In 1875, the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (Bureau International des Poids et Mesures) was created on May 20th in Paris.2. It was here that 17 nations created the Meter Convention and the Metric System was born and adopted, so today is Weights and Measures Day. The metric system makes sense. It makes so much sense that all but a few countries have adopted it for their weights and measures. Even in the USA, all science is done in metric, yet you need to drive in miles and directions are given in yards. Very confusing for Canadians driving south of the border. We are forever turning too soon, and driving too slow, but we do get there eventually. "Just you wait, Henry Higgins," we'll get there.
As the song goes, "Next week on the twentieth of May, da-da-da-da-da-da-DA,
I proclaim Eliza Doolittle Day!" - and so, the 20th of May is thus Eliza Doolittle Day. I'm not entirely sure how to celebrate this one... put marbles in your mouth and recite Shakespeare's Sonnets?
Shakespeare's Sonnets were first published on May 20th in 1609 by Thomas Thorpe. There is speculation that perhaps the book was published not from the original manuscript, but perhaps one obtained by less ethical means. I have several versions of Shakespeare's work - both plays and sonnets, but I can't help but wonder how much an original copy of the sonnets would be worth. Thousands? Hundreds of thousands? Millions? Could an original copy make me a millionaire just in time for Be a Millionaire Day? Since one kilogram is bigger than one pound - we should measure wealth in metric - it's worth more.
1. CINW Montreal website
2. International Bureau of Weights and Measures website.