Every plant at the BBG has an “accession number, which has information about the year the plant arrived at the garden and what number plant it was that year (e.g., the 1st to arrive, the 17th, the 641st). So which plant is 890641? The Large-Flowered Magnolia or the Climbing Hemp Vine?


This Book is the Property of:

I came across this label in a classroom book the other day. Anyone old enough to remember school textbooks probably remembers these labels affixed to the inside flap:

I remember that we defaced that label wth extreme prejudice, although I cannot recall the exact phrases we invariably used…Maybe something like State: Mental; Province (can’t recall); County: Jail; Parish (can’t recall), etc.

I am curious as to the origin of the label. Why these categories and not others, such as “school number” or “name?

New unit of measurement

I just had a brilliant idea for a new unit of measurement: the “covid.” And how big is the covid? You guessed it, six feet long.

“Hey Bob, I just hit a jump shot from two covids away.”

“That is great Mary. Did I tell you my new livingroom is four covids in length?”

Ad nauseum.

1 covid = 6 feet

Metric conversion, 2020

By this time, most conversions between metric units (grams, etc) and regular, i.e., American standard, units (ounces, etc) are pretty well established.

So how is it that Trader Joe’s and Urban Meadow’s brands have different conversions?

This can of TJ beans and this can of Urban Meadow Beans have the same serving size (130 grams) yet different cup amounts! TJ converts 130 grams into 3/4 cup, while UM converts 130 grams into 1/2 cup. That is a difference of 50%!

So which is correct? It is not so simple. According to this online-calculator.org, 130 grams equals .55 cups of water, which is very close to the 1/2 cup mark, but only .38 cups of honey and over a cup of flour.

And what about canned beans?

According the the USDA , 1/2 cup of kidney beans is only 117 grams (not 130)

And according to the Bush’s, the venerable baked beans company, 1/2 cup is 130 grams.

What do you think? Have you seen confusion when it comes to bean serving size conversion?


If there is a millipede and a centipede, shouldn’t there be a decipede? And how would you measure it?

I’ll tell you how: using this R316-30 metric ruler that has decimeters!

Thank you, Wescott, for fulfilling my dream of using a decimeter stick.

Certificate of Occupancy

From 1958 comes this Certificate of Occupancy statement. Every school had one posted somewhere.

Notice the different quotas for males versus females in shop classes versus in home economics!

It is amazing to think that for 60 years this particular document has not been touched….


Here are close-ups.

Gray vs Grey

As a follow up my Black and White vs White and Black Google image search comparison, I decided to do a “gray vs grey” Google image search comparison. Here are the results:


Search filters that showed up include:

  • silver
  • titanium
  • pewter
  • aesthetic
  • charcoal
  • metallic;
  • dark; and
  • transparent.

I spy “Whistler’s Mother.”

Compare this to a search for “grey” (the British spelling of the word):

Search filters that showed up include:

  • charcoal
  • shades
  • solid
  • ash
  • metallic
  • aesthetic
  • steel; and
  • medium.

I spy a wolf.

Try this comparison yourself, and tell me what filters you found.

Black and White and Black

I was thinking about Google searches. I searched for “Black and White” and “White and Black.” Look at the different suggestions? filters? that Google adds to the search bar.

“Black and White” image filters:

  • woman
  • baby
  • instagram
  • snapchat
  • trippy
  • photoshoot
  • cityscape
  • reflection
  • etc


“White and Black” image filters

  • abstract
  • love
  • romantic
  • clipart
  • rose
  • radha krishna
  • pattern
  • background
  • etc

There was some overlap in the images, though.

Useful Information, Chart 5

Product: Tops Marble Composition Book, 7.5 X 9.75 Inches, College Rule, 100 Sheets, White (63796)

Sold by: Tops Products

Cost: out of stock everywhere

I saw this composition book for sale for $8.00. Crazy right? Except this chart really does happen to have Useful Information. It has fractions (and decimals and percents). And temperature conversion. And is written in clear English. For example, under Metric Unit Conversion, the column reads “When You Know: ________ Multiply By: ________ To Find: ________”.

What I do not see are roods (square measure), scruples (Apothecaries’ weight), reams (paper measure), grains (troy weight), or knots (miscellaneous measures). It is also the only chart to include “mass.”

Hidden Highlights

  • 1 hectare = 2.471 acres
  • To write a decimal for a percent, move the decimal point two places to the left. Omit the percent sign;
  • To convert Celsius to Fahrenheit: mutiply by 9, divide by 5 and then add 32.


Metric Unit Conversions (Length and Distance; Surface or Area; Volume and Capacity [Liquid]; Weight and Mass; Termperature)


Decimals and Percents

Multiplication Chart

Useful Information, Chart 4

Product: Staples Graph Composition Book, 9.75 X 7.5 Graph Paper Notebook, Black (not marbled – ed)

Sold by: Staples

cost: $2.00

This Useful Information chart is on the inside back cover of a graph paper composition notebook. The cover is not the typical marble design. Right away I see some cool icons and graphics…the other Useful Information charts 1-3 have only text. Also, this one has a 3-inch ruler! The content is much the same as chart 2.

Hidden Highlights

  • an acre measures ~209 feet on each side
  • A perch of stone is 16 1/2 feet long, by 1 1/2 feet wide, by 1 foot high. (I would call this a low wall, but what do I know?)


Conversion Tables (length, capacity, weight; metric to American standard)

Multiplication Table

Table of Time Measure

Table of Dry Measure

Table of Liquid Measure

Table of Paper Measure

Table of Linear Measure

Miscellaneous Measures

Table of Cubic Measure

Table of Avoirdupois Weight (pounds and ounces: what we use in America)

Table of Troy Weight (for gold, silver, precious metals)

Table of Circular Measure

Table of Apothecaries’ Weight (for medicines)

Table of Surface Measure (as opposed to Square measure)

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March 2023