How long would that take in chicken-pounds?

Units are a funny thing. They’re definitely useful, and let us communicate unambiguously with other people about quantitative amounts. At the same time, they can be incredibly arbitrary, and when you’re dealing with different units for the same type of measurement, it can be a bitch to convert between them. But as long as we’re going to have hundreds of different units, why not come up with some some more that are only relevant to a small subset of people?

Chris and others once ruminated on the chicken-pound: the amount of time it takes to cook 1 pound of chicken in a microwave. This unit is made even better by the fact that it is subject to the microwave brand and model, and the altitude at which the microwave is being operated.

Alain, a model flight enthusiast, speaks of prices in terms of the jet: the amount of money it costs to buy a model jet (~ $8K). I then argued that a jet should be the amount of one full size jet, and a millijet should be the amount of one model jet.

Over at MIT, they measured the bridge over the Charles River in Smoots: the length of a student from days of yore whose last name was Smoot (as the story goes, they laid him end to end and found the bridge to be 364.5 Smoots).

There are no doubt other awesome units out there; these are what I could think of for now.


One Response to How long would that take in chicken-pounds?

  1. lily says:

    364.4 smoots + ear, to be precise :-).

    we’ve started measuring time in pigasms. apparently, a male pig’s orgasm can last for 30 min. so you COULD say that a movie lasted 2 hours, or you could say that it lasted for 4 pigasms.

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