Denise Goldberg's blog

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Measurements in what system?

...easy conversions via Google!

Converting miles to kilometers and back again has been something that is relatively easy for me, but some of the other weights and measures aren't as close to second nature. While I know that converting to the metric system is a big deal, I still wonder why we've stuck with the old system. I remember talking to some folks about the conversion when I was in Prince Edward Island last year. Whenever I asked how far someplace was, I got different types of answers depending on the age of the person I was talking to. People my age often gave the answer in miles although Canada has used the metric system since 1970. And young people (as in people in their 20s) tended to tell me how long it took to get to a place in a car as opposed to telling me how many kilometers away it was.

I was fascinated to find out that Google is a ready source of conversions. While I've been using Google to search for things for what seems like forever, it never occurred to me to ask it to do conversions. In addition to searching, typing something like "110 pounds to kilograms" or "20 degrees celsius to fahrenheit" or "29 kilometers to miles" gives the answer to the conversion in addition to supplying the normal search results. Nice.

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