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(Telegraph)   British students no longer just learning about the tools of the devil, will now know how many rods cars get to the hogshead   (telegraph.co.uk) divider line 122
    More: Spiffy, metric systems, Department for Education, maths  
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6385 clicks; posted to Main » on 09 Jan 2013 at 12:05 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-09 12:07:14 AM  
Great.  I'm sure it will do wonders for their space program.
 
2013-01-09 12:07:26 AM  
I am missing something. What is so devilish about taking measurements and using tools to do so?
 
2013-01-09 12:09:31 AM  
Of course, another great Tory "stick it to Brussels" scheme.

/"But we're reformed!", they said.
 
2013-01-09 12:11:42 AM  
They would probably express it as hogsheads per 100 rods
 
2013-01-09 12:13:38 AM  
How many stone do these hogsheads weigh.
 
2013-01-09 12:14:25 AM  
Sounds good to me.  Teach the students how many feet are in a mile etc etc and they'll soon get really good at metric.
 
2013-01-09 12:15:29 AM  
My curiosity finally reached the point where I looked it up:

1 rod = 5.5 yards Link

1 hogshead = 62.5 to 140 US gallons Link

Not the most precise units of measurement....
 
2013-01-09 12:20:43 AM  

harrydorcas: I am missing something. What is so devilish about taking measurements and using tools to do so?



Well, they already have the metric system. Why confuse the kids by teaching other units too? What's the point?
 
2013-01-09 12:22:32 AM  
Actually we measure height in meters. We seriously need to ditch imperial. I buy diesel in liters but my car tells me how many MPG I get.
 
2013-01-09 12:25:09 AM  
Imperial measurements are to make a return to the classroom amid fears that children are failing to learn about pints, pounds and miles, it has emerged.

The obvious solution would be to stop using imperial measurements altogether.

Altogether: The obvious solution would be to stop using imperial measurements.

I still use pints, miles, ounces (occasionally), but there really isn't any need. The only country that uses imperial measurements is America, and even then they're different from the U.K. (or some are, like pints).
 
2013-01-09 12:27:42 AM  
My automobile gets 53 leagues to the firkin, and that's how I like it. (That's 420 leagues per hogshead if you insist.) At least it does at a steady 20 leagues per hour on the paved cart path.

/It's trouble getting it inspected. No one can read the speedometer.
 
2013-01-09 12:33:11 AM  

The Irresponsible Captain: My automobile gets 53 leagues to the firkin, and that's how I like it. (That's 420 leagues per hogshead if you insist.) At least it does at a steady 20 leagues per hour on the paved cart path.

/It's trouble getting it inspected. No one can read the speedometer.


You get 9.3 MPG?

/actually enjoying looking up these historical units of measurement and finding out about their origins.
 
2013-01-09 12:36:16 AM  
www.mscs.mu.edu
 
2013-01-09 12:36:36 AM  
I agree, but I think the argument is that it's too costly. All relevant road signs would have to be replaced. Do all cars have dual MPH/kph speedos?
 
2013-01-09 12:38:18 AM  

harrydorcas: I am missing something. What is so devilish about taking measurements and using tools to do so?


The metric system arose out of the French revolution,not a good time for French Christians...so it carries with some the baggage of that era.
 
2013-01-09 12:40:04 AM  

DeadGeek: The Irresponsible Captain: My automobile gets 53 leagues to the firkin, and that's how I like it. (That's 420 leagues per hogshead if you insist.) At least it does at a steady 20 leagues per hour on the paved cart path.

/It's trouble getting it inspected. No one can read the speedometer.

You get 9.3 MPG?

/actually enjoying looking up these historical units of measurement and finding out about their origins.


Depends on your firkin and hogshead. I use Wolfram Alpha.
 
2013-01-09 12:43:38 AM  
Why, God? Why won't this deranged system of units just die, that the beautiful Powers of Ten may replace it, and let us change units without calculators?

/meh, units...
//you do, of course, extract the scaling arguments and rewrite every problem you face in terms of dimensionless variables, right?
 
2013-01-09 12:44:37 AM  
Where you sent here by the devil?
 
2013-01-09 12:50:33 AM  

Swiss Colony: Do all cars have dual MPH/kph speedos?


In Americanada.
 
2013-01-09 12:52:58 AM  
"Ministers said that a new curriculum 'goes further' than previous documents"

lol'd a bit
 
2013-01-09 01:01:02 AM  
Yup, they'll learn 5 quarts to the gallon and all the rest.
 
2013-01-09 01:05:08 AM  

dj_blueshift: "Ministers said that a new curriculum 'goes further' than previous documents"

lol'd a bit


It's nice to see that England has their own political knuckle-draggers - "sure, the metric system is in use almost everywhere on the planet, but we fear change - make the kids learn the old system, too, damn it!"

Now, if we could just officially adopt the metric system here in the U.S. and get away from avoirdupois, I'd be happy. We're the only friggin' modern country on the planet that hasn't adopted it yet.

We're the Alabama of the measurement world.
 
2013-01-09 01:06:16 AM  

tb tibbles: harrydorcas: I am missing something. What is so devilish about taking measurements and using tools to do so?

The metric system arose out of the French revolution,not a good time for French Christians...so it carries with some the baggage of that era.


It's a shame we don't use metric units for time also.
 
2013-01-09 01:11:14 AM  

The Irresponsible Captain: /It's trouble getting it inspected. No one can read the speedometer.


I know a fellow who took his Stanley Steamer down to the emissions inspection station just to mess with their heads.
 
2013-01-09 01:15:49 AM  

Fano: tb tibbles: harrydorcas: I am missing something. What is so devilish about taking measurements and using tools to do so?

The metric system arose out of the French revolution,not a good time for French Christians...so it carries with some the baggage of that era.

It's a shame we don't use metric units for time also.


If it wasn't for the length of a year, it wouldn't be hard. There is nothing that requires a 24/60/60 sequence. You could remeasure the 24 hour day as 10 hours, 100 minutes to the hour, 100 seconds to the minute; then 10 days to the week, and 10 weeks to the month. They are all arbitrary measures. But when you got to years it would run straight into a wall (not that the current system doesn't also, but the year happens to be where this particular sequence goes off the rails). Hell, if we ever do establish non-terrestrial colonies, such a system would be infinitely better than the kludge we currently have.
 
2013-01-09 01:20:10 AM  
media.tumblr.com
 
2013-01-09 01:20:56 AM  

FormlessOne: Now, if we could just officially adopt the metric system here in the U.S. and get away from avoirdupois, I'd be happy. We're the only friggin' modern country on the planet that hasn't adopted it yet.


We tried.

I was taught in the 4th & 5th grades ( late 1970's) that we'd better learn metric because the US Government was going to "phase out" the old English system of measurements.

Obviously, that didn't go very far...

/ maybe the election in 1980 had something to do with that..
// almost every technical job I've had uses only SI units...
 
2013-01-09 01:23:36 AM  
Everybody knows why the Imperial system works better outside the research lab.

/problem is, the FARK libs think the entire natural world should be a clean, sterile, perfectly organized research lab
//then throws amazing temper tantrums whenever anyone notices that it isn't
 
2013-01-09 01:36:20 AM  

The Irresponsible Captain: My automobile gets 53 leagues to the firkin, and that's how I like it. (That's 420 leagues per hogshead if you insist.) At least it does at a steady 20 leagues per hour on the paved cart path.

/It's trouble getting it inspected. No one can read the speedometer.


My car gets 450 picoparsecs per acre-centiinch.

So there.
 
2013-01-09 01:39:24 AM  

Tatterdemalian: Everybody knows why the Imperial system works better outside the research lab.

/problem is, the FARK libs think the entire natural world should be a clean, sterile, perfectly organized research lab
//then throws amazing temper tantrums whenever anyone notices that it isn't


Thats really debatable. I find that a combination of both metric and imperial works the best for day to day life IMO. I like my fluids in liters and my short distance in feet my long distance in KM, and my measurements depend on what I am trying to build and what tools I have on hand. but screw the flexable approach, no one can rember more then one measurements system, thats just insane!
 
2013-01-09 01:39:32 AM  
: My God, Joe is running us ragged!
: Yeah, I haven't been this exhausted since I had that job as Jackée Harry's personal grocery shopper.
[Cutaway to a grocery store with Peter and Jackée Harry. Peter is holding a clipboard with shopping items listed on it, which he is reading from]
: A palette? Am-am I readin' this right? Y-You need a palette of chocolate-covered pretzels? Wh-wh-where the hell am i supposed to - a-an-an-and wh-what is this, a drum of grape jam? Is that - wh-what is that - is that like a drum like, they ship oil in? Is that - a-a-an-and wh-wh-wha - look at this one: A desk of Cheez-its. A desk - wh-where are you gettin' these units of measurements from?
Jackée Harry: Mary.
: [laughs] That is still funny. Okay you stay right here, big funny gal, i'll be right back with...
[reads from the clipboard]
: a hammock of cake.
 
2013-01-09 01:41:17 AM  
" When you get into your car, you measure petrol in miles per gallon, speed in miles per hour, road exits are in yards and the height of bridges is in feet and inches."

As long as you don't use it to measure your altitude above the martian surface, you're okay.
 
2013-01-09 01:42:11 AM  

Tatterdemalian: Everybody knows why the Imperial system works better outside the research lab.

/problem is, the FARK libs think the entire natural world should be a clean, sterile, perfectly organized research lab
//then throws amazing temper tantrums whenever anyone notices that it isn't


Yet, you, can buy drugs.
 
2013-01-09 01:42:33 AM  

Swiss Colony: I agree, but I think the argument is that it's too costly. All relevant road signs would have to be replaced. Do all cars have dual MPH/kph speedos?


In the UK, yes they do. EU law.
 
2013-01-09 01:45:03 AM  

tb tibbles: harrydorcas: I am missing something. What is so devilish about taking measurements and using tools to do so?

The metric system arose out of the French revolution,not a good time for French Christians...so it carries with some the baggage of that era.


I don't know anyone that's still bitter about it, and it's still a much more useful system.
 
2013-01-09 01:45:27 AM  

Forbidden Doughnut: the US Government was going to "phase out" the old English system of measurements.


The US laissez-faire culture and even the first Amendment make it kind of diffcult for the government to phase out Imperial units.  One major reason the rest of the world has adopted metric is their governments were able to force them.  (Another major reason was that they didn't want to be like Americans.)

Forbidden Doughnut: // almost every technical job I've had uses only SI units...


My tech job uses mostly Imperial.  Then, because integrated disciplines are all the rage now, we've come up against other people who used only metric.  They actually thought we were joking when we wrote an interface document in Fahrenheit.
 
2013-01-09 01:54:17 AM  

phalamir: Fano: tb tibbles: harrydorcas: I am missing something. What is so devilish about taking measurements and using tools to do so?

The metric system arose out of the French revolution,not a good time for French Christians...so it carries with some the baggage of that era.

It's a shame we don't use metric units for time also.

If it wasn't for the length of a year, it wouldn't be hard. There is nothing that requires a 24/60/60 sequence. You could remeasure the 24 hour day as 10 hours, 100 minutes to the hour, 100 seconds to the minute; then 10 days to the week, and 10 weeks to the month. They are all arbitrary measures. But when you got to years it would run straight into a wall (not that the current system doesn't also, but the year happens to be where this particular sequence goes off the rails). Hell, if we ever do establish non-terrestrial colonies, such a system would be infinitely better than the kludge we currently have.


True, but the month throws things off as well. It gets complicated when you try to have a calendar that's both solar and lunar.
 
2013-01-09 01:59:46 AM  

Tatterdemalian: Everybody knows why the Imperial system works better outside the research lab.

/problem is, the FARK libs think the entire natural world should be a clean, sterile, perfectly organized research lab
//then throws amazing temper tantrums whenever anyone notices that it isn't


The Imperial system has not one single advantage over metric, other than your inability/unwillingness to learn it.
 
2013-01-09 02:05:34 AM  
 
2013-01-09 02:24:50 AM  

aerojockey: Forbidden Doughnut: the US Government was going to "phase out" the old English system of measurements.

The US laissez-faire culture and even the first Amendment make it kind of diffcult for the government to phase out Imperial units.  One major reason the rest of the world has adopted metric is their governments were able to force them.  (Another major reason was that they didn't want to be like Americans.)

Forbidden Doughnut: // almost every technical job I've had uses only SI units...

My tech job uses mostly Imperial.  Then, because integrated disciplines are all the rage now, we've come up against other people who used only metric.  They actually thought we were joking when we wrote an interface document in Fahrenheit.


My job works in diopters, so everything is metric. However, in daily experience, I will say that Fahrenheit approximates temperature in a way to me that never rings true in Celsius. I prefer kelvin to it, if I have to feel temperature in a clinical way.
 
2013-01-09 02:30:52 AM  

Abacus9: phalamir: Fano: tb tibbles: harrydorcas: I am missing something. What is so devilish about taking measurements and using tools to do so?

The metric system arose out of the French revolution,not a good time for French Christians...so it carries with some the baggage of that era.

It's a shame we don't use metric units for time also.

If it wasn't for the length of a year, it wouldn't be hard. There is nothing that requires a 24/60/60 sequence. You could remeasure the 24 hour day as 10 hours, 100 minutes to the hour, 100 seconds to the minute; then 10 days to the week, and 10 weeks to the month. They are all arbitrary measures. But when you got to years it would run straight into a wall (not that the current system doesn't also, but the year happens to be where this particular sequence goes off the rails). Hell, if we ever do establish non-terrestrial colonies, such a system would be infinitely better than the kludge we currently have.

True, but the month throws things off as well. It gets complicated when you try to have a calendar that's both solar and lunar.


My point is given merit; metric time is difficult and hard to implement. You know, because it isn't how we experience time on this planet.
 
2013-01-09 02:38:09 AM  

Fano: Abacus9: phalamir: Fano: tb tibbles: harrydorcas: I am missing something. What is so devilish about taking measurements and using tools to do so?

The metric system arose out of the French revolution,not a good time for French Christians...so it carries with some the baggage of that era.

It's a shame we don't use metric units for time also.

If it wasn't for the length of a year, it wouldn't be hard. There is nothing that requires a 24/60/60 sequence. You could remeasure the 24 hour day as 10 hours, 100 minutes to the hour, 100 seconds to the minute; then 10 days to the week, and 10 weeks to the month. They are all arbitrary measures. But when you got to years it would run straight into a wall (not that the current system doesn't also, but the year happens to be where this particular sequence goes off the rails). Hell, if we ever do establish non-terrestrial colonies, such a system would be infinitely better than the kludge we currently have.

True, but the month throws things off as well. It gets complicated when you try to have a calendar that's both solar and lunar.

My point is given merit; metric time is difficult and hard to implement. You know, because it isn't how we experience time on this planet.


how we "experience" time is really irrilivent to how we mesure it though.


how many aztec baktun's have you been through lately? the experience of time is largely dicated by the society you live in. a second is nothing more then an arbitray way to mesure part of a day night cycle on a planet that hasent even had a 24 hour day for its entire existance.
 
2013-01-09 02:38:20 AM  
Waiting for an British built car with the speedometer calibrated in furlongs per fortnight.
 
2013-01-09 02:40:36 AM  

Fano: Abacus9: phalamir: Fano: tb tibbles: harrydorcas: I am missing something. What is so devilish about taking measurements and using tools to do so?

The metric system arose out of the French revolution,not a good time for French Christians...so it carries with some the baggage of that era.

It's a shame we don't use metric units for time also.

If it wasn't for the length of a year, it wouldn't be hard. There is nothing that requires a 24/60/60 sequence. You could remeasure the 24 hour day as 10 hours, 100 minutes to the hour, 100 seconds to the minute; then 10 days to the week, and 10 weeks to the month. They are all arbitrary measures. But when you got to years it would run straight into a wall (not that the current system doesn't also, but the year happens to be where this particular sequence goes off the rails). Hell, if we ever do establish non-terrestrial colonies, such a system would be infinitely better than the kludge we currently have.

True, but the month throws things off as well. It gets complicated when you try to have a calendar that's both solar and lunar.

My point is given merit; metric time is difficult and hard to implement. You know, because it isn't how we experience time on this planet.


Meh.

www.mathsisfun.com
 
2013-01-09 02:49:37 AM  

The Irresponsible Captain: My automobile gets 53 leagues to the firkin, and that's how I like it. (That's 420 leagues per hogshead if you insist.) At least it does at a steady 20 leagues per hour on the paved cart path.

/It's trouble getting it inspected. No one can read the speedometer.


So you get 0.53 fathoms to the firkin?

/200 fathoms equals 20,000 leagues under the sea
//obscure?
 
2013-01-09 02:51:16 AM  
Well, that's two nonsensical responses as to why we don't have metric time so far...
 
2013-01-09 02:58:27 AM  
They got bigger problems. All their crazy drivers are driving on the wrong side of the street!

i.telegraph.co.uk
 
2013-01-09 03:00:35 AM  

Fano: Well, that's two nonsensical responses as to why we don't have metric time so far...


Heres a better one for you. humans hate change and are willing to stick with a "good enough" solution to a problem as long as it works. Thats pretty much it .


I was more responding to your stilly statment about how we experience time. sicne the whole concept of time is a bit arbitray. not the mention the fact that the earth dident allways have a 24 hour day. that just happens to be what it roughly was/is when we decided to use it to mesure time.


not to mention the fact that an "hour" in that 24 hour day in it's self means nothing in relation to time. Its just the system our current society uses. What if the first guy to make a clock decided that it should be 10 hours in a day? Its all truely meaningless in that respect, and no one will change what allready works unless it is better or society crumbles and someone does something diffrent/new. after everyone forgets what used to work.
 
2013-01-09 03:01:13 AM  
I am British and on a visit to the US was amazed to find carpenters using tape measures that only show inches and feet. Using AutoCAD like that too. Crazy.

On the other hand, we Brits buy fuel in litres whilst economy is measured in mpg... Imperial gallons mind, not US gallons.
 
2013-01-09 03:01:21 AM  
Straight Dope Classic explains why it didn't happen in the US:

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/947/whatever-happened-to-ado p tion-of-the-metric-system-in-the-u-s
 
2013-01-09 03:02:49 AM  

Swiss Colony: I agree, but I think the argument is that it's too costly. All relevant road signs would have to be replaced. Do all cars have dual MPH/kph speedos?


Yes. For driving in Europe.
 
2013-01-09 03:09:18 AM  

opiumpoopy: Swiss Colony: I agree, but I think the argument is that it's too costly. All relevant road signs would have to be replaced. Do all cars have dual MPH/kph speedos?

In the UK, yes they do. EU law.


Cool, I knew my VW does, I wasn't sure if all cars did. It's just converting all the road signs then. I'm pretty sure the milk and beer in the supermarkets is marked as liters rather than pints
 
2013-01-09 03:10:37 AM  

bobtheallmighty: Fano: Well, that's two nonsensical responses as to why we don't have metric time so far...

Heres a better one for you. humans hate change and are willing to stick with a "good enough" solution to a problem as long as it works. Thats pretty much it .


I was more responding to your stilly statment about how we experience time. sicne the whole concept of time is a bit arbitray. not the mention the fact that the earth dident allways have a 24 hour day. that just happens to be what it roughly was/is when we decided to use it to mesure time.


not to mention the fact that an "hour" in that 24 hour day in it's self means nothing in relation to time. Its just the system our current society uses. What if the first guy to make a clock decided that it should be 10 hours in a day? Its all truely meaningless in that respect, and no one will change what allready works unless it is better or society crumbles and someone does something diffrent/new. after everyone forgets what used to work.


I am not usually that picky, but when you take a perfectly cromulent word like "itself", split it in two and add an apostrophe, even I start noticing the rest of the mistakes in there.
 
2013-01-09 03:12:43 AM  
Pert
Just saw your comment. Makes sense, but I've just spent two years living in Spain, the car I had there (Opal Zafira, also available in Blighty) only had Km/h on the speedo. Must be gnarly for Spanish, French etc who bring their cars over to England!
 
2013-01-09 03:19:37 AM  

Pert: bobtheallmighty: Fano: Well, that's two nonsensical responses as to why we don't have metric time so far...

Heres a better one for you. humans hate change and are willing to stick with a "good enough" solution to a problem as long as it works. Thats pretty much it .


I was more responding to your stilly statment about how we experience time. sicne the whole concept of time is a bit arbitray. not the mention the fact that the earth dident allways have a 24 hour day. that just happens to be what it roughly was/is when we decided to use it to mesure time.


not to mention the fact that an "hour" in that 24 hour day in it's self means nothing in relation to time. Its just the system our current society uses. What if the first guy to make a clock decided that it should be 10 hours in a day? Its all truely meaningless in that respect, and no one will change what allready works unless it is better or society crumbles and someone does something diffrent/new. after everyone forgets what used to work.

I am not usually that picky, but when you take a perfectly cromulent word like "itself", split it in two and add an apostrophe, even I start noticing the rest of the mistakes in there.


good for you, glad that keeps you entertained.
 
2013-01-09 03:29:46 AM  

Tatterdemalian: Everybody knows why the Imperial system works better outside the research lab.


Not everybody. Please explain for those who don't.
 
2013-01-09 03:31:08 AM  

Ilmarinen: Tatterdemalian: Everybody knows why the Imperial system works better outside the research lab.

Not everybody. Please explain for those who don't.


Familiarity. That is literally the *only* reason. If you were brought up on metric, you'd prefer metric. If you weren't, you wouldn't. People don't like recalibrating themselves.
 
2013-01-09 03:37:45 AM  

Ilmarinen: Tatterdemalian: Everybody knows why the Imperial system works better outside the research lab.

Not everybody. Please explain for those who don't.


What is 1/3 of a foot? 4 inches

Now, what is 1/3 of a meter? 3.3333... centimeters
 
2013-01-09 03:38:03 AM  

Ilmarinen: Tatterdemalian: Everybody knows why the Imperial system works better outside the research lab.

Not everybody. Please explain for those who don't.


I could be wrong, but you can use your body for approximations for imperial measurements. A man's foot is, well, roughly a foot. A single pace is roughly a yard (hence refs in football (soccer) pace the distance the wall has to be from a free kick). Isn't there a releationship between your thumb and an inch (width, or length from tip to first knuckle or something)?
 
2013-01-09 03:43:42 AM  

gweilo8888: Familiarity. That is literally the *only* reason. If you were brought up on metric, you'd prefer metric. If you weren't, you wouldn't. People don't like recalibrating themselves.


But surely everybody would agree that adding zeros is easier than multiplying by 5,280?
 
2013-01-09 03:52:59 AM  

nmemkha: What is 1/3 of a foot? 4 inches

Now, what is 1/3 of a meter? 3.3333... centimeters


Of course, using base 12 in everything (including counting) would be better than base 10. But changing that would be going through an incredible lot of trouble. Next best thing, let's just use the same base everywhere.

1/3 of a foot or a meter are both easy to determine if your measuring device is accurate enough.
 
2013-01-09 03:53:30 AM  

nmemkha: Ilmarinen: Tatterdemalian: Everybody knows why the Imperial system works better outside the research lab.

Not everybody. Please explain for those who don't.

What is 1/3 of a foot? 4 inches

Now, what is 1/3 of a meter? 3.3333... centimeters


what is one 10th of a foot?
 
2013-01-09 03:57:10 AM  

Swiss Colony: I could be wrong, but you can use your body for approximations for imperial measurements. A man's foot is, well, roughly a foot.


Oh so it's sexist also? Away with it!

/c'est une blague
 
2013-01-09 04:10:22 AM  

Ilmarinen: gweilo8888: Familiarity. That is literally the *only* reason. If you were brought up on metric, you'd prefer metric. If you weren't, you wouldn't. People don't like recalibrating themselves.

But surely everybody would agree that adding zeros is easier than multiplying by 5,280?


Yes, but it's not about math. Or maths, if you prefer. ;-) It's about visualization. Most people, in their daily lives, don't do a lot of multiplying, dividing, hell... a simple addition or subtraction is probably a stretch.

The only thing most people do in their daily lives with units, be they metric or imperial, is look at thing and estimate them, or occasionally measure them. They might guess how many feet it is from their car's fender (or bumper, if you prefer) to the garage wall. They might look at the trunk (or boot, if you prefer) and the box they're considering buying, and estimate them both in inches. They might even go hunt down the tape measure, and measure them both.

They might weigh themselves, and they'll want the measurement in what they're familiar with -- which is probably pounds (or stone, if you prefer. God, I hate stone -- and I'm a farking Brit by birth. But I digress.) Or maybe they'll guess how much an ounce is for a recipe. They might even make some Kool-Aid (or squash, if you prefer) and guess how much a liter is. But that's because we're funny about liters. The good folks at Coke persuaded us to understand those, somehow.

But by and large, units are about familiarity and recognition. If you were brought up with a system, you adore it and hate the other one. If you were brought up with the other one, the first one's evil instead. There's no middle ground, because it doesn't revolve around math (or maths) for most people. It revolves around simply being to visually estimate the units so you don't have to measure them properly, and do so at least vaguely accurately. And perhaps, around being able to visualize those units better in your head.

And then there's the folks like me, who were brought up on both systems, and ended up not being entirely confident visualizing either. I use both interchangeably, and I hate both. I love metric for its common-sense nature, but I can't estimate it as well. I hate imperial for its total lack of logic and neatness, but I find it slightly easier to estimate. But I despise both equally. And that's why I think this plan is a bad idea.
 
2013-01-09 04:43:53 AM  
My motorcycle (British) has the option to switch the digital speedo from mph to kph. Once, on accident, I left it on kilometers and I was terrified of getting a ticket and thought everyone else was just hauling more ass than I was. I mean, I knew something wasn't right (speed didn't match transmission), but it actually took me a while to figure it out. You know, because I'm an idiot.
 
2013-01-09 04:49:43 AM  
 
2013-01-09 04:53:01 AM  

dickfreckle: My motorcycle (British) has the option to switch the digital speedo from mph to kph. Once, on accident, I left it on kilometers and I was terrified of getting a ticket and thought everyone else was just hauling more ass than I was. I mean, I knew something wasn't right (speed didn't match transmission), but it actually took me a while to figure it out. You know, because I'm an idiot.


*looks at profile pic*

You know, I think they may have made your bike using centimeters when the directions said inches... ;-)
 
2013-01-09 05:00:59 AM  

nmemkha: They got bigger problems. All their crazy drivers are driving on the wrong side of the street!

[i.telegraph.co.uk image 620x387]


This.
I'll be driving in the UK in Feb. Anyone have any tips for this American?
 
2013-01-09 05:03:11 AM  

bobtheallmighty: nmemkha: Ilmarinen: Tatterdemalian: Everybody knows why the Imperial system works better outside the research lab.

Not everybody. Please explain for those who don't.

What is 1/3 of a foot? 4 inches

Now, what is 1/3 of a meter? 3.3333... centimeters

what is one 10th of a foot?


I don't want to be picky but 1/3 of a meter would be 33.333cm

How do you convert area measurements to fluid to weight in imperial? (water weight)

1L = 1,000mL = 100cL = 1Kg = 1,000g = 1,000cc = 1,000cm3
 
2013-01-09 05:05:16 AM  
i've got your hogs head right here...

/i am pointing at my penis
 
2013-01-09 05:10:26 AM  

punkwrestler: This.
I'll be driving in the UK in Feb. Anyone have any tips for this American?


Yes. Don't do it.

Seriously, Americans can barely drive on their own roads, let alone on unfamiliar roads, the wrong side of the road, with signposting that makes sense, with less than one acre between lanes, and with roundabouts.

But if you do try it, film it. And put it on YouTube. It'll be good. :-)
 
2013-01-09 05:18:51 AM  

gweilo8888: punkwrestler: This.
I'll be driving in the UK in Feb. Anyone have any tips for this American?

Yes. Don't do it.

Seriously, Americans can barely drive on their own roads, let alone on unfamiliar roads, the wrong side of the road, with signposting that makes sense, with less than one acre between lanes, and with roundabouts.

But if you do try it, film it. And put it on YouTube. It'll be good. :-)



They put a new roundabout in just outside where I live. It has tons of signage warning people about it, and telling them how to use it. Its so very fun to watch people atempt to use a roundabout without knowing anyhting about it though; and once everyone got used to it, it was miles better then the stop sign that was there.


csb
 
2013-01-09 05:22:37 AM  

gweilo8888: You know, I think they may have made your bike using centimeters when the directions said inches... ;-)


Those mini-bikes are hilarious to ride. It's basically a more dangerous lawnmower. Sometimes I knock neighborhood kids over the head and steal theirs, which is where the pic comes from...
 
2013-01-09 05:25:31 AM  

bobtheallmighty: They put a new roundabout in just outside where I live.


Insert obligatory unoriginal Yes reference here.
 
2013-01-09 05:27:49 AM  

gweilo8888: punkwrestler: This.
I'll be driving in the UK in Feb. Anyone have any tips for this American?

Yes. Don't do it.

Seriously, Americans can barely drive on their own roads, let alone on unfamiliar roads, the wrong side of the road, with signposting that makes sense, with less than one acre between lanes, and with roundabouts.

But if you do try it, film it. And put it on YouTube. It'll be good. :-)


Have no choice really got to goto a lot of places in different parts of England and don't want to haul my stuff everywhere I go on trains and buses. Just some of the places I have to travel to Trowbridge, Luton, Crewe, Warminster, Oxford, Wiggan, Lancaster and Kent....
 
2013-01-09 05:31:23 AM  

bobtheallmighty: gweilo8888: punkwrestler: This.
I'll be driving in the UK in Feb. Anyone have any tips for this American?

Yes. Don't do it.

Seriously, Americans can barely drive on their own roads, let alone on unfamiliar roads, the wrong side of the road, with signposting that makes sense, with less than one acre between lanes, and with roundabouts.

But if you do try it, film it. And put it on YouTube. It'll be good. :-)


They put a new roundabout in just outside where I live. It has tons of signage warning people about it, and telling them how to use it. Its so very fun to watch people atempt to use a roundabout without knowing anyhting about it though; and once everyone got used to it, it was miles better then the stop sign that was there.


csb


Roundabouts don't bother me driving on the wrong side of the road...Wellllll
 
2013-01-09 05:42:00 AM  

dickfreckle: gweilo8888: You know, I think they may have made your bike using centimeters when the directions said inches... ;-)

Those mini-bikes are hilarious to ride. It's basically a more dangerous lawnmower. Sometimes I knock neighborhood kids over the head and steal theirs, which is where the pic comes from...


A friend when I was a kid had one, but the b*&^* never let me ride it.
 
2013-01-09 05:50:29 AM  

dickfreckle: bobtheallmighty: They put a new roundabout in just outside where I live.

Insert obligatory unoriginal Yes reference here.


unless you can find something better to kill time at work (well other then working anyways, who does that?) I'm gonna be here being unoriginal just for you. that is my goal in life after all.
 
2013-01-09 06:14:59 AM  

Fano: Well, that's two nonsensical responses as to why we don't have metric time so far...


Because the advantages aren't big enough to overcome the costs (political, economic, social) of changing it.
 
2013-01-09 06:20:05 AM  

bobtheallmighty: dickfreckle: bobtheallmighty: They put a new roundabout in just outside where I live.

Insert obligatory unoriginal Yes reference here.

unless you can find something better to kill time at work (well other then working anyways, who does that?) I'm gonna be here being unoriginal just for you. that is my goal in life after all.


Lol. As for killing time on the (presumed) graveyard shift, I suggest constant masturbation. I mean, you and I both know you're out of options for entertainment. Besides, rubbing one out at work in the middle of the night is an honored tradition, only passed to select people. Do not let this tradition die.
 
2013-01-09 06:27:11 AM  
I teach (mostly) 11th graders Chemistry in the US. Shockingly few of them have a strong grasp of the metric system so I pretty much have to teach it from the ground up. After the second day of doing conversions in the metric system I switch back and make them do conversions in the imperial system (How many inches in 2.6 miles?) The overwhelming response is "Why do we still use this stupid system?"

Just make the friggin' change already!
 
2013-01-09 06:51:20 AM  

harrydorcas: I am missing something. What is so devilish about taking measurements and using tools to do so?


That's science and you should just belieeeeeive instead.
 
2013-01-09 06:56:16 AM  
Pfft, I want one that will go 300 miles on a single tank of Kerosene
 
2013-01-09 06:57:30 AM  

Burr: Pfft, I want one that will go 300 miles hectares on a single tank of Kerosene

/damnit, should have put it in H
 
2013-01-09 07:00:36 AM  

Forbidden Doughnut: FormlessOne: Now, if we could just officially adopt the metric system here in the U.S. and get away from avoirdupois, I'd be happy. We're the only friggin' modern country on the planet that hasn't adopted it yet.

We tried.

I was taught in the 4th & 5th grades ( late 1970's) that we'd better learn metric because the US Government was going to "phase out" the old English system of measurements.

Obviously, that didn't go very far...

/ maybe the election in 1980 had something to do with that..
// almost every technical job I've had uses only SI units...


I'm just old enough to remember traffic signs with dual numbering - 55mph / 88km/h, distances measured both ways, etc.

Of course, as I like to point out, the US has been Metric since our very beginning. We just use Imperial measurement names as macros for more convenient numbers to work with. (No, really - US measurements are defined as mutiples of Metric units and have been since the 1700s) I'd rather worth with thousandths of an inch than tenths or hundredths of a millimeter.

Most people I know work with both systems fluently. Funny how people joke that Americans refuse to learn a second language but then they think nothing of refusing to learn a second measuring system...
 
2013-01-09 07:02:07 AM  

KrispyKritter: : My God, Joe is running us ragged!
: Yeah, I haven't been this exhausted since I had that job as Jackée Harry's personal grocery shopper.
[Cutaway to a grocery store with Peter and Jackée Harry. Peter is holding a clipboard with shopping items listed on it, which he is reading from]
: A palette? Am-am I readin' this right? Y-You need a palette of chocolate-covered pretzels? Wh-wh-where the hell am i supposed to - a-an-an-and wh-what is this, a drum of grape jam? Is that - wh-what is that - is that like a drum like, they ship oil in? Is that - a-a-an-and wh-wh-wha - look at this one: A desk of Cheez-its. A desk - wh-where are you gettin' these units of measurements from?
Jackée Harry: Mary.
: [laughs] That is still funny. Okay you stay right here, big funny gal, i'll be right back with...
[reads from the clipboard]
: a hammock of cake.


Holy crap. it's spilled over from the banking thread!
 
2013-01-09 07:04:19 AM  

nmemkha: They got bigger problems. All their crazy drivers are driving on the wrong side of the street!

[i.telegraph.co.uk image 620x387]


No, see, they're on the other side of the Atlantic, so the Coriolis effect means that everything is reversed there - left is right, and such.
 
2013-01-09 07:08:20 AM  

Ilmarinen: gweilo8888: Familiarity. That is literally the *only* reason. If you were brought up on metric, you'd prefer metric. If you weren't, you wouldn't. People don't like recalibrating themselves.

But surely everybody would agree that adding zeros is easier than multiplying by 5,280?


Except, in practice nobody actually does that. Long distances are measured in miles or tenths/hundredths of a mile, short distances are in feet or sometimes yards, and there's no mixing. I don't think that it's a million feet to get somewhere, I think it's ~200-odd miles.
 
2013-01-09 07:10:06 AM  

Mister Peejay: nmemkha: They got bigger problems. All their crazy drivers are driving on the wrong side of the street!

[i.telegraph.co.uk image 620x387]

No, see, they're on the other side of the Atlantic, so the Coriolis effect means that everything is reversed there - left is right, and such.



yeah thats alos why your hard drive has a hemisphear jumper. if its set wrong your computer will read it slower becasue its spinning in the wrong direction.
 
2013-01-09 08:39:23 AM  

bobtheallmighty: Mister Peejay: nmemkha: They got bigger problems. All their crazy drivers are driving on the wrong side of the street!

[i.telegraph.co.uk image 620x387]

No, see, they're on the other side of the Atlantic, so the Coriolis effect means that everything is reversed there - left is right, and such.


yeah thats alos why your hard drive has a hemisphear jumper. if its set wrong your computer will read it slower becasue its spinning in the wrong direction.


The token fell out of my Token Ring Network! What do I do?!!
 
2013-01-09 08:42:12 AM  
My car's spedometer is lableled in attoparsecs per microfortnight.
 
2013-01-09 08:49:30 AM  

DeadGeek: Not the most precise units of measurement....


But how many ells is that?

PirateKing: My car's spedometer is lableled in attoparsecs per microfortnight.


I thought parsec was a unit of time! After all, Han did the kessel run in under 12 parsecs...
 
2013-01-09 08:54:43 AM  

maddogdelta:
PirateKing: My car's spedometer is lableled in attoparsecs per microfortnight.

I thought parsec was a unit of time! After all, Han did the kessel run in under 12 parsecs...


No you see, the kessel run passes near a group of black holes...

Ow. I sprained my wrist handwaving that.
 
2013-01-09 09:03:04 AM  
Well, my car gets 960 furlongs per Hubble-Barn, so I'm getting a kick out out of this thread.

/Hubble-Barns are the best volumetric measure ever!
 
2013-01-09 09:18:31 AM  

Ilmarinen: Tatterdemalian: Everybody knows why the Imperial system works better outside the research lab.

Not everybody. Please explain for those who don't.


Human neurology. Without the use of measuring tools, the vast majority of the human race can easily divide measurements by halves just by guessing. Better, with the application of a simple trick of integer mathematics, dividing by thirds is also as easy, but much more difficult if you don't know the trick to it. This allowed some people to do things their neighbors can't, particularly in the area of architecture and masonry, and thus charge extra money for their services that they wouldn't be able to otherwise. This in turn allowed class differences to exist, without becoming unique to any one small group, creating a "middle class" as a necessary first step toward developing a functional economic system.

The SI system is good for counting without measuring tools, as the decimal system is based on the number of conveniently available digits on our hands, but not so great for the equally important task of dividing portions of a larger whole, as dividing by halves quickly requires increasing numbers of non-intuitive digits, dividing by thirds always results in repeating decimals, and there's really very few people that are capable of dividing by fifths accurately without using measuring tools.

/in the real world you don't always have a perfectly calibrated caliper to take measurements with
//and outside strictly controlled laboratories, excessive measuring results in products that are overly sensitive to decay, let alone accidental damage
 
2013-01-09 09:55:42 AM  
In the 70s, I completely remember the Childrens Weekly Reader saying everybody in the U.S. would soon be measuring body weight without using pounds, filling up cars without using gallons, or measuring height without feet or inches. I'm still trying to figure out what period of time they imagined "soon" really meant.
 
2013-01-09 10:08:02 AM  

Ilmarinen: Tatterdemalian: Everybody knows why the Imperial system works better outside the research lab.

Not everybody. Please explain for those who don't.


If a cook needs a cup of beans for the soup, he can 'cup' his hands, and scoop them up. If someone walking down a road needs to measure a mile, the can take 1000 paces. A yard? Tip of nose to end of fingers. Etc.

Not to mention that Imperial measures are often halves of other measures. Gallon. Half-gallon. Quart (half-half gallon). Pint (half-quart). Cup (half pint). Halves are very easy to measure by eye, or with a simple balance. Try measuring out 1/10 of a given distance, versus half of it.

Yes, Metric is useful... in the laboratory. But Imperial measures are better in the real world.
 
2013-01-09 11:02:49 AM  

fredklein: If someone walking down a road needs to measure a mile, the can take 1000 paces.


Unless every one of those paces is taken at absolutely maximum leg extension (which would be a real treat to do consecutively 1000 times), he's gonna be off by a ridiculous margin.
 
2013-01-09 11:11:52 AM  

fredklein: Yes, Metric is useful... in the laboratory.


trinketsandtees.com
 
2013-01-09 12:24:57 PM  

fredklein: Ilmarinen: Tatterdemalian: Everybody knows why the Imperial system works better outside the research lab.

Not everybody. Please explain for those who don't.

If a cook needs a cup of beans for the soup, he can 'cup' his hands, and scoop them up. If someone walking down a road needs to measure a mile, the can take 1000 paces. A yard? Tip of nose to end of fingers. Etc.

Not to mention that Imperial measures are often halves of other measures. Gallon. Half-gallon. Quart (half-half gallon). Pint (half-quart). Cup (half pint). Halves are very easy to measure by eye, or with a simple balance. Try measuring out 1/10 of a given distance, versus half of it.

Yes, Metric is useful... in the laboratory. But Imperial measures are better in the real world.


That's probably one of the dumber things I've read recently.

Most folks can't hold one cup in even both hands.
To take 1000 paces to the mile, your stride would have to be 5.280 feet, or more than double the length of an average walking stride.
The yard is not "tip of nose to end of fingers", unless you're Henry I and you believe in historical mythology.

I'm surprised you didn't toss in some of the other "rules of thumb" regarding, say, the foot, or the inch, all of which are wildly inaccurate and actually cause more harm than good.

The fun part of the metric system is that you can actually get a much better idea of estimation in both volume and mass than you can with avoirdupois & Imperial measurements, once you start thinking in it.
 
2013-01-09 12:34:27 PM  
In another great move, the Tory Government has announced that Britain will switch from driving on the left to driving on the right but that the move will be voluntary and phased in over several decades.--Old Joke

Seriously. The main problem with switching systems is the translating during the transition period. This is true of a system of measurement and of learning a language. As long as you translate rather than think in the new system, you are handicapped.

There's really not much reason to know miles if all your signs are in kilometres, or pints, because the pubs can go on calling 500 ml a pint forever without anybody giving a GD.

Most of the measures of the Imperial system are unknown to the average person. Nobody really knows what a gill, a rod, a furlong, or a hogshead is unless they are in trade and use those particular measures. A peppercorn, a carat or an ounce Troy are things most of us would have to look up or learn through practice.

I haven't a clue about the conversions between unusual combinations of known measures, such as square inches and acres. I do know that there are 640 acres to a square mile and a quarter is 180 acres, but that is because my Father owns a fair amount of land and I was interested to know how many square miles it came to by toting up the acres of each field or woodlot. Of course, I was hampered by not being sure what all he owned or owns, but it is still fairly useful to convert large acreages to square miles.

There are things that young people do not need to know and things they do, and it's hard enough to teach them the latter.
 
2013-01-09 12:36:22 PM  

Fark Rye For Many Whores: Swiss Colony: Do all cars have dual MPH/kph speedos?

In Americanada.


Not all cars have Speedos. Some, however, are female and have bras. ; )
 
2013-01-09 12:47:16 PM  

Fano: How many stone do these hogsheads weigh.


Hogsheads of what? The Imperial System has different hogsheads for various commodities such as butter, beer, nails, wine, etc. They weigh different weights.

It's as if the answer to the question, which weighs more, a pound of steel or a pound of feathers were a pound of feathers because feather pounds weigh 26 ounces rather than 16.

A long ton of coal is 2,200 pounds, which is almost exactly a metric tonne (2,204 pounds IIRC). Some traditional measures are not what you might think. For example, a two by four of lumber is usually less than two by four inches. The bastards cheat you. If you want exactly two by four inches you'd have to specify that in the contract specs and measure samples to confirm you got what you paid (extra) for in the contract.

Our haphazard traditional measurements are sources of mild amusement, fraud, dangerous and expensive mistakes, and lots of trivia for gameshows. The metric system (aka the International System), was designed to avoid confusion and arbitrariness, to make all measurements easily convertible, and to place measurement on what, for a scientist or a Frenchmen, would be "natural' and objective standards.

For example, the original metre was one 10,000,000th of the distance from the equater to the pole at the meridian of Paris and thus the kilogram and other measures of weight and volume are based on a natural fact, the circumferance of the Earth. In theory at least, anybody could measure the Meridian. In practice, most measures have been translated into something that is easier to measure and less variable than even the size of the Earth, such as vibrations of a certain type of atomic isotope of Cesium.
 
2013-01-09 12:57:14 PM  
I've heard of people solving problems. This may be the first time I've heard of someone trying to solve a solution.
 
2013-01-09 01:27:57 PM  

pkellmey: In the 70s, I completely remember the Childrens Weekly Reader saying everybody in the U.S. would soon be measuring body weight without using pounds, filling up cars without using gallons, or measuring height without feet or inches. I'm still trying to figure out what period of time they imagined "soon" really meant.


I think it aligned with the age of aquarius
 
2013-01-09 02:28:14 PM  

THX 1138: fredklein: If someone walking down a road needs to measure a mile, the can take 1000 paces.

Unless every one of those paces is taken at absolutely maximum leg extension (which would be a real treat to do consecutively 1000 times), he's gonna be off by a ridiculous margin.



FormlessOne: To take 1000 paces to the mile, your stride would have to be 5.280 feet, or more than double the length of an average walking stride.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pace_%28unit%29
A pace (or double-pace or passus) was a measure of distance used in Ancient Rome. It was nominally the measure of a full stride from the position of the heel when it is raised from the ground to the point the same heel is set down again at the end of the step. Thus, a distance can be "paced off" by counting each time the same heel touches ground, or, in other words, every other step. In Rome, this unit was standardized as two gradūs or five Roman feet (about 1.48 metres or 58.1 English inches). There were 1000 passus in one mille, and a mille was sometimes referred to as a mille passuum.

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_a_women%27s_average_walking_stride
"Average stride length: 2.2 feet for women and 2.5 feet for man..."

FormlessOne: The yard is not "tip of nose to end of fingers", unless you're Henry I and you believe in historical mythology.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropic_units
Ell and Yard
The ell (meaning arm) is the length from a hand to the opposing shoulder, currently standardized to be 45 inches. The yard is the distance from a hand to the center of the chest, currently standardized to be 36 inches.
(your nose is on a line along the center of your body, just like the center of your chest is. So...)

I'm surprised you didn't toss in some of the other "rules of thumb" regarding, say, the foot, or the inch, all of which are wildly inaccurate and actually cause more harm than good.

A persons thumb is approximately 1 inch wide.
The foot originally did start as the size of a persons.... ____ [I'll leave the answer for the class to figure out].
 
2013-01-09 03:16:43 PM  
It seems both Canada and New Zealand managed to make the transition from imperial to metric decades ago. Why are the British and Yanks so slow?
 
2013-01-09 03:41:56 PM  

punkwrestler: I'll be driving in the UK in Feb. Anyone have any tips for this American?


Well, in 1999 I went over there for a couple of weeks, and I managed to return the car without any damage after 1500 miles of roadtripping through England and Wales, so I must have been doing something right.

Study the UK HIghway Code before you go. I did that in 1999 when I went, and I'm damn glad I did.

If you're going to be drinking (or consuming ANY type of intoxicating substance!) don't drive, period. You need ALL of your wits about you, between the wrong-side driving and sometimes non-intuitive rules.

It's definitely best if you can drive stick shift, but even then it's pretty weird (for those of us from the non-right-hand-drive world) to be shifting with the left hand. At least the pedals are still in the same pattern!

If you're not already familiar with roundabouts (they're becoming more common here, YAY!), remember to yield to traffic inside the roundabout. Before entering, be sure to take a look at the signs to make sure you take the right exit. You should never go full Griswold.
 
2013-01-09 03:56:16 PM  

DeadGeek: My curiosity finally reached the point where I looked it up:

1 rod = 5.5 yards Link

1 hogshead = 62.5 to 140 US gallons Link

Not the most precise units of measurement....


I thought the link to rods was a joke. I0l! -1
 
2013-01-09 04:25:45 PM  

punkwrestler: I'll be driving in the UK in Feb. Anyone have any tips for this American?


One more tip: in the UK, a white center line does NOT indicate one-way traffic.
 
2013-01-09 09:52:26 PM  
The imperial system isn't even consistent between the US and UK. My last trip to the states I was at a pub and ordered a pint and almost flipped out when I got my tiny glass of beer that was barely fit for a 12 ounce bottle. I bit my tongue and decided to do some digging and found out that the American pint is a mere 14 ounces, where as the UK pint is 20 ounces (same as what we use in Canada). In some respects I was okay with the 14 ounce pint when drinking 10-14% abv brews that were only served in pints for whatever dumb reason.

American pints are pussy pints.
 
2013-01-09 10:48:03 PM  

sat1va: I bit my tongue and decided to do some digging and found out that the American pint is a mere 14 ounces,


Um, No.

A pint glass is a drinking vessel made to hold either a British ("imperial") pint of 20 imperial fluid ounces (568 mL) or an American pint of 16 US fluid ounces (473 mL).
- wikipedia
 
2013-01-09 10:49:42 PM  

fredklein: sat1va: I bit my tongue and decided to do some digging and found out that the American pint is a mere 14 ounces,

Um, No.

A pint glass is a drinking vessel made to hold either a British ("imperial") pint of 20 imperial fluid ounces (568 mL) or an American pint of 16 US fluid ounces (473 mL). - wikipedia


Forgot to add- a pint is half a quart, which is half a half-gallon, which, naturally enough, is half a gallon.
 
2013-01-09 11:06:47 PM  

fredklein: Forgot to add- a pint is half a quart, which is half a half-gallon, which, naturally enough, is half a gallon.


Half a half gallon is half a gallon? That's a sensible system.
 
2013-01-09 11:11:01 PM  

gweilo8888: fredklein: Forgot to add- a pint is half a quart, which is half a half-gallon, which, naturally enough, is half a gallon.

Half a half gallon is half a gallon? That's a sensible system.


WHat?

A pint is half a quart.
A quart is half a half-gallon.
A half-gallon is half a gallon.

/Typed 'half' so much it looks weird
//half half half
 
2013-01-09 11:45:21 PM  

brantgoose: Fano: How many stone do these hogsheads weigh.

Hogsheads of what? The Imperial System has different hogsheads for various commodities such as butter, beer, nails, wine, etc. They weigh different weights.

It's as if the answer to the question, which weighs more, a pound of steel or a pound of feathers were a pound of feathers because feather pounds weigh 26 ounces rather than 16.

A long ton of coal is 2,200 pounds, which is almost exactly a metric tonne (2,204 pounds IIRC). Some traditional measures are not what you might think. For example, a two by four of lumber is usually less than two by four inches. The bastards cheat you. If you want exactly two by four inches you'd have to specify that in the contract specs and measure samples to confirm you got what you paid (extra) for in the contract.

Our haphazard traditional measurements are sources of mild amusement, fraud, dangerous and expensive mistakes, and lots of trivia for gameshows. The metric system (aka the International System), was designed to avoid confusion and arbitrariness, to make all measurements easily convertible, and to place measurement on what, for a scientist or a Frenchmen, would be "natural' and objective standards.

For example, the original metre was one 10,000,000th of the distance from the equater to the pole at the meridian of Paris and thus the kilogram and other measures of weight and volume are based on a natural fact, the circumferance of the Earth. In theory at least, anybody could measure the Meridian. In practice, most measures have been translated into something that is easier to measure and less variable than even the size of the Earth, such as vibrations of a certain type of atomic isotope of Cesium.


but, Socialism!
 
2013-01-10 12:10:00 AM  

fredklein: gweilo8888: fredklein: Forgot to add- a pint is half a quart, which is half a half-gallon, which, naturally enough, is half a gallon.

Half a half gallon is half a gallon? That's a sensible system.

WHat?

A pint is half a quart.
A quart is half a half-gallon.
A half-gallon is half a gallon.

/Typed 'half' so much it looks weird
//half half half


I wasn't being serious, I was just lightly mocking your poorly-chosen manner of phrasing. (This *is* Fark, right?)

"...is half a half-gallon, which ... is half a gallon"

What you said, abbreviated slightly.
 
2013-01-10 12:35:18 AM  

Fubegra: punkwrestler: I'll be driving in the UK in Feb. Anyone have any tips for this American?

Well, in 1999 I went over there for a couple of weeks, and I managed to return the car without any damage after 1500 miles of roadtripping through England and Wales, so I must have been doing something right.

Study the UK HIghway Code before you go. I did that in 1999 when I went, and I'm damn glad I did.

If you're going to be drinking (or consuming ANY type of intoxicating substance!) don't drive, period. You need ALL of your wits about you, between the wrong-side driving and sometimes non-intuitive rules.

It's definitely best if you can drive stick shift, but even then it's pretty weird (for those of us from the non-right-hand-drive world) to be shifting with the left hand. At least the pedals are still in the same pattern!

If you're not already familiar with roundabouts (they're becoming more common here, YAY!), remember to yield to traffic inside the roundabout. Before entering, be sure to take a look at the signs to make sure you take the right exit. You should never go full Griswold.


Driving an automatic. I never drink and drive, not really worth the trouble. Are the Uk rules really that different? I seem to recall a lot of speed cameras. Since I am really going about won't be doing too much big city stuff except to get out of London.... So wot does a solid white line mean?
 
2013-01-10 01:03:34 AM  

fredklein: sat1va: I bit my tongue and decided to do some digging and found out that the American pint is a mere 14 ounces,

Um, No.

A pint glass is a drinking vessel made to hold either a British ("imperial") pint of 20 imperial fluid ounces (568 mL) or an American pint of 16 US fluid ounces (473 mL). - wikipedia


Yes my mistake, but it's still a teeny tiny pint and looks nearly full when a bottle is poured into it.
 
2013-01-10 03:05:50 AM  

punkwrestler: Driving an automatic. I never drink and drive, not really worth the trouble. Are the Uk rules really that different? I seem to recall a lot of speed cameras. Since I am really going about won't be doing too much big city stuff except to get out of London.... So wot does a solid white line mean?


Unrelated, but a few that caught us out in reverse when in the US:

1. In the UK, you yield to oncoming traffic from the right at roundabouts. Remember this, or one of them will drive into you when you pull out.

2. Right turn on red does not exist. Do not do it, or you will be pulled over, and make a bored policeman's day.

3. When turning into a new road, remember to give way to traffic on the main road (Give Way means 'Yield')

4, If in doubt, yield to oncoming traffic from the right. The ridiculous US system at four way stops where "whoever gets there first has priority" does not exist here, and will get you killed. [Obviously if the nearest traffic from the right is several hundred metres away, you're alright)
 
2013-01-10 03:21:11 AM  

punkwrestler: Driving an automatic. I never drink and drive, not really worth the trouble. Are the Uk rules really that different? I seem to recall a lot of speed cameras. Since I am really going about won't be doing too much big city stuff except to get out of London.... So wot does a solid white line mean?


Lots of speed cameras indeed. Some people get pissed off enough to do something about it.

I stayed well away from London on my trip - but be aware that a big chunk of London is subject to a £10 per day congestion charge.

Solid white line: do not cross, subject to certain exceptions. Dashed: just a center line, but if the dashes get longer, there is a hazard ahead. See rules 127-132.

Note in US practice that centerlines are yellow for two-way traffic, but that doesn't apply in the UK.
 
2013-01-10 05:53:53 AM  
As an older Australian, I do still translate speeds to the old furlongs per fortnight standard.
 
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