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Sep 18, 2019 - 8:53:06 AM
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mander

USA

3776 posts since 10/7/2007

Having spent the last several minutes of my extremely value time :-) reaming out Metric holes to fit Imperial rods, I have to say, I think it is high time that a certain "progressive" nation finally admits, we are not the only country on the planet and it is high time we get in step with the rest of the world!

I shall miss the oddities and quirks of the quaint Imperial system, almost as much as I miss.... pet rocks? 8 track tapes? swallowing goldfish?

What is the deal? We were going to go metric back when I was in like, I don't know, 5th grade? What is it going to take? An act of congress? Oh wait. Yeah. It will. Never mind.

Sep 18, 2019 - 9:01:29 AM
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chuckv97

Canada

43330 posts since 10/5/2013
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Sort of like universal health care - if Americans didn’t think of it first, they won’t do it. (ok, I’ll duck now)

Sep 18, 2019 - 9:06:35 AM
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242 posts since 9/21/2018

There are two kinds of countries: those who use the metric system, and those who walked on the moon.

Sep 18, 2019 - 9:13:23 AM
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Owen

Canada

4056 posts since 6/5/2011

 
Originally posted by mander

    .... get in step with the rest of the world! 

...careful there, Mander.... that looks like USA bashing to me.  

Edit: At the moment I'm too lazy to "look it up," but I wonder whether or not the US space program operated in the metric system.  ... because of, or in spite of??

Edited by - Owen on 09/18/2019 09:19:06

Sep 18, 2019 - 9:42:51 AM
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114 posts since 3/26/2015

I have a degree in Mathematics. Sat through numerous science classes. Metrics are are used much more frequently in the math/science community but good old feet,inches, miles, gallons, cups has worked well for me. If you like metrics use them. If not don't. Just know that in US we live in a world of both.That may be the/ an advantage. Don't know but I am with you Moose.

Sep 18, 2019 - 9:52:46 AM
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Tobus

USA

1938 posts since 11/17/2015

You can have my feet and inches when you pry them from my cold, dead hands.

Sep 18, 2019 - 9:53:33 AM
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Brian T

Canada

15662 posts since 6/5/2008

Being fluent in a second language is desirable. Go for it.
The Systeme Internationale metric system is founded upon units that no government can diddle with.

I was living in Australia when they began the switch (decimal currency then temperatures).
Nobody got their knickers in a twist.

Sep 18, 2019 - 9:58:47 AM
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242 posts since 9/21/2018

I teach robotics and engineering to middle school students, and I have them use metric measurements most of the time.

Sep 18, 2019 - 10:03:16 AM
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chuckv97

Canada

43330 posts since 10/5/2013
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The truck weigh station in Coutts , Alberta, 1/8 mile from the border, is jointly-shared with Montana. When traveling into the U.S. you have to cross the scale ; but the read-out is in kilograms, not pounds... duh.  Weight limits are different in Canada than the U.S., so us Canuckleheads have to convert kg to lbs.

(oh, and btw, our minutes and hours are in metric, so our allowed drive time is longer per day..... ;-)

Edited by - chuckv97 on 09/18/2019 10:09:44

Sep 18, 2019 - 10:12:52 AM
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Mooooo

USA

7116 posts since 8/20/2016

When the world realizes that the decimal counting system is random and silly, they will have to reset the measurements when we all go Dozenal anyway. The US is just waiting for the inevitable before making a change that will effect everything.

...and by the way..."Universal Measurements" seems to imply that people outside of our planet use this system, and every other planet in every galaxy in the universe uses it. I doubt anyone outside the solar system uses the metric system. Most civilizations use the Marklar system of measurements, and they won't listen to any marklar from all of you Marklars, so take your metric hubris and store it in your marklar hole. Marklar!

Sep 18, 2019 - 10:50:09 AM
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1826 posts since 1/16/2010

quote:
Originally posted by Moose_Roberts

There are two kinds of countries: those who use the metric system, and those who walked on the moon.


That was awesome Moose! 

Years ago when I was in the US Navy, they sent me to sea on an Australian diesel submarine for a month...a sailor exchange thingy. The Australians that rode our boat showed up and had a red carpet rolled out for them along with a great welcoming presentation, were escorted down to berthing and given a clean bunk and personal space for storage. They spent the whole time watching movies and playing games, eating and sleeping, showering. 

Now when I showed up on the pier alongside the Australian boat...nobody knew who I was or why I was there. Once they determined that I was going to sea with them...they gave me some blankets to make a pallet on the deck in the torpedo room, showed me the machinery I would be operating while standing watch, gave me a quick run down on the tools I would be using to repair various pieces of equipment and gear while out to sea with them. Wasnt no "free ride" on that boat, I earned my keep, standing watch and making constant repairs to keep the boat underway..covered in grease, slime, muck....good times! 

Funny thing about it...one day helping them change out the membrane filters on their reverse osmosis plant...which I had never even seen one before...I'm elbows deep into this thing and I holler to one of the guys, "Toss me a 3/8" drive ratchet with a 1/2" socket, buddy!" They all looked at me like I was speaking another language. I said it again, and they frowned...then tossed a tool at me and hit me right in the side of the head with it....followed by a "Here's a number 12 dog-bone ya dull bludger...we dont use those "yank" measurements here...ya dopey yank!" I laughed it off. Still makes me smile when I think about it years later. 

Dow

Sep 18, 2019 - 10:58:39 AM
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DC5

USA

7102 posts since 6/30/2015

quote:
Originally posted by Moose_Roberts

There are two kinds of countries: those who use the metric system, and those who walked on the moon.


Then again, the ones who walked on the moon missed Mars due to a metric/U.S conversion error and lost a multi-million dollar space ship.

Sep 18, 2019 - 10:59:46 AM

2192 posts since 4/29/2012

quote:
Originally posted by Mooooo

 I doubt anyone outside the solar system uses the metric system. Most civilizations use the Marklar system of measurements, and they won't listen to any marklar from all of you Marklars, so take your metric hubris and store it in your marklar hole. Marklar!


On Mars the do use the Imperial system. Makes sense to them as they have 12 fingers and 16 toes. Why it makes sense to you is a different matter.

Edited by - AndrewD on 09/18/2019 11:01:55

Sep 18, 2019 - 11:10:16 AM

Tobus

USA

1938 posts since 11/17/2015

In all seriousness, the reason feet and inches make more sense to people is because any system that's based on 12 is more user-friendly than one based on 10. For example, cut a big pizza into 10 slices and then try to divide it evenly amongst 3 people. Or 4 people. But cut that pizza into 12 slizes and it's easily done. 12 can be divided by 2, 3, 4, and 6 with integer results. Where 10 can only give you integers when divided by 2 and 5. This makes feet and inches very intuitive for people, although the fact that inches themselves are divided into sixteenths really messes it up. We should have stuck with twelfths.

And fractions give us a more accurate result than decimals with infinite repeating numbers. For example, 2/3 is a more accurate expression than 0.667.

Sep 18, 2019 - 11:10:42 AM
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DC5

USA

7102 posts since 6/30/2015

Why are we practically the only country that still has a paper $1.00 bill too. Sometimes our stubbornness and arrogance is a good thing, and sometimes it just plain don't make sense. I had to buy metric tools 50 years ago when I started riding motorcycles. Very quickly found them to be so much easier to deal with than fractions. Was applauding the change over during the late '70s, then watched it all fall apart during the '80s, at a cost of millions of $$. Could never figure out why we never started to switch again. It costs billions in foreign trade, and everything coming into the country is S.I..

Sep 18, 2019 - 11:26:49 AM
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Owen

Canada

4056 posts since 6/5/2011

quote:
Originally posted by Tobus

In all seriousness, the reason feet and inches make more sense to people is because any system that's based on 12 is more user-friendly than one based on 10. For example, cut a big pizza into 10 slices and then try to divide it evenly amongst 3 people. Or 4 people. But cut that pizza into 12 slizes and it's easily done. 12 can be divided by 2, 3, 4, and 6 with integer results. Where 10 can only give you integers when divided by 2 and 5. This makes feet and inches very intuitive for people, although the fact that inches themselves are divided into sixteenths really messes it up. We should have stuck with twelfths.

And fractions give us a more accurate result than decimals with infinite repeating numbers. For example, 2/3 is a more accurate expression than 0.667.


Tobin, in all seriousness, why didn't you pick cutting the pizza into twelve to  "easily"  feed 5 or 7 people?

Years ago I worked on a construction crew where one of the guys had some difficulty with the names for fractional measurements.  He was fine with 1/4"  ... 1/8" was "a little one"  ... and 1/16" was "a little wee one."       So the board might have to be cut at "8 feet,   7 and 1/4 inches and one little wee one."  No problems once the rest of the crew was clued in.

Sep 18, 2019 - 12:13:06 PM
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14292 posts since 12/2/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Tobus

For example, cut a big pizza into 10 slices and then try to divide it evenly amongst 3 people. Or 4 people. But cut that pizza into 12 slizes and it's easily done.


Reminds me of the last time I ordered a pizza. They asked me whether I wanted it cut into four pieces or eight. I told them four, on the grounds that I could never eat eight pieces.

And I'll switch to the metric system when the empire that usedta prevail here makes a similar commitment to driving on the same side of the road that most of the rest of the world does.

Sep 18, 2019 - 12:26:49 PM
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2192 posts since 4/29/2012

quote:
Originally posted by DC5

Why are we practically the only country that still has a paper $1.00 bill too. ...


It's not the value of your smallest note that pisses me off when I'm in the States. It's the fact that they are  the same size and about the same colour as much more valuable notes  What do the visually impaired do ? Most other countries I've been in have bigger notes for higher values and different colours for different values. 

Sep 18, 2019 - 12:26:58 PM
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8890 posts since 2/22/2007

I can step off twenty feet or stride twenty yards and be pretty close to accurate. I can get a working figure of inches by using digits, etc. Early measurements were based upon the human body and even with individual variation that still works well for "a general idea". For precision work we should go metric, but I can't do it alone. If everything came labeled in metric units and we changed our speed limit signs and speedometers then I could adapt but I do not want to deal with dual systems.

But when I order English Ale, I want a proper pint, dammit! 330 milliliters does not get it!

Sep 18, 2019 - 12:27:15 PM
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8914 posts since 1/15/2005
Online Now

Anybody ever tried to work on an Austin Healy? If so, tell me what kind of tools you used. I'll give you a clue and tell you they ain't metric!

Sep 18, 2019 - 12:29:13 PM
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Brian T

Canada

15662 posts since 6/5/2008

The metric system is called Systeme Internationale." Nothing universal about it with aliens and turnips.
It is founded in basic materials like the properties of hydrogen gas ( commonly found throughout the Universe.)

The scale is based on factors of 10 or 1/10, depending on which way you're going.
Pretty close match to the normal number of fingers and toes on a human, too.
The system uses people's names to get away from the arrogance of using english words for the units.

Sep 18, 2019 - 12:38:02 PM
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52298 posts since 12/14/2005
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by Tobus

You can have my feet and inches when you pry them from my cold, dead hands.


You can have my feet when you cut them from my cold, dead legs!

As I grow older, being tall enough to be allowed to play tackle football with the BIG kids doesn't seem all that important any more, so, take a few inches if you must.

And if you have a quick, painless way to take a few inches from AROUND me, oh, please feel free to do so.

Sep 18, 2019 - 12:43:31 PM

Owen

Canada

4056 posts since 6/5/2011

 
Originally posted by mike gregory

<snip> ...You can have my feet when you cut them from my cold, dead legs!   <snip>

Not quite in the same ballpark as organ donation, nevertheless.... https://www.cbc.ca/shortdocs/blog/the-story-of-the-sourtoe-cocktail-a-shot-of-whiskey-garnished-with-a-human

 

Sep 18, 2019 - 12:45:11 PM
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95 posts since 8/25/2009

To be technical, the U.S.A. has been on metric for over 60 years. When I was in high school, our physics teacher informed us that the "standard foot" was in a glass case in an air conditioned room at the National Bureau of Standards (now the National Institute of Standards and Technology) in Gaithersburg Maryland. It was the distance between two lines etched into a bar of metal alloy manufactured to not have any thermal contraction or expansion, but it was still kept in a climate controlled room. When someone needed a secondary standard foot, they took the bar out and copied it. About two or three copies later they got one they sent to the company that manufactured rulers, etc.

The handbook of mathematical formulas I got as a freshman contained a conversion factor from inches to centimeters that went across a whole page. It started 2.539... where the digit after the nine was around five or six, so I rounded up to 2.54 on my slide rule. A few years later I borrowed a friends handbook and discovered the conversion was "2.54" exactly. The U.S. Congress had decided to bring the U.S. into conformance with the metric system, so all the U.S. standards were defined in terms of metric measurements. I've always wondered where that standard foot ended up -maybe the Smithsonian.

I once used my new pocket calculator to figure out that the distance between New York and Los Angeles was about 8 miles shorter with the new mile :) But, there have been some more serious effects of changing units or standards.

I was working on a satellite tracking radar, and some of the engineers (a little older than I was) decided that the longer conversion factor (between kilometers and miles) had to be more accurate, resulting in a systemic error in measurements until it was corrected. There was also a famous instance where an Air Canada 767 ran out of fuel because the cockpit crew and the ground crew both converted fuel from kilograms to pounds, resulting in an emergency landing on an abandoned Royal Canadian Air Force air strip in Gimli, Manitoba (that happened to be the site of an amateur automobile race that day, so there were lots of rescuers on hand. :-) The airplane was jocularly called "The Gimli Glider and the Canadian postal service issued a stamp in its honor showing a 767 without any engines :)

Sep 18, 2019 - 1:05:49 PM
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donc

Canada

6005 posts since 2/9/2010

quote:
Originally posted by Moose_Roberts

There are two kinds of countries: those who use the metric system, and those who walked on the moon.


One thing to remember Moose... Your scientists at that level were quite fluent with the metric system. 

Sep 18, 2019 - 1:15:51 PM
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mander

USA

3776 posts since 10/7/2007

quote:
Originally posted by Moose_Roberts

I teach robotics and engineering to middle school students, and I have them use metric measurements most of the time.


"Most of the time" makes me think of a Ron White joke. (I shall reframe from repeating it.)

Well, gosh, I don't know now. After your earlier post, I think I'd rather you teach your kids to aim for the moon than conformity. 

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