September 24, 2012

Metric Conversions

Here in Canada we use the metric system for our measurements; however, as we are influenced very heavily by American culture, many of our products still come in non-metric measurements. For instance, many recipes indicate the number of cups of an ingredient that one will need, or the dimensions of a room/furniture will be provided in feet and inches.

As a result, most Canadian children are taught both the American standard measures and the Canadian metric system while they are in elementary school. I certainly was, and it is thus common knowledge for me that 1 cup equals 250 mL, and 1 foot equals 30 cm. I typically have no problem converting common measurements into their equivalent if needed.

However, there are always some measurements that trick me up, as they are not as common, or not as easy to quickly calculate in one's head. For instance, when I was making Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes earlier this week, I was instructed to add 15 oz of pumpkin to my mixture. I have no clue how many cups 15 oz is, and as I was working with a set of cup measures, I needed to figure this out. So I Googled "1 oz equals how many cups?" hoping that I might find a website with a conversion chart.

Imagine my surprise and delight when Google presented me with not only several websites, but a little gadget at the top of the page that would convert for me, without having to do anything except punch in the values I was looking for. This handy little tool even set the measurements I was looking for, and determined that I was looking to convert volume, as opposed to the other options, which are: temperature, length, mass, speed, area, time, fuel consumption, and digital storage. What a useful and handy tool!

Photo Credit: Todd's Take

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