Strangest Units of Measurement

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We bet you had no idea that there are alternative units of measurement to the regular ones such as height, length, weight and time. There’s actually a way to measure happiness, class length, concentration, marriage and even the sensitivity of a computer mouse! To discover these and many more, go through our list of ten humorous and unconventional units of measurement that will shock you and make you laugh at the same time. From donkeypower to the beard-second, these are 10 humorous and unconventional units of measurement.

The Beard-Second
The beard-second is not so rarely used to measure really small distances such as those in integrated circuits.

Mickeys are known as measurements of speed and direction of movement of the computer mouse. Mouse sensitivity can be measured in mickeys per inch.

Sheppey is known to be used as a measure of distance equal to about 7⁄8 of a mile (1.4 km), and is thought to be as the closest distance at which sheep remain picturesque.

Barn is a type of measurement used by nuclear physicists for extremely small distances.

You heard about horsepower, now get ready for donkeypower! It is known as one third of horsepower.

Friedman is used as a unit of measurement for a span of time measuring 6 months into the future. It was named after columnist Thomas Friedman in reference to Iraq’s future.

Kardashian is used as a measurement for exactly 72 days of marriage. Any marriage that’s longer than 72 days tops Kardashian.

The mathematician John von Neumann decided that the term microcentury would be used as the maximum length of a lecture. One microcentury is 52 minutes and 35.69 seconds.

Helen of Troy was always referred to as “the face that launched a thousand ships”. From that comes the term Helen which is used as a unit of measurement for the amount of beauty required to launch a thousand ship.

Puppy is thought to be the universal unit of happiness where 1 puppy is the quantity of happiness that a one kilogram beagle puppy whose body temperature is 310 kelvins produces when held in skin contact for one second.

As a humorous tribute to Carl Sagan and his association with the catchphrase “billions and billions”, a sagan has been defined as a large quantity of anything.

In the sport of baseball, the Altuve is an informal measurement of the distance of home runs equal to 5 feet 5 inches or 1.65 m. This is a reference to Houston Astros player José Altuve, who stands 5 feet 5 inches tall, making him one of the shortest players in Major League Baseball

The Smoot is a unit of length, defined as the height in 1958 of Oliver R. Smoot, who later became the Chairman of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and then the president of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The unit is used to measure the length of the Harvard Bridge. Canonically, and originally, in 1958 when Smoot was a Lambda Chi Alpha pledge at MIT (class of 1962), the bridge was measured to be 364.4 Smoots, plus or minus one ear, using Mr. Smoot himself as a ruler. At the time, Smoot was 5 feet, 7 inches, or 170 cm, tall. Google Earth and Google Calculator include the smoot as a unit of measurement.

A Wiffle, also referred to as a WAM for Wiffle (ball) Assisted Measurement, is 89 millimeters (3.5 inches) in diameter (the variety of Wiffle Ball the same size as the 11″ circumference variety of softball). It is frequently used by marine biologists as a size reference in photos to measure corals and other objects. The spherical shape makes it omnidirectional and perfect for taking a speedy measurement, and the open design also allows it to avoid being crushed by the intense water pressure. Wiffle balls are a much cheaper alternative to using two reference lasers, which often pass straight through gaps in thin corals.

Pirate Ninja
Pirate Ninjas are defined as kilowatt hours per sol; that is, one kilowatt hour per sol is one pirate ninja. The Martian book and movie author Andy Weir revealed in a 2015 interview that the Curiosity rover team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory references milli-Pirate-Ninjas in their meetings.

A jiffy is a unit of time used in computer operating systems, being the interval of time between system timer interrupts. This interval varies from system to system, but is typically between 1 and 10 milliseconds.

In nuclear physics, a shake is 10 nanoseconds, the approximate time for a generation within a nuclear chain reaction. The term comes from the expression “two shakes of a lamb’s tail”, meaning quickly.

A Zuckerman is a unit for significance worth a third of a sigma and humorously used by older radioastronomers. It is named after astronomer Benjamin Zuckerman, who was known in his early years for his often optimistic view of early detections.

The unit of bogosity, i.e. how bogus a person, claim, or proceeding is, derived from the fictional field of Quantum Bogodynamics, is the Lenat. The Lenat is seldom used, as it is understood that it is too large for normal conversation. Its most common form is the microLenat.

A MegaFonzie is a fictional unit of measurement of an object’s coolness invented by Professor Farnsworth in the Futurama episode, “Bender Should Not Be Allowed on TV.” A ‘Fonzie’ is about the amount of coolness inherent in the Happy Days character Fonzie.

During WWII, scientists working for the British Department of Miscellaneous Weapons Development encountered a particularly obstructive Royal Navy officer called Commander Pouter, for whom the unit of Obstruction was named, due to his implacable opposition to any work being carried out in the field for which he was personally responsible.

Subsequently, the micropouter was used, as it was hoped that no individual of a similarly difficult disposition would be encountered, and the pouter was too large a unit for everyday use.

The Lovelace (Ll) is the unit of the lack of quality of an operating system, i.e., a measure of system administrators’ opinions about how badly implemented it is. The unit has been coined by members of the system administrator profession who hold a basic tenet that “software that does not suck does not exist”. According to the Usenet alt.sysadmin.recovery FAQ, one Lovelace is considered a rather large quantity. Similar to other large units like the Farad and the Henry, SI prefixes are commonly used to denote practical quantities.

This is a unit of fame or hype, derived from Andy Warhol’s dictum “everyone will be world-famous for fifteen minutes”. It represents, naturally, fifteen minutes of fame. Some multiples are:

1 kilowarhol — famous for 15,000 minutes, or 10.42 days. A sort of metric “nine-day wonder”.
1 megawarhol — famous for 15 million minutes, or 28.5 years.
First used by Cullen Murphy in 1997.

Also used simply as meaning 15 minutes; as the Warhol worm, that could infect all vulnerable machines on the entire Internet in 15 minutes or less.

The canard is a unit of quackery created by Andy Lewis in the need for a fractional fruitloopery index measuring pseudoscience. It is proposed as an SI Unit to replace the old “Crackpot Index” that was presented in 1998.

“Quack words include ‘energy’, ‘holistic’, ‘vibrations’, ‘magnetic healing’, ‘quantum’. These words are usually borrowed from physics and used to promote dubious health claims.”
It scores on a scale from 0 to 10 the quantity of quackery used.

The Wheaton is a measurement of Twitter followers relative to celebrity Wil Wheaton. The measurement was standardized when Wil Wheaton achieved half a million Twitter followers, with the effect that Wil Wheaton now has 5.92 Wheatons himself, as of January 2016. As many Twitter users have fewer than one million followers, the milliwheaton (500 followers) is more commonly used.

The Garn is a unit used by NASA to measure seasickness and travel sickness caused by space adaptation syndrome. It is named after Senator Jake Garn who was frequently sick during tests. A score of one Garn means the sufferer is completely incapacitated.

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