136 years ago today 17 nations signed onto the Metre Convention (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metre_Convention
), which basically said "we're going to set up committees and general conferences to get us all on the same page when it comes to measurement". Since then, nearly every nation in the world has adopted the measurement standards accepted by the convention, known as the International System of Units, or more generally, the Metric system.
The US is still a holdout. We like our feet and inches, because they're American dammit (well, they're British actually but whateves) and as long as we have miles we won't be pinko French socialists. Go us. Or something.
People, do what you can to switch us to the metric system. Please. It's smarter, it's easier on scientists, the rest of the world uses it. If you need a reminder here's our interview with a US Metrication advocate, from a few years back:viewtopic.php?f=19&t=33172
I promise I am not just promoting this holiday because it coincides with my birthday, although it does... that makes me awesome, more than it makes the holiday awesome. It's a real holiday. It's got a Wikipedia page, that I did not write (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Metrology_Day
) There are even events right here at home, see the Metrology Day homepage (http://www.metrologyinfo.org/worldmetro ... vents.html
) for more info... NIST is sponsoring a symposium at the Mid Atlantic Meeting of the American Chemical Society next Monday all about "Redefining the Kilogram and Avogadro's Number". Par-tay!