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'[OT]: US and Metric System (was: Making PCBs...)'
2002\03\07@132940 by Vit

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Bob wrote:

NASA may be able to help. I seem to recall that they had a 'units'
problem on one of the Mars probes. :=)

"Hey, Joe. Is Mars a gazillion miles away or is it a gazillion
kilometers?"
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Hello All,

Recently I had a discussion with one of my friends about the Metric System
in the US.  As we all know, it is now the primary system of measurements in
public schools.  I still distinctly remember how a teacher in Advanced
Algebra solved a simple mathematics problem.  In his solution, a guy ran 200
km to work every morning.  He was pretty embarrassed when I informed him
that 200km is almost 100 miles.  AFAIR, he forgot to divide the answer by
60.  Anyway...

Can somebody tell me if the US is planning to gradually switch to the metric
system?  I mean, it must be pretty confusing for the scientists at NASA to
use both systems.

Sincerely,

Vitaliy

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2002\03\07@133540 by Dale Botkin

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On Thu, 7 Mar 2002, Vit wrote:

> Can somebody tell me if the US is planning to gradually switch to the metric
> system?  I mean, it must be pretty confusing for the scientists at NASA to
> use both systems.

Yes, from school I do remember we are plannning to switch to the metric
system.  I believe we're supposed to be done some time in the late
1970s...


8)

Dale

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2002\03\07@144412 by Bob Barr

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On Thu, 7 Mar 2002 12:33:45 -0600, Dale Botkin wrote:

>On Thu, 7 Mar 2002, Vit wrote:
>
>> Can somebody tell me if the US is planning to gradually switch to the metric
>> system?  I mean, it must be pretty confusing for the scientists at NASA to
>> use both systems.
>
>Yes, from school I do remember we are plannning to switch to the metric
>system.  I believe we're supposed to be done some time in the late
>1970s...
>

Yep, we're inching toward it but we've got miles to go. :=)


Regards, Bob

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2002\03\07@145715 by Mitch Miller

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On Thu, 7 Mar 2002, Vit wrote:

> As we all know, it is now the primary system of measurements in
> public schools.

Hmmm ... I have a child in public schools, and although they're learning
the metric system, I'm not aware of it as being the "primary" system.
From the work I've seen they seem to be teaching both equally.

-- Mitch

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2002\03\07@145722 by Mitch Miller

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On Thu, 7 Mar 2002, Dale Botkin wrote:

> On Thu, 7 Mar 2002, Vit wrote:
>
> > Can somebody tell me if the US is planning to gradually switch to the metric
> > system?  I mean, it must be pretty confusing for the scientists at NASA to
> > use both systems.
>
> Yes, from school I do remember we are plannning to switch to the metric
> system.  I believe we're supposed to be done some time in the late
> 1970s...

Hahaha ... yeah, I remember that.  In fact, I was in elementary school (in
Canada) when Canada switched to metric.

So, I'm thinking about this ... why is it that beverages are the only
thing where metric seems to have stuck?  Ex: 2l bottles of soda, 750ml
bottles of liquor.

-- Mitch

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2002\03\07@145734 by Mitch Miller

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On Thu, 7 Mar 2002, Bob Barr wrote:

> On Thu, 7 Mar 2002 12:33:45 -0600, Dale Botkin wrote:
>
> >On Thu, 7 Mar 2002, Vit wrote:
> >
> >> Can somebody tell me if the US is planning to gradually switch to the metric
> >> system?  I mean, it must be pretty confusing for the scientists at NASA to
> >> use both systems.
> >
> >Yes, from school I do remember we are plannning to switch to the metric
> >system.  I believe we're supposed to be done some time in the late
> >1970s...
> >
>
> Yep, we're inching toward it but we've got miles to go. :=)

That would be kilometers ... <g>

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2002\03\07@150908 by Sean H. Breheny

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One of the reasons why I use both systems is that I find a foot to be a
very convenient measure for everyday applications. For example, as I look
around me in the room, most objects that I might handle are approximately 1
foot in largest dimension, like books, the phone, an umbrella, sheets of
paper, etc. A meter is just a little too big for typical objects.

Likewise, a centimeter is just a little too small. I can say a pen is about
6 inches long, rather than having to say 15 centimeters. For objects that
fit in your hand, but aren't very small, the dimension in inches would be
in the single digits, whereas the dimension in centimeters would span the
range from the single digits up to two digits.

I think this comes from the fact (AFAIK) that the English or imperial
system of feet, inches, etc., is based on human dimensions and the linear
measure of the metric system is based on the dimensions of the earth
(originally), so it has less direct bearing on human everyday use. It would
have been nice, I think, if the metric system had used the foot (or some
similar unit, perhaps a third or a half of the present meter) as the basis
unit and THEN used powers of ten to derive other units from it.

As for the other units, like gallons vs. liters, I don't think there would
be any disadvantage to the metric system in these, as long as we don't have
to pay the same for a liter of gas as we now do for a gallon, like you
Europeans ;-)

Sean

At 11:40 AM 3/7/02 -0800, you wrote:
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2002\03\07@150911 by Stuart Meier

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>
> So, I'm thinking about this ... why is it that beverages are the only
> thing where metric seems to have stuck?  Ex: 2l bottles of soda, 750ml
> bottles of liquor.

Prefer my beer in Pints please!

Stuart
{Original Message removed}

2002\03\07@152749 by gacrowell

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Likewise, thousandths of an inch are simply convenient to work in.  Its easy
to work in 'whole' thousandths, i.e., mils.  It works well for mechanical
tolerances, and for pcb work.  Just about the only time you have to go to
decimal fractions of a mil is when you're trying to match some metric
equivalent.

GC

{Original Message removed}

2002\03\07@153620 by Vit

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> > As we all know, it is now the primary system of measurements in
> > public schools.
>
> Hmmm ... I have a child in public schools, and although they're learning
> the metric system, I'm not aware of it as being the "primary" system.
> From the work I've seen they seem to be teaching both equally.
>
> -- Mitch

Mitch - you're right, they're used interchangeably.  My bad.  :-)

Vitaliy

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2002\03\07@160212 by Bob Barr

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On Thu, 7 Mar 2002 14:03:19 -0600, Mitch Miller wrote:

>On Thu, 7 Mar 2002, Bob Barr wrote:
>
>> On Thu, 7 Mar 2002 12:33:45 -0600, Dale Botkin wrote:
>>
>> >On Thu, 7 Mar 2002, Vit wrote:
>> >
>> >> Can somebody tell me if the US is planning to gradually switch to the metric
>> >> system?  I mean, it must be pretty confusing for the scientists at NASA to
>> >> use both systems.
>> >
>> >Yes, from school I do remember we are plannning to switch to the metric
>> >system.  I believe we're supposed to be done some time in the late
>> >1970s...
>> >
>>
>> Yep, we're inching toward it but we've got miles to go. :=)
>
>That would be kilometers ... <g>


Hmmm, inching toward the use of kilometers?? I don't know, but
somehow, that sounds a bit self-contradictory. :=)


Regards, Bob

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2002\03\07@205729 by Pic Dude

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I agree that each system has its place, but I'd like to see a decision
to use one system, whichever it is.  Ever work on a Ford Mustang?
You need both US and metric tools.  BTW, the metric bolts are
not just on the foreign-outsourced parts.

Cheers.


----- Original Message -----
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To: <RemoveMEPICLISTspamTakeThisOuTMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Thursday, March 07, 2002 2:15 PM
Subject: Re: [OT]: US and Metric System (was: Making PCBs...)


> Likewise, thousandths of an inch are simply convenient to work in.  Its
easy
> to work in 'whole' thousandths, i.e., mils.  It works well for mechanical
> tolerances, and for pcb work.  Just about the only time you have to go to
> decimal fractions of a mil is when you're trying to match some metric
> equivalent.
>
> GC
>
> {Original Message removed}

2002\03\20@122131 by John Ferrell

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And it becomes a non-issue in the machine shop. All you have to do to change
systems is insert the 127/100 gear set in the lathe.
{Original Message removed}

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