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The British Standard Handful, or BSH, is a measurement of breast size. It is a pure measure of volume; issues of shape and form must be considered separately.

One BSH is defined as the amount of breast that could be held by Henry VIII's right hand. In the same way that the average foot is less than a foot in length, the 'British Standard' handful is noticeably larger than the standard British hand. This is not necessarily a bad thing — after all, being short changed is more disappointing than receiving slightly more than anticipated.

The BSH is a far more convenient unit for real world use than its metric equivalent, the cubic metre. Just as it is far easier to ask for a pint of beer than 0.568 litres, one BSH is a much more manageable quantity than 3.1*10-4m3 or 310cm3. This is one of the reasons that the imperial system remains more popular for measuring breasts (the other being that physicists have little to no use for this unit).

In its pure form, the BSH refers to the size of an unrestrained, unsupported breast in its natural state. However, with the appropriate qualifiers it can also be used in refer to apparent size after enhancements (for example, via a padded bra).

In the United States, the Britney is the more popular unit. Unfortunately, the value of the Britney fluctuates depending upon season and outfit. Nor is there a standard Britney locked in a hermetically sealed vault in Paris — this is very much a unit which can be adapted to suit the occasion rather than an objective measure.

Response to the article: British Standard Handful

As a psychologist with a insufficient, but professional, knowledge of physicists's inner workings I felt compelled to expose this truth on behalf of physicists.

A colleague who is also a physicist informed to me in an intimate communication that she was disturbed by the article on the British Standard Handful.  The following statement in particular made her feel uneasy:  "The BSH is a far more convenient unit for real world use than its metric equivalent, the cubic metre. Just as it is far easier to ask for a pint of beer than 0.568 litres, one BSH is a much more manageable quantity than 3.1*10-4m3 or 310cm3. This is one of the reasons that the imperial system remains more popular for measuring breasts (the other being that physicists have little to no use for this unit)." 

My colleague admitted (under conditions of a strict privacy disclaimer which have required me to change a number of her attributes to hide her identity) that she knew physicists who used imperical units.  The following exerpt is more or less verbatim from my conversation with her.

Physicists have long been known to wear different hats.  Sometimes they wear silly square hats with tassels, other times they wear puffy cusion like ones made of velvet or ermine type stuff.  The other hat that you don't usually see them wearing in public, unless they are extremely drunk in a bar, is the man hat.  Some physicists have actually been known to be men as well as physicists.  These rare ones use all the common measurements that men use in everyday circumstances.  But only in extremely private situations or the aformentioned pubs.  This is the only chance you get to see a true physicist using impirical units so look out for it.

 This proves conclusively that some physicists do have a use for the Standard British Handful, imperical units, silly hats, bars and other things that psychologists have long assumed were unnecessary for a physicist to develop.

I only hope, on behalf of my colleague, that this will enlighten psychologist's and improve their understanding of physicists and their  behaviour.

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