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A Memo From Your Pollster

by Michael Ward

The results of the polls you commissioned last month have been tabulated. Since you’re a no-spin kind of person, I’ll get right to the point. You face some significant challenges. With the full nationwide poll (n=1,017 registered voters), you had…

Strategy Guide for Capcom’s Lit Fighter II: The Word Warriors

by Dale Dobson

Op-Ed Recipe

by David Martin

Polish Fact

a ą b c ć d e ę f g h i j k l ł m n ń o ó p r s ś t u w y z ź ż

Learn a Foreign Tongue!

Learn Latin!
Mea culpa.
My bad.

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Thursday, September 28, 2006   |    How To

Select Passages from The International Guide for Metric Conversion

by Eric Feezell

Poland — Fluid Ounces to Milliliters

In order to convert fluid ounces to milliliters in Poland—and most of Eastern Europe—the converter must acknowledge the existence of one and only one true form of gauging weights and measures, the Metric System, through which all things are weighed and measured. He must lovingly accept the Metric System into his heart and believe wholly and sincerely in that Blessed Trinity of measurement, the Liters, the Meters, and the Holy Grams.

Having once converted his fluid ounces to milliliters, the converter then must live out the duration of his existence under an ominous cloud, fearing and resenting the Metric System, by which he shall be judged harshly, and right soon. He shall also develop the ability to recite scores of related metric conversions at Sunday meetings in a heartless and empty manner in order to please the Metric System, which hates him.

Israel — Pounds to Decagrams

To convert pounds to decagrams in Israel, the converter must also agree that no form of measurement comes before his form of measurement—that being the M- - - -c S- - - - -m. In translating pounds to decagrams, the converter shall abide by strict dietary requirements, serve mandatory military service, and make a concerted effort to start listening to more Barbara Streisand. While these stringent prerequisites may present a seemingly more difficult conversion process, the end result shall be decidedly worth the effort, as the subject’s newly converted decagrams will now be among the M- - - -c S- - - - -m’s chosen measurements.

On another positive note, there will also be tons of baklava—or tonnes, as it were.

Iraq — Cups to Liters

Cups may not be converted to liters in Iraq. The converter must accept that transformation to any other volume or measurable amount is strictly forbidden by established doctrines of measurement and that by doing so he may be put to death. The converter then must pray to the east and continue disagreeing with those other, extremist converters.

Tibet — Feet to Meters

Tibetan conversion of feet to meters requires that the converter accept measurement is suffering; that the origin of this suffering is the converter’s desire to measure; that by acquiescing to these truths, the cessation of suffering may manifest; and that to continue in right or perfect manner, the Tenfold Path of the Metric System must be followed to reach metric enlightenment.

The converter must subsequently gain forty pounds, shave his head, and be fitted for a pair of Birkenstocks.

India — Ounces to Grams

To convert ounces to grams in India can be rather difficult and involves the progression of ounces through multiple units of measurement, the advancement of which is determined by how well the converter interacts with the spatial world around him, or metric karma. The converter may be forced to transform his ounces into various incarnations of weight, including but not limited to decigrams, nanograms, and decagrams. The form of measurement the converter’s ounces take at any given point throughout the conversion process is dictated by the converter’s relative success at calculating previous measurements.

Any converter belonging to the highest echelon of the metric caste system may remove his sandal at any time he wishes and use it to strike converters belonging to the untouchable caste. This privilege will aid him greatly in forgoing alcohol and prostitutes.

United States — Miles to Kilometers

While the converter may be surrounded on all sides by proponents of measurement claiming he may convert miles into any unit he so chooses—kilometers or otherwise—the converter will develop a sneaking suspicion that there is only one truly accepted way of measuring distance in the United States and that, luckily enough for him, it is miles. The converter should be reminded that while it is acceptable to convert miles into other measurements, alternative measuring methods—such as those derived metrically—despite being largely more intuitive, are nevertheless wrong and only used in backwards places such as the entire rest of the world.

The converter may opt for conversion to a more standard, Americanized unit of measurement without criticism or censure. One such choice would be to yards, as these are units of distance employed in the beloved and religiously celebrated American pastime of football.

To be quite clear: American football, not soccer, which is for poofters and is only popular in backwards places like the entire rest of the world.

Eric Feezell has appeared, among other places, at McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Opium, and 7-Eleven.