Thursday, November 27, 2008

Three embarrassing confessions

(1) When I post a letter, I try to peer through the slot to see if it really went in. Somehow I don't believe that it's sitting there happily waiting for the postman, but suspect instead that it popped off to some extra dimension for a holiday. Perhaps it's a hangover from my obsessive habit of checking my "sent" folder after firing off an email. I don't think I used to worry about letters so much before the advent of the internet and emails that so frequently go astray.

(2) Similarly, when I transfer money electronically, I can't help but obsess that I typed a number wrong somewhere and sent it scuttling into the bank account of some random (but very happy, and probably not Nigerian) stranger.

(3) I have absolutely no idea how big an ounce is, or about its relationship to a pound. Pounds are easy. They are similar to a packet of butter. Except now I can't remember if it's a 500g packet of butter or a 250g packet*. For all I know, though, an ounce might be defined as 3.75 Imperial Wombles.


* which we now buy since our supermarket sells the exact same brand in both sizes, and two 250g packets are cheaper than buying one 500g packet. (Methinks someone else doesn't have a clear idea of weights and measures either.)


sciencegeeka said...

I cook/bake a lot. We do cooking measurements here using stupid things like 'cups' I can never get a good judgement on how much a 'cup' looks like in different containers because usually I am just pouring it in a mixing bowl.
However: I (in the past 2 years) had this epiphany that a cup is really 250ish milliliters, and now I can figure the volumes out by eye. Damn science!
I recently tried to explain to my husband that a pint was an actual measurement and wasn't defined by the type of glass.

liz said...

16 ounces to a pound.
8 ounces to a cup.

StyleyGeek said...

8 ounces to a cup only makes sense if you say what the 8 ounces are of. Because 8 ounces of butter fills a much smaller volume than 8 ounces of grated cheese (unless you squish it back into a block), or than 8 ounces of breadcrumbs. Even breadcrumbs would depend on whether they were dried or fresh; white or grain.

Anonymous said...

There are two commonly used units known as "ounces" - the avoirdupois ounce, which is 1/16 of an avoirdupois pound, and the fluid ounce, which is 1/8 of a cup and is a unit of volume and NOT mass. So liz is right independent of what material is being measured.

StyleyGeek said...

Oh wow, I had no idea. That's cool. That's anonymous. And sorry, Liz, for doubting you!

Turns out I had so little idea of what an ounce was I didn't even realise it could be a measure of volume at all!

StyleyGeek said...

That was meant to read "thanks, anonymous". Not "that's anonymous"!