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Wednesday
Aug282013

A Case for The Hopper

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grace_Hopper

Grace Hopper was an amazing lady. She had the nickname of "Amazing Grace". You should read the full article in the wikipedia. Besides a number of things she accomplished, she is known for her nanoseconds visual aid. People (such as generals and admirals) used to ask her why satellite communication took so long. She started handing out pieces of wire which were just under one foot long (11.80 inches), which is the distance that light travels in one nanosecond

To honor her and to aid in casual use of the metric system, I propose the pseudo unit of the Hopper.  A hopper is exactly 30cm long (11.8 inches) or about 1 foot. You use it where the foot would be appropriate.  For instance, "He is a big guy - over 6 hoppers tall." rather than "... over 1.8 meters tall."

Floor tiles are 1x1 or 2x2 hoppers rather than 30x30 or 60x60 cm. Shipping pallets are 4x4 hoppers. Ceilings (at least in the US), are typically 8 Hoppers tall. Ceiling tiles are often 2x4 hoppers. A sheet of paper is about 1 hopper long.

In summary, a foot and a hopper for most purposes would be interchangeable, kind of like a quart and a liter.

So amaze your friends (especially the technical types) - start referring to things in conversation in terms of hoppers, and when they look puzzled, educate them:

"You know - hoppers, about the same size as a foot but in metric, the distance light can travel in a nanosecond. Named after Grace Hopper."


Next thing you know, all the cool kids will measure in Hoppers and a few more will know about Grace Hopper and the important contributions she made to the world we live in today.

 

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