Was the metre invented by the Ancient Egyptians 4500 years ago?

One of our readers, John Frewen-Lord, speculates that the metre may be the modern version of a measure that was familiar to the Pharaohs.

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Joules – rare but minor progress for metrication

After many recent setbacks, it is pleasing to report a small but significant bit of progress in the long campaign to make the metric system (SI) the default system of measurement in the UK.  This minor (but perhaps somewhat pyrrhic) victory concerns front-of-pack (FOP) labelling.

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Why is it important to weigh ourselves in kg?

The measurement mess in Britain is in itself reason enough for the discontinued use of stones and pounds for personal body mass (commonly weight), but is there a case for using kilograms that goes beyond this?

This article proposes that there are possible implications for those trying to lose or maintain weight from a poor choice of measurement units.

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What do imperial traffic signs cost?

One of our regular readers, John Frewen-Lord, a quantity surveyor, has attempted to answer this question. In this article J F-L refers to the junior Education Minister’s suggestion that there would be more teaching of imperial units in the future school curriculum (subsequently played down by Department officials as “no significant change”).

UKMA regards the Minister’s suggestion as a political stunt to appease Eurosceptic critics (not that it has anything to do with “Europe”).  It has still to be formally consulted upon and is unlikely to get any further.  Nevertheless, John’s analysis is a useful demonstration of the order of possible costs of the DfT’s obstinate refusal to join the rest of the world and permit metric units on the UK’s road signs.  This is what he wrote:

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Just how much does not being fully metric cost the UK economy?

One of our regular readers, John Frewen-Lord, has compiled a quiz, or rather two quizzes, to illustrate the waste resulting from the UK’s measurement muddle. The editors of Metric Views are unsure why a penalty of £1 per second has been chosen when scoring the quizzes – this pay rate surely applies only to top bankers, Premier League footballers and workers changing traffic signs for the DfT. If readers are equally puzzled, John will no doubt explain. Anyway, pen, paper, calculator and timepiece at the ready please ….

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Prospects improve for food energy labelling using SI units

One of our readers wrote to Sainsbury’s to ask that guideline daily amounts (GDAs) of energy shown on packaging should be shown in kilojoules, the SI unit, as well as or instead of kilocalories. He has received a reply that provides cause for optimism.

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