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Friday 26 February 2021

Word To Use Today: centimetre.

 Just in case there's anyone in the world who hasn't already heard this story:

Liam Thorp, the Political Editor of the Liverpool Express Newspaper, was surprised when he was called in for his Covid-19 vaccination. He's thirty-two years old, quite healthy, and his turn for a jab should have been a couple of months away.

Further investigation (he's a journalist, after all) revealed that on his medical notes his height had been entered as 6.2 centimetres instead of six feet two inches. 

This gave him a BMI* of about 28,000.

Mr Thorp's actual BMI is much lower than that, but he's thinking of going on a diet, anyway.

Word To Use Today: centimetre. Centum is Latin for a hundred. The Greek word metron means measure. Mita means measure in Sanskrit.

A metre was defined in 1793 as one ten-millionth of what the distance from the North Pole to the Equator would be if the Earth was a perfect sphere. They got that a bit wrong, so later the metre became defined as the length of a metre-long bar - and then after that the length of a different metre-long bar - and then later still as the length of a certain number of krypton-86 waves. 

Now it's defined as the distance travelled by light in a vacuum in one two hundred and ninety nine million seven hundred and ninety two thousand four hundred and fifty eighth of a second.

I think they should make that number a three hundred millionth of a second. 

I doubt it'd make much difference, most of the time.

*BMI = Body Mass Index. Ideally it's between about twenty and twenty five.

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