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A snazzy new health club is opening up near me. I got the flyer in the mail trying to entice me to pick up a charter membership. If you know much about me, you know I'm a devotee of water sports and daily yoga/pilates, so I thought long and hard about joining the club. After much consideration, I decided I'm not going to get a better workout swimming in an indoor pool than I do bodyboarding at the beach (though admittedly the pool has no sharks). I'd love to try kickboxing or tai bo, but the classes were just yoga and pilates. My workout routine needed a boost, though, so I went to the store and picked up some heavier dumbbells and weighted ball. The kids asked me why the weights are labeled in lbs when the unit is pounds. I didn't know the answer, so I went to Google.

I learned that 'pound' is short for 'pound weight' which was libra pondo in Latin. The libra part meant both weight or balance scales. The Latin usage was shortened to libra, which naturally was abbreviated 'lb'. We adopted the pound part from 'pondo', yet kept the abbreviation for libra. There you go... something to ponder while doing curls and bench presses.

Unit Conversion Worksheets | Constants, Prefixes, and Conversion Factors
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