May 20 – Weights and Measures Day

Posted on May 20, 2014

  • Take the opportunity of today's special day to brush up on useful measures that you haven't yet quite mastered.

For example, if you often find yourself having to look up ounces / pints / cups / quarts conversions, create a kitchen chart for yourself, and test yourself often on the conversion facts (such as 2 cups = 1 pint in the U.S.). 

If you will be traveling in Canada this summer, but you live in the U.S., try to become more familiar with the metric system...especially kilometers compared to miles

A lot of people get confused about light years – but you know that it's a measurement of distance, not time, right? 

  • A cubit was defined as the
    distance from a man's elbow
    to the tip of his longest finger.
    Another way to celebrate Weights and Measures Day is to do homage to obsolete measures such as the chaldron (a dry measure), the clove (a measure of weight), and the rood (a measure of area), or to find out about measures from around the world, such as the sun (a measure of length in Japan), the catty (a measure of weight in China), and the jupiter (astronomers usually compare newly discovered planets from other star systems in terms of the mass of Jupiter!).
Did you know that, in England, road signs are given in miles, the price of gasoline (petrol) is given in pounds (a unit of money) per liter, and the efficiency of auto engines is given in miles per gallon. That's gotta be confusing!

  • Have fun with measurements today! Here and here are some activity ideas.

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