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Old 08-11-2014, 14:44   #16
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

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Could have based on 20. fingers + toes, but insurance won't let me work with barefeet in engine rooms.
And here I've never once been in my engine rooms with shoes on.
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Old 08-11-2014, 16:18   #17
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

English units are generally intuitive as they are based on humans.
- Inch = length from tip of thumb to first joint
- Hand and Foot = obvious.
- Yard = tip of nose to outstretched hand.
- Mile = 1000 paces
- Cup = A typical amount a human will drink.

Metric is based on the properties of water and the distance from the equator to the pole.
- Meter = 1/10,000,000th of the distance from the equator to the pole
- Liter = volume of 1/100,000,000th of the distance from the equator to the pole cubed
- Gram = mass of water contained in 1/10,000,000,000th of the distance from the equator to the pole cubed.

Metric is convenient for hand calculations but the mass of 1/10,000,000 of the distance from the equator to the pole cubed...isn't very intuitive. Nor is a height of 1.6/10,000,000th of the distance from the equator to the pole very intuitive.
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Old 08-11-2014, 17:14   #18
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

It's obvious that Lars is trolling. But I find it amusing that he would calculate how "wrong" in percentages, the Sensible system is compared to metric. We could easily say that metric is wrong by those percentages: why isn't a cm an inch long? would have made better sense. But where he's really wrong is in trying to convert--if everyone did their measuring in inches and feet and didn't bother trying to convert that to metrical, there would be no need to approximate between the two.
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Old 08-11-2014, 19:27   #19
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

As a Canadian who was in school during our transition to metric, I can reasonably move between the two systems with some ease. There is no doubt Metric is far easier to work with when making any sort of calculation beyond the most basic.

For me, some measurements for me are more natural in Imperial (person height or keel lengths), and some are clearer to me in Metric (0 degrees Celsius vs 32 Fahrenheit). A cm is as useful as an inch, a meter is as good as a yard, and a litre works for quart and pints. Millimetres are far better that fractions of inches for machine bits, and km are more obvious to me than (statute) miles. However, I still think more in pounds when it comes to human and boat weights.

Neither system is inherently more "intuitive" than the other. It depends on what you've been brought up with. But there's no way you can argue Imperial is easier to work with for complex measurements or calculations than Metric. Its no accident that even in the USA, scientists have long operated in Metric.

It's only a matter of time before Liberia, Myanmar and that other hold-out country will join the rest of the modern world .
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Old 08-11-2014, 19:42   #20
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

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It's only a matter of time before Liberia, Myanmar and that other hold-out country will join the rest of the modern world .
There are a few other countries that still use that old mile standard including Canada. When will the railways there join the modern world?
From Wiki:

While most countries replaced the mile with the kilometre when switching to the International System of Units, the international mile continues to be used in some countries such as Liberia, Myanmar,[3] the United Kingdom[4] and the United States.[5] It is furthermore used in a number of countries with vastly less than a million inhabitants, most of which are US or UK territories, or have close historical ties with the US or UK: Am. Samoa,[6] Bahamas,[7] Belize,[8] British Virgin Islands,[9] Cayman Islands,[10] Dominica,[10] Falkland Islands,[11] Grenada,[12] Guam,[13] The N. Mariana Islands,[14] Samoa,[15] St. Lucia,[16] St. Vincent & The Grenadines,[17] St. Helena,[18] St. Kitts & Nevis,[19] the Turks & Caicos Islands,[20] and the U.S. Virgin Islands.[21] The mile is even encountered in Canada, though this is predominantly in rail transport and horse racing, as the roadways have been metricated since 1977.[
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Old 08-11-2014, 23:24   #21
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

Add this. Celsius means 0 degrees is the freezing temp if h2o. 100 degrees is when it gets boiling. Simple.
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Old 09-11-2014, 00:36   #22
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

Canada converted to the metric system in the mid 70s, 35 years ago. My kids learned it in school.

To this day, imperial units are still used. The rural land grid is 1 mile x 2 miles, that won't change. Houses were built with 2x4 or 2x6 studs, that won't change. Plywood is 4'x8', and that won't change.

A baby weights 6 pounds 4 ounces, and if you tell the mother that her child weighs 2835 grams no one will know what the heck that means. Same for height.

The reality is that although the metric system makes all sorts of sense, for those countries that are not on it or for many years were not on it, standards evolved that can not change, such as how buildings were built.

Even after 35 years of metrification, even after the children learned only metric in school, after all that, the imperial measurement is still referred to. In stores, legally they have to sell by the kilogram, yet all prices are marked in pound weight.

That is the market.
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Old 09-11-2014, 05:06   #23
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

Might think the diameter of the solid fuel rocket boosters of the space shuttle would be an arbitrary dimension best suited for launching into space. But no, they are really sized to fit through rail road tunnels between Utah where there were made and Florida where the space shuttle was launched.

The rail road tunnels in the US were of coarse based on the dimensions of the first railways which were developed in England. These first railways were of coarse built by the carriage makers whose craft lent itself well to this new mode of transport.

The carriage makers of course had been sizing their carriages to work on the roads that existed in England prior to the railways. The dimension for the ruts in the roads from which the carriage makers built the new railways was of coarse based on the carriages the Romans had used when the roads were first made.

So basically a key design constraint for the space shuttle was the wheel width of a Roman cart.
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Old 09-11-2014, 05:23   #24
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

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Might think the diameter of the solid fuel rocket boosters of the space shuttle would be an arbitrary dimension best suited for launching into space. But no, they are really sized to fit through rail road tunnels between Utah where there were made and Florida where the space shuttle was launched.

The rail road tunnels in the US were of coarse based on the dimensions of the first railways which were developed in England. These first railways were of coarse built by the carriage makers whose craft lent itself well to this new mode of transport.

The carriage makers of course had been sizing their carriages to work on the roads that existed in England prior to the railways. The dimension for the ruts in the roads from which the carriage makers built the new railways was of coarse based on the carriages the Romans had used when the roads were first made.

So basically a key design constraint for the space shuttle was the wheel width of a Roman cart.
You forgot the punch line.

Some roman bureaucrat determined the original with of a cart based on the width of two horses asses.

So when all is done and said the size of the space shuttle rocket boosters are based on the width of a horse's ass.
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Old 09-11-2014, 05:26   #25
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

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Canada converted to the metric system in the mid 70s, 35 years ago. My kids learned it in school.

To this day, imperial units are still used. The rural land grid is 1 mile x 2 miles, that won't change. Houses were built with 2x4 or 2x6 studs, that won't change. Plywood is 4'x8', and that won't change.

A baby weights 6 pounds 4 ounces, and if you tell the mother that her child weighs 2835 grams no one will know what the heck that means. Same for height.

The reality is that although the metric system makes all sorts of sense, for those countries that are not on it or for many years were not on it, standards evolved that can not change, such as how buildings were built.

Even after 35 years of metrification, even after the children learned only metric in school, after all that, the imperial measurement is still referred to. In stores, legally they have to sell by the kilogram, yet all prices are marked in pound weight.

That is the market.
I used to work for a state transportation department. We spent 5years converting all the plans, specifications and standards to metric....but the contractors would take the plans and convert them back to English units.

Eventually, the powers that be came to their senses.
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Old 09-11-2014, 05:28   #26
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

Americans claim to use the Imperial Measurement System, rather than the Metric one.
Yeah right, they all know what 9mm is though.
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Old 09-11-2014, 05:29   #27
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

In my former career in the underwater acoustics business I had to constantly work with scientists, commercial operators, and military from one NATO navy or another. I don't know the point at which I started preferring metric units of measurement, but it did happen. Even today, when I need to buy a new tape measure, for example, I will choose one that has both inches/feet and also millimeters on it. I'm a long time woodworker, and have built a lot of fairly complex furniture over the years. Right now I'm cutting some relacement mahogany corner mouldings for the boat. I much, much prefer working with millimeters for measuring and cutting. Trying to measure and divide 11/64's or adding a series of lengths together can be really problematic with the "old" US system.

I also plan, someday, to renumber my sets of wrenches and to engrave a new designation on them. I have found that working on my own cars, trucks, motorcycles, airplanes, and boats that I definitely need to have two complete sets of imperial and metric wrenches, sockets, allen keys, etc. And over the years, I find that I've learned to think of them in combined terms. The slight differences in similar sized wrenches, for example, can be extremely useful. Especially when working on old or corroded machinery.

Take the example of a corroded 1/2" nut that is diminished in mass by rust and wear. It's not uncommon to find that a 1/2" wrench will slip and round the remaining edges of a worn 1/2" nut. Or bolt head. BUT if you "drop down one size" to a metric 12 mm, often you can get a snug fit.
Conversely, sometimes I might need to go up a half size due to rust scale or maybe a coating.

I have wondered why someone doesn't just combine the two sets of wrenches, and renumber them according to their increasing size. And give them the appropriate numbers. So if a 5/16" socket is too loose on a nut, The next size down would actually be metric and a 7 mm. In my perfect wrench set, that might mean putting down the # 6 and picking up a #5. With #6 being 5/16" and #5 being 7mm.

THEN I could quit going back and forth from one tool box to the other.

Combine them ALL and re-label them according to increasing size.

And the same thing could be done in other areas. No reason you shouldn't be able to choose based upon increasing unit of measure, and still have the "stops" in the assortment to accomodate standard item sizes or values from years ago.

No reason a 12 oz soda or beer couldn't be still be the same size physically, to fit all those six pack coolers. No reason that allen head screws couldn't be graduated the same way, with metric and imperial intermixed according to size.
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Old 09-11-2014, 06:33   #28
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

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The metric system quickly becomes unusable if one forgets value of the multiplier of the micro, milli, deci, centi, kilo, mega, giga, hecto; and that is only the common ones, not the esoteric ones. I see many metric trained people unable to quickly comprehend even simple measurements when say given in millimetres but they were expecting centimetres.
Really? I have never had any problem memorising the multipliers since I learnt them in primary school. I have never met anybody who had problems with the difference between "centi" and "milli". They are logically and mostly self-explanatory.

Quote:
When working in fractions, 12 is a far better base than 10.
60 is even a better base. But there you have a point. It's one reason why I'm not in favour of going to a metric clock... (Even though some employers here do use a metric clock in time accounting.
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Old 09-11-2014, 06:33   #29
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

Sailing is a simple sport and in its pure form does not call for rarefied levels of calculating prowess.

I grew up in metrics but I fail to see any convenience of this particular system. I am happy with miles and degrees and fathoms.

I prefer a gallon over a liter too. Especially to measure our rhum tankage.

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Old 09-11-2014, 06:39   #30
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Re: Convenience of the metric system

I would prefer my polar tables to compute furlongs per fortnight. Who only sails for one hour at a time anyway?
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