back to article EU abolishes the acre

The European Union has provided further evidence of its sinister plan to convert this once-proud nation into nothing more than a stuffed songbird-eating satellite of the Continent by "abolishing" the British acre, the Telegraph reports. Centuries of proud history and culture were undone on 15 July when the government signalled …

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  1. Pete Silver badge

    roods poles and perches.

    Acres? who cares. Just another obsolete measurement left over from the middle ages. Just as a question - without looking it up, how many readers can actually say how many square feet (or yards, or metres) there are in an acre? Easier: how many acres are there in a square mile?

    Nobody, huh. Thought so. It's simply a word that people cling on to with no real clue as to it's meaning. Give me a nice, simple 10,000 square metres (yes, 1 hectare) any day.

  2. Hollerith

    Do as the Europeans do

    Use hectares when dealing with the Governemnt, and use your local, ancestral land units for all other conversations. The Brits are so slavish about following rules!

  3. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Daft unit

    What's wrong with square metres? Why would one ever want more than one unit of area, except to amuse El Reg readers?

    Oh, I get it. There must be a French IT news website that has a penchant for inventing bizarre new units and "hectare" must be one of theirs. I expect it's really funny in French or something.

  4. Mark Lockwood Silver badge

    Can we please keep to standard measuring units?

    So how many London Buses can you fit in a hectare?

  5. Steve

    It's not a superstate, honest.

    We just need everyone to register land in the same units because it looks neater.

    It's absolutely nothing to do with a federalist frog-boil.

  6. Steve Evans

    Honestly...

    Can Johnny Foreigner not use a calculator?

    The EU seems fixed on removing anything that might require the use of one... Join all the currencies together into the Euro, tada! None of that annoying conversion. Maybe it's so nobody will have the ability to check their expenses claims!

    Come on you lazy buggers, we manage it all the time over here... Here are some rough conversions which you can do in your head. Please note I say rough.

    When cooking, or talking about the weather C = ( F - 30 ) / 2

    When talking about distance or speed, Miles = Kilometre / 1.5

    When employing a plumber, Złoty = UKP / 4

    And if you think that's bad, try dealing with Americans who take our units, and then short change you with them... 4 Fluid ounces missing from a pint, that's flamin' criminal!

    Oh, and well done to our unelected leader for being so spineless. Pity Hadrian didn't put rusty nails on the top of his wall, or you'd never have had the guts to cross it.

    How long would it take to clone Maggy and get her back in power? I know she did many unpopular things, but she had more bollocks (especially when it came to Europe) than all the leaders we've had since put together! Back in those days you could always cross the channel and hold your head and middle finger high and proud!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    160 square rods

    Pete,

    What is your problem?

  8. Steve Evans

    They missed this one

    Never mind, we've still got the carrucate.

    I've actually beaten Anonymous Coward to this one.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    <no title>

    I should not need to know how many square feet there are in an acre. As a child I was shown an acre and can visualise it, that's the important bit. It's sad to see one more thing that formed part of my life just slung away. Capitulation to Euro measures should be after those brought up with British measurements are all in their pine boxes. Until then dual systems should remain. And that is particularly true for weather forecasters and their temperatures !

  10. Dave Harris

    @Pete

    Didn't really give us much of a chance there, did you?

    FWIW I always remember it as a chain by a furlong (22yds x 220yds), so 4840 square yards.

  11. Adam Trickett
    Linux

    Which Acre?

    Why do people cling to obsolete often foreign ambiguous units of measures? when there is a perfectly decent and logical set to use that is the same everywhere in the world.

    A quick glance on Wikipedia shows that there are several different acres and even within the British Isles there were different ones in use...

  12. Rob Kirton
    Happy

    Its a matter of conversion

    If I am kicked hard in the plums I *Know* I'll have two acres

    How many hectares is that?

  13. Dazed and Confused Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    So much for common sense.

    I thought that last year the EU were trumpeting a more grown up attitude by saying they didn't need to carry on their genocide program for people found guilty of not using French measurement units. I take it that the commission member responsible has been replaced for daring to not follow the federalist dream.

    Why a hectares anyway. It's not a SI unit. Don't these people realise that you are supposed to work in 3 orders of magnitude?

    Metres fine, Kilometers, OK, Mega meter should come next, anyone found referring to a 1000KM is just as out of order as people using miles.

    We don't go around measuring distance in decimetres or hectometers why should they suddenly go off and use it for area.

    If they want to change the unit, change it to the SI one.

    PS. the metre is a lasting testament to shoddy surveying. I'll support it if they go back at do it properly and then everyone switches to it.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Pete

    You dick.

    I can easily picture a square metre. I can easily picture an acre. I can easily picture a square mile. I cannot easily picture 10000 square metres. I cannot easily convert between any of them.

    The point is that I grew up with certain measurements based on physical examples. I don't give a shit what it's measured in as long as I can picture it. I certainly don't want anyone telling me what I should be measuring things in.

    Fortunately, no is.

    Which makes this post just as pointless as yours, albeit a lot less patronising.

  15. Anthony Zacharzewski

    Who cares?

    I can honestly say that I have never seen anything measured in acres, always m2 or hectares.

    I'd be happy for us to follow Ireland's lead and go to km for distance on road signs as well. It's not like people will be confused if you put km after the number - I learned the metric system at school in the 70s.

  16. Edward Miles

    *yawn*

    Wait... the abolition of an arcane system of measurements in news?

    Wake me when something real happens

    *goes back to sleep*

  17. Nic Brough
    Coat

    Acres?

    Meh, I never knew what an acre was in the first place, so I'm not bothered.

    If they go after inches/feet/yards and try to inflict some stupid, broken, nonsensical and functionally useless system on us though, I will be upset.

    Something based on some arbitrary measure like "1⁄10,000,000 of the distance between the North Pole an the Equator" which the French then miscalculate so it's totally random, and then base the multipliers on 10, so you can't easily divide it by 3 or 4 as well as 2.

    Mine's the one with the common sense in the pocket

  18. Stef
    Flame

    Fartanshite

    @ Steve Evans

    Fahrenheit?! Even the BBC are gradually realising what a ridiculous unit that is.

    It's not a matter of not being able to convert - it's why should we.

    Ye Olde English units are ridiculous but Brit governments are too wishy-washy and in the thrall of the dread Daily Mail readership to grow a pair and get rid of them.

  19. Paul

    @ Pete

    With 10 chains to the furlong and 8 furlongs to the mile there are (10 x 8 x 8) = 640 acres in a square mile.

    Simple really.

  20. Mark
    Boffin

    re: roods poles and perches.

    Uh, how many people know that it's 10,000 sq m? And how many people can tell the difference between metres square and square metres?

    And why is it a square measurement for hectares anyway? The most efficient shape for farming is extremely oblong. Way back (before my time), some lords gave to their peasants the land in nice easy to measure square plots. The peasants knew this was a stupid barnstack idea and when production dropped, explained why.

    So I'd reckon you'd be better off talking to farmers how many acres they have and how many go into a square mile.

    PS why the feck should they care how many acres in a square mile there is? Land is sold in acres. Productivity is in "per acre". Land registry is in "acres". No conversion.

    So how many acres are there in my 10 acre plot?

    Oooh. Difficult.

    10?

    Whee!

  21. David Haworth
    Boffin

    And so dies a whole line of jokes ...

    ... because you can't get approx. 0.8 hectares by being kicked by a cow.

    Never mind, though - I'm sure the term won't die out for a long time. Here in Germany they still have:

    Zentner --- 50kg (hundredweight, near as dammit)

    Tonne --- 1000kg (ton, near as dammit)

    Pfund --- 500g (pound, near as dammit)

    Zoll --- inch (used for screen sizes and, curiously, threaded pipe fittings)

    Woche --- (week - still has 7 days) ;-)

    Not to mention degrees, hours, minutes etc. Expect them to be decimalised next.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    You can't visualize a hectare?

    "As a child I was shown an acre and can visualise it"

    So get someone to show you a hectare now. Job done.

    (Jeez, some people really seem to think that after they leave school they can switch their brain off for the rest of their life. And amazingly some of those people are in IT.)

  23. Chika
    Happy

    @Mark Lockwood

    "So how many London Buses can you fit in a hectare?"

    Routemasters, Volvos or Bendy-buses?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    an acre?

    simply the distance between the stumps multiplied by ten times the distance between the stumps.

    Those countries who don't play cricket have to make do with hectares, in the UK we are much more civilised.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Just doesn't sound the same...

    Arnie's joke in Last Action Hero...

    "You wanna be a farmer? Here's 0.8093 hectares!"

    just doesn't sound funny in metric.

  26. Andrew Cooper
    Stop

    Say it with me people...

    Avoirdupois!

    (yes I know that this is weight and not area, but still!)

  27. Tony Hoyle
    Unhappy

    A what?

    Like lots of people I couldn't tell you what an acre was other than 'the size of a field'.

    A furlong I know of as the length of a race course, and it's a term only used by sports commentaters on a saturday.

    A chain? That's a new one on me...

    The sooner we get rid of the archaic language that just seems to be there to confuse the better. I can cope with miles per gallon and beer in pints. Let's leave it there shall we.

  28. David Cornes

    @Steve Evans and AC

    "Back in those days you could always cross the channel and hold your head and middle finger high and proud!"

    Isn't the middle finger an American vulgarity? We Brits prefer the two fingered salute, honouring our glorious archers at the Battle Of Agincourt! :-D

    "Capitulation to Euro measures should be after those brought up with British measurements are all in their pine boxes. Until then dual systems should remain"

    I was taught metric at school. Unfortunately since all the adults used imperial it all went pairshaped, and we're not stuck with a ludicrous mess we have now. I'd be muhc happier if we choose - and STICK - with one system: I've no preference with, but since metric seems to be a lot more sensibly done (all multiples of 10) then that seems the better choice to me.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    51st state

    "...sinister plan to convert this once-proud nation into nothing more than a stuffed songbird-eating satellite of the Continent..."

    insn't it funny how most of the people who object to closer integration with the rest of europe and trumpet proudly on about 'britishness' seem to be the ones most willing to get down on all fours and spread their cheeks wide for the americans?

    i'll take 'european superstate' over sycophantic 'fifty-first state' any day!

  30. Steven Knox Silver badge
    Stop

    HA HA H--*sigh*

    Oh, we want to keep our old irrational measure. Please, please, Mr. Politician, stop nasty Europe from forcing a simple logical system down our throats!

    Well, I live in a country where the politicians actually listened to that drivel, and because of that mistake (and the inability of some techs to actually *read* the unit of a measurement), we've lost more than one very expensive piece of equipment, and quite a bit of respect.

    So go ahead. Cling to your "national identity" by any means necessary, even to the point of keeping measuring units which have outlived their usefulness. Keep disagreeing on the unimportant points, and soon you will join US in the new world governments' doghouse.

    And I will be the first to greet you. Sigh.

  31. Adam Cherrett
    Coat

    Re: Daft unit

    I agree, the idea of naming a new (rendundant) unit for measuring area is bizarre, but it should cut down on a prevalent error amongst non-techie types (which I would like to call "Greengrocer's Dimension", and which may one day spawn a Dr Who episode). Here in France, where land areas tend to be given in m^2, a browse through any property magazine will yield dozens (sorry, Brussels, I mean tens) of houses which come with, for example, "1.2km^2 of land". It invariably turns out that they come with a much more stingy (but quicker to mow) 1200m^2.

    Mine's the one with the size expressed in Calories per mmHg per Acre.

  32. James

    16.118 Hectares and an F1 Horse and Donkey Hybrid

    Why bother standardising? What is the need? This is just irrelevant, pointless change because people have too little else to do.

    if it is not broken, why waste effort fixing it?

    Using the same standardising logic, why not all speak one language?

    Why can't both measures co-exist?

    Mile = 1,760 yards

    Square mile = 640 acres

    Simple arithmetic thereafter.

  33. Edward Rose

    @Pete

    Knowing the square meters in a hectare is equally useless when visualising area.

    If you know what an acre looks like, it's easy to scale to multiple acres, regardles of how many square thou there may be floating about in there (I am, BTW, holding up two fingers to you, so bugger off back to your precious Europe).

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Disgusting

    Outragous. What's wrong with a bit of unit conversion? NASA use metric and imperial units all the time and have no trouble at all getting their Mars Orbiters into space - documented, no doubt, on proper paper sizes like "Letter", "Executive" and "Ledger".

    If those damn frenchies must use this "metric" system there are practical sites like http://www.sensibleunits.com to convert to metric from to imperial, or "freedom units" as I like to call of them.

  35. Frank Silver badge

    @Steve Evans re. Honestly

    "...When employing a plumber, Złoty = UKP / 4 "

    I think you'll find that Zloty = UKP * 4 (or thereabouts). There may be a lesson here.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All this EU intervention...

    ...is enough to drive a man to drink.

    Barkeep, 568ml of your finest lager, please!

  37. Chris Cheale

    Except, of course...

    It works like this:

    UK gov: "Ok, we'll use Hectares"

    EU gov: "You only have to use them for legal documents of land registry you know"

    UK gov: "Yeah, but feck that, too much like hard work, we'll just make acres totally illegal, it's easier"

    That's the typical UK gov response to any EU legislation - even things that start off reasonably sensible in Brussels seem to be twisted into unworkable, inflammatory legislation for the UK just so that the government can complain that "Brussels made them do it".

    Of course, nobody mentions the fact that (currently) the "big 3" in Europe are us, the Germans and the French - it's not like our government doesn't have any say in the matter. The Germans help create legislation and implement it (normally) reasonably sensibly, the French help create legislation and just ignore the bits they don't like and us (as in the UK), we help create legislation but throw our toys out of the pram when things don't go totally our way and then implement a "worst possible" reading of said legislation so that we can turn around and go "seeee... told you it wuddun work/look what you maked us do... nerr nerr nerr". Cry more.

  38. regadpellagru
    Thumb Up

    @Ken Hagan

    "What's wrong with square metres? Why would one ever want more than one unit of area, except to amuse El Reg readers?

    Oh, I get it. There must be a French IT news website that has a penchant for inventing bizarre new units and "hectare" must be one of theirs. I expect it's really funny in French or something."

    LOL, read the first comment, square meters and hectares are all part of the international metric system, the one used by everyone except UK and US. Hectare is just here to spare ink and trees when dealing with big surfaces, like cubic meter is for liter. 1 ha = 10 000 m2.

    Frankly, given the huge misunderstandings you can spot from time to time in forums, in threads on cars MPG, which ends up eventually by one guy realising the other counts with *US* gallons rather than *UK* gallons (yes, they're apparently different), converting everyone to the same system is much needed. Sorry for old times.

  39. Mudslinger

    Chains and furlongs

    and from that it follows that there are 640 per sq mile

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    I like Hector actually.

    The only way I can remember what an acre is, is by comparing it to half a football pitch - whether rightly or wrongly.

    But with metric it's easy 100x100 metres for the hector (sic...I'm a geordie ).

    This is strange in the fact for everthing else I prefer Imperial.

  41. Mike Richards Silver badge

    At bloody last

    In the dim and distant 1970s, when we still had proper summers, I learned land area in ares and hectares; never acres - so what's the fuss? Just the same as I only ever saw SI units in school.

    Surely the majority of people in the UK have now only learned SI and metric in school it's time to get rid of the ridiculous Imperial system once and for all?

  42. Les Matthew
    Thumb Up

    Re: Can we please keep to standard measuring units?

    "So how many London Buses can you fit in a hectare?"

    About 489 Routemasters.

  43. Jim Coe

    NotoID as well..

    Ignore this as EU is now illegal having ignoted it's own rules on new treaty(constitution).In faddition, UK is no longer a member having ratified the treatty without the consent o its people by referendum,

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Praise the EU

    That's the end of another pointless unit. Square metres for me thanks

  45. N1AK

    Tory foot shooting

    If I was Gordon Brown I would be happy to hear the Conservatives bleating on about Europe requesting the use of square kms (Hectare) rather than the out-dated Acre.

    Now when he returns from his holiday he has ample ammunition to paint the Tories as Europe hating xenophobes who would rather spend time fussing over units no one cares for than suggesting policies to deal with crime/slowing economy/education etc (his usual "no substance, just sound bites" sound bite).

    Note: I'm more likely to vote Conservative than Labour, but even I can see when the Conservatives are sticking their foot in it.

  46. A J Stiles

    Must be a slow news day

    I agree with everything Pete said.

    Perhaps the Daily Mail readers and others who bluster about "loss of sovereignty" (how does forcing people to describe things in measuring units which **actually make sense** as opposed to ancient traditions harm anyone anyway?) would prefer us to go back to using Roman numerals, too?

    What Ken Hagan said would be nice, but to give everything in m² would require the use of exponential notation.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    It's political I tell you.

    I'll stop using acres the day that they stop making computers using EBCDIC.. or possibly the day that they pry the last farthing from my dead cold hands or when they tell me I can't use the good old roman numeral system when filling out my tax returns.

    Next thing you know they'll try to make us speak this new fangled 'english' nonsense.

  48. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
    IT Angle

    Who has the best number system...?

    "Just as a question - without looking it up, how many readers can actually say how many square feet (or yards, or metres) there are in an acre?.."

    I have no problems replying '4840' there - I remember it being drummed into me as a child - but I could never understand why I needed to know that. Finally, over 50 years later, I have found a use for it!

    Incidentally, I don't think anyone ever taught me how many acres there were in a square mile, so I have just worked it out - there are 640. Interesting number for a computer specialist - indicates that Imperial measurements were built on a number of bases, to allow for easy mental arithmetic, and a fundamental divisor was 2. This makes binary arithmetic often work better with imperial than metric.....

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have a three step solution...

    1. Wait until they're all over here.

    2. Storm the building.

    3. Take them all out, tie them to a stake, and burn some sense into them.

    Can anyone see any flaws with this other than it will damage the environment?

  50. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: A what?

    Never mind all this, I need to be able to gauge how much 15kg is in clothes and <strike>weaponry</strike> shoes so I can pack for my hols.

  51. Richard
    Paris Hilton

    118000 Chains to the hogshead....

    .. is the fuel efficiency of my car. Who can be bothered translating that into something readable?

    As for the acre, i only know how much an acre is because of the video to Pink Floyd's Another Brick in the Wall. And given it seems to be based on two other largly obsolete Imperial Units, it's about time we ditched all of them. Imperial units are all variables and are just annoying and illogical.

    Paris coz she likes her chains and hogsheads.

  52. John H Woods Silver badge

    Keep the ounce.

    Sometimes certain units are more convenient. Why couldn't we just redefine the acre as being exactly 40% of a hectare and be done with it? Similarly, we should have redefined the ounce as exactly 25g, a pound as exactly 500g, and kept both measurements. Not just for patriotic nostalgia but for converience. For instance, the metric system absolutely sucks for cooking with, as 1kg is too big for anything but potatoes and large joints of meat, and 1g is too small for anything except salt and spices.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    @Sarah Bee

    In my experience 15 kilos equals everything you want to bring minus your favorite top and half of your favorite pair of shoes.

  54. Ioda

    Bovate

    A new unit for El Reg's standards?

    The definition of a bovate can be found here:

    http://www.domesdaybook.net/helpfiles/hs3250.htm

  55. Matt Eagles

    Trivia contest

    "Once again this weak Labour Government has meekly given up yet another of Britain's rights to Brussels. They need to think again and insist that we must keep our right to use our ancient traditional measure of land if we wish."

    This type of pointlessness from the Tories is the reason we have had this current government for so long.

  56. John Robson Silver badge

    Stop this relentless march to base10

    Go base 12, it's then easily divisible by 2,3 and 4 the three numbers I use most often when dividing a measurement, the only vaguely challenging calculation you are likely to want to do in your head.

    Occasionally I'll divide the 10m boundary (less 3" for the end fence post) by 6'3" to work out how many fence panels I need - but there's nothing difficult about that.

  57. gbyrne
    Paris Hilton

    Metric so easy..

    Mili 1/1000th

    Centi 1/100th

    Deci 1/10th

    <unit>

    Deca X 10

    Hecta X 100

    Kilo X 1000

    In the case of hectare - this is 100m x 100m (= 10,000 sq.m) as the unit is based on metres.

    e.g. GRAM (unit of weight) - miligram (small)...kilogram (large).

    Now, it is perfectly possible to request a Hectagram of bon-bons should one be so inclined.

    Paris, cause there's not a kilo to spare on her!

    GB

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Richard

    Well a hogshead is 54 gallons so no difficulty there (my father was a club steward) and the conversion from chains is already in the previous messages so I don't see the difficulty.

  59. Mark

    @John H Woods

    And that's exactly why we have so many units and why the metric system (with only one unit, hence the unsurprising result that converting between the same unit is very easy).

    a) cooking teaspoon/tablespoon is a reasonable fraction of a fluid ounce.

    b) pints useful for larger liquids (and about as much as you'd like to drink in one container).

    Litre sucks for the teaspoon. And only bulk resellers for retail care how many fl. oz. in a pint/gallon/barrel.

    a) Pounds for joints of meat.

    b) oz for smaller ingredients.

    c) "small onion"/"large carrot" isn't metric, but we see them a lot.

    See how this works, people?

    People are weighed in pounds and stones. But nobody cares how many oz is in a stone (nor a hundredweight), so uneven conversion factors is a red herring. It's only useful in maths classes to show how to use common factors and uneven rational fractions. And in those cases, guess what? Metric sucks donkey balls there.

    However, when interoperating with others, a consistent measurement system *between the two entities* is needed and since most people have used the metric, donkey-ball-sucking though it is, we should use metric in interoperability (legal especially).

  60. Richard Gadsden
    Paris Hilton

    I was taught

    And therefore it's probably wrong, that an acre is the area that can be ploughed by one team of oxen in a day. The strip of land is one furrow-long (furlong) long, which is how far the oxen can plough until they need a rest, then you turn them around and plough the next furrow. By the end of the day, the width of the area you've ploughed is a chain, so the whole strip is one acre.

    So, anyone still ploughing a field with teams of oxen has a legitimate complaint that the hectares are going to be a problem. Rest of you, keep your gobs shut.

    Paris, cos she likes having her fields ploughed.

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Nice move

    Thank goodness we are one step closer to standardisation, and pity the Conservatives try to score some stupid petty points by shouting against it. They'll figure that there are enough stupid old folk out there who rant against any change at all, that they'll score a few extra votes.

    I just want the day we get the Euro to hurry up and arrive. I have a small business and need a Euro account - but for taking credit cards I would be charged double percentage to take them in Euros. Life is a lot harder trying to do business in UK - stupid Stirling.

  62. Mark

    Re: I like Hector actually.

    "But with metric it's easy 100x100 metres for the hector (sic...I'm a geordie )."

    So can you visualise what 100m as a length is? No, I bet you can't. So all you've remembered is one number: 100c x 100m is a hectare. Hell, it might as well be 32 floos by 32 floos.

    PS: the football field varies a LOT.

  63. P. Lee Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    @ Pete

    I care!

    There are a few reasons why:

    Hectares aren't that useful unless all your original land measurements were in metres - you'll still have to do all that maths to convert to the new system. A nice easy 10k m/sq is nice if that's how your land is divided up - if all your plots are 0.4047ha and you want to buy 8 of them, I suspect you'll still need your calculator. Units of measurement are most useful if they reflect lots of things in the real world. GCSE Maths is not the the only use for numbers.

    Why do hectares need to be used in the UK? It isn't much of a trade issue - I can't see lots of french people buying acres of land on ebay not really knowing what they are getting because they only know hectares. Not many people will be buying up acres in the UK and putting them on supermarket shelves in France.

    Why is there a need to make all measurements multiples of 10? Perhaps there is some benefit in having the general populace doing some more complex mental arithmetic than dividing by 10 on a regular basis.

    When an organisation bent on "an ever-closer union" starts rubbing out differences of great antiquity embedded in a culture I begin to suspect a social-engineering project rather than anything useful. Erasing the memory of historical events or culture is usually the work of dictators of the worst kind.

    Homogeneity is really boring. Even property-developers with their soul-destroying identical mini-houses don't tend to put them in "easy" grids. Blocks of flats are the easiest to use, build, most efficient housing-design available. That doesn't make them good. Efficiency is not the most important aspect of life.

    If you want people to study history, to learn about the mistakes of the past (and therefore learn from them) it doesn't help by making it really boring. Which would you rather study, the history of the various measurements such as poles, perches, acres, yards etc., or the history of the metric system? The metric system is no doubt easier if you are being tested, but rather less useful at holding attention.

    Paris, because "hectares of flesh" just doesn't sound right and she knows it.

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Re: NotoID as well..

    'Jim Coe' wrote: "Ignore this as EU is now illegal having ignoted it's own rules on new treaty(constitution).In faddition, UK is no longer a member having ratified the treatty without the consent o its people by referendum,"

    You ARE the Twat-o-Tron*, and I claim my 5 pounds!

    * - http://ifyoulikeitsomuchwhydontyougolivethere.com/the-twat-o-tron/

  65. G R Goslin

    To be truly pedantic

    To really nitpick.

    The hectare is merely a multiple of the 'are' (100 sq metres). and should not be classed as the base unit. Since the centiare is a hundredth of an 'are'. I suppose the square metre isn't a base unit either. So the unit of area is an area of ground enclosed within a square with sides of 100 metres. No other unit is needed. Why not take that back to the csars of the EU for comment

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @Rob Kirtin

    Thanks mate. You got that right to it there.

    Paris, 'cause she can fix all that for you.

  67. Richard
    Happy

    @ Anonymous Coward

    Yeah, but whose gallon am i talking about?

  68. Steve Babb
    IT Angle

    Miles/Kilometres

    The UK railways still measure in chains on the ground and metres in the overhead lines, although the West Coast Main Line is denoted in both miles and kilometres (it changes about half way between London and Preston).

    IT angle? Try coding that into a centralised work managements system and asset database.

  69. Echowitch

    Miles to Kilometres

    "When talking about distance or speed, Miles = Kilometre / 1.5"

    Tsk tsk thats 1.6 not 1.5

    1600 metres AKA 1.6 km = 1 mile

  70. Mark

    @Richard Gadsden

    If you're tilling a field with a tractor, each time you turn around, you are wasting the land as wide as your turning circle at two ends of your plot.

    So why is a hectare in a square measurement? Maximum waste!

  71. Mark

    Re: Metric so easy..

    How about the milliyard? The Kiloyard?

    Of COURSE your conversion is going to be easy when it's converting the length of the metre to ... uh... the length of a metre.

    When you talk of the distance to the next town as "3.2 km", do you CARE that there are a thousand metres in a kilometre? No, because you don't measure such distances accurately. What if the distance to another town about 60% further away? "3.2 miles". Coo. I didn't need to use "3 miles, a furlong, sixteen yards, one foot six inches", did I? No, just used "3.2 miles".

    So the overall difference is fuck all.

  72. Mad Mike

    Stupidity

    Changing from one set of units to another is really stupid. If everything within a country is measured in one set of units, everything is setup for that. The only people that really need to worry about conversion are those in import/export and people on holiday. No big deal.

    Then, you attempt to change units and chaos ensues. People don't understand the difference (whether old or young) and start making mistakes everywhere. Houses that were built in imperial have to accept doors, windows etc. etc. built around the metric system. Nothing really fits anymore. My house was built with 1/2inch, 1inch, 2inch etc.etc. wood. Can I now get that? In some cases yes, but not all. None of my replacement doors are the same thickness. Can you get 12.5mm (ish) timber? No. Pain in the a**e.

    It doesn't matter what the units are provided they are consistent within a country. As someone said earlier, why not choose one language and standardise on that? That would be far easier for international trade etc.etc. Why not get rid of everything that makes people different until we amalgamate into a single standardised mass. God, how boring would that be. Don't these people understand that everyone being different is what makes things good.

  73. Mycho Silver badge

    @Mark

    That's why you then till the two ends of the fields again crosswise.

    Or did the EU ban that too while I was off playing darts?

  74. Thomas Jerome
    Coat

    arrowed at Agincourt

    Sodding Eurocrats. They'll be wanting us to adopt Metric Time next. They've already started on our traffic wardens:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/07/18/speed_camera_swindon/

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    <no title>

    Some of these people are in IT because they use their brain for learning new useful things, and for applying the numerous skills they already have, not for coping with the overthrow perfectly good existing systems for the heck of it. Anyone who patronisingly suggests one's internal framework of the world is easily changed when older presumably hasn't yet reached the age when it becomes clear it doesn't: but if they are lucky, they may do someday.

  76. A J Stiles
    Coat

    Why base 12?

    What exactly is so important about being able to divide things by 3 or 4? I've never understood this objection to the metric system. It's not as though we haven't got a convenient way of expressing fractions .....

    Everything you're ever going to measure is going to be limited to the precision of the measuring equipment you are using. Although you might want a third of a kilogram, your scales might only read to the nearest 10 grams. In which case, you'll just have to make do with 330 grams.

    Whereas a third of a pound is ..... oh, wait.

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    Oblivion awaits...

    For all you imperialtards moaning about the 'foreign' measurements - don't you realise that the metric system was first proposed by an Englishman?

    As for Fahrenheit, how can you defend a scale that is based on the 2 reference points of: 1) how cold the 1708-1709 winter was it was in Poland; and 2) how warm it was inside Gabriel Fahrenheits arse?

  78. Mark

    @Mycho

    No, if you do that, you'll impact the soil at the edges. Your rows are also at 90degrees to the rest of the field, making harvesting difficult unless you use human effort rather than a machine.

  79. Barry Zubel

    40 rods to the hogshead

    and that's the way I likes it,

  80. Charles Silver badge
    Alert

    Kiloyard

    Just for the record, the kiloyard is an actually-used-in-real-life measurement. US Navy submarines use this to measure distances while underwater (because their other units are imperial and mile is probably too long for measurement of relatively-slow-moving vessels like submerged subs).

  81. Philip Kroker
    Thumb Down

    Screwed up measures

    You Brits are whinging about dual systems, in Canada it's no different. Officially we are a metric country, yet when we build a house we use feet and inches because all lumber is still produced in imperial dimensions. When we cook most cookbooks will only give us imperial directions and temps, that goodness our ovens for the most part still don't have a temp display in celsius. All farmland is still sold in acres, my dad has a quarter section, bugger all if I know how many hectares that is. Ask me how tall I am I'll tell you in feet and inches, weight in pounds, etc. The only time I use metric is when I'm driving or going to the store for food and I'm not even 30.

  82. John
    Coat

    imperial into metric doesn't go

    As your metric is rounded down. Use of these (imperial) measurements will go on anyway. I was educated using metric back in the 70's, but imperial measures were still being used at the time so I used them instead. I remember going to the tripe shop to buy a 1/4lb of potted beef for me mum. Now I would buy 250g (1/4 kg) of the stuff which would cost me more. If you're not getting 28g to your ounce (often rounded down to 25g) you're getting ripped off! In the USA it's different again as pints are only 475ml whereas in old England they are 568ml. Mine's the 42in one.

  83. Steve Foster

    Ok, how the *

    do I convert "gas mark 5" to *anything*?

  84. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    EU No You Don't

    All these changes. Its their prerogative of course. But it is but a decree, and not an absolute one.

    Some will welcome it, most won't be bothered or affected, others will still refer to acres, as well as miles, feet, inches, yards and pints! And regardless.

    Me included.

    Whilst devotees of the metric system will prefer and champion that.

    Its down to choice. But it seems to have become a political issue!

  85. Jim Coe

    Just wait........

    Until they abolish miles =="sorry Officer I thought it meant 80 miles per hour!"

    Severe weather warning--winds gusting up to 100 (km/hr)

    Petrol is now 1,80 a litre (euros)

    112,5 gram beefburger

    "This the BBC 20.00 News " (standard european time)

    And what will they call a furrow? Not a bloody French one I hope!

  86. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Dazed and Confused, et al

    It's metRE for pete's sake.

    A meter is for measurING.

    A metre is a measureMENT.

  87. Karl H
    Joke

    decimal is so 20th century and human we need HEXADECIMAL

    screw the decimal system , when Arnie's team of terminating cyborgs take over planet earth everything will be hexadecimalised.

    We could start now, and give us humans a slight chance of being able to keep up with them .

    And with a bit of genetic engineering we could all grow an extra 3 digits per hand, to stop the dissenters from saying " I only have ten fingers " .

    Plus whilst we are at hexadecimalising everything , could we have 64 seconds in a minute, 64 minutes in an hour and 16 hours in a day , 16 months in a year ( 13 months with 23 days and 3 months with 22 days, and leap year days add as the existing gregorian calendar )

    just think how dividing by 2 , 4 , 8 , 16 will be made SO easy !! (okay dividing by 10 will be messy , but then you can't have everything )

    vote for me , before the machines force us , and I'll give humanity a head start !

  88. Charlie van Becelaere
    Boffin

    Poking along

    at ± 48000 furlongs per firkin, I feel I'm doing my part to reduce the overuse of fossil fuels, of course, at 8 cm/cc, I may be making more noise than is really justified.

  89. Nigel
    Coat

    Is it useful?

    I'm all in favour of keeping everyday units that are easy to visualize or simply in everyday use: inches, feet, pounds, pints. Everyday conversion is easy anyway. A kilo is a heavy two pounds. A litre is a small two pints. Half a litre is the beer in a rim glass with a Northern-type head on it. A ton of muck is much the same as a tonne of muck. A foot about the same as a metric foot which is 30cm (and timber is supplied in, yes, metric feet, not metres). Type is still measured in points not mm, and a point is not exactly 1/72 of an inch. Printer pixels are still 1/600 or 1/1200 inch. Gigabytes are stlll not 2**30 bytes. Electricity is still sold in kilowatt-hours, not MegaJoules. Air conditioning is still measured in British Thermal Units per hour, wall insulation in BTUs per square meter per hour(!), and duvets in togs(!!). Anyone care to tell us what a tog might be, apart from a sensible unit to rate a duvet in?

    I'm not sure an acre is an everyday unit, although I'm not a farmer. A hectare is 100 metres square which is pretty easy to visualize. If one prefers yards it's about 110 yards square, or 1/16 of a mile square (which is neat in binary).

  90. Karl H
    Joke

    to people commenting here about "archaic" language, and conventions

    well what do you think irregular verbs are ?

    why don't we scrap all irregularities in language and have a predictable easy system. so for starters , conjugating the verb "to be" in the present tense...

    i is

    you is

    he is

    you (plural) is

    we is

    they is

    and in the simple past :

    i was

    you was

    he was

    we was

    you (plural) was

    they was

    nice and regular, just think how easy it will be to teach it to the kids !!!!

    ( or might we just lose the art of being a human being )

  91. donc
    Coat

    A Title

    The two systems are built around different principles, SI (proper SI, in multiples of 1000, etc) is ideal for scientific calculations but for everyday use imperial units are far more flexible and useful (pounds, ounces, pints, feet, inches, etc).

    I use both sets for work (work in the aviation industry) and though I was tought in SI units I have a better understanding of what I am dealing with when I think in Imperial. Odd but it works for me...

  92. Xepharian
    Unhappy

    Jobs for the boys

    It seems to me that, like so many things these days, it's just another waste of public money for a bunch of useless tits to make a "decision" over.

  93. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Measurements

    Lets have a measuring contest....ft-lbs, newton-bobs, joules, erg, watt, calorie, Calorie, inch.....

    What is the prime standard for a meter--Wavelength of orange light. That is orange without calories, or just not-so dark beer?

    Paris, because she knows we lie about size anyway.

  94. The Prevaricator

    nothing wrong with hectares

    How far can a (fast) man run in ten seconds? Now imagine length in two directions at right angles to each other, and there is you hectare.

    I thank you.

  95. Lennart Sorensen

    Re: Screwed up measures

    Well yes here in Canada we do have the disadvantage of living next to the US and having a significant portion of the population being descendants of the Brits and hence equally stubborn.

    I for one work only in metric and hate having to do all the stupid conversions because some other people insist on using stupid units. of course I was born in Denmark where even my grandparents seem to have forgotten how to work in anything other than metric. You see the only issue with going to metric is that you have to do a bit of learning. Fortunately for the rest of the world, people there believe in learning new things once in a while and giving new ideas a chance to prove their benefits.

    All is not lost for the English speaking world, however, given India seems to be doing just fine with metric and easily outnumber the rest of us combined.

  96. King TuT

    Good riddance.

    Don't know anyone who can visual the size on an acre, we're better off with the hectare makes much more sense.

    Philip Kroker: In the UK ovens have been in degrees C for as long as I remember, surprised with Canada being behind there.

  97. King TuT

    Metric, come on let our children have a system that makes sense.

    As for those who go on about British measures, well pounds and ounces came from France and distances from Italy.

    1864 - Weights and Measures Act legalises metric units only for 'contracts and dealings'.

    1896 - Weights and Measures (Metric System) Act legalises metric system for all purposes, but does not make it compulsory.

    1904 - House of Lords votes for compulsory change to metric system, but Bill fails in House of Commons.

    1965 - At the request of industry. President of Board of Trade announces that the metric system will be adopted with a target of completion within 10 years (i.e. 1975). Commonwealth and other countries decide to follow Britain's example.

  98. aeromorph

    Pshaw

    I don't know how you can defend Celsius since ice melts at 0.01 °C and boils at 99.974 °C at 1 ATM not to mention that absolute zero is −273.15 °C (0.15 degree shifted off of Kelvin). Never mind that few live at exactly 1 ATM and even fewer boil pure water.

    Kelvin is the only sane unit of measure (well Rankine if you prefer Fahrenheit degrees).

    And don't you people dare talk about taking our letter sized paper. A4 is weird.

  99. Sam Tana
    Go

    Britric

    A decision was made in 1965 to adopt the metric system but no government has ever had the guts to completely get rid of the old Imperial system so we have adopted a weird half-and-half scale of our own. It's not Imperial, and it's not Metric. It's Britric, it's perfectly simple, and it works like this...

    Legally, you can only buy fuel or fizzy drinks in litres, but draught cider or beer must be sold in pints. If the bottle is returnable we buy milk in pints. If the bottle is non-returnable, we buy milk in litres.

    We weigh sugar in kilograms, precious metals in troy ounces and ourselves in stones. We measure all goods sold by length in centimetres and metres ... and then transport those goods on roads measured in yards and miles.

    When the weather is hot we talk in Fahrenheit, because the number is higher and sounds more impressive: "Wow, it was 86 degrees today!" When the weather is cold we talk in Centigrade, because the number is lower and sounds more impressive: "Wow, it's -4 degrees today!"

    Want to make a hamburger? You'll need to ask your butcher for 113.398093 grams of beef so you can make a quarter-pounder. Cake recipes will talk about grams of dry goods, and fluid ounces of liquid.

    Ships sail in knots, racehorses run over furlongs, football pitches are measured in yards and rugby pitches are measured in metres. Land is often advertised by the hectare (but it's officially registered in acres - at least until now) and if you phone up to order "a ton" of something, you might get a ton, a tun or a tonne!

    Then again, we also use the Standard Comparative Index, by which things that are difficult to imagine are compared to things slightly more easy to imagine. It runs: pinhead, fingernail, matchbox, house brick, a football, a human man, family car, double decker bus, Jumbo Jet, Belgium - as in "they have destroyed an area of rainforest the size of Belgium." This is despite the fact that no-one from Britain has a clue how big Belgium is. An alternative to Belgium is Wales, but no-one who isn't from Britain has a clue how big Wales is.

    Somehow, it all works. So, will Britain ever go the full nine yards (8.23 metres) and go completely metric? Never! It would be far too confusing...

  100. Alphabet Soup

    @aeromorph

    A4 is very logical, not weird!

    It's based on A0 (1 m^2) and the ratio of the sides means that it doesn't change shape when you fold it across the long axis. Note sure if there's an imperial equivalent.

    As we're all in IT isn't it important to maintain a range of standards that we can choose from?

    Nick (Just give me a British pint, not the range of beer-glass sizes each state here in Oz has ...)

  101. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hands and groats

    I'l take my wages in groats please and I'll measure height in hands unless its a really big thing and then the standard of "its ferkin huge" will do absolutely fine. On a more seroius note lets all switch to the Egyptian measurements of Cubits, Debens and Jars. Anyone who can build the pyramids knows a thing or two about accuracy

  102. andreyvul

    @Steve Evans

    C = ( F - 32 ) / 2

    not

    C = ( F - 30 ) / 2

  103. Claire Rand

    chains etc & railways

    railways still use chains etc since all the old plans and drawings are done in them, and someone sensibly did a cost/benefit analysis on changing them all to either miles or Km, and worked out there was no benefit at all

    odd bit of common sense, convert when you have to, not to some grand goal of 'standardisation' as long as the units are all defined it doesn;t matter

  104. Mark Aggleton

    @anfreyvul

    20C = 68F. That makes your calculation even less accurate than Steve Steve Evans'

    C =(F-32) x 5 / 9

  105. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Measurements

    Quote:"Lets have a measuring contest....ft-lbs, newton-bobs, joules, erg, watt, calorie, Calorie, inch..... What is the prime standard for a meter--Wavelength of orange light. That is orange without calories, or just not-so dark beer?"

    OK, what is the prime standard for a inch then? The length of King Edward the First's cock?

  106. A J Stiles
    Happy

    @ Aeromorph

    Paper sizes aren't as odd as they sound.

    In any range of paper sizes, the ratio long side : short side must be constant throughout the range; otherwise you wouldn't be able to enlarge or reduce from one side to the next without leaving gaps or overshooting. So if you make your standard sheet of paper, say, 30cm. high by 20 wide, then your ratio is fixed at 1.5:1. If you were to have a sheet of paper 30cm. wide, it would have to be exactly 45cm. high -- otherwise, when you enlarged a 30x20 to fill the width, it would be the wrong height.

    Now, the trouble is, when you cut down a 45x30 sheet to make two 30x20s, you end up with a waste piece 5cm. wide by 30cm. long every time.

    If you want to be able to cut one size in half and have exactly the next size down with no wastage, then the ratio long side : short side needs to be the square root of two to one, about 1.414:1. Then, whatever you make the long side, it will be twice the short side of the next size down (whose long side is equal to the short side of this size). Plus, it has the advantage of looking pleasing to the eye (although, to be honest, that *might* just be because we're all used to it).

    A piece of paper measuring 1.189m. x 0.841m. has an area of exactly 1m² and its sides in the magic ratio 1.414:1. Cut that in half four times and you get 279mm. by 210mm, the A4 sheet we all know and love.

    But there's more! Standard office paper in the UK is rated 80g/m². So a sheet of A4 -- which is 1/16 of a square metre, remember -- weighs 5g. If you fold it diagonally so as to make a square 210mm. on a side and cut away the excess, what you are left with weighs 3.5g. Which is close enough to an eighth of an ounce that if you sold someone that amount of new lethal Skunk weed, they would be quite happy.

  107. Anonymous Coward
    Heart

    Oh stop moaning..

    ...just chill out and go down you local for a nice quiet 0.568261485 litres.

  108. Richard Porter

    Good riddance...

    to the acre. Nobody knows what it is anyway. A hectare is the area of a square with a side of 100m. Easy. But ask anyone to define an acre and unless he or she is a farmer or a surveyor you're likely to get a blank look.

  109. Ronny Cook

    @donc

    "I use both sets for work (work in the aviation industry) and though I was tought in SI units I have a better understanding of what I am dealing with when I think in Imperial. Odd but it works for me..."

    I was taught in metric and have a better understanding of units when the units are metric. Go figure.

    I know how big a hectare is. It's the distance I had to run for a 100m sprint in school, squared. A meter is roughly hip-height, or the distance from my outstretched finger to the opposite side of my neck, or a longish stride. A Kilo is a weight heavy enough that I start to notice it - or about the weight of a litre of milk.

    A 1m cube of water weighs a ton. A hundred litres of water weighs 100kg.

    Zero degrees centrigrade is freezing. 100C is boiling. About 30C is moderately warm, 40C uncomfortably so.

    I can convert between most of these units very easily. I am *so* glad I never had to deal with imperial units save at their most basic level - I know roughly what an inch is, what a foot is, what a yard is, but dealing with these for actual measurements and calculations is thankfully never necessary. You tell me a distance in square meters, I'll drop four zeroes and give you hectares in a fraction of a second. How many metres in 1.4 kilometres? 1400. How many feet in that many miles? Let me get out my calculator. Heck, how many feet in *one* mile? I usually have to look that one up.

    You could argue that the actual base units chosen for metric might have been better chosen, but the convenience of calculating in metric makes up for any of the system's other sins. In any case, familiarity breeds ease of use.

    ...Ronny

  110. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    heh

    people who don't use acres (and as such don't work the land) will go "man acres are so retarded - why are we still using them - those shinny simple ones from across the channel are so much better" of course they'll never use a hecter either (does he have a funny hat?) My folks have 3 acres of land, but they're in no way a uniform shape (Isle of Skye). Converting that to fancy new numbers if they ever sell the place all be fun... and I'm sure very expensive for some city based lawyer and sales types.

    But it's nice that dumb city folk again force their narrow minded "logic" on the people that actually have too work on the damn land.

  111. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Re: heh

    Quote: "My folks have 3 acres of land, but they're in no way a uniform shape (Isle of Skye). Converting that to fancy new numbers if they ever sell the place all be fun... and I'm sure very expensive for some city based lawyer and sales types."

    FFS, more imperial FUD!

    3 acres = 1.215 Hectares, and it doesn't matter what bleedin shape they are.

    Here's a link that should save your folks a fortune: http://www.onlineconversion.com/area.htm

  112. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @ John Woods

    Keep the ounce - By John H Woods... damned right mate - it's such a hassle to find someone prepared to let you purchase hash by the tonne.

    My 2d ? obvious really.... we spend all this time removing excuses for kids to learn tricks with numbers and then scratch our heads in wonder when they grab a calculator to multiply 12 by 2. Roll on the new and improved EU definitions for periods of time... the demi day (2.4 hours), the centiday (5.76 minutes) and the kilosecond (34 and a half of which make one day, so approximately 42 minutes each).

  113. uncredited
    Thumb Up

    Re: Anonymous Coward

    No need for a lawyer, just ask Google:

    3 acres to hectare

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=opera&rls=en&hs=AqH&q=3+acres+to+hectare&btnG=Search

  114. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: @ John Woods

    "Roll on the new and improved EU definitions for periods of time... the demi day (2.4 hours), the centiday (5.76 minutes) and the kilosecond (34 and a half of which make one day, so approximately 42 minutes each)."

    Hohoho! This old 'decimalised time' chestnut is the mark of a true 0.25 wit.

    Well done.

  115. A J Stiles

    You're forgetting

    What you're forgetting is that if you go to register, say, 2.5 acres of land, all that will happen is that the land registration agent will look up 2.5 in their log tables, add _1.6071, look up the result in their antilog table, and whatever that comes to is what they will write down as the number of hectares.

    Same as when you ask the butcher for a pound of mince, he will weigh out 454 grams of mince without missing a beat.

    Except, since butchers are not lawyers, they will not charge you extra for the conversion.

    By the way, I heard a rumour that some shop scales used to be rigged so that they would overcharge by a few pence anytime the reading was not a nice whole number of ounces. Since the mass, unit price and total price were only ever displayed briefly and not recorded on a receipt, it was next to impossible for anyone to spot the deliberate error (and besides which, the scales were -electronic-, so there's -no way- they could be wrong). Now they have to weigh everything in kilos, the price can be checked instantaneously with an idiot-calculator; thus putting an end to this once-lucrative little scam.

  116. Snak
    Stop

    Poor Winnie the pooh

    whats happening to his 100 acre woods!!!

    wont someone think of the children

  117. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    the smallest hectare I know

    @ The Prevaricator - your definition is in need of a little tweeking friend... I can't cover that kind of distance in ten minutes, far less ten seconds.

    ... and as for 0.25 wit... awe pleeze... I'm worth twice that (exactly).

  118. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Selling weed by weight of paper

    A previous poster suggested you could weigh skunk by the weight of a given area of paper, there is a much better way than this, use the loose change in your pocket!

    A half penny (if you can rember them) weighs 1/16th of an ounce, a penny weighs 1/8, and 2p weighs 1/4 of an ounce, or at least they did, I haven't weighed the new copper plated ferrous penny's, but you can pick them out with a magnet :)

    Do the euro coins serve as well for impromptu weighing of ilicit substances?

  119. Tim
    Go

    Use it to our advantage..

    .. now that we have a new scale, anyone reading old history and novels will need to do a bit of math everytime they see acres, inches, or farthings or anything of that ilk. Shouldn't all that brainwork develop our British craniums and give us an edge over the euro-trash?

  120. James
    Boffin

    Illogical

    If the unit of length is 1m, then the unit of area should be 1m², and the unit of volume 1m³.

    The weight of water in 1m³ should be 1g, so the density of water should be 1g/m³.

    1000 square metres should be 1km² as algebra suggests.

    At least imperial doesn't pretend it wasn't cobbled together.

    Why measure round the world to come up with basically a yard? If they wanted a yard we could have given them one, & if a yard equalled a metre from day one, we'd probably be completely metric now.

  121. Mark
    Boffin

    @Ronnie Cook

    "I know how big a hectare is. It's the distance I had to run for a 100m sprint in school, squared."

    And a furlong is the length your horse ran in a race. The 22-yd wide track for the 10 horses made it an acre.

    Meh.

  122. Mark
    Boffin

    Re: nothing wrong with hectares

    How about how fast a man can run in ten seconds by how fast a man can dawdle in 10? That's about an acre.

    Oh, and for Sam Tana, if something is 100F it's body temperature (roughly). The originator of the scale took the body temperature of a cow as something a little easier to measure. IIRC. It's pretty close. Close enough for "how hot is it".

    And, since the metric like powers of ten so much, body temps being "about 100" should be a LOT more acceptable, unlike this "37 degrees" shit in Celsius. I mean, if it's hot enough to boil water out there, we're not going to be concerned about going outside, are we?

  123. Mark
    Boffin

    A4 page sizes

    See, though, the ratio isn't "easy". And that, really is the argument people trot out time and time again when pushing metric."how many yards in a mile, then? Huh, silly number, it's 1000 m to the km, so that's why it's better".

    Which is a fucking stupid reason for metric being better.

    "Because we have to sell abroad and so we need to use the same units and since almost all of the world uses metric, we should too" is a much better one.

    Irregularity of ratios is ridiculous. And with the side ratios of paper being not only irregular but IRRATIONAL, yet having a REALLY FRIGGING GOOD REASON for it shows how silly the argument for metric is.

  124. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Couldnt Give Two Tugs of Dead Dogs Cock!

    I mean its not as if it going to stop people using the word now is it!

    Personally i'd go further, get that there New World Order to i duno make everyone use universal base 10 measurements: Metres, KM. KPH, Millimetres, Litres etc. This whole US Gallon, UK Gallon, US Pint UK Pint, vs proper units of measurement is rubbish. They call it imperial apparently, well i say we get all imperial again, just with less stupid measurements, might get the other 2/3 of the world we missed last time around which imho was at least partially caused by confusion over where things were and how big the world was. Such oversights due to measuring issues should not be repeated.

    Make it easier and theoretically cheaper for movement of goods too. Whilst were at it the world should change to drive on our side of the road and use our quite robust plug too, well more robust than that johnny foreigner one. Like to see SONY try and screw me as easily then, the bastards! Also electricity standardisation would be nice as well. Shoes! They are the worst, we have all sorts of messed up measurements, dress sizes too, that whole size 0 thing had me confused and cross dressing mate in a right tizz.

    I'd chip in for the kerosene to fill up the Spitfires to enforce this if called, heck i'd even fly one.

    My only concession would be the Fifdy Cal .50 as 12.7mm don't sound so scary, hurt just as much though, just see the end of Rambo for visuals, but the tech specs would still say 12.7mm though even if the marketing was all "1/2 inch lump of metal ruining your day"

    This whole measurements thing already crashed one spaceship ....... probably, its worth fighting a war over, well better than recent excuses anyway.

    Black Helicopters cos of New World Order and they don't do other flava ones.

    Base 10 measurements FTW, end the whole argument, move on, argue about something else like what is actually beer and whats not. Those yanks have some funny ideas.

  125. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    SOCCER PITCH!

    I had to bring it up, if nobody else did (I didn't bother to read the whole shebang).

    The only unit, that really makes sense, regarding area, is the SOCCER PITCH.

    Most people have a rough idea of how large a soccer pitch is, especially because of the popularity of the aforementioned game.

    It nearly makes no sense to say that "a gazillion square kilometers were hazed", so the media says, "The area equivalent to 2000 soccer pitches was hazed for lumber and cattle raising" and it makes perfect sense.

    BTW, a soccer pitch approximates to 50m x 100m, which is 5000 m^2 or 5 km^2.

    How many inches do you need to get a mile? Don´t you know? Well I don´t, I need a calculator for that!

    How many centimeters do you need to get a kilometer? 100 * 1000 = 100.000 (a hundred thousand). No calculator required.

    <rant>

    Another thing, I wrote "soccer" so the US readers could understand it, but everybody ELSE ON THE FREAKING PLANET CALLS IT FOOTBALL!

    AMERICAN FOOTBALL???? DO YOU PLAY IT WITH YOUR FEET??? You only kick it once every 30 minutes or less, plus it isn´t even SPHERICAL, to be properly called A BALL.

    Call it handball then!

    </rant>

    Mine is the black one with the referee whistle in the upper pocket.

  126. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Soccer Pitch AC

    Since 1km = 1000m; 1km^2 = 1000m x 1000m = 1,000,000m^2

    5000m^2 is therefore equal to 0.005 km^2

  127. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    re: @ Soccer Pitch AC

    However, it IS 5 sq km.

  128. Geoff Mitchell
    Paris Hilton

    In America, we're stil in the middle ages

    We use

    inches, feet and yards

    miles, not kilometres

    farenheit, not centigrade

    pounds, not kilograms. No one knows what a stone is here

    And also:

    bushels

    cups

    fluid ounce

    pints (the cheap US = 16 fl oz, not the more generous Imperial measurement of 20)

    gallons (8 pints, but the smaller US pints, not Imperial pints)

    quarts

    With no exposure to the metric system, Americans are lost in the rest of the world. There are exceptions - scientists (not including the NASA scientists who missed Mars a few years ago), engineers, etc, but the regular person on the street is confused. There are only 3 countries that do not use the metric system as the norm - USA, Liberia and Burma. I believe this was Reagan's fault in the 1980's.

    Paris, because she still measures certain things in inches.

  129. Mark
    Boffin

    Re: In America

    You still have SI units used in science.

    Heck, even SI units in Europe have weird numbers:

    mol

    erg

    candle

    lumens

    decibel

    sone

    so come on, people, tell me what they are... If Metric is SOOOO simple, you should be able to tell me how to convert between them, yes?

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