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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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6378 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 12:34:27 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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