Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/09/13/kilo_loses_weight/

Reference kilo shows mysterious weight loss

First Lindsay, then Nicole, now the standard unit of mass

By Joe Fay

Posted in Science, 13th September 2007 10:55 GMT

French scientists have been offered a welcome distraction from their country’s dismal rugby performance with the news that the much-loved “reference” kilo is mysteriously losing weight.

AP reports that the 118 year old “reference” kilo, which like many an inbred French aristo is kept locked up in a Chateau southwest of Paris, is 50 micrograms adrift of the average of other standard kilo weights. Many of these were made of the same materials and even at the same time as the French original.

Richard Davies, of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures admitted to the AP “We don’t really have a good hypothesis for it.”

He added, “We could obviously use a better definition.”

Well, we can suggest at least two. Even Brussels has had to admit its defeat in its battle to impose the now-flawed kilogram on the British. Surely even our Gallic cousins will have to consider its introduction as a standard world wide weight now. Or, they could take a revolutionary step and embrace El Reg’s own revolutionary system of measurement. OK, we haven’t gotten round to defining our unit of mass yet, but it’s bound to be related to a Bulgarian airbag held in vacuum.®