By the seat of their pants
Canada went fully metric in the late 1970s after a phase-in process that started in 1971. But it still had its fair share of hiccups over confusion about metric versus imperial units, including a 1983 Air Canada flight running out of fuel. Air Canada had been measuring fuel in pounds for years before finally switching to kilograms.
The Boeing 767 jet, Canada's first aircraft using metric measurements, had been filled with too little fuel on that particular day. The flight, scheduled to travel from Ottawa to Edmonton, had to make an emergency landing in Gimli, Manitoba.
To make matters worse, the flaps on the plane couldn't be engaged due to the engine failure, forcing the pilots to land at a much faster speed than they should have. The New York Times explained at the time: "The entire episode produced two contradictory emotions in the aviation world. One was deep concern over how simple errors, this time in a switch to the metric system with the introduction of the Boeing 767, could come so close to producing a major disaster. The other was admiration at the skill of the pilots, whatever their role in the original errors, in putting the huge wide-body craft down safely when, without power, they would have no chance to make second landing approach."
Russell McManus was travelling to Whitianga and stopped at the Coroglen tavern for a drink. "There were two patrons in the bar and after getting into conversation with the first one I found that he had worked on the Roxburgh hydroelectric scheme in the 1950s. My parents owned a hotel in the area and he said he used to drink there. He remembered my parents and me when I was about 8 years old. The other patron was a personal friend of my grandfather and the night I was born he and my grandparents celebrated with a scotch or two. Needless to say my drink turned into more than one."
"My son was fishing alone at his local beach in Lanzarote, Canary Islands," writes Wendy Newton, of Birkenhead. "A man wandered up and they exchanged pleasantries in Spanish. The man asked my son his nationality, and he replied New Zealander. 'I'm a Kiwi too,' said the man in English. He was from Napier and, like my son, he had a Spanish wife and also lived by the Lanzarote beach."
Michael Jackson's hair caught fire at the exact middle of his life. Jackson was born August 29, 1958 and died June 25, 2009. A life of 18,565 days. Dividing that by two gets you 9283 days, making him half as old as he ever was going to be on January 27, 1984 ... the day a pyrotechnic malfunction on a Pepsi commercial shoot set his hair on fire.