Not that many years ago, at least in Arkansas, you could be arrested for possession of a kitchen scale that gave weights in grams. Drug paraphernalia, dontcha know. Somebody could weigh some reefer on it!!!
For old guys like my friends (I will not say "and me") the conversion for speeds is mostly complete. That's because speedometers and speed signs converted totally. It's not exactly complete for us (actually for anyone) since the fools to our south are unable to handle the change so acceleration times in car mags and such are in seconds to 60 mph (with an admixture of seconds to 62 mph).
The handy part of that conversion is that many cars have both scales on their speedometers; my Honda Accord in the USA does. Though from what I remember on Continental Europe is that they only had kph and I recall that when I asked about this here a year or two ago it turned out that British cars will have both scales. Don't know how it is in Canada but I would assume dual scale.
Doing renovations back in the 80's I got slightly messed up by the conversion. Out 2x4's (and others) went metric in those dimensions. But they are cut extremely close to the metric size for 2 and 4 inches (which, of course they are not, more like 1.5 x 3.5 dry). But they are not exactly so when in the middle of a reno you mix old and new they don't line up precisely. That problem went away quickly enough.
From a Canadian video on the matter, he said that construction sizes (eg, plumbing) are in inches. But even without going metric, that problem with 2×4's already existed in the USA in the 60's. The actual dimensions had been reduced to 1-7/16 × 3-1/2, while the original 2×4's in an old house's walls actually measured as 2×4. When we closed off a doorway in one remodel, we had to rip half-inch thick furring to build the wall out.
Temperature was converted in the 70's and I'd say everyone is on Celsius for that. At this point I find F temperatures difficult even though I grew up with them. I know immediately how warn or cool or hot or col C is but have to make a rough conversion of a F temp to get a feel for it. That is other than around 100 F. That one I just know is hot.
That was my first concentrated research into devising an easy conversion method. My friend and I were going to Europe for her first time and she was worried about knowing the temperature, so I worked one out for her. An illustration of her problem was offered by an American ex-pat living in Germany in which she's dressed for winter and asks if she's dressed appropriately since it's forty degrees outside.
First I started with a single memorized mid-scale value: 20°C = 68°F. Then going up or down from there by 5 degrees C is the same as 9 degrees F while for 10 degrees C it's 18 degrees F. And going up or down by a single degree C then figuring 2 degrees F is close enough (9/5). That is, start from a known point and work your way up or down. There are a number of videos from India that do the entire conversion formulae but in a simplified form using a factor of 2 (instead of 9/5) and an offset of 30 (instead of 32).
I finally settled on identifying temperature ranges of cold, cool, comfortable, warm, and hot, based around 20°C as the lower end of the comfort zone. Go lower and it gets increasingly colder; 10°C (50°F) is getting into winter temperatures. Go higher and it gets increasingly warmer -- at 30°C (86°F) it's getting hot. At 40°C (104°F) it is most definitely hot.
So to decide how to dress when you go outside, you mainly just look to see how far from 20°C you are. Which seems a lot easier to work with than the much wider ranges of temperatures in Fahrenheit.
In the late 60's or the early 70's there was a song about the spread of venereal disease, kind of an exercise in contact tracing.
The words went something like "Bill gave it to Sally, who gave it to Sam, who gave it to Susan, who gave it to ... ". Pleasant enough melody.
For some reason I seem to recall that it was Mike Nichols and Elaine May who did it.
It just seems like it's time to revive that song except now it's COVID being spread. Especially with the news that the White House is refusing to do any contact tracing along with (as of a hour ago) still not requiring the wearing of masks.
That's it! I just looked in my songbook, "Too Many Songs by Tom Lehrer", and there it is, words and music, on page 126. The tempo is given as "infectiously".
I have Tom Lehrer's "That Was The Year That Was" and my high school friend had two more of his albums, but none of them have this song. The Wikipedia page for the 1997 Songs & More Songs by Tom Lehrer album says:
quote:Songs & More Songs by Tom Lehrer is a reissue of musical satirist Tom Lehrer's two studio albums (Songs by Tom Lehrer and More of Tom Lehrer), combined with other studio sessions and a newly recorded version of "I Got It From Agnes". "Agnes" was a song from Lehrer's early live repertoire which he "polished up" for the Cameron Mackintosh-produced musical revue Tom Foolery in 1981, but which Lehrer himself never professionally recorded until 1996.
We had seen a community theater performance of Tom Foolery over two decades ago, so that might be where I had heard it. Some friends of ours were in that production. They said that in many of the performances the audience would sing along. A similar thing was reported by John Cleese from when Monty Python started doing live performances. He thought they were bombing because the audience wasn't laughing when they should, but then when he watched the audience he saw that they were all reciting the dialog to themselves along with the performers.
BTW, since I didn't know what the title of this song was, I wouldn't have found it on my own. Thanks.
Enjoy a question having been answered. Knowledge for knowledge sake, which is my default mode.
And maybe bring it up in replies to the Trump cluster's actions and inactions. I still think that that's leaving out a key word, rhymes with "fuster cluck".
I'm also reminded of a skit on an early episode of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In. Dan and Dick are two soldiers in a foxhole in Viet Nam talking about all the unit members they had lost. "Did you hear? Bill got it last week." "No! What about Bob?" "He got it yesterday." "Anyone else?" "Steve got it last night. In the shower." Dick starts scratching at his chest like he has a rash. "You know what, I think I've got it now too."
BTW, a week or two before the March shutting down started, I assisted a dance teacher friend with her West Coast Swing workshop class. Within a week of the shutdown, she informed me that one of the men in the workshop had tested positive. The one I had to work with closely because he was having problems with the footwork. Luckily neither of us have shown any symptoms.
Watching Deutschland 89 I heard Martin, the protagonist (recruited against his will in Deuschland 83 as an East German spy operating in the West), drunkenly singing one line from a song. Even though he was unable to carry a tune in the state he was in, it seemed to fit the meter of the Johnny River song, "Secret Agent Man".
Does anyone know about a version of the song having been done in German? I have heard a Spanish version in a US beer commercial a few years ago.
What French Toast (Pain Perdu) is Called Elsewhere
Certain foods have different names in different countries, even in ones that speak the same language. My question is what French toast is called in the UK.
French toast is what we call it in the USA. You make a mixture of eggs, milk, sugar, some other seasoning (eg, dash of salt, some cinnamon, vanilla extract). You dip a slice of bread in the mixture getting it on both sides and then you fry it in a skillet or on a flat grill. We usually serve it with syrup (eg, maple) or powdered sugar. A very common breakfast dish.
In a cafe in Vienna, my friend saw it on the English menu and ordered. What she got was two pieces of regular toast, each topped with a slice of ham and two thick slices of brie cheese. Not what she had expected.
In French it's called "pain perdu", "lost bread", since it's a way to make stale bread edible again. In German it's "Arme Ritter", "poor knights", I guess because being poor all they could afford to buy was stale bread (in USA bakeries they usually have a shelf of "day old" baked goods at reduced price).
So if one were to order "French toast" in the UK, what would one get? Is it called the same thing in the UK as in the USA or something different?
Re: What French Toast (Pain Perdu) is Called Elsewhere
What your friend got in Vienna sounds like a croque monsieur.
Mais non! Certainment non! Plus I have eaten one. What she was served was extremely dry. I took a photo of it, but for some reason this forum now refuses to display photos. Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot, Oscar?
A croque monsieur ("crunchy mister") requires both a kind of bchamel sauce (sorry, forget the minor details) along with a melty cheese such as Gruyre. What my friend was served had none of those properties. Dry toast, ham slice, two thick slices of brie cheese. A bit of shreded salady stuff. Again, I have a photo of it, but this forum for some stupid reason no longer supports photos.
Re: What French Toast (Pain Perdu) is Called Elsewhere
just something that had brie on it so they called it French.
Genau! Just like in the US all we have to do is put avocado on something in order to call it "Californian". Or when I was in West Germany in the 70's they would put a pineapple slice on something and call it "oriental".
Or put a poached or fried egg on top of a croque monsieur and it becomes a croque madame. It's a real thing and there are several YouTube videos on it (plus somebody's experiment doing the same thing to a Monte Cristo). I've heard that in Adam Sandler's serious movie (he's made a few of those), Spanglish, he plays a chef and in one scene he makes a croque madame.
In the spin-off of "The Big Bang Theory", "Young Sheldon", Sheldon's twin sister Missy is served a croque monsieur. She likes and keeps calling a "crock monster."
In the USA, pepperoni pizza is popular. Here, pepperoni is a spicy sausage about an inch across, so a pepperoni pizza is topped with thin slices of that sausage. But if you order a pepperoni pizza in Italy you're in for an unpleasant surprise. There, "pepperoni" is bell peppers, so you'll get a pizza covered with bell peppers. Instead, order a diavola.
Slightly related is the USA martini culture which I've only observed from afar. One place offered a "smoke-tini". If you look it up with better spelling you should find that a proper one is made with Islay scotch, which has a smoky flavor. This one had a grape-size piece of dry ice in it resulting in "smoke" pouring out of the glass (plus making the drink slightly carbonated, I guess). So when ordering one, one would need to ask what one is actually going to get.
Bottom line is that one should be careful when ordering something, especially when in another country.
One of my web page projects is a page on performing conversions.
One of the examples I'd like to use is comparing gasoline prices in Europe with the ones back home in the USA. Not only will it involve converting between Euros and dollars, but also between liters and gallons.
So if you're in Europe, what are the local gasoline/petrol/Benzin prices and in what units (including liters/gallons (and what kind of gallons) and monetary units)?
A funny story from the late 1970's. During that time, the rising cost of oil was causing the price of gasoline to increase, rapidly approaching a dollar a gallon. The reason why this was such a big problem was because most gas stations still used mechanical pumps in which you could change the price per gallon but the upper limit was 99.99 cents. When they were designed, the possibility of gas costing a dollar or more per gallon was inconceivable. They came up with some work-around hacks, but the solution finally settled on was switching over to the electronic pumps we have now.
At that same time, the USA was in the middle of a big drive to switch to metric. Indeed, it was then that beverages switched to being measured in metric (eg, 2-liter Coke bottles, no more fifths of booze (1/5-gallon = 757 ml)).
So this gas station in the Midwest decided to go metric ahead of schedule and started pricing its gas in liters. Cars were lined up down the street to snatch up gas "at those prices" (not because of gas shortages). The TV news reporter covering the story interviewed one excited customer: "Can you believe these prices?" "You do realize that that's in liters, not gallons, don't you?" "Yeah, yeah. But look at these prices! Aren't they great?"