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Measuring length: golden statue

Measure an object with same-size length units that span it with no gaps or overlaps. Created by Sal Khan.

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Video transcript

- Hello, your Majesty, what can I help you with? Oh Sal, I have such an emergency. I have commissioned a gold statue of my father's head, and I'm not sure if it's the right size. Oh, well what is the right size? Well as you know, in our kingdom we have a tradition of measuring things in terms of blue fuzzy squares. Yep, I'm aware of that. I also like to measure things in terms of blue fuzzy squares. And by law, all gold statues in our kingdom have to be exactly four blue fuzzy squares tall. Okay, that seems like a reasonable law. So what's the issue? Well I'm not sure if this statue is four blue fuzzy squares tall. Well okay, let's calm down. I think we can work through this. I have a bunch of blue fuzzy squares here. Why don't we put them next to the statue and see if we are exactly four blue fuzzy squares tall. Oh, that would be just wonderful. Here you go, here you go, your Highness. Why don't you stack them up? Oh so let me do this, okay. So that's one, two, and three blue fuzz-- Oh my God, this is an emergency! This is only three blue fuzzy squares tall! It is not tall enough! Oh no, what am I going to do? Oh wait, hold on, hold on. I don't think you have to panic just yet because when I look at how you stacked them up, and it's actually quite amazing because you somehow made these blue fuzzy squares levitate. Oh, of course, all blue fuzzy squares need to levitate. Okay, well yeah, that's neat. But if you really wanted to measure, you need to make sure that you don't have any gaps over here. So why don't you try again? So let's take these blue fuzzy squares out, and why don't you try to measure again. Oh, okay, now that makes all the sense in the world. Okay, so let me try again. So that's one, two, notice I'm not letting them, no gaps here. Yep, yep, okay, although it's already, well-- Well let me keep going Sal, stop interrupting me. Okay, okay, keep going, your Highness. Three, four, and five. Oh no, oh no, no, no, this is all wrong! It's going to be a disaster! It needs to be four, not five blue fuzzy squares tall! Wait, wait, your Highness, don't panic yet. I don't think this is quite right because you didn't start at the bottom of the statue, you started below the bottom of the statue, and you didn't end at the top of the statue, you ended above the top of the statue. So it isn't five blue fuzzy squares tall. Oh Sal, I'm just so confused. Can you just do it for me? Well I think it's better if you do it yourself. Just keep it in mind, start measuring at the bottom of the statue, and stop measuring at the top of the statue. Just make sure that you don't have any spaces in between. Okay, I'm getting tired, but I'll give it one last try. Yeah, I think that's a good idea. It's always about making a good effort on things. Okay, here I go. This is the bottom, so I'll start stacking there. This is the top, so I will stop stacking there. Okay, one, two, and I don't want any gaps, so two, three, and four. Oh, it actually looks just about right. It looks just about right. We are exactly four blue fuzzy squares tall. Oh this is just going to be a wonderful addition to the palace. Thank you so much. Well I'm glad to help you, your Highness.