Monday, January 28, 2008

A Pint's a Pound

Yesterday, I went to a blood drive, to volunteer and to give blood. It was a rockin' good time. Okay, maybe not, but it's a relatively painless way to do good, and I'd been meaning to get back to donating blood for quite some time now.

As I was leaving, I joked with the two woman checking people in that I felt lighter. Well, that left us wondering: what does a pint of blood weigh? Did I really lose weight just by donating blood? I'm not an idiot (okay, that statement may be up for debate)...I realize that you can't PERMANENTLY lose weight by donating blood. I'll drink some water, and my body will get to work replenishing those blood cells. But, did I temporarily lose weight? I highly doubted there would be any discernible difference on my scale.

Luckily, I had just happened to have weighed myself that morning. I went home, got back on the scale, and was shocked to see it registered two pounds less! Okay, that's amazing. Now I'm really curious: how much does a pint of blood weigh?

In asking around, it turns out I may be the only person on earth not to know that saying "A pint's a pound the whole world 'round". That's talking about water, a pint of which weighs one pound. Who knew?

But, I'm more OCD than that. Blood, while it may be primarily water, is not *exactly* water and therefore probably weighs a slightly different amount than water. Also, how much faith am I going to put in some random folk-ism? Is a pint really a pound, or is that just an approximation? (Turns out, a US pint weighs 1.04375 lbs).

I'm not google-impared, but I couldn't really find an answer to how much a pint of blood weighs. Thankfully, someone just as obsessive as I am, and much more weights-and-measures conversion savvy than I, calculated that a pint of blood weighs approximately 1.1 pounds. That makes sense, based on this information that blood is slightly more dense than water.

So what does this prove? First, that I'm insane enough to keep researching this...I just couldn't be happy with an answer of "oh, about a pound". Second, the fact that I lost two pounds (still off today, despite the two packs of cookies I had post-donation) I can attribute to nothing except the good karma from donating blood. Sure, a 1.1 pound loss would be explainable, but that extra 0.9 pounds I'm chalking up as a cosmic good-deed thank you. Or, you know, some random event.

Random unrelated though, What I'm Reading Edition: I just finished Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See and found it to be a thoroughly enjoyable book. Interesting, believable, engaging: All that My Sister's [idiotic] Keeper was not. I mean, it's not on my "greatest book ever" list, but I'm glad I read it and would certainly recommend it. It also spurred me to spend over an hour researching foot-binding on the internet. When TK saw what I was doing, he was relatively unfazed. It's fair to say that neither food-binding nor the weight of blood have been the first things I've obsessively researched. I think I've broken TK of being surprised by whatever odd topic is pulled up on a browser!

Now I'm reading Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami. I'm not too far into it, but am totally loving it, which is good since it's my book club selection. Only google search it has spurred so far: the surprisingly boring definition of duralumin.


KCSummertime said...

I liked Snow Flower etc. as well, though the descriptions of footbinding were so incredibly vivid that I can't get the damn image out of my head, which is disgusting.

Geoff said...

You might be interested to know, "A pint's a pound the whole world round.", is not true in England.

An Imperial pint weights 1¼ since there are 20 fluid ounces in an Imperial pint and only 16 fluid ounces in a US pint.


Anonymous said...

Great...another thing to get OCD about!