I’ll drop this thread soon, honestly. But I need to return to the United States.

If you were brought up on kilometres, you may not be able to grasp the intricacies of the mile. It’s 1760 yards. The reason for this is that historically, back in Blighty, a mile was 8 furlongs, which came in at 220 yards apiece, in turn because there were 10 chains in a furlong. A chain was 22 yards, so presto! One of the world’s biggest economies works with a unit of distance that goes back to before the dawn of time.

You can tell how influential the US is, since oil, one of the most traded commodities in the world, is measured in barrels. US barrels. These contain 42 gallons of oil, which is a historical artefact that dates back to the oil boom in the mid 1800s. However, the size of the barrel was determined by the size of barrels that coopers had been used to making since 1484, when Richard III ser the size of a tierce of wine at that volume. This weighed about 300lb, which was about what one man could wrestle single-handed.

It might be churlish to point this out, but 42 US gallons is 35 Imperial gallons, as ordained by Tricky Dicky.

While we’re on the subject of oil, it’s always priced in $US. It might make more sense these days for it to be priced in Saudi riyals (pegged at 3.75/$) but hey ho.

Now here’s the weird thing. The dollar is very sensibly a metric currency. Being used to price a commodity worldwide, that makes sense. But it’s a bit of an anomaly for a country that still uses hogsheads.

They still use bushels too. These come in at 76.8608 US pints. That’s because that is 64 Imperial pints. Another historical artefact.

Tomorrow I’ll be discussing how God moves in mysterious ways. You have been warned.

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