Every weekday morning on the Keeler Show at 7:35 we play Hobika's Free Money Question of the Day. It's basically a trivia question to win $100 and we give the contestant 7-seconds to answer. Every once in a while, there's controversy around the question, like there was on Friday.

I remember as a high school student being given the question, "What weighs more? A pound of bricks or a pound of feathers?"  The answer was, a pound is a pound, so they both weigh the same. That's correct. Friday's question was a bit of a play on that simple weight question.

Here's the question: What weighs more, a pound of feathers or a pound of gold? Our contestant Patrick was given the challenge and his answer was the obvious answer: they're both the same. The buzzer went off signifying that his answer was incorrect. The correct answer was the pound of feathers weighs more than a pound of gold.

The correct answer involves a technicality. Feathers are weighed using the Avoirdupois weight measurement system, just like humans and produce. Precious metals, including gold, are weighed using the Troy measurement system. In the Troy system which is the standard for precious metals, a pound equals 12-ounces. In the Avoirdupois measurement system, a pound equals 16-ounces. When referring to gold, we refer to a pound of gold, just as we do when we refer to a pound of feathers. Because the question asked which weighed more, a pound of feathers or a pound of gold, the answer is clear. A pound of feathers weighs more.  Even though the two products use different methods or systems, they both refer to a pound to measure their weight. In this case, a pound is not always a pound, as many callers tried to explain on Friday.

I tried to come up with an analogy to help people understand and this is the best I can do. When driving in Canada, the speed limit in the city if 65. Of course, that's 65 kilometers an hour, but people simply refer to it as 65. In America, if you drive 65 through the city you're sure to get a speeding ticket. By the way, 65 in Canada is actually about 40 in the United States. That's 65 kilometers, which equals about 40 miles per hour in America.

While we're always very liberal with the answers to the Free Money Question, our decision on this question is final. A pound of feathers does weigh more than a pound of gold, by the standards set in each individual market.

 

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