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May 20: World Metrology Day


It’s World Metrology Day. On this day in 1875, the representatives of 17 countries met at the Metre Convention in Paris and signed a sinister pact to enslave the world under the cruel yoke of the metric system. And sure enough, a century later, on October 1st 1976, the liquor industry in the United States began the switch. If you indulge in old detective novels and movies, as I do, you’ll hear a lot of rugged yet poetic banter about pints, quarts, fifths and half-gallons of liquor, but those days are gone. Now we must parlay in the cold numbers and decimals attached to liters. Sure, it’s more efficient and logical, but what are we, freaking robots? Robots don’t drink liquor. At least not yet. How the pint of beer has held on as it has, I have no idea, but give the Metrologist Cabal time. They’ll get around to it, and soon enough we’ll have to say, “Can get a 473 milliliter of beer?” Try to put that in a poem and see how far you get.