While playing with the unix utility 'units' one day, I stumbled across the greatest unit of measurement in the whole of the scientific community - the barn megaparsec.
What is a barn megaparsec?  It's a unit of volume measurement equal to almost exactly pi/2 teaspoons - about 1.597, to be exact.

So what's interesting about that?
A barn is a unit of cross-sectional area used by high-energy physicists to describe the size of an atom when you're trying to hit it in a particle collider.  1 barn is equal to 10^-28 square meters.  For most of us, that's terribly small, but for particle physicists, that's pretty large (easy as hitting the broad side of a barn).  A parsec, on the other hand, is a unit of distance - length, if you will.  It's equal to 3.26 lightyears, or about 3.08*10^16 meters or 1.9*10^13 miles.  A big honking long distance.

So what do we get when we put them together?  A unit of volume, of course - area by length is volume.  Imagine a long strand the size of an atom across that would stretch from here to the Andromeda galaxy.  It's the perfect blend of the world of the big and the world of the small, tied together in the world of the the everyday.

Waiting for the religious significance?
What is a strand the size of an atom and the length between galaxies, but an example of His Noodly Appendage?  And what is pi/2 teaspoons, but a good start for adding oregano or garlic to your single-serving of spaghetti?  You'll need a few barn-megaparsecs of olive oil.

The barn-megaparsec.  Proof that the Flying Spaghetti Monster loves us and wants us to be happy.  Twirl that noodle on your fork and enjoy.

Made with Nvu