Proponents of the metric system always seem to trot out the argument that 'metric' is the choice of science, and imply that the two are always linked - as though 'metric' is more accurate, and science can't be done without 'metric'. What tosh. The two greatest scientists of all time (Darwin and Newton, if you must) didn't use 'metric' - Newton used Paris measures! It comes as a shock to some people to realise that that there are other ways than 'metric'...

**Time**

Sadly for the 'metric' folk, the second came along long before their system.

**Force**

One of the units of force in the imperial system is the Poundal - the force needed to accelerate a 1lb mass through 1 foot per second per second. A Pound-force is the force needed to accelerate a 1lb mass through the rate of gravity, i.e. 32.174 feet per second per second, or , to put it another way, is the force exerted by a 1lb weight (on earth). There are therefore 32.174 Poundals to the Pound-force. A kip is 1000 Pound-forces.

**Work/energy**

Work is defined as force x distance moved, so it comes as no suprise that a unit of work is the foot-poundal, and the related foot-pound-force. Another unit of work is the British thermal unit (Btu) which is the amount of energy needed to raise 1lb of water through 1 degree F. However, just as the calorie depends on what temperature the water is to start with, there are different Btus depending on the temperature - eg 39F, 60F. A Therm is 100000 Btus.

**Power**

The most common unit of power is the horsepower - BEWARE - there are many different horsepowers, including 'metric' ones! The one normally encountered is equivalent to 33,000 foot-pound-force/minute, in metric if you must, 745.7 Watts.