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#### 人类（还有乌贼）是怎么测量长度的

How People (And Squids) Measure Things

Jessi: Hi guys, I’m Jessi, and this is SciShow Kids! I’m — oh wait, we have a call coming

in! It must be The Giant Squid!

The Giant Squid: Hey Jessi!

Jessi: Hey, Squid! What are you up to?

TGS: Well, I was just thinking about coming to visit you and Squeak, so I looked at the

Google Map, and it says that you guys live almost 3000 miles away.

Jessi: Yeah, that’s right.

TGS: OK. But. So. What’s a mile?

Jessi: Oh, well, a mile is unit of measurement. It’s how people in the country where I live

measure the distance between two points.

TGS: Oh, you mean like a kilometer?

Jessi: Exactly! A mile and a kilometer are both ways to measure distance.

TGS: So, wait, how come there are two ways to measure the same thing?

Jessi: Well actually it’s because miles and kilometers are each part of two different

systems of measurement.

It’s just like how there are different languages.

Some people say “hello,” others say “hola” or “bonjour.” All of them are just ways

to say hello, just like miles and kilometers are both ways to measure distance.

So just like there are different languages, some countries have different systems of measurement.

Here in the United States, we use what’s called the Imperial System, to measure distances

in inches, feet and miles.

TGS: Hmm… “Feet” sounds like a pretty human-centric way to measure distance. What

about me in the ocean: should I be measuring my distances in “tentacles?”

Jessi: Well actually, it sounds like you’re already pretty familiar with the other major

system of measurement. It’s called the Metric System, or International System. And if you

measure things that way, then distances are measured in centimeters, meters and kilometers.

TGS: Oh yeah. I know those. That’s how my mom would measure me as I was growing up!

Or out.

Jessi: That’s right! The metric system is the most popular system of measurement, and

it’s used in almost every country on earth. And even though it’s not the official system

of measurement in the United States, it’s often used by scientists and doctors.

And you can find it other places, too.

At the store, for example. If you get a big bottle of soda at the supermarket, it might

come in a 2 liter bottle. Liters are a way to measure liquid with the metric system.

But if you get just a small can of soda, it contains 12 ounces. And ounces are a way to

measure the amount of liquid where I live.

TGS: Hey, uh, Jessi. I don’t think you should drink that much soda. It’s not good for

you. You should drink more water. I live in the water. I drink it all the time. It’s

great.

Jessi: Good advice, Squid. Now that you’ve learned a little about how people measure

things, are you going to come visit us?

TGS: It depends. What’s the food like there? Do you guys have toast? …cinnamon toast?

Jessi: Toast! Thanks for learning about units of measurement with us. See you next time!

TGS: Bye!