a (metric) unit

Sander   Sat Jan 14, 2006 10:20 pm GMT
=>Metric is simply easier to deal with mathematically.<=

Tell me about it, before the metric system, every Dutch place had it's own measurements, can you imagin that? A foot wasn't just a foot but every city or region had a different 'foot', or 'thum' or whatever.

I'd like to quote this site:http://www.themetricsystem.info/whymetric.htm
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Why the Metric system?

1) The metric system is the lingua franca of measurement, far more than English is a lingua franca of languages. As such, a basic understanding of metric units and usage is a necessary part of being educated and literate. In many circles it is a necessary part of being conversant. While traditional units of measure are still in widespread use in the United States and certain other places, metric is the standard. It is practically everywhere.

2) The metric system is simpler and easier to use and understand than traditional measurement systems. Because metric uses prefixes, there is effectively a single unit for all measurements of a certain kind (such as length or volume). For an example of how this would be a nice change, I have seen:
ice cream measured in pints,
sand in cubic yards,
backpack capacity in cubic inches,
milk in gallons,
strawberries in dry quarts,
detergent in fluid ounces,
laundry baskets in bushels,
refrigerators in cubic feet, and
reservoir capacity in acre-feet.
Moreover, in many of these cases there is not just one unit that is always used. For example, I have seen news articles describe large amounts of water using acre-feet, cubic feet, and millions of gallons. Using metric units in these cases would greatly improve communication and comprehension. In metric, all of the above would be measured in multiples or submultiples of the liter. (This includes the cubic meter, since a cubic meter is a thousand liters, or one kiloliter.)

3) Metrication does not need to be overly expensive, and often it is costly to not metricate. A number of countries already prohibit the importation of products with any non-metric indications on the labels, and more countries will follow. If a company must carry two different product lines just to have metric sizes in one country and non-metric in another, that is wasteful and unnecessary.

4) It is inevitable, ultimately. The world has decided on metric. At the moment, about 95% of the population of the world lives in a country that is metric or getting close. These people represent 70-80% of the world economy, a figure which has been rising for 60 years.
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Uriel   Sun Jan 15, 2006 8:44 am GMT
People don't always automatically do the things that are easier or more efficient, though. (Look at English orthography...) Sometimes they cling to their ways because they are comfortable and familiar, and comfort and familiarity are better than efficiency.
Jim   Mon Jan 16, 2006 12:10 am GMT
Adam, says "In Britain ... most Commonwealth countries ... you use Imperial measurements when doing most things. ... Britain, and her children (America, Australia, etc) usually do these things better than any other countries."

I wonder whether Adam has actually ever been to Australia. The Imperial system has almost entirely been replaced with the Metric system. The only place where Imperial units really survive is in the pub. Beer glass sizes are still based on Imperial units ... rounded to the nearest 5 ml however.
Uriel   Mon Jan 16, 2006 12:37 am GMT
Jim, I think we've pretty much established that the world Adam lives in is entirely a work of his own imagination; any resemblance it might have to actual reality is purely coincidental.

Australia isn't the only one of Britain's "children" to go metric; so has Canada. And South Africa. New Zealand, if I'm not mistaken. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, pretty much ALL of her "children" EXCEPT the US have flown the foot/pound/gallon coop!
Guest   Mon Jan 16, 2006 12:49 am GMT
<Australia isn't the only one of Britain's "children" to go metric; so has Canada. And South Africa. New Zealand, if I'm not mistaken. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, pretty much ALL of her "children" EXCEPT the US have flown the foot/pound/gallon coop! >

Yeah New Zealand adopted the metric system since 1961(or 1969 Unsure) along with the dollar which replaced the New Zealand pounds. Though my parents would address their weight in pounds, height in feet,etc.
Guest   Mon Jan 16, 2006 12:51 am GMT
<Australia isn't the only one of Britain's "children" to go metric>

LOL had to laugh at that! Adam send my regards to the 'mother country' for me.
Uriel   Mon Jan 16, 2006 5:03 am GMT
<<Yeah New Zealand adopted the metric system since 1961(or 1969 Unsure) along with the dollar which replaced the New Zealand pounds. Though my parents would address their weight in pounds, height in feet,etc. >>

Old habits die hard, eh? I know how they feel. I have the hardest time visualizing people's heights in centimeters, since I'm used to thinking in terms of feet, which metric has no useful equivalent for. Miles to kilometers is a little easier, since a km is roughly half a mile, and then add a smidge. Kilograms to pounds is even easier, since at 2.2 lb/kg, you can just halve your pounds and get a reasonable approximation.
Guest   Mon Jan 16, 2006 5:08 am GMT
<Old habits die hard, eh? I know how they feel. I have the hardest time visualizing people's heights in centimeters, since I'm used to thinking in terms of feet, which metric has no useful equivalent for.>

Yeah there are times where I have to remind my father that petrol(gasoline) is measured in litres not gallons. Though paying 53 cents per gallon sounds better deal than 53 cents a litre. ;P
Guest   Mon Jan 16, 2006 5:10 am GMT
*a better deal
Guest   Mon Jan 16, 2006 5:21 am GMT
How about American weather casts? When I first watched one I was shocked to hear temperatures can reach over 100 degrees (which is above boiling point on the celsius system) not realising Americans don't use celsius but Fahrenheit. Picturing myself as a stuffed turkey in a oven - something I wouldn't want others to exprience ;-(

If in the celsius system shows 0*C(32*F) is freezing point and 100*C(212*F) is boiling point isn't that more logical than the Fahrenheit system?
Guest   Mon Jan 16, 2006 5:35 am GMT
>> If in the celsius system shows 0*C(32*F) is freezing point and 100*C(212*F) is boiling point isn't that more logical than the Fahrenheit system?<<

No, not really. Gabriel Fahrenheit based his scale on the lowest temperature he could measure outside and set it equal to 0 degrees, and his own body temperature at about 100 degrees. The Fahrenheit scale is nice because it is more accurate than the celsius system without using decimals.
Jim   Mon Jan 16, 2006 6:21 am GMT
That's more accuracy than you'd need for weather though.
Uriel   Thu Jan 19, 2006 7:41 am GMT
<<How about American weather casts? When I first watched one I was shocked to hear temperatures can reach over 100 degrees (which is above boiling point on the celsius system) not realising Americans don't use celsius but Fahrenheit. Picturing myself as a stuffed turkey in a oven - something I wouldn't want others to exprience ;-(

If in the celsius system shows 0*C(32*F) is freezing point and 100*C(212*F) is boiling point isn't that more logical than the Fahrenheit system? >>


Ah, partly sunny today, with highs in the upper nineties and a moderate chance of spontaneous combustion throughout the day....;)

To this day I remember the silly little rhyme they taught us in elementary school to understand Celsius temperatures:

30's hot
20's nice
10 is cold
And 0's ice.

As for Celsius being more logical -- well, Celsius is based on the attributes of water, and Fahrenheit is based on ... no idea. (I suppose Guest's explanation is as plausible as any.) Celsius is certainly neater and tidier than Fahrenheit, but I have the opposite problem you do when I hear temperatures in Celsius -- I think "Jeez, those people must be freezing their asses off ... oh, wait, let's see, twenty's nice, so twenty-six must be ... uh, nicer, I suppose...."
Metricated Damian in EH12   Thu Jan 19, 2006 9:01 am GMT
I have always been metricated......it happened in school.....but honestly, it's really quite a painless operation...I never felt a thing. If Adam wishes to remain Imperial then that is his option and his prerogative...he can wallow about in the quaint archaisms of pounds and ounces and all the other relics of dusty imperialism if he so wishes but he would find it tough going in the outside world of industry and science or whatever. But come to think of it......we're still stuck with miles on the motorways.........time we got kilometered then we really would be shot of imperialism for once and for all....except for dear auld Adam....our Imperial copy paster Sassenach supremo..... LOL
Damian in Edinburgh   Thu Jan 19, 2006 9:06 am GMT
By the way...pity the poor old Muscovites.....right now they are having their b***s frozen off in -35C and the b*****s are supposed to be sending it west in our direction...thanks Boris!

What's Fahrenheit? It sounds like a German journey up a mountain.....