About the size of it
About the Size of It is a serious, but seriously funny book about measuring things. Readers will find out why an old Wellington boot is as important an instrument of spacial awareness as was ever invented; why the size of a space shuttle's fuel tanks has more to do with the proportions of a horse's rump than rocket science; and why how tired your ox gets, how much water it takes to drown you, and how much you can hold in one hand while doing something else are all essential principles that explain how man has balanced and judged his world since the dawn of time. In part a case for the continued use of traditional British measures, this book also celebrates the richness and commonality of systems from around the world, and how they were formed by the one guiding principle of measurement no one ever mentions: that most of us have better things to think about. 'Fun and fascinating - the secrets and tricks of how we measure the world around us' Conn Iggulden 'A full and convincing account of why our well-tried and trusted traditional measures make human sense' Alexander McCall Smith 'His direct, engaging conversational prose is a delight to read... inspirational' Andrew Roberts 'Absolutely masterly. Lucid and wise and touching and absolutely right' Jilly Cooper
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actually American barley barleycorn bigger binary braccio bricks British called catty centimetre chunks count countries cubic cubic decimetre decimetre distance double paces English espresso cup everyday purposes eyes feet fingers fluid ounce foot foot measures four French furlong gallon going gongjin half hand hand's breadth happens hectometre hundred grammes hundredweight inches Intentional Fallacy Lambda Chi Alpha length liang litde litre look measuring boot Megalithic yard mesures usuelles metre metric system metric unit mile millilitres millimetre non-metric normal official pick pint plough pound probably quart quarter range Roman roughly ruler seven shoe sizes side sixteen smaller smoots sort standard stere stick stone strip of paper system of measures tablespoon tael tape measures there's thousand thumb traditional systems twelve twenty-five grammes unit of weight walk weighing and measuring wellington boots width word yard