Video: Myanmar, Liberia and the United States of America. Those are the only three countries left in the world that don't use the metric system. Ted-Ed traces the history of the metric system (thank you French Revolution) to show how important it is to have one universal measurement system for the world, what can happen when conversions go wrong (NASA crashing an orbiter into Mars), and what the future of the metric system will be (basing it off universal constants like the speed of light).
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Though you've likely never given it much thought, a universally accepted unit of measurement like the humble metre is an amazing thing. It lets scientists separated by culture, language, race and even thousands of miles of geography work together on equations and problems like they were sitting next to each other. So how did this unit of measurement come to be?
While this generally goes unsaid, the internet has become a huge crutch — but more than that, we're pretty much blind without it. What do you do when you need to convert meters to feet? Hit a few buttons on your keyboard and bam, Google tells you all you need to know. But the thing is, you're not really gaining anything from having a contextless answer spit at your eyeballs. The Converted can help where Google fails.
Confession: I don't drink coffee. I know next to nothing about what makes a good cup of brown flavored water other than it involving sniper precision measurements, calculus-level maths, tools that are fit for a serial killer, forearms that would make Popeye jealous and a full beard. What I DO know is that more is always greater than less. So here's a pretty graph showing which coffee shops give you the most caffeine in your coffee.
The US has a love affair with imperial units: height in inches, milk in quarts, weight in pounds. You name it and it's measured in imperial. The only problem? Imperial is dumb. The US should cast off those shackles and join the rest of the world by embracing units that make sense. It should go metric, once and for all.
We've long known that there were some issues with France's 'Le Grand K', the international prototype for what a kilogram really is. Made in 1879 from platinum and iridium alloy, it is the perfect standard for what a kilogram weighs. The problem is it's losing weight.