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Odd units

Small and silly, I know, but a recent slashdot poll amused me.


  • What percentage of the circumference of Terra are you right now from where you were born?
Right now, according to GMaps, I am about 1291 miles as the crow flies (1476 miles by road) from my birthplace of the Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, Texas. Terra's circumference is 24901 miles (at the equator), making my present distance in Haverford a bit over 5%.

I hereby dub that unit the Prefect, in reference to Douglas Adams' idea that in extreme moments of stress, the distance beings are from their homeland potentially gives those nearby a feeling of how distant/vulnerable they are feeling (Ford Prefect likely being the first alien to ever give someone an impression that was very noticable). A prefect will be 1 earth-circumference, a centiPrefect will be 1% of that, or roughly 249 miles.

I am 5.2 centiPrefects from my birthplace.

(This is considerably more concrete and convertable than the standard measure of 80s-ness of something, the milliLauper; as noted, the Lauper itself is too large a unit to practically measure with)


At this instant: 60 microPrefects
When I'm at home, and not visiting my family: 1.5 centiPrefects
Furthest from my birthplace I've lived: 8.58 centiPrefects
Furthest from my birthplace I've ever travelled: something like 28 centiPrefects.

Edited at 2011-12-25 05:17 am (UTC)
10 centiprefects; about as far as i can get without leaving the country (or, well, going to maine).

the speed of light is 7.48 prefects per second.
Don't be silly -- everyone knows that the SI base unit for 80s measurement is the the Eurythmeter!

Beef out!
With the metric as it is, no human can ever reach one Prefect (with the exception of future humans and those who have visited Luna). Somehow that seems right.