Google has a calculator and it speaks English! I was looking for an English to Metric conversion calculator this morning to try and figure out how much yarn I had in a small ball. My postal scale measures only in ounces, and I haven’t unpacked the digital kitchen scale yet after our move.

Well, I googled “ounces to grams” hoping I’d get a list of calculators, and Google came back with: 1 ounces = 28.3495231 grams… Wow! So just for fun I typed in “1.2 ounces in grams”, Google says “1.2 ounces = 34.0194277 grams.” This is really useful. OK, so I know I started with a 50 gram ball, so I tell google: “34/50,” Google says, “.68,” or 68% of the original ball.

Now because the original ball was 100 meters, I don’t need a calculator to tell me I have 68 meters left. But what if the ball was 100 yards? Well, now we find out Google has a preference for metric. If I type in “68% of 100 yards,” google says “68 percent of (100 yards) = 62.1792 meters.” So I have to say “62.1792 meters in yards” and Google returns “63.1792 meters = 69.0936133 yards.”

I like that this calculator accepts non-formulaic style questions. It’s intuitive. I didn’t have to “learn” how to use it and it’s right there in the web browser.

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