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<   No. 3588   2017-01-10   >

1 Adam: According to GPS, we're approaching the village of Crianlarich. Might be a good place to stop for the night.
2 Adam: They have a pub big enough for 185 people!
3 Jamie: What's the population of the village?
4 Jamie: Well, the pub's plenty big enough, then. The children will all be—
4 Adam: Having a second dram of whisky around 10pm.

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Yes, Crianlarich is a real place.

Over the years I've featured quite a few obscure places in this comic. One day I shall have to make a point of visiting them all.

Apparently a dram is an actual unit with a defined measure of volume. And of mass. Or several different and mutually contradictory measures of volume and mass, as seems to be customary with these old style units of measurement. Anyway, according to the various definitions, a dram of liquid is a bit less than a teaspoonful, which is quite a small amount for a hit of Scotch whisky. Which is fine, because besides the various mutually contradictory measures of both mass and volume that are defined to be a dram, a dram is also an informal and imprecise amount used to refer to a serve of alcoholic drink such as whisky.

Imagine if they'd defined the metric units this way. A French metre is 1/40,000 the circumference of the Earth along the meridian passing through Paris, while a British metre is some 3.2% longer and an American metre is 7.78% longer. But a fluid metre is actually a measure of water temperature, corresponding to the mean sea surface temperature off the coast of Marseille in June, while the British fluid metre is a measure of amount of ale, equal to 4 and a quarter standard barrels (British beer barrels, not oil barrels or Finnish whale oil barrels, which are both different again).

Seriously, to someone who grew up with the metric system, this is exactly what those old fashioned Imperial units sound like. I still have no idea how anyone knows what an ounce is.

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My comics: Irregular Webcomic! | Darths & Droids | Eavesdropper | Planet of Hats | The Dinosaur Whiteboard | mezzacotta
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