flagThe Legonian Imperial Measurement System

The Kingdom of Legonia was founded by explorers from the country of Merr in the year 618. Those early voyagers brought with them the Merrish system of weights and measures, which had itself been loosely inherited from the societies of antiquity. The fundamental unit of length is the foot, roughly the length of a minifigure's unshod foot. The system was eventually codified and standardized by the monarchs of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The Legonians carried the system with them as they expanded across their continent (hence the "Imperial" system), and even as the Legonians reached out to the stars.
Ruler Comparison
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Legonian distance corresponds to our own by a scale of 3:128; that is, for each 3 English feet, there are 128 Legonian feet. So, 1 Legonian foot = 9/32 inches. This happens to conviently correspond to the lines on college-ruled notebook paper.

Using this scale, 1 stud is about 1 foot 1 inch long, and the average bald minifigure is a little over 5 feet 8 inches high.

The Metric System on Legonia

 On Earth, our metric system was devised by a cadre of revolutionaries bent on obliterating anything seeming to have been devised prior to 1792. Along with outlawing the Roman calendar and banning the counting eggs by the dozen, they also stamped out the notion that things should be measured based on the proportions of the species doing the measuring. (For all their revolutionary zeal, the French metricists all got their heads chopped off anyway.)

Chexxan FlagAstonishingly, the metric system on the planet Legonia was borne amidst even more bankrupt conditions, conceived by the masterminds of the communist revolution in the country of Chexxas (pronounced CHECK-us) in 1847.

On Earth, the French made the unfortunate choice of basing the meter on a mismeasured fraction of the length of the line of longitude extending through Paris. While that idea was fraught with enough problems of its own, the Chexxian communists did even worse. They chose to base their meter on a fraction of the line of latitude at which the a measurement is to be taken. Since latitude contracts, that meant meters get shorter as one travels away from the equator. However, since meters were divided into 100 parts rather than 12, this new system of measurement was declared a great victory for the proletariat.

As one might imagine, the notion of measurement system that changes as one walks north was highly unpopular amongst the capitalist pigs dominanting the rest of the world, so the metric system was stillborn outside the communist bloc. Inside Chexxas, however, the happy workers of the PDFUFSRSC* quickly adopted the system as the Red Army swooped through the countryside, burning the old rulers and scales of the bourgeoisie as they went. (They burned the bourgeoisie too, but that is a matter for another treatise.)

* People's Democratic Federated Union of the Free Socialist Republican States of Chexxas

Overhead Crane
The clearance on this overhead gantry crane is marked as "10 m" (see enlargment). Source: Chexxian Ministry of Propaganda
This crane has a considerably lower clearance marked as "11 1/3 M." The photo was probably taken in southern Chexxas, where the meters were much shorter.

Ironically, metrics in Chexxas turned out to be a wild success. The Party bosses loved them, because angry peasant mobs marching on the capital invariably underestimated the number of kilometers they had to march, owing to the fact that the kilometers kept getting longer as they marched further north. The mobs would run out of food before they ever reached Chyrope (near the equator), making it much easier for the Red Army to massacre them on the roadside.

Meanwhile, the mafia found the metric system to be fabulous for business, as an enormous black market sprang up overnight to smuggle yardsticks and teaspoons in from Legonia, where recipies never had to be adjusted based on one's latitude.

The wisdom of metrics was also a source of great pride for the Ministry of Propaganda, which spent most of the fifties churning out photographs of smiling workers driving down superhighways while computing definite integrals with one hand to figure out how much further they had to go. Left-leaning Legonian academics frequently bemoaned the fact that Chexxians had to be able to work Calculus equations just to drive, while Legonians had only to read a simple number. If ever there were a sign of the superiority of communism, they declared, this indeed was it.

The metric system died when the Legonians overthrew communist Chexxas in 2038.

Further on in history, we find the Galactic Council has no official system of measurement. None of the member planets could agree on whose planet should be the basis for time measurements. Since time determines distance (based on the speed of light), a unified system of Galactic measurement was abandoned as hopeless.