OT: pints, pounds (Was: APL\360

Liam Proven lproven at gmail.com
Thu Feb 4 09:07:58 CST 2021

On Mon, 1 Feb 2021 at 21:07, Fred Cisin via cctalk
<cctalk at classiccmp.org> wrote:
> That is what it MEANS.
> But, it's not quite right.  It's off by about 4%.
> A US pint of water weighs 1.043 pounds.
> One "fluid ounce" (volume) of water weighs 1.043 ounces (weight)!

Close enough for government work.

With all the off-hand mental approximations people use to convert
units, including some I think mentioned here, 4% is pretty good.

I may use metric when I am measuring things myself, but I got my
motorbike licence in 1991 and my car licence in 2005. I was solely
taught and tested in MPH. For estimating stopping distances by eye, a
metre is a yard, near enough -- and of course "car lengths" and
seconds aren't affected. Keep 2 car lengths back under 30mph, and over
that, maintain 2 seconds' braking distance, is metric-independent.

> How much do you suppose a "pint" of ice cream weighs?

Wouldn't know. I have never in my life seen such a unit on sale, I think.

> And, not all beer has the same specific gravity.  Alcohol is less dense
> than water.
> And, of course, further variation with temperature and atmospheric
> pressure.

Indeed so.

It does get worse. When I emigrated, I had no problem adapting to
buying half litres of beer -- or even, just once in a brewery in
Slovakia, a litre of beer. But the strengths...! Czech beer comes in
10º, 11º, or 12º, and very occasionally 13º, 14º or even 17º-18º. I
have almost never seen anything stronger.

But what the heck is a ten-degree beer?! I'd never heard of degrees in
beer before. Degrees proof, yes, but just halve that for %ABV, which
is far more meaningful for me. But while a 10º beer being 5% alcohol
by volume was just about believable, a 15% ABV beer seems unlikely.

Well, it is.

The system is "degrees Plato", a system so obscure there isn't even a
Wikipedia page for it. And all I knew about Plato's drinking habits

Plato, they say, could stick it away
Half a crate of whiskey every day

It's horribly complicated in use:

No wonder nobody much outside Central Europe uses it. But this country
is the world capital of beer -- they consume more per capita than
anyone else. There are good reasons I like it here, and it's not the

The USA drinks 12x as much in total -- but has nearly 40x as many people.

> And, if you are in England,
> "A pint of water weighs a pound and a quarter."

I believe I have heard that. Maybe this is why it is meaningless to me
-- it doesn't work with UK Imperial units, only with American Imperial

Yet more reason to burn imperial measurements in a fire and throw the
ashes in the sea.

> Despite very minor variances in gravity, Earth is MOSTLY HARMLESS.


Did you know that the Central African Republic covers one of the
largest magnetic anomalies in the world? It's so big it's named after
the capital of the CAR, which will of course make it trivial for you
all to look it up.

> Instead, it just means that British pubs are not as stingy with their
> beer.  And, it doesn't need to be chilled to almost frozen to make it
> drinkable.

Very true.

British beer is often served with very little foam on top, so the
capacity of the glass is measured to the brim. A Czech beer without at
least a few centimetres of foam is considered defective and most
drinkers would send it back -- so Czech beer glasses are lined
instead, to leave plenty of space for the froth on top.

> I wish that there were a pub open.

Oh gods, me too.

>  But, "The Albatross" (pub in Berkeley)
> has closed down. forever.   Can't stay in business with a lockdown.

Sorry to hear that.

> I can get beer delivered!  Coincidentally, it is Corona beer!

Oh my word. My deepest condolences.

Liam Proven – Profile: https://about.me/liamproven
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