old money rules
decimalisation was still happening when I grew up - when I was sent for a 'pound' of potatoes it was very confusing. it's still going on in many parts of the UK: supermarkets enjoy the clever con of measuring packaged meat in grams and unpackaged meat in feet and inches. even drugs come in grams and others, ounces: though that, presumably, is a just a consequence of their origin.
when we were at art school our continually dark and greasy metal workshop was still using the kings foot to measure with (it was like glasgow didn't want to let go of it's heavily industrial past) while just a few paces away and not even seperated by a door was the wood workshop - airy and so contemporary and european with its simple metric system. we actually had to pass a test in old money to use the metalshop because no-one had a bloody clue. cut to yuka, the (then) timid japanese student who was justifyably bewildered by the whole thing. I mean - at least we'd had some contact with double sided rulers and stuff when we were growing up: yuka was still trying to grasp the english language never mind the glaswegian accent and this archaic way of counting.
anyway - the point of all this was that when I was out on the bike last week and found myself on that old trail - I discovered 'Ri' - the old japanese system of measuring distance. never heard of it before. the modern sign told me that the ancient signs used this. as I remember it said the Ri is about 3.9 kms but in any case the japanese have gotten over it. a shame the US and the UK can't do the same.......Posted by stupot at November 2, 2005 11:16 PM