January 29th, 2009 by Kelly Guimont
Sometimes you find yourself in a situation where you need a good way to measure something, or need a tip on how to get something done efficiently. Generally this sort of thing is called a rule of thumb. Things that are handy, like US paper money is 6 1/8″ long so if you have to measure, it’s two bucks a foot. A deck of cards is about a 3 oz measure of meat. And there are lots more at Rules of Thumb which aims to be the most comprehensive source of Rules of Thumb on the web.
I like rules of thumb and I think it’s because my grandfather used to use them for EVERYthing. Late April was a good time to get your car worked on because the weather’s nicer so people don’t seem to treat it so urgently, plus taxes are due in the middle of April so a lot of folks don’t have the cash for it. Another favorite of mine was the temperature one: count cricket chirps for 15 seconds and then add 40 to that number and you have a pretty good idea of the temperature (in Fahrenheit) outside.
Knowing things like this can come in really handy, and it seems like a lot of that has been lost (I don’t know if anyone I know would have the faintest idea about when to get their car fixed) but it seems like something that should generally get passed on. So bookmark some reference sites and ask your grandparents or parents about their rules of thumb. Leave me your favorites below, I’m always on the lookout for more!