A Canuck loves metric measuring



I’m tired of using Subway sandwiches as a measurement tool.

Sitting in the Student Center the other day, I simply wanted to finish my six-inch (I’d go foot-long, but that’s no way to stay svelte) grilled chicken sub without being reminded that I’ve resorted to using the fine sandwiches of Subway as a tool, albeit a very primitive, Homo habilis-like tool, to help me understand non-metric measurements.

As a Canadian accustomed to using the metric system, if you were to tell me that your arm was 45 inches long without me seeing it, I would have no other option but to visualize that arm as seven of my grilled chicken subs plus half of another one, because inches, feet, yards, etc., are foreign to me and most other metric-minded folk.

Then, I’d recommend you get your weird, lanky arm checked out.

I can understand if you think it’s strange that the discrepancy between an inch and a centimeter (there’s 2.54 of these bad boys in an inch) causes me to think this much. It’s not solely a matter of what I’m more used to, but what most people in the world are used to.

Logically, the metric system is easier to work with because all units can be derived from powers of ten, which should make for quick calculations and conversions, as opposed to remembering that there are 5,280 feet in a mile (naturally).

If you’re not swayed by sandwiches or logic, consider that America’s inability to adopt the metric system allows the question “What do Liberia, Burma and the United States have in common?” to exist.

You might think the three nations are great vacation spots. Well, except for the history of civil unrest in Liberia. That’s scary. Also, let’s not take into account Burma’s rainy season, which seems potentially dangerous. And forgive me, according to the military junta, we should call Burma “Myanmar,” but I’m not in the business of meeting the demands of juntas, nor am I in the business of visiting countries that are ruled by a junta, nor have I ever used the word junta so many times.

Actually, the common bond among all three is their unwavering commitment as the only countries to not fully adopt the metric system.

So, if for no other reason, the U.S. should convert to the metric system because everybody who is popular is doing it. And if that’s not a good enough justification to do something in life, you’re being nitpicky. Be a good sheep, America, and follow the herd.

Even American scientists and most textbooks use the metric system, so it must be good.

Sure, the metric system isn’t a cure-all for our measuring needs since you can’t measure abstract concepts, like success, with the metric system, but that’s OK because like Enrique Iglesias, “Oooo, baby, I like it.” The formula for success is, of course, simply one’s awesomeness level multiplied by their tubular quotient.

One Subway sandwich equals success for me. Several Subway sandwiches equal success for Jared Fogle. Zero Subway sandwiches equal success for the guy that prefers Quiznos.

Follow Nick Craddock on Twitter @NickCraddock.