side, though)
3) $6.83/gal - (¥144 x $1/¥78) per 1 liter x 3.7 liter per gal = $6.83/gal x 16.6 gal = $113.38
     The car gets 8km/liter x 1 mi/1.6km x 3.7 liter/gal = 18.5 mi/gal
4) 101.3 mi/hr - 45 m/s x 1mi/1600m x 3600s/hr = 101.3 mi/hr
5) 80F - (27C x 1.8) + 32 = 80F
6) 25 lbs 5 oz - 11.5 kg x 2.2 lb/kg

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