Avast, Matey!

The Washington Post recently ran a story telling how some Caribbean pirates, (the author’s anti-Anglo-Saxon characterization, they were actually a British letter-of-marque privateer), prevented the United States from adopting the metric system in 1793, when the French scientist sent to convince Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson to abandon the still current system of measurements was captured by the British when his ship was blown off course. To think that a simple Atlantic storm has saved us from having mid-summer heat waves with temperatures in the mid-thirties.

French scientists considered that
Old measures were passé
And anyone who used them were
Horribly déclassé
And so they took new measurements
And promptly got them wrong
The meter was a little off
Just like an off key song
But thanks to British privateers
We had a piece of luck
We kept our feet and inches while
The rest of them were stuck
With millimeters and the likes
Of liters, centigrade
Where people sweat in summer heat
Of thirty in the shade

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