In these uncertain times, the spending power of the pound in our pockets seems to be decreasing by the day, making it high time, in my view, to end the Great Imperial Rip-Off, and save British consumers from the cost of maintaining imperial weights and measures.
One area where metric units have been banned in the UK is draught beer and cider. This is despite the fact that bottled or canned beer and cider is mainly available in round metric quantities. Compared with most countries the restriction of draught beer measures to pints, half pints and third of a pint is very narrow. Recently it was reported that the National Weights and Measures Laboratory has included a proposal for a two thirds of a pint beer measure – the twother – to be introduced. Continue reading “Twother or twaddle?”
The Local Authority Coordinators of Regulatory Services (LACORS) have recently announced that they are launching a nationwide project to deal with inaccurate hospital weighing scales. The project follows studies which found hospital staff using inaccurate and unsuitable scales to calculate dosages of medication for patients.
One of the claims sometimes made by defenders of imperial weights and measures is that they are “natural”. The metric system (they may say) is all very well for science and technical matters, but for everyday life imperial units like the foot conform to the human scale and are more “natural”, unlike the arbitrary metric unit, the metre. We examine this argument.
Defenders of imperial units sometimes claim that using units from different systems simply contributes to the richness of our language and culture. People use whichever units are appropriate to the context (they argue).
Continue reading “What’s wrong with two systems?”
Today’s TV news carried a leading story that units of alcohol will be appearing on all bottles, cans cartons etc of alcoholic drinks. People were asked in the street what they thought of this move. Several people asked, what’s a unit?
The National Blood Service are understandably concerned that not enough people are coming forward to donate blood. There are, no doubt, a variety of reasons why people are inhibitied from doing so, e.g. can’t spare the time, nervousness about the procedure etc.
I wonder though whether the information about the amount of blood taken at each session may be a factor.
(Article by Phil Hall)
Tesco is phasing out ‘kcal’ from the nutrition information on food products. Only ‘kJ’ will be used. (Information provided by Philip Bladon, and edited by Derek Pollard). Continue reading ““Farewell” to the Calorie?”