Measure for measure

The deluge against we which we were warned this afternoon never arrived with force, jsut a piddling spit here and there making boots seem silly and even questioning umbrellas.  The prediction had been for 50 mm–and the question became “why is rain measured in millimetres while snow is measured in centimeters?”

Clearly, 50 sounds more dramatic than 5, but 50 anything of snow would paralyze us all in concept alone even before we hit the stuff.

I made the mistake of quoting the forecast verbatim to an American friend, who was none pleased at having to go find a conversion table to inches. Funny how we can imagine amounts best in the measurement system we first learned: I can never visualize a Canadian football field, for instance–going to metres from yards makes it too expansive to fit into a single “screen” for my internal eye.

Food here, however, seems to receive universally odd measure, with overall sizes offered in metric and portions in English (you buy a kilo of potatoes but each one weighs so many ounces). That should make the brain either flexible or schizoid.


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