When you step on the brakes your life is in your foot's hands.

~ George Carlin ~

How Many Square Feet in a Cubic Yard?

July 8th, 2012 ~ Est. reading time: 1 min, 46 secs

No wait! The inch bone is conencted to the mile bone…Isn’t it?

Now let’s see: how many square feet are there in a cubic yard? As it is, I wouldn’t have a clue. Is it infinite if the area has no thickness? Or am I off with the fairies?

You see, like so many, I had a messed up childhood. Back then, Australia decided to switch over to the sense of metric. But I, like my other knee-high school chums, got caught up in the that eerie twilight zone where you measure with everything. To know how many square feet in a cubic yard was a trick question. But was how many metres make a mile.

To complicate things even more, we learnt there were imperial measures and US measures for exactly the same thing, and even the spelling of metric measures was different (we write kilometre for kilometer, centimetre for centimeter, celsius for centigrade, and so on) Not only that, but imperial measures like chains, roods, and perches aren’t universally used. So the fact that we were mercilessly drilled that 22 chains was the length of a standard cricket pitch probably summed up the measure of education we got.

So what became of our Aussie generation? Well, today, many of us think in both imperial and metric but for different measures. I always think celsius for temperature, but feet and inches for height, and kilograms for weight. But for distance it’s in both kilometres and miles. We kind of got it, with a few quaint quirks, because metric made sense to our kid brains. A yard being almost a metre, it was easy to think of 1000 of them making a kilometre. And water freezing at zero degrees and boiling at a hundred was a no brainer.

Now, I flinch at the thought of ounces and pounds (Though there’s close to two of them to a kilo; just as a quart is nearly a litre.). I’m glad the muddle of imperial measurements has left my head. So, asking how many square feet in a cubic yard leaves me utterly clueless, in the same way that I don’t know how far a league is. I guess it comes down to what you get used to. But I’m glad I no longer have to fathom the role of roods, which forty square inches make. Nor the amount of roods, rods, and perches needed to cover a furlong or two. In short, I’m glad I am a metricated man (that is, if we can still keep the baker’s dozen).



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