Imperial Measurements

rnelsonee offered the best explanation of the imperial measurement system I have ever read:

Imperial is similar to metric if you constrain yourself to one type of measurement. Like liquid volume uses power of 2 instead of 10:

1 dram x 22 = 1 Tbsp
1 Tbsp x 2 = 1 fl oz
1 fl oz x 2 = 1 jig
1 jig x 2 = 1 gill
1 gill x 2 = 1 cup
1 cup x 2 = 1 pint
1 pint x 2 = 1 quart
1 quart x 22 = 1 gallon

But then Imperial gets all weird because entire different scales get mixed together. For example, a mile isn’t a terrible unit – it’s just a thousand paces (hence miles), and is more intuitive/easier to measure (when walking) than km. I like the foot and inch (thumb size) as well, even though people obviously have different sized feet (but hey, it’s not like the meter is easy to recreate with no tools). But no one has any business mixing inches and miles (at least they didn’t 1,000 years ago) because you’d measure troop movements in miles and your dick in inches. It wasn’t until we started doing a lot of ‘extreme’ levels/measurements with physics that we needed metric to easily convert between the two scales.

Of course, this was after this:

from Josh Bazell's "The Wild Things"

from Josh Bazell’s “The Wild Things”

And then this:

Imperial versus Metric by Bar Graph

Imperial versus Metric by Bar Graph

Black Death Left a Mark on Human Genome

The Black Death didn’t just wipe out millions of Europeans during the 14th century. It left a mark on the human genome, favoring those who carried certain immune system genes, according to a new study. Those changes may help explain why Europeans respond differently from other people to some diseases and have different susceptibilities to autoimmune disorders.

More here: Science.

The Universe Is Biophilic?

According to physicist Jeremy England, the origin and evolution of life are processes driven by the fundamental laws of nature — namely the Second Law of Thermodynamics. He’s come up with a formula showing how a group of atoms, when driven by an external source of energy (like the sun) and when surrounded by a heat bath (like the ocean or atmosphere), can sometimes restructure itself as a way to dissipate increasing rates of energy. (io9)

I wonder how far of a leap it is from this kind of notion of evolution of order to the kind of order we call culture?