Thursday, September 20, 2007

A Kilo no Longer a Kilo

I read this article this morning, and my first thought was, wow, what are the drug kingpins going to do now! They are getting jipped!

Actually, my mind immediately came to the thought of making sure that you have good artifacts in which to measure and control off of. It also came to mind that people unlike myself who muse about weird stuff (e.g. regular people) may what? That's what they get for using the metric system! So this piece of metal is losing weight (and perhaps, if a piece of metal can do it, so can I!).

Well, it is much more complicated than that. Most people know that there are universal standards throughout our world. Such as a Kilogram. Because of variance a kilo is never a kilo. So we need to make sure that we all trace back to that artifact. Here in the U.S. we tend to use NIST, which is the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The idea is that all things are traceable back to a standard and although they never measure or weigh the exact same (due to variance), they are within statistically calculated specifications. Now, if the artifact is degrading, then imagine how hard it is to hit a moving target! 50 Micrograms sounds small, but it is dependent upon the distribution. It could reek havoc. Maybe we will just have to go back to "stones."

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