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John Byrne

Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 117250
Posted: 24 October 2018 at 8:57am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

How many feet are in a mile?

•••

5280.

And, no, I didn’t have to look that up.

There is no argument that the metric system, based on consistent multiples of 10, is superior to the imperial method—but whether one is more “difficult” than the other is all a matter of familiarity.

In NEW VISIONS I used metric. In real life, imperial.

(I was amused when I read DUNE, to find Frank Herbert apparently struggling with metric conversions. Early on he describes a dagger as being a meter in length. Some dagger! A meter is more than a yard!)

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Peter Hicks
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 30 April 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 1443
Posted: 24 October 2018 at 10:44am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Countries that still use the Imperial System: Burma/Myanmar, Liberia, and the USA.

Countries that use Metric: everybody else.

And even within the USA, some high tech industries such as NASA do their work in Metric.

If you can remember feet in a mile, tablespoons in a cup, square inches in an acre, etc., more power to you. But the Metric System is an order of magnitude easier to teach to children, and for adults to remember.

I am looking forward to my 200 mm Space Dock. Hopefully a similar sized Orbiting Office Complex will come along soon as well.
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Robbie Parry
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 12187
Posted: 24 October 2018 at 10:50am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Peter, my friend, the UK still uses the imperial system. Sort of. Greengrocers show both imperial and metric measurements. People who visit pubs will ask for a "pint of ale". And I can still request a pint of milk (or two) a week from the milkman.

Okay, some services have a dual system (like THIS), but I don't think we've given up entirely.

And we use miles on our road signs!
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Peter Hicks
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 30 April 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 1443
Posted: 24 October 2018 at 10:55am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

"Peter, my friend, the UK still uses the imperial system. Sort of."
********************
Yes, of course. And in Canada there are still many ways we use Imperial in an informal way. People still talk about farmland in acres, not hectares. When ordering a steak, the menu will list its size in ounces. Surprisingly, no one talks about their weight in KG, even though it would be a much lower number than pounds!
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Robbie Parry
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 12187
Posted: 24 October 2018 at 10:58am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

I can do that with the weight thing. ;-)

You like wrestling, right? It does sound impressive to hear a commentator say, "Look, he's lifted up a 500-pound guy and slammed him on the mat. What a night for the WWF!"

Right?

(Okay, go on, ignore me, I'm rambling now).
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John Byrne

Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 117250
Posted: 24 October 2018 at 12:16pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

“Reading goes off my scale, Captain. Must be a mile across.”
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Peter Hicks
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 30 April 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 1443
Posted: 24 October 2018 at 12:44pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

JB - I just saw that episode Monday! Given that the TOS Enterprise is 289 metres long, Starfleet sure didn't set the scale much bigger. Typical human arrogance!
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Bill Collins
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 26 May 2005
Location: England
Posts: 10757
Posted: 24 October 2018 at 1:10pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

We use Imperial in the UK, our speedometers have both,
but our roads have speed limits and distances in
Imperial.
When i worked in the steel industry, our machines were
old enough to be Imperial, but when they upgraded our
tech and micrometers to Metric, our brains were still
hardwired to Imperial, so we found it easier to
convert back to Imperial when working out our passes
through our machines! It meant our European and
American customers could be easily accommodated!
I can mentally quantify a pound and a mile, but not a
kilometre or kilogram!
Then you get the media, it ALWAYS makes for a better
story to quote snow or rainfall in centimetres than
inches!
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James Woodcock
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 21 September 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 5089
Posted: 25 October 2018 at 1:02am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

We are very schizophrenic in the UK when it comes to measurement (but it appears we are so in a lot of things).

I used to work in the water industry and we used metric - beautiful system.
1 litre of water weighed 1 kg
1 cubic metre of water was 1000 litres and weighed 1000 kg, which equalled 1 tonne. just beautiful.
Everything aligns based on length, weight, even temperature because it all comes back to water - the stuff of life.

However, very old trade effluent consents were in gallons, so I got VERY GOOD at converting gallons to cubic metres. but then, I was one of the last school cohorts that were taught both metric and imperial.

Regarding temperature, some of our more, shall we say, dogmatic, papers, refuse to show temperature in Celsius and will only quote Fahrenheit. I do wonder what they will do once that generation has died off and they are left with a potential readership that does not have a clue what they are talking about.
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James Woodcock
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 21 September 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 5089
Posted: 25 October 2018 at 1:03am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

On a different note, That dry dock looks beautiful too. And I must have it!
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Ron Goad
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 04 March 2015
Location: United States
Posts: 58
Posted: 26 October 2018 at 4:24pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

At least you weren't dealing with "stone" and "hundredweight" measurements!
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Robbie Parry
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 12187
Posted: 26 October 2018 at 5:10pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I do at least know what a cubit is!
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