Almost everything we do can be measured, and in lots of ways beyond the inches, yards and seconds we normally use. We take a trip through some lesser known measurements, like siriometer, cow’s grass, and jiffy (yes, it’s an actual term!) Plus: meet the dad who built a full-size claw machine for his daughter’s 7th birthday party.

Enough Measurement Systems to Fill a Rhode Island the Size of Jupiter (Metafilter)

Science Fun Fact (ESA Science)

10 Of The Most Absurd Units Of Measurement On Earth (io9)

How long is a jiffy? (Science Focus)

Dad Builds Human Claw Machine For Daughter’s Birthday (Geekologie)

Backing Cool Weird Awesome only takes a jiffy!

Welcome to a brand new week of CWA, the show that covers a lot of ground in a short amount of time.

Almost everything we do can be measured.

The microphone stand I use to record the show is like a foot tall.

My studio is maybe 20 square feet in area.

Minutes and seconds tick by as you listen.

But of course, there are other measurements beyond the most commonly used ones.

For example, you could measure the height of my microphone in Siriometers.

Take the distance from the earth to the Sun and multiply it by a million, and that’s one Siriometer.

You can see why it doesn’t get used terribly often.

I could measure the size of the studio in cow’s grass, which is an old Irish measurement of the area of grass a cow would need for grazing.

And for time, did you know the jiffy is an actual measurement?

It’s actually several, with one of the being the length of time light takes to travel one millionth of one millionth of one millimeter.

So saying you can do something “in a jiffy” is probably overpromising.

Meanwhile, a dad on the internet must’ve done plenty of measuring to do what he did for his daughter Clara’s 7th birthday party. He built a full-size claw machine – in which the kids at the party could be the claw!

They put on a harness, hovered into a room full of toys and presents, and grabbed one as they were lowered in.

So, Clara, happy birthday, and hope your expectations for next year aren’t too high.