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The UK’s plan to measure the bendiness of a banana using furlongs

Suggestions is our weekly column of weird tales, implausible promoting claims, complicated directions and extra


22 September 2021

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Josie Ford

Imperial march

For these intent on taking again management and liberating themselves from the straitjacket of all the time forwards-moving clocks, excellent news arrives with the UK’s intention to permit outlets and market stalls to promote items utilizing solely imperial measurements once more following its exit from the European Union.

From a purely nostalgic perspective, Suggestions welcomes the prospect of as soon as extra having the ability to purchase a fluid scruple of cough drugs or a furlong of elegantly curved banana. However why cease there? Many extra recherché measurement models ought to now make a comeback. The British thermal unit, for instance, a measure of warmth that sows confusion within the uncommon contexts the place it’s nonetheless utilized by having a minimum of six barely completely different competing definitions, is overdue a return.

Or would possibly it’s time to deliver again the UK’s predecimal forex? As one Twitter sage remarked, this is able to be a great addition for the STEM sector, “primarily for the large sum of money you can earn configuring IT to deal with a system no-one else… would contact”.

Suggestions suggests give and take is so as. For actually good measure, and to indicate a versatile, world, forward-thinking Britain, the UK authorities ought to seize the initiative in abandoning nonsensical internationally imposed regulatory norms and decimalise time. That may actually fast-forward us to the longer term as we flip again the clocks.

Secure harbour

Additionally taking a worldwide perspective on measurement is Mike Clarke from Essex, UK. He takes problem with the Australian use of Sydney Harbour as a unit of quantity (4 September), having been there as soon as. “So far as I may see it has no laborious bounded limits,” he complains, as an alternative consisting of a river advanced and really many bay inlets. “It’s virtually inconceivable to understand or gauge its dimension not to mention its depth as you possibly can’t see all of it from a single viewpoint.”

As a result of it has stable, well-defined edges and its complete physique of water is seen from the quayside, “absolutely a greater harbour to make use of as a volumetric unit can be someplace like Bridlington on the east coast of England”, Mike provides.

Watch out what you want for, Mike. The UK authorities shall be issuing a statutory instrument advocating the Bridharb earlier than you understand it, and suggesting Australia undertake it as a part of the nations’ new commerce and defence offers.

Bathroom hippos

In the meantime, Australia’s growth of idiosyncratic measurement norms continues apace. Very lots of you write in linking to ABC’s information report on new “flushability” requirements supposed to stop fatbergs of congealed oils and moist wipes accumulating in sewage pipes. “Yearly 120 tonnes of wipes, the equal in weight of 34 hippopotami, is faraway from the community” in south-east Queensland, it states.

This statistic speaks of weary expertise – it might probably’t be straightforward to crowbar a hippopotamus from a drain. With Suggestions’s sources quoting the typical weight of a hippo at round 1.5 tonnes, the specimens within the Queensland sewers are clearly large ‘uns, too. We suppose they fall in when small and simply develop fats on the overabundant vitamins. And presumably pizza. If they’ve discovered the traditional artwork of ninjitsu from a mutant rat, we shouldn’t be in any respect shocked.

Those that acquired away

Many actions have been curtailed or needed to be deserted amid the pandemic restrictions launched in early 2020. However not in a single sphere, Suggestions learns from a examine by Stephen Halfway at Louisiana State College and his colleagues, “COVID-19 influences on US leisure angler habits”. Its survey of just about 250,000 anglers in 10 US states reported a slight uptick in fishing journeys in contrast with regular years.

A phrase has, naturally, been coined for this protected, solo, out of doors exercise far-off from the stresses of pandemic life. Let’s hear it for social fishtancing.

Maintain it to your self

A much less rosy image is painted for followers of leisure three-plus-somes by a paper in Suggestions’s bedtime go-to, The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality. The examine by Anabelle Bernard Fournier on the College of Victoria, Canada, and her colleagues is titled “Group intercourse within the time of COVID: Intimacy, studying, and community-building in sexual communities throughout a pandemic”.

We are going to go away it as an train for the reader to learn how, however their findings comply with the invention by researchers on the College Medical Middle Göttingen in Germany that masks carrying boosts self-perceived dry mouth and halitosis. Getting up shut and private once more within the after instances ain’t gonna be straightforward.

These corvid instances

Such squeamishness goes some, however not all, of the way in which to explaining the signal seen by Katherine Little on the Nationwide Belief property of Cotehele in Cornwall, UK, which she sends in response to us unwisely slicing the ribbon not too long ago on a thread on bathroom signage (31 July and 28 August).

“Please be variety as all of us discover our means again to normality,” it states. “These bathrooms are enclosed and might get busy. Face coverings are advisable in crowed areas.” They’re notoriously clever birds, in fact. Who is aware of what they’ve been plotting whereas we’ve got been away.

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