It's time to clarify units of measurement

Old Koreelah

Well-Known Member
I doubt we'll be forced to change over; many countries drive on the left, including one of the main car-builders: Japan.
Throughout human history an apparently relentless trend is often interrupted by something from left field. Within a few years cars may not even have steering wheels and computers might be clever enough to adapt to local road rules.


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Bike rider's going from UK to the other side, have lots of accidents by Not keeping to the Right hand rule.
Especially turning corners in the city.


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Even the French rode on the left at one time, but changed to the right after the Long war with their neighbor. then the silly POMS went to their aid after the Huns took over them.


Well-Known Member
Don't forget the stadia.. but nobody knows just how long a stadia is . I think the distance from Alexandria to Syrena was 300 stadia.
This was wrong but it caused Columbus etc to underestimate the size of the planet. Surprising that we don't know better just how long a stadia was supposed to be.
"Stadia" is the plural of "stadion", a unit of length in Ancient Greece. According to Herodotus, one stadion was equal to 600 Greek feet (podes). If you divide the circumference of the earth 40,000,000 meters between 216,000 (60 degrees x 60 minutes x 60 seconds), the result is the measure of a stadion, 185 meters. Due to variation in the lenght of a Greek pode, the exact length of a stadion is uncertain. The value of a stadion seems to be 185 metres plus or minus 15 metres.
If you take a barrel to be two kilderkins and a kilderkin to be two firkins (which are themselves, of course, nine gallons)

Technically, a Firkin is a specific size of a cask. It is 1/4 barrel or 10.8 gallons. There are other sizes as well Pin (5.4 gallons) and Kilderkin (21.6 gallons). Casks were originally made of wood, used to produce Cask Conditioned beer; also known as Real Ale.

The beer you normally drink is filtered and carbonated with CO2 prior to being kegged. Then it is pushed out of the keg with CO2. Occassionally, nitrogen is used as well. The carbon dioxide is what gives beer it’s “fizzy” characteristic and moves it through the tap system in your local bar or taproom. Cask Conditioned beer is quite different. It is commonly not filtered and not carbonated. Instead, it is placed into the cask while the yeast is still alive so the beer is able to continue to ferment. Fermentation produces CO2 gas which provides some carbonation. But not nearly as much as what is added to modern beer. Since the beer isn’t filtered, the result is a beer that is often cloudy.

Technically, a Cask Conditioned beer should be served using a beer engine aka hand pump (think of the old water well pumps). This is a system that pulls the beer out of the cask. These are quite rare but some traditional pubs will offer this method of serving.The other option is a cask tap which is more or less a faucet that’s driven into the side of the Firkin. Depending on the pressure inside of the Firkin and how accurate the cask tap is struck, it can create quite a mess. Once tapped in this way, gravity takes over and allows the beer to flow through the faucet and out of the Firkin.

Ideally, beer of this style is served around 55 F (12.5 C) but it will be highly dependent on the room temperature as it is not kept in the cooler. That's English warm beer - just like drinking red wine at "room temperature" In the past, the casks were often stored in the basement were it could be kept at that temperature. You must remember that the term "room temperature" refers to the average European room temperature, not 25 C or more on an Australian summer's day. Just think of Density Height. It's based on a Standard Atmosphere of 15 C and 1013 mbar.


Well-Known Member
That'll learn me not to be such a smartass.

I am old enough to remember that the first order of the day when arranging a pizzup (errr, 'party'), was to find that special bloke who possessed the skill to tap the keg. But I don't remember anybody calling it a "firkin skill". Maybe we just weren't so well educated. We needed a grammar policeperson.....

Anyway, there's not much skill needed to 'tap' the modern keg.
A firkin being 10.8 English gallons raises the question of why the keg you got from the pub for your special social event was an 18 gallon one, or a nine gallon one if the event was more genteel.
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