**Furlongs**,

**Firkins**and

**Fortnights**(distance, weight, time).

- A
**furlong**is 201 meters or 220 yards. It is derived from the length of a plowed furrow in an acre of farm field. - A
**firkin**is 40 kg or 90 lbs and is based on the weight of a quarter cask of ale. - A
**fortnight**is unit of 2 weeks, or 14 days. Here at Excel Math we get paid every fortnight, and tonight is the night!

This is a British sportscar known as the Jensen FF

(but as far as I know, Jensen did not use the FFF system)

From an elementary math point of view, FFF can be used for problems that force students to focus on doing things the mathematically-correct way. The very novelty of the units makes it difficult to take short-cuts or cheat.

For example, our common measure of speed is miles per hour or km per hour. A person can walk at a pace of 3 or 4 miles per hour. In cars we are usually driving at 30, 45 or 60 mph.

In the FFF system, 1 furlong per fortnight (FpF) is the speed of a snail who has almost fallen asleep, or a very, very slow bug.

Could we convert FpF to miles per hour?

*Sure*. How?

We can start by learning the value of the equivalent units, like this:

- Hours in a fortnight = 14 days x 24 hrs/day = 336 hours/fortnight
- Furlongs per mile = 5280 feet ÷ (220 yards x 3 feet per yard) = 8 furlongs/mile
- 1 mile per hour is the same as 8 furlongs per 1/336th of a fortnight
- 1 furlong per fortnight is 1/8 mile in 336 hours = .125 ÷ 336 = .000372 miles per hour
- .000372 x (5280 x 12) = 23.6 inches in an hour

- 200 inches in a minute = 12000 inches in an hour
- 12000 ÷ 23.6 = 508 FpF

Teachers often say,

*"Now that you have learned this word or concept, can you use it in a sentence?"*Okay, I will give it a try. Here is the context:

Because there is a nice micro-brewery by our Excel Math editorial offices,

**after work**I may walk**across the street**and have a**pint**of beer.Now putting it in FFF units:

After I pick up my

**fortnightly**paycheck (.015**fortnights**from now), I will walk .5**furlongs**and drink 1/72nd of a**firkin**.*PS - Lightning Brewery - where their methods are scientific, but their goals are artistic - does NOT employ the FFF system of measures.*

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