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Published: Saturday 04 July 2015

New converts
Cheap air travel - and the Internet - make the world seem smaller by the day, but there are some people who still insist on using strange measurements, funny money and unintelligible ingredients. How many millilitres are there in a shtoff, for example? What do you do when you receive calls for cilantro? And how many ouguiya, ringgints or pa'anga can you expect in exchange for 100 Ausrtalian dollars? Stumped? Not very long ago, you could expect questions like these to turn up only in television game shows and cult trivia magazines and most would find themselves in deep waters. But not anymore. Today, you do not have to thumb through heavy reference books or scratch your head for some long-forgotten formulae. All you have to do is turn on the Net. Sites such as http://www.speckdesign.com/Tools2a.html will do the dirty work for you- You can choose the kind of measurement you want to convert - weight or height for instance - and enter your figure. One click of the mouse will then convert kilogrammes to a multitude of units ranging from carats to scruples or even poods.

Cooking involves whole batches of measurements and at http://-tpeaks.com/con verier/metric. html you can convert them all at once. You can even turn a recipe for four people into a recipe for, say, seven. And if you are baffled by the names of ingredients, http://ourworld.compuserve.com. homepages/lloyd_and_anne/ ukuscook.htm makes conversions convenient for every cook with an access to the Net.

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