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'[OT] Units rant'
2007\06\12@105003 by Mike Hord

picon face
AARRRGHGHGHG!

http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2007/06/11/spacestationmon_spa.html?category=space&guid=20070611083000&dcitc=w19-502-ak-0000

You'll need to "unwrap" that, no doubt.

http://tinyurl.com/2dhvns

In explaining the relative power generation of the ISS's
new 14-kW solar array, Discovery states:
"To put that in perspective, a 100-watt bulb left on for 10
hours uses one kilowatt."

...

Mike H.

2007\06\12@110108 by Peter Bindels

picon face
a whatt?

On 12/06/07, Mike Hord <spam_OUTmike.hordTakeThisOuTspamgmail.com> wrote:
> AARRRGHGHGHG!
>
> http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2007/06/11/spacestationmon_spa.html?category=space&guid=20070611083000&dcitc=w19-502-ak-0000
>
> You'll need to "unwrap" that, no doubt.
>
> http://tinyurl.com/2dhvns
>
> In explaining the relative power generation of the ISS's
> new 14-kW solar array, Discovery states:
> "To put that in perspective, a 100-watt bulb left on for 10
> hours uses one kilowatt."
>
> ...
>
> Mike H.
> -

2007\06\12@110343 by Harold Hallikainen

face
flavicon
face

> AARRRGHGHGHG!
>
> http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2007/06/11/spacestationmon_spa.html?category=space&guid=20070611083000&dcitc=w19-502-ak-0000
>
> You'll need to "unwrap" that, no doubt.
>
> http://tinyurl.com/2dhvns
>
> In explaining the relative power generation of the ISS's
> new 14-kW solar array, Discovery states:
> "To put that in perspective, a 100-watt bulb left on for 10
> hours uses one kilowatt."
>
> ...
>
> Mike H.


I see that's an AP story. I find stuff like this all the time in the local
paper. A couple months ago they did a story about a local cogen plant. The
specifications they gave for it made no sense at all. I wrote a letter to
the editor and got a nice letter back from the city utilities department
that actually made sense. Over the past several years, I've probably
written a letter every few months about articles that totally mess up
kilowatts and kilowatt-hours.

Harold

--
FCC Rules Updated Daily at http://www.hallikainen.com - Advertising
opportunities available!

2007\06\12@110355 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
heh heh heh.  That's pretty funny.

I think it would be better to explain it as, "This is enough to power
15 houses" - assuming that my conversion is correct, and that the
homes are relatively energy efficient.

-Adam

On 6/12/07, Mike Hord <.....mike.hordKILLspamspam@spam@gmail.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2007\06\12@115400 by Hector Martin

flavicon
face
For some reason, the general public tends not to understand that you can
multiply units together (kilowatt-hours), as well as divide them. Kinda
like when some kids first learn about fractions or decimals, when they
can't wrap their heads around the fact that multiplying a number could
possibly make it smaller.

--
Hector Martin (hectorspamKILLspammarcansoft.com)
Public Key: http://www.marcansoft.com/marcan.asc

2007\06\12@133344 by wouter van ooijen

face picon face
> AARRRGHGHGHG!
> "To put that in perspective, a 100-watt bulb left on for 10 hours uses
one kilowatt."

Today I had three students 1st y systeembeheer (== system maintainer?)
do some calculations. One was an estimate of the time needed for a
typical windows system cal. Their answer was 0.2 seconds, and that did
not seem strange to them at all.

I helped them a little, and they had to divide 20 seconds by 20000. Two
refused to give an answer (but I need my calculator for that!), the
third answered: 0.00002 seconds . I am not sure whether I weas more
disappointed by the first two boys, or the amount of zeros, or by the
final 2.

Next we had (or rather: I gave them) the answer: 0.001 seconds. Now I
asked: how do you prounce that. They had a vague idea that milliseconds
and microseconds are both small, but could not say which was smaller, or
which was 0.001.

According to my fellow teachers these boys are not bad, they are
typical. I hope for the safety of my country that serious engineering
work is very quickly outsourced to countries where 18y boys still have
at least some feeling for numbers and values...

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu



2007\06\12@134808 by Goflo

picon face
Keeping track of the decimal point is pretty much a lost art
in my experience. I've a 5-inch rule in my pocket, a frequent
occasion for eye-rolling among my younger colleagues :)
Still works, though...

---- wouter van ooijen <.....wouterKILLspamspam.....voti.nl> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> --

2007\06\12@140733 by Mike Hord

picon face
> Today I had three students 1st y systeembeheer (== system maintainer?)
> do some calculations. One was an estimate of the time needed for a
> typical windows system cal. Their answer was 0.2 seconds, and that did
> not seem strange to them at all.

Ah, the sanity check.  Another completely missed concept.

At my previous job, my boss taught a course in endocrinology.  One test
had a question to the effect of "a healthy patient is observed to consume
1-L of fluid over a 2-hour period.  Calculate renal output."  Answers varied
from tens of mL up to multiple L.  Very few, if any, of the students thought
to consider that if one liter goes in, one liter had BETTER come out.

Mike H.

2007\06\12@150129 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Tue, 2007-06-12 at 19:33 +0200, wouter van ooijen wrote:
> According to my fellow teachers these boys are not bad, they are
> typical. I hope for the safety of my country that serious engineering
> work is very quickly outsourced to countries where 18y boys still have
> at least some feeling for numbers and values...

Unfortunately you're right, the problem remains way past the "young
boys" stage.

My classic example is my 3rd year "Fields and Waves" EM course (in
2001). The course was run by a very "harsh but fair" prof who many
people were actually afraid of (including me in a small way, and despite
or because of this, I got the highest mark in his course then any other
course I took in university. I went into the final exam without having
revised on anything, he was that good). As an example, when he was
explaining an EM wave propagating through free space he asked us to
imagine a twisted gun ammo belt...

Anyways, the first quiz he gave us split the class in two (randomly).
One half got an insanely hard quiz which few of us got more then 2/10 (I
was part of the insanely hard quiz half).

The second quiz was an extremely easy "phasor" type problem. Off hand it
was something like a 1V phase 0 AC source powering a 1 Ohm load. The
question was simple: how much real power is being supplied by the
source.

The next class, he "discussed" the quizzes. He started by giving the
solution to the "hard" quiz, and stated he was disappointed we didn't do
better.

Then he started discussing the easy quiz. He wrote down the answer and
then started admonishing some of the horrible answers given. In many
cases the students had given answers like 1 + 0.5j or 0.7j, very odd
answers when being asked to supply how much REAL power was supplied.

His worst example was a few students (no, he didn't name which students
had which answers) that answered something like 1x10E24 W. He stated how
he couldn't believe how a 3rd year electrical engineering student could
believe that a little 1V source supplying a 1 Ohm load would be
supplying more power then the whole planet probably uses!

It's an unfortunate fact that our education system doesn't seem to
distinguish between the students that simply memorize answers, and those
that UNDERSTAND the problems. I do hope that eventually people who got
through school without truly understanding the subjects they've taken
either take the time to actually LEARN their subject, or wisely move to
another industry. What scares me is some of these people are probably
out there, designing the technology we use every day...

TTYL

2007\06\12@152428 by Chris Smolinski

flavicon
face
>It's an unfortunate fact that our education system doesn't seem to
>distinguish between the students that simply memorize answers, and those
>that UNDERSTAND the problems. I do hope that eventually people who got
>through school without truly understanding the subjects they've taken
>either take the time to actually LEARN their subject, or wisely move to
>another industry. What scares me is some of these people are probably
>out there, designing the technology we use every day...

My senior year (U of MD, EE) I took a digital circuits lab class. I
still remember one of the labs, we had to build a simple little TTL
circuit interface to some memory, to work as a crude digital logic
analyzer. My lab partner, who was a 4.0 student, dutifully added up
the current requirements for all of the ICs we were using, which came
to a few hundred mA as I recall. Then he noticed that the 5V power
supply we were going to use was rated for several amps, and he said
we had to stop and get a different power supply, as this one was
going to destroy the circuit by forcing too much current through it.

I kid you not.

--

---
Chris Smolinski
Black Cat Systems
http://www.blackcatsystems.com

2007\06\12@152517 by Harold Hallikainen

face
flavicon
face

>> Today I had three students 1st y systeembeheer (== system maintainer?)
>> do some calculations. One was an estimate of the time needed for a
>> typical windows system cal. Their answer was 0.2 seconds, and that did
>> not seem strange to them at all.
>
> Ah, the sanity check.  Another completely missed concept.
>
> At my previous job, my boss taught a course in endocrinology.  One test
> had a question to the effect of "a healthy patient is observed to consume
> 1-L of fluid over a 2-hour period.  Calculate renal output."  Answers
> varied
> from tens of mL up to multiple L.  Very few, if any, of the students
> thought
> to consider that if one liter goes in, one liter had BETTER come out.
>
> Mike H.

Not my subject area, but is fluid loss due to respiration and perspiration
relatively small? Also, it seems like there's a fifo buffer of sorts where
the 1L input over 2 hours is not necessarily output over the same two hour
period or at the same rate...

Harold

--
FCC Rules Updated Daily at http://www.hallikainen.com - Advertising
opportunities available!

2007\06\12@153013 by Harold Hallikainen

face
flavicon
face

> His worst example was a few students (no, he didn't name which students
> had which answers) that answered something like 1x10E24 W. He stated how
> he couldn't believe how a 3rd year electrical engineering student could
> believe that a little 1V source supplying a 1 Ohm load would be
> supplying more power then the whole planet probably uses!
>
> It's an unfortunate fact that our education system doesn't seem to
> distinguish between the students that simply memorize answers, and those
> that UNDERSTAND the problems. I do hope that eventually people who got
> through school without truly understanding the subjects they've taken
> either take the time to actually LEARN their subject, or wisely move to
> another industry. What scares me is some of these people are probably
> out there, designing the technology we use every day...
>
> TTYL


I wonder how many of these students actually end up getting a design job
in industry, or staying with it. It seems like someone would question it
the first time they asked for that 1E24 watt resistor...

Harold

--
FCC Rules Updated Daily at http://www.hallikainen.com - Advertising
opportunities available!

2007\06\12@153626 by Mike Hord

picon face
> Not my subject area, but is fluid loss due to respiration and perspiration
> relatively small? Also, it seems like there's a fifo buffer of sorts where
> the 1L input over 2 hours is not necessarily output over the same two hour
> period or at the same rate...

Not my subject area either, but the way the question was worded, the
correct answer was in=out.  And under normal circumstances, I believe
that respiration and perspiration disappear in the noise.

The problem always made me think of Howard Hughes and his weird
behaviour with respect to milk bottles...

Mike H.

2007\06\12@153712 by Rikard Bosnjakovic

picon face
On 6/12/07, wouter van ooijen <EraseMEwouterspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTvoti.nl> wrote:

> Next we had (or rather: I gave them) the answer: 0.001 seconds. Now I
> asked: how do you prounce that. They had a vague idea that milliseconds
> and microseconds are both small, but could not say which was smaller, or
> which was 0.001.

To put things even worse, the pupils in a 9th grade public school here
in Sweden does not know how many cm (centimeters) is a m (meter).


--
- Rikard - http://bos.hack.org/cv/

2007\06\12@153717 by Goflo

picon face
So-called "transpiration" losses are very significant, and stymied
attempts to understand fluid I/O for centuries.

---- Harold Hallikainen <haroldspamspam_OUThallikainen.org> wrote:
> Not my subject area, but is fluid loss due to respiration and perspiration
> relatively small? Also, it seems like there's a fifo buffer of sorts where
> the 1L input over 2 hours is not necessarily output over the same two hour
> period or at the same rate...

2007\06\12@160110 by Harold Hallikainen

face
flavicon
face

>> Not my subject area, but is fluid loss due to respiration and
>> perspiration
>> relatively small? Also, it seems like there's a fifo buffer of sorts
>> where
>> the 1L input over 2 hours is not necessarily output over the same two
>> hour
>> period or at the same rate...
>
> Not my subject area either, but the way the question was worded, the
> correct answer was in=out.  And under normal circumstances, I believe
> that respiration and perspiration disappear in the noise.
>
> The problem always made me think of Howard Hughes and his weird
> behaviour with respect to milk bottles...
>
> Mike H.


Is that the Howard Hughes version of Kirchoff's Current Law?

Harold

--
FCC Rules Updated Daily at http://www.hallikainen.com - Advertising
opportunities available!

2007\06\12@160731 by wouter van ooijen

face picon face
> > Next we had (or rather: I gave them) the answer: 0.001
> seconds. Now I
> > asked: how do you prounce that. They had a vague idea that
> > milliseconds and microseconds are both small, but could not
> say which
> > was smaller, or which was 0.001.
>
> To put things even worse, the pupils in a 9th grade public
> school here in Sweden does not know how many cm (centimeters)
> is a m (meter).

OK, so no outsourcing to sweden :(

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu



2007\06\12@163126 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Tue, 2007-06-12 at 15:24 -0400, Chris Smolinski wrote:
> My senior year (U of MD, EE) I took a digital circuits lab class. I
> still remember one of the labs, we had to build a simple little TTL
> circuit interface to some memory, to work as a crude digital logic
> analyzer. My lab partner, who was a 4.0 student, dutifully added up
> the current requirements for all of the ICs we were using, which came
> to a few hundred mA as I recall. Then he noticed that the 5V power
> supply we were going to use was rated for several amps, and he said
> we had to stop and get a different power supply, as this one was
> going to destroy the circuit by forcing too much current through it.
>
> I kid you not.

Oh, I believe you! :) It actually reminds me of how confused I was about
wall warts as a kid (maybe 6 or 7?).

The wall wart said something like: 9V, 600mA. With my shiny new
multimeter I could measure it and it read something like 11V. Yet every
time I tried measuring that 600mA on my meter it would blow the meters'
fuse... :)

My best "in the lab" example of this is one of my final 4th year labs we
had to put together a circuit, and a person came to me, very
intelligent, not sure about 4.0 GPA, but probably one of the best
students in the class, and asked me which end of a diode was the
cathode...

4 years of lectures, quizzes, exams and many labs, and something as
simple as the little line on a diode was still something they didn't
know.

2007\06\12@163434 by Jeff Findley

flavicon
face

"Mike Hord" <@spam@mike.hordKILLspamspamgmail.com> wrote in message
news:KILLspam88eca9220706120750r7c36bd6fif4cde8b4a8228cdeKILLspamspammail.gmail.com...> > AARRRGHGHGHG!
>
>
http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2007/06/11/spacestationmon_spa.html?category=space&guid=20070611083000&dcitc=w19-502-ak-0000
>
> You'll need to "unwrap" that, no doubt.
>
> http://tinyurl.com/2dhvns
>
> In explaining the relative power generation of the ISS's
> new 14-kW solar array, Discovery states:
> "To put that in perspective, a 100-watt bulb left on for 10
> hours uses one kilowatt."

Glad I'm not the only one to notice that mistake.  This statement makes the
average joe think the new solar arrays are puny.

Jeff
--
   "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a
    little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor
    safety"
- B. Franklin, Bartlett's Familiar Quotations (1919)



2007\06\12@170610 by Chris Smolinski

flavicon
face
>My best "in the lab" example of this is one of my final 4th year labs we
>had to put together a circuit, and a person came to me, very
>intelligent, not sure about 4.0 GPA, but probably one of the best
>students in the class, and asked me which end of a diode was the
>cathode...
>
>4 years of lectures, quizzes, exams and many labs, and something as
>simple as the little line on a diode was still something they didn't
>know.

At one company I worked for, we had a simple little test we would
give to prospective employees, both engineers and techs. Well, before
we got bought by Honeywell and their HR dept made us stop. I guess
the tests were unfair to stupid people. But anyway, the tests had
rather simple questions on them, such as basic opamp circuits,
resistor dividers, etc. One set of questions had a sine wave fed into
a simple diode circuit, and you had to draw the output waveform.
Really basic stuff. But it was amazing how many recent college grads
couldn't answer them correctly!  What was more amazing is that we
found that the test was really a very good way to filter out the
duds, and find the kids who actually *understood* what they were
taught. It separated them out from those who were good as memorizing
answers but didn't grasp what they were supposedly learning.

I wish I still had a copy of the test.

--

---
Chris Smolinski
Black Cat Systems
http://www.blackcatsystems.com

2007\06\12@172415 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Tue, 2007-06-12 at 17:06 -0400, Chris Smolinski wrote:
> At one company I worked for, we had a simple little test we would
> give to prospective employees, both engineers and techs. Well, before
> we got bought by Honeywell and their HR dept made us stop. I guess
> the tests were unfair to stupid people. But anyway, the tests had
> rather simple questions on them, such as basic opamp circuits,
> resistor dividers, etc. One set of questions had a sine wave fed into
> a simple diode circuit, and you had to draw the output waveform.
> Really basic stuff. But it was amazing how many recent college grads
> couldn't answer them correctly!  What was more amazing is that we
> found that the test was really a very good way to filter out the
> duds, and find the kids who actually *understood* what they were
> taught. It separated them out from those who were good as memorizing
> answers but didn't grasp what they were supposedly learning.
>
> I wish I still had a copy of the test.

You know, it's odd, but that sort of thing seems to be commonly done,
yet prospective employees have no clue it's done!

Reason I say that is between my 3rd and 4th year I did a 16 month paid
"internship" (officially it was called the Professional Experience
Year). Anyways, the way it worked is everybody filled out a standard
form, and "applied" to positions companies supplied to the university.
The companies would then interview those applicants (at the university)
it was interested in.

The interviews spanned a couple days, and of course feedback from fellow
students was golden information! It was then that we learned that some
companies were asking TECHNICAL questions in their interviews. This
surprised all of us!? We just didn't know that industry asks technical
questions during interviews for technical positions.

Anyways, in my case the questions were also very simple, things like
"draw a timing diagram that demonstrates the difference between a latch
and a D flip flop", or "what's the difference between passing an
argument by value or reference into a function".

TTYL

2007\06\12@175156 by Chris McSweeny

picon face
To be fair I'd have to look up the meaning of cathode and anode to answer
that one - I know which direction to put a diode in a circuit (even in a
buck regulator, where it's kind of non-intuitive), but not the names of the
ends!

On 6/12/07, Herbert Graf <RemoveMEmailinglist3TakeThisOuTspamfarcite.net> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2007\06\12@175848 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Jun 12, 2007, at 11:07 AM, Mike Hord wrote:

> Ah, the sanity check.  Another completely missed concept.
>
> At my previous job, my boss taught a course in endocrinology.  One test
> had a question to the effect of "a healthy patient is observed to
> consume
> 1-L of fluid over a 2-hour period.  Calculate renal output."  Answers
> varied
> from tens of mL up to multiple L.  Very few, if any, of the students
> thought
> to consider that if one liter goes in, one liter had BETTER come out.
>

Heh.  I did an EE exam like that.  A bunch of the questions had
intuitive
answers (for example, one was to figure out the positioning of too coils
to get maximum magnetic linkage.   I said something like "knowing how
transformers are constructed, the answer must be 'B'"  (IIRC, it was a
multiple choice test.)) I tied a teammate for the highest grade in the
class.  HE was dumbfounded, since
HIS test was COVERED in math...  heh heh.

On the bright side, my grade-school kids bring home homework problems
where they are asked to "estimate" the answer to a problem, so I guess
this is a recognized issue.  (I'd feel a little better if the kids
were also coming home with explicit estimate strategies...)

The big problem is probably that outside of science an engineering,
no one really uses basic math skills anymore.  Computers do all the
work; you're not really going to argue with the neatly printed and
totaled restaurant receipt, are you?

BillW

2007\06\12@181218 by Steve Smith

flavicon
face
Years ago British telecom (post office) a similar quiz for trainees that was
using an AVO to identify the base on a transistor and define NPN/PNP. Stupid
quiz master (lecturer)failed to remove the part numbers properly from AC128
,2N3055, OC71 and BC109 so I identified all the legs gave an estimated Hfe
polarity and then stated because the OC71 had half its paint missing it
should be reclassified as an OCP71 and was difficult to measure correctly as
it kept conducting when you took your hand off of it..

I got a right earful for that one..

But passed the quiz

Steve

{Original Message removed}

2007\06\12@192707 by Gacrowell

flavicon
face


> -----Original Message-----
> From: spamBeGonepiclist-bouncesspamBeGonespammit.edu
> [TakeThisOuTpiclist-bouncesEraseMEspamspam_OUTmit.edu] On Behalf Of Herbert Graf
> Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2007 2:31 PM
> To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
> Subject: RE: [OT] Units rant

>...

> Oh, I believe you! :) It actually reminds me of how confused
> I was about
> wall warts as a kid (maybe 6 or 7?).
>
> The wall wart said something like: 9V, 600mA. With my shiny new
> multimeter I could measure it and it read something like 11V.
> Yet every
> time I tried measuring that 600mA on my meter it would blow
> the meters'
> fuse... :)
...

I did that as a kid, exactly once.  Meter wasn't so shiny afterwards.  

Trouble is, at a place I worked a few years ago, there was an EE
(really, degreed BSEE), who just never figured it out.  I tried to
explain voltage/current to her multiple times.  Several others tried
multiple times too.  It never sunk in.  Finally each of us just hid our
own meters; any meter left out on the bench, you could be sure had a
blown fuse.

Gary

2007\06\12@194728 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Chris McSweeny wrote:

> To be fair I'd have to look up the meaning of cathode and anode to answer
> that one

That's probably the time when you should (re)start reading diode data
sheets :)

They usually mention those terms.

Gerhard

2007\06\12@195314 by Goflo

picon face
Makes me feel better - Thought it was just the military...

> Finally each of us just hid our
> own meters; any meter left out on the bench, you could be sure had a
> blown fuse.

2007\06\13@035649 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
> to a few hundred mA as I recall. Then he noticed that the 5V power
> supply we were going to use was rated for several amps, and he said
> we had to stop and get a different power supply, as this one was
> going to destroy the circuit by forcing too much current through it.
>
> I kid you not.

Sounds like the new graduate who decided that he needed to measure the
impedance of the mains supply, so put his nice new Avo 8 on ohms and plugged
the probes into a wall outlet ...

The meter was reported to be a total write off.

2007\06\13@040559 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
> Really basic stuff. But it was amazing how many recent college grads
> couldn't answer them correctly!  What was more amazing is that we
> found that the test was really a very good way to filter out the
> duds, and find the kids who actually *understood* what they were
> taught. It separated them out from those who were good as memorizing
> answers but didn't grasp what they were supposedly learning.
>
> I wish I still had a copy of the test.

About the time I finished my apprenticeship the company was looking to take
on a new batch of apprentices, and the guy given the responsibility of
sorting the wheat from the chaff ended up giving two simple tests, first a
maths test that allowed him to see that they were up to speed on the level
of maths that should have coming out of secondary school, and secondly a
very simple test to see if they recognised various electronic and radio
symbols and circuits, to see if they had been playing with crystal sets and
things as hobbyists. Neither test was particularly arduous, but a surprising
number failed.

When I was looking to leave secondary school, and was looking around for
employment, I applied to Burroughs, and they had a mechanical aptitude test
(these were the days of mechanical calculators, magnetic stripe card
accounting machines were just coming on the market, computers were still
'only 6 needed in the world').

2007\06\13@041908 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 6/13/07, wouter van ooijen <RemoveMEwouterspamTakeThisOuTvoti.nl> wrote:
>
> According to my fellow teachers these boys are not bad, they are
> typical. I hope for the safety of my country that serious engineering
> work is very quickly outsourced to countries where 18y boys still have
> at least some feeling for numbers and values...
>

I think your students are not too bad. After all they are first year
students. I saw quite some 4th year Electrical Engineering students
who do not have some feeling of numbers and values. And they are
some bright students who does have good feeling of numbers but no
sense of units. One of the Italian born adjunct professor gave a rather
bright student a "C" for failing to use the correct units. I thought he was
too harsh but maybe I was wrong.

In my last job I often beat my manager and other fellow engineers
when calculating simple math and units conversion. I just calculated
by heart and my manager (who is a German) was using a HP48.

Some simples ones -- please try to calculate wihout using paper/pen or
a calculator.
12x12= ?
25x25= ?
24x25= ?
780+225=
111x111=
12mA x 5k Ohm = ?
0.12V x 8mA = ?

Xiaofan

2007\06\13@043450 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>> According to my fellow teachers these boys are not bad, they are
>> typical. I hope for the safety of my country that serious engineering
>> work is very quickly outsourced to countries where 18y boys still have
>> at least some feeling for numbers and values...
>>
>
>I think your students are not too bad. After all they are first year
>students.

So? That math is so basic that they should be able to do it without any
calculation aids before going to secondary school, let alone tertiary
education. It was for this sort of problem that the company I first worked
for gave incoming apprenticeship hopefuls a basic maths test (see previous
post on this tag).

2007\06\13@095610 by William Couture

face picon face
On 6/13/07, Alan B. Pearce <A.B.PearceEraseMEspam.....rl.ac.uk> wrote:

> >> According to my fellow teachers these boys are not bad, they are
> >> typical. I hope for the safety of my country that serious engineering
> >> work is very quickly outsourced to countries where 18y boys still have
> >> at least some feeling for numbers and values...
> >>
> >
> >I think your students are not too bad. After all they are first year
> >students.
>
> So? That math is so basic that they should be able to do it without any
> calculation aids before going to secondary school, let alone tertiary
> education. It was for this sort of problem that the company I first worked
> for gave incoming apprenticeship hopefuls a basic maths test (see previous
> post on this tag).

I used to work with an "engineer" who could not divide a simple number
(say, 80) by 2 in his head.  I found this out when I wrote a program to
take data from a system and plot it.

However, the serial link could not keep up with data from every point, and
so I send every other point (it was a smooth function, and so nothing
was "lost" by the missing data).  However, I had a "brain fart" and labeled
the graph with the original data rate.

He claimed it was completely unusable, and so I had to change the
program (trivial) and take the data again (not trivial).

The only change was the numbers on the side of the graph...

Bill

--
Psst...  Hey, you... Buddy...  Want a kitten?  straycatblues.petfinder.org

2007\06\13@113755 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Xiaofan Chen wrote:

> One of the Italian born adjunct professor gave a rather bright student a
> "C" for failing to use the correct units. I thought he was too harsh but
> maybe I was wrong.

I didn't see the test, but using the wrong units means you don't really
understand what you're doing (unless it's a typo, of course). Getting a
number wrong can happen all the time, but getting a unit wrong -- that's
grave.

Gerhard

2007\06\13@120015 by Herbert Graf

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face
On Wed, 2007-06-13 at 12:26 -0300, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
> Xiaofan Chen wrote:
>
> > One of the Italian born adjunct professor gave a rather bright student a
> > "C" for failing to use the correct units. I thought he was too harsh but
> > maybe I was wrong.
>
> I didn't see the test, but using the wrong units means you don't really
> understand what you're doing (unless it's a typo, of course). Getting a
> number wrong can happen all the time, but getting a unit wrong -- that's
> grave.

True, but I suppose it depends "how" wrong. If one were to write kW
instead of kWh it could simply be an ommission of a single character,
and wouldn't warrant a "C".

OTOH, if it's clear the person had no concept of what units were to be
used then yes, I think it's a good idea. TTYL

2007\06\13@121012 by William Bulley

picon face
According to Herbert Graf <EraseMEmailinglist3spamfarcite.net>:
{Quote hidden}

This reminds me of that NASA Mars probe which was lost (crashed into Mars?)
because two groups used two different units of measure (Metric vs. Imperial).

Regards,

web...

--
William Bulley                     Email: RemoveMEwebEraseMEspamEraseMEumich.edu

2007\06\13@124417 by Mike Hord

picon face
> True, but I suppose it depends "how" wrong. If one were to write kW
> instead of kWh it could simply be an ommission of a single character,
> and wouldn't warrant a "C".
>
> OTOH, if it's clear the person had no concept of what units were to be
> used then yes, I think it's a good idea. TTYL

I couldn't disagree more.  Writing kW when you are asked for, for instance,
the amount of energy require to boil 1-L of water, DOES demonstrate
that the person has no concept of what units are to be used.

It's like saying "Why did I get this wrong?  The answer was -1024 and
I wrote 1024.  Don't I deserve partial credit?  It's only off by the negative
sign."  No, the answer is off by over 2000.  If you wrote 12 and the
answer was actually 2017, would you expect credit?

Wrong is wrong.  The ONLY exception I could see is if a transcription
error occurs- on my worksheet, the final answer is clearly written with
kWh as the units, but I copied it over wrong.  That's worth something,
maybe.

This attitude of "just one letter" or "just the negative sign" leads to sloppy
workmanship which will ultimately get one into trouble.

Mike H.

2007\06\13@140439 by Herbert Graf

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face
On Wed, 2007-06-13 at 11:44 -0500, Mike Hord wrote:
{Quote hidden}

But is punishing a person so severely for a simple mistake like that on
an exam, where the student is under immense pressure to perform REALLY a
good idea?

I understand that in real life a mistake like this can be very serious,
but we're not dealing with real life, we're dealing with a pressure
cooker situation as far from real life as it gets.

If OTOH it's clear the person has NO concept of what the units should be
then I agree a severe punishment is in order since it's obvious the
student doesn't have the knowledge. As for how to determine this it's
simple: if the student approaches you and asks why they got that mark,
and you ask them "why was kW wrong?" and they don't can't explain why,
then yes, the mark is deserved.

As for me, units were a wonderful crutch to confirm whether my answer
was correct. If you know you're units, you can often use them to
determine whether the operations/formulas you've used are correct. I've
used unit checking to confirm whether the formula I've written down is
REALLY correct, very handy.

TTYL

2007\06\13@145519 by piclist

flavicon
face

> But is punishing a person so severely for a simple mistake like that on
> an exam, where the student is under immense pressure to perform REALLY a
> good idea?

Someone else used a good example as to why I think the punishment fits the
mistake by citing the NASA Mars probe crash.  It's the same carelessness, lack
of attention.  It was not intentional (at least I believe it was not), but the
carelessness lead to the destruction of millions (if not billions, I don't
recall the price tag on the mission).

-Mario

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2007\06\13@152309 by Herbert Graf

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face
On Wed, 2007-06-13 at 11:59 -0700, RemoveMEpiclistspam_OUTspamKILLspammmendes.com wrote:
> > But is punishing a person so severely for a simple mistake like that on
> > an exam, where the student is under immense pressure to perform REALLY a
> > good idea?
>
> Someone else used a good example as to why I think the punishment fits the
> mistake by citing the NASA Mars probe crash.  It's the same carelessness, lack
> of attention.  It was not intentional (at least I believe it was not), but the
> carelessness lead to the destruction of millions (if not billions, I don't
> recall the price tag on the mission).

Really? You've NEVER made an error on an exam? EVERY question was
perfect?

Come now, you'd can't expect perfection on something as artificial as an
exam. There is nothing in real life that approaches an exam in
"craziness", and to expect people to act perfectly on one is IMHO
unreasonable.

Do you REALLY think that "nailing" a student for one tiny error is a
good idea, from a society point of view? Don't you believe in "learning
from mistakes"? If every time a person made a small mistake they'd be
hammered into the ground I doubt anybody would be left at the end of the
year.

The example given of the Mars probe doesn't count. Humans make mistakes.
No matter HOW brutal a teacher is, humans will ALWAYS make mistakes.
It's impossible for humans to be perfect. The example is meaningless
since no matter HOW hard ass teachers are, there will ALWAYS be an
example of a human making a mistake that ends up costing alot of money.

Mistakes happen. To think that by punishing them with a sledge hammer
will eliminate them is IMHO unrealistic.

2007\06\13@154713 by Mike Hord

picon face
> Really? You've NEVER made an error on an exam? EVERY question was
> perfect?

A.  I don't think anyone here is claiming never to have made a mistake.  The
point is, when you make a mistake, you take your lumps.
B.  Calm down.  This is getting too heated I fear.

> The example given of the Mars probe doesn't count. Humans make mistakes.
> No matter HOW brutal a teacher is, humans will ALWAYS make mistakes.

And no teacher is ever as brutal as the real world.  Of course that example
"counts"!  The assumption that the number somehow has more inherent
value than the units is a flaw in thinking which must be corrected.

> Mistakes happen. To think that by punishing them with a sledge hammer
> will eliminate them is IMHO unrealistic.

True, but back to the original example, the bright student given a "C" for
writing down the wrong units:  If that prof took MORE points than that
question is normally worth for that, then no, that's not right.  However, if
that question was one of four on an exam, and thus worth 25 points, and
the prof took all 25 points for putting the wrong units down, that's
perfectly reasonable.

Look, if the proper answer is 25 kWh and I write 25 kW, I'm wrong, as
surely as if I'd written 25 mph or yellow or Marie Antoinette.  In fact,
I'd argue that it's more important that the proper UNITS pop out at the
end than that the proper number does.  Proper units shows diligence
and understanding of base concepts.  Proper maths shows good
calculator skills.

Mike H.

2007\06\13@160338 by Herbert Graf

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face
On Wed, 2007-06-13 at 14:47 -0500, Mike Hord wrote:
> True, but back to the original example, the bright student given a "C" for
> writing down the wrong units:  If that prof took MORE points than that
> question is normally worth for that, then no, that's not right.  However, if
> that question was one of four on an exam, and thus worth 25 points, and
> the prof took all 25 points for putting the wrong units down, that's
> perfectly reasonable.

Wow, well let's just say, if my profs thought as you did, that even the
most simple of errors resulted in zero on the question, none of us would
have graduated.

What I don't understand is why this is such a black and white issue for
everyone, is there no grey in people's opinions? It seems like many
people think the only valid mark on a question on an exam is 100%, or
0%, that is not how the world works, never mind the insanely artificial
construct that is an exam.

> Look, if the proper answer is 25 kWh and I write 25 kW, I'm wrong, as
> surely as if I'd written 25 mph or yellow or Marie Antoinette.  

Nope. mph is vastly different from kWh, and is therefore pretty much
impossible to be a simple "writing down as the clock is ticking" error.

Forgetting the 'h' on kWh IS the kind of "writing down as the clock is
ticking" error, and if it's obvious the student knew what they were
doing it's completely unreasonable to give them a zero on the question.
If it's obvious the student DIDN'T know what they were doing (i.e. just
plugging numbers into formulas without any explanations) then yes, I'd
agree that 0 is perhaps reasonable.



2007\06\13@161435 by Chris Smolinski

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face
>True, but back to the original example, the bright student given a "C" for
>writing down the wrong units:  If that prof took MORE points than that
>question is normally worth for that, then no, that's not right.  However, if
>that question was one of four on an exam, and thus worth 25 points, and
>the prof took all 25 points for putting the wrong units down, that's
>perfectly reasonable.
>
>Look, if the proper answer is 25 kWh and I write 25 kW, I'm wrong, as
>surely as if I'd written 25 mph or yellow or Marie Antoinette.  In fact,
>I'd argue that it's more important that the proper UNITS pop out at the
>end than that the proper number does.  Proper units shows diligence
>and understanding of base concepts.  Proper maths shows good
>calculator skills.

The solution is what one of my physics profs did. You showed all your
work in solving the problems on the exam, all of the steps. If you
made a stupid blunder part way through, you lost partial points. He
was more concerned in making sure that you understood the principles
involved, than whether you made some trivial math error. Yes, I agree
that in the real world (as in the case of the Mars Observer), you
don't get partial credit, it's all or nothing. But school should
rarely be confused with the real world. ;-)

--

---
Chris Smolinski
Black Cat Systems
http://www.blackcatsystems.com

2007\06\13@161906 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Jun 13, 2007, at 12:23 PM, Herbert Graf wrote:

>>> But is punishing a person so severely for a simple mistake like that
>>> on
>>> an exam, where the student is under immense pressure to perform
>>> REALLY a
>>> good idea?
>>>
It Depends.  Arguably, getting a C is not not "severe punishment."
(need more details.  "C" on a single question?  C on an exam where
ALL the answers had the wrong units?  C as a class grade for a student
who never used the right units?  Or are you talking 25% off full credit
for each answer with the wrong units, later subject to per-class curves
and so on?  25% off for wrong units sounds about right, especially if
there is no work shown (relevant to the units.  "It's not a careless
mistake: you guessed what the units would be, and you guessed wrong.")
And 25% off WOULD normally move you into C territory, right?)

BillW

2007\06\13@162551 by D. Jay Newman

flavicon
face
> Really? You've NEVER made an error on an exam? EVERY question was
> perfect?
>
> Come now, you'd can't expect perfection on something as artificial as an
> exam. There is nothing in real life that approaches an exam in
> "craziness", and to expect people to act perfectly on one is IMHO
> unreasonable.

WTF??

I thought that when I was a student, but once I got into the real world
I found out much differently. The worst exam questions I've ever had
pale in comparison to being thrown on a project to "fix" it with a week's
deadline for a six month project and a boss that doesn't bother to give
me the right specs so I have to figure out what she really wanted so I
could do the job.

> Do you REALLY think that "nailing" a student for one tiny error is a
> good idea, from a society point of view? Don't you believe in "learning
> from mistakes"? If every time a person made a small mistake they'd be
> hammered into the ground I doubt anybody would be left at the end of the
> year.

Like Mike Hord says later, if they get the units wrong, the answer is wrong.
Take off whatever points the answer is worth.

Letting students go with partial credit, IMNSHO, encourages students to
avoid paying attention to details.

> Mistakes happen. To think that by punishing them with a sledge hammer
> will eliminate them is IMHO unrealistic.

And *nothing* a decent teacher does will ever hit with the force the real
world can. A great teacher can encourage students to do things right the
first time rather than create costly mistakes in the real world.
--
D. Jay Newman           ! Author of: _Linux Robotics: Building Smarter Robots_
RemoveMEjayTakeThisOuTspamspamsprucegrove.com     ! ME? I vos travelink about. Deliverink messages.
http://enerd.ws/robots  ! Causink TROUBLE. -- a female Jaeger from Girl Genius

2007\06\13@164215 by piclist

flavicon
face
I've made mistakes in exams, bad mistakes, stupid mistakes, small
mistakes, you
name it.  Every time I made one of those, I'd learn from it and pay more
attention the next time.  I'm actually a big fan of making mistakes, it causes
you to step back and think about why you got it wrong in the first place, and
that makes you better at something.  Once I get something wrong, the
reason why
I got it wrong becomes more important than what the correct answer to the
particular problem.

But now imagine that poor mars lander actually had people in it.  It still
would've been the same "dumb and innocent" units mistake.  But do you think it
would've been a serious mistake then?  It would still have been just a simple
units mistake.

You're right that no human is perfect and that humans will always make
mistakes.
 But learning from the mistakes you're going to be more prone to not make the
same mistakes again.  The saying practice makes perfect comes to mind.  Maybe
not perfect, no, but closer to it, that is definitely possible.


-Mario


Quoting Herbert Graf <EraseMEmailinglist3spamspamspamBeGonefarcite.net>:

{Quote hidden}

> -

2007\06\13@193652 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 6/14/07, William Chops Westfield <westfwSTOPspamspamspam_OUTmac.com> wrote:
>
> On Jun 13, 2007, at 12:23 PM, Herbert Graf wrote:
>
> >>> But is punishing a person so severely for a simple mistake like that
> >>> on an exam, where the student is under immense pressure to perform
> >>> REALLY a good idea?
> >>>
> It Depends.  Arguably, getting a C is not not "severe punishment."
> (need more details.  "C" on a single question?  C on an exam where
> ALL the answers had the wrong units?  C as a class grade for a student
> who never used the right units?  Or are you talking 25% off full credit
> for each answer with the wrong units, later subject to per-class curves
> and so on?  25% off for wrong units sounds about right, especially if
> there is no work shown (relevant to the units.  "It's not a careless
> mistake: you guessed what the units would be, and you guessed wrong.")
> And 25% off WOULD normally move you into C territory, right?)
>

Okay I did not expect this to generate such a debate. It was a final exam,
an open book one. The students were asked to finish a design according
to the specifications. That paticular students should get a B or B+ if not
for the serious unit error (I forgot the exact detail but it was a serious one).
So the student get a C instead of B+/B.

2007\06\13@200237 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Chris Smolinski wrote:

>> Look, if the proper answer is 25 kWh and I write 25 kW, I'm wrong, as
>> surely as if I'd written 25 mph or yellow or Marie Antoinette.  In
>> fact, I'd argue that it's more important that the proper UNITS pop out
>> at the end than that the proper number does.  Proper units shows
>> diligence and understanding of base concepts.  Proper maths shows good
>> calculator skills.
>
> The solution is what one of my physics profs did. You showed all your
> work in solving the problems on the exam, all of the steps. If you made
> a stupid blunder part way through, you lost partial points. He was more
> concerned in making sure that you understood the principles involved,
> than whether you made some trivial math error.

Exactly. If you make your intermediate calculations without units, you
should fail the exam right away, IMO. (Of course, this would lead to the
quick adoption of the SI even in non-SI countries, but is this really a
reason not to do so? :)

If you make your calculations with the proper units throughout, the missing
'h' at the end can easily be identified as minor typo (writo?). If OTOH the
sequence of units in your calcs shows that you don't have a clue about the
difference...

> Yes, I agree that in the real world (as in the case of the Mars
> Observer), you don't get partial credit, it's all or nothing.

I disagree somewhat. There are partial credits in the real world. There is
a difference between something that simply doesn't work (the "no credit"
situation), and something that doesn't work, but most of the internal
infrastructure is there and just some minor blunders keep it from working
(the "partial credit" situation). The latter is (for me, at least) almost
the best-case scenario :)

Gerhard

2007\06\14@015613 by Steve Smith

flavicon
face

Surely the units are relative as in the following



An equation yields a result in currency, this can be expressed as follows



     Â£ 1.00  or $ 2.00 or € 1.50 the same applies for distance either 1” or 25.4mm are both acceptable as units of measure as are imperial distance and volume as these have never been withdrawn. This is not the case for imperial currency (Lsd) withdrawn in 1971 expressing 2s6d would be incorrect when you mean 12.5p or should this loose a level of precision due to the withdrawal of the ½p



Just my 2P (4c) (€0.3)



Steve



{Original Message removed}

2007\06\14@043132 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>Forgetting the 'h' on kWh IS the kind of "writing down as the clock
>is ticking" error, and if it's obvious the student knew what they
>were doing it's completely unreasonable to give them a zero on the
>question.

Certainly having the wrong units is worth loosing a mark, but if the
underlying method is correct, then most of the marks should be awarded. But
if you cannot get the units correct at the end, you certainly shouldn't get
the full 100%.


But then the exam I had last year, the way it was set up you could get 115
marks for the exam. Anyone getting 100+ marks got 100%, below 100 marks and
the mark became the %. Did mean that if your pure maths was better than your
applied maths (or the other way around) you still had a fighting chance at
getting a good grade.

2007\06\14@202828 by Jim Korman

flavicon
face
Alan B. Pearce wrote:
>> Forgetting the 'h' on kWh IS the kind of "writing down as the clock
>> is ticking" error, and if it's obvious the student knew what they
>> were doing it's completely unreasonable to give them a zero on the
>> question.
>>    
>
> Certainly having the wrong units is worth loosing a mark, but if the
> underlying method is correct, then most of the marks should be awarded. But
> if you cannot get the units correct at the end, you certainly shouldn't get
> the full 100%.
>  
You wouldn't have liked the way my high school Physics teacher graded.
The answer was correct, numerically and units, or not! We spent
the first couple of weeks on units and significant digits, lessons well
taught
and remembered! No calculators, slide rules (1973-4)

Jim

2007\06\15@143916 by Nate Duehr

face
flavicon
face
Herbert Graf wrote:

> It's an unfortunate fact that our education system doesn't seem to
> distinguish between the students that simply memorize answers, and those
> that UNDERSTAND the problems. I do hope that eventually people who got
> through school without truly understanding the subjects they've taken
> either take the time to actually LEARN their subject, or wisely move to
> another industry. What scares me is some of these people are probably
> out there, designing the technology we use every day...

From my experience, they don't end up the designers.  They end up the
the bosses.  LOL!

Nate

2007\06\16@123109 by Peter Todd

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On Fri, Jun 15, 2007 at 12:39:49PM -0600, Nate Duehr wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Makes sense to me. No need to waste valuable engineers in management
positions... <g>

- --
http://petertodd.org
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2007\06\16@231532 by Carey Fisher

face picon face

>
> To put things even worse, the pupils in a 9th grade public school here
> in Sweden does not know how many cm (centimeters) is a m (meter).
>
>
>  
That's odd.  We here in the USofA keep getting told by our news media
that we have the
worst education system in the world.
Carey

2007\06\16@235625 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Jun 16, 2007, at 8:15 PM, Carey Fisher wrote:

>> To put things even worse, the pupils in a 9th grade public school here
>> in Sweden does not know how many cm (centimeters) is a m (meter).
>>
> That's odd.  We here in the USofA keep getting told by our news media
> that we have the worst education system in the world.

Hmm.  they USE the metric system, so perhaps they think they don't have
to teach it anymore?  When the metric system is taught in the US, we
make
a pretty big deal out of the powers-of-ten aspects and the prefix
meanings.

You'd probably get a similar failure rate in the US asking how many feet
were in a mile...

BillW

2007\06\17@093036 by Rich

picon face
I don't know about the US having the worst education system in the world.  I
have been teaching college for some years and the students that have come to
me in the last decade are an embarrassment.  Most of them have not developed
basic reading and writing skills.  The can pronounce the words they read
(for the most part) but they have some difficulty in ascertaining the
meaning of what they have read.  The essay assignments are in general a
disaster.  But in every class there are a few students who are brilliant and
that is the redeeming value of teaching.

{Original Message removed}

2007\06\17@100149 by Mike Hord

picon face
Perhaps it's not the educational system which is getting worse, but the
clay they have to mold?

Mike H.

On 6/17/07, Rich <spamBeGonergrazia1STOPspamspamEraseMErochester.rr.com> wrote:
> I don't know about the US having the worst education system in the world.  I
> have been teaching college for some years and the students that have come to
> me in the last decade are an embarrassment.  Most of them have not developed
> basic reading and writing skills.  The can pronounce the words they read
> (for the most part) but they have some difficulty in ascertaining the
> meaning of what they have read.  The essay assignments are in general a
> disaster.  But in every class there are a few students who are brilliant and
> that is the redeeming value of teaching.

2007\06\17@100912 by Chris Smolinski

flavicon
face
>I don't know about the US having the worst education system in the world.  I
>have been teaching college for some years and the students that have come to
>me in the last decade are an embarrassment.  Most of them have not developed
>basic reading and writing skills.  The can pronounce the words they read
>(for the most part) but they have some difficulty in ascertaining the
>meaning of what they have read.  The essay assignments are in general a
>disaster.  But in every class there are a few students who are brilliant and
>that is the redeeming value of teaching.

It's the same Bell curve as always. However, as a larger percentage
of people attend college, we dig deeper into the middle of the
distribution.

I don't doubt that teaching to standardized testing requirements has
also had negative effects.

--

---
Chris Smolinski
Black Cat Systems
http://www.blackcatsystems.com

2007\06\17@104813 by Brian B. Riley

picon face
I recently attended my daughter's graduation from Burlington County  
(NJ) Community College. During the class Valedictorian speech I  
stopped trying to count somewhere around 37 "...uuuummmmmm"s. I think  
the chairman of the English department was out trying to higher one  
of Tony Soprano's boy's!

I retired from teaching high school in 2003. The school I taught at  
was considered one  the best in the state; many of the kids going on  
to prestigious colleges. Though I mostly worked with low end remedial  
kids I occasionally interfaced with higher end students in AP Physics  
and Calculus. I was appalled at the atrocious grammar and composition  
of many of these students. Unless they were fortunate enough to be  
among  the  third of the seniors who had the 'dragon lady' of the  
English department. After the second month of the class would not  
accept any paper with spelling, grammar or major composition  
faults ... they had one chance to resubmit or took a zero. Many  
'grades conscious'  parents tried to have her canned or reined in  
over the years, but she is still there with 25-27 years on the job.  
Invariably the students who cursed her out most vociferously when t  
hey were there were the first ones to come back from college to thank  
her!

---
cheers ... 73 de brian  riley,  n1bq , underhill center, vermont
  <http://web.mac.com/brianbr/>  Tech Blog
  <http://www.wulfden.org/TheShoppe.shtml>
   Home of the
      K107 Serial LCD Controller Kit   FT817 Power Conditioner Kit
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On Jun 17, 2007, at 10:09 AM, Chris Smolinski wrote:

{Quote hidden}

2007\06\17@104930 by Douglas Wood

picon face
To put it in perspective, I suppose, not many 9th grade pupils in the US
public school system KNOW how many 9th grade public school pupils in Sweden
don't know how many centifmeters are in a meter!! :^)

OK, I'll got back to bed now.

Douglas Wood

{Original Message removed}

2007\06\17@120204 by Ruben Jönsson

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I live in Sweden and have 3 kids aged 8, 10 and 12 (just finished grade 2, 4
and 5) and they all passed the cm in a m test. I actually didn't think that the
youngest would but she did.

But you are right, I think the education system has become worse. Perhaps not
the education as such but there must be something wrong when kids can go nine
years (and sometimes even more) in school and they still can't read and write
properly. I just don't understand how these kids can fall through the system
unnoticed (or is it uncared for?).

Perhaps one reason is that the classes tends to get bigger and bigger. The
educationalist time spent on a single pupil gets smaller and smaller.

I think another reason is that the teacher profession isn't very high valued.
It is not seen as a high status job - especially not teachers for the younger
children. This is a bit strange since todays children are a nations best future
asset. Raise the salaries for teachers and you will find that in the long term,
it would be very benificial for the nation. But that is perhaps the root of the
problem - politicians don't tink in long terms today.

/Ruben

{Quote hidden}

==============================
Ruben Jönsson
AB Liros Electronic
Box 9124, 200 39 Malmö, Sweden
TEL INT +46 40142078
FAX INT +46 40947388
KILLspamrubenspamBeGonespampp.sbbs.se
==============================

2007\06\17@120935 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Rich wrote:

> I don't know about the US having the worst education system in the world.

Definitely not. I also think that this trend is not so much related to the
educational system than to the culture as a whole.

> I have been teaching college for some years and the students that have
> come to me in the last decade are an embarrassment.  Most of them have
> not developed basic reading and writing skills.  The can pronounce the
> words they read (for the most part) but they have some difficulty in
> ascertaining the meaning of what they have read.  The essay assignments
> are in general a disaster.  But in every class there are a few students
> who are brilliant and that is the redeeming value of teaching.

>From what I hear and experience, this seems to be a widespread trend. I
don't know why and how, but it seems that many such trends are almost
global, transcending many different cultures. (I'd expect, without much
knowledge, that e.g. China is different, though. But then, I'd expect that
in some decades they eventually get caught up with this, too :)

Gerhard

2007\06\17@181755 by Tomas Larsson

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face
{Quote hidden}

Me thinks, at least here in Sweden, it's very much up to the system.
There is a HUGE problem with Swedish schools, when the pupils are to clever,
or not clever at all.
Clever pupils are pushed back, so they ends up as average (or preferably
below average), the not so clever ones is more or less neglected.
It all comes back to the intention of the politicians, (whom are scared for
the clever ones).




With best regards

Tomas Larsson
Sweden
http://www.tlec.se
http://www.ebaman.com

Verus Amicus Est Tamquam Alter Idem

2007\06\17@190254 by Jinx

face picon face

> It is not seen as a high status job - especially not teachers
> for the younger children

In NZ the trend is increasingly towards female teachers. Apart
from the "male role model", which fewer and fewer kids seem
to have at home, men generally think completely differently and
have strengths in technical areas (maths, spatial problems etc)

I wonder if kids that go through school with a succession of
female teachers will not receive the "right amount" of exposure
to technical thinking, and will have difficulty when confronted

2007\06\17@190907 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Jun 17, 2007, at 3:17 PM, Tomas Larsson wrote:

> when the pupils are to clever, or not clever at all.

Interesting.  I'd describe the problem in the US as over-emphasizing
the over-achievers or under-achievers (it oscillates?), always at
the expense of the middle of the bell curve...

BillW

2007\06\17@192727 by Goflo

picon face
www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/education/july-dec98/testing_9-15.html

Note this was nearly 10 years ago - Have things got better? NIMHO.
All a right-wing Neanderthal plot, according to the teacher's unions.
FWIW Massachusetts public education is one of the largest and best-funded systems in the country (The United States, for you public school
grads... :)

---- Tomas Larsson <.....tomasspam_OUTspamtlec.se> wrote:
> Me thinks, at least here in Sweden, it's very much up to the system.
> There is a HUGE problem with Swedish schools, when the pupils are to clever,
> or not clever at all.
> Clever pupils are pushed back, so they ends up as average (or preferably
> below average), the not so clever ones is more or less neglected.
> It all comes back to the intention of the politicians, (whom are scared for
> the clever ones).

2007\06\17@222145 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Ruben Jönsson wrote:

> But you are right, I think the education system has become worse. Perhaps
> not the education as such but there must be something wrong when kids
> can go nine years (and sometimes even more) in school and they still
> can't read and write properly. I just don't understand how these kids
> can fall through the system unnoticed (or is it uncared for?).

I learned reading at home. It is hard to measure or even estimate, but I'd
say I learned most of the important skills I have at home (even though both
of my parents worked when I went to school).

I'm not sure the school system is to blame for many of the mentioned
shortcomings.

Gerhard

2007\06\17@224442 by Rich

picon face
The attitude of a majority of the students I teach has changed over the last
decade, and probably over a longer period.  The commitment to excellence is
replaced by a commitment to the least investment necessary for getting a
passing grade.  If students are assigned homework readings in Greek Drama or
the German philosophers they complain because the material "is too hard" in
their opinion.
   I believe the students are intelligent, but that there is a cultural
element among the young people that inhibits the creative learning process.
The student I get that are in their 30's and 40's are typically excellent
students who have an entirely different attitude towards education, which is
very positive.
   I do not see evidence that the bell curve is the same.  I see more
students who are under educated in high school and are entering college at a
disadvantage because they are compromised by a cultural element that is
counter productive to academic achievement.
   The system does not have in place a methodology for effectively dealing
with behavioral issues and cultural influences.  In my humble opinion I do
not believe that improvements in education can proceed without serious
attention to the behavioral and cultural issues that compromise student
opportunities to learn.  American students in general do not prize education
as an essential achievement. Until they do, I fear that educational levels
will reflect the low aspirations of students.


{Original Message removed}

2007\06\17@225039 by

picon face
part 1 1374 bytes content-type:text/plain; charset=US-ASCII (decoded quoted-printable)

worked in the physical plant of a hospital and we had a plummer there that
could'nt read a tape measure and guess what he was a high school grad,
when i was a kid in school we had to read , write and practice grammar at
home.
it you dont think its the school system ask a recent grad what the square
root of 2 is, most likely you will get a whats a square root.


> [Original Message]
> From: Gerhard Fiedler <TakeThisOuTlists.....spamTakeThisOuTconnectionbrazil.com>
> To: <TakeThisOuTpiclistKILLspamspamspammit.edu>
> Date: 6/17/2007 11:21:33 PM
> Subject: Re: [OT] Units rant
>
> Ruben Jönsson wrote:
>
> > But you are right, I think the education system has become worse.
Perhaps
> > not the education as such but there must be something wrong when kids
> > can go nine years (and sometimes even more) in school and they still
> > can't read and write properly. I just don't understand how these kids
> > can fall through the system unnoticed (or is it uncared for?).
>
> I learned reading at home. It is hard to measure or even estimate, but I'd
> say I learned most of the important skills I have at home (even though
both
> of my parents worked when I went to school). >
> I'm not sure the school system is to blame for many of the mentioned
> shortcomings.
>
> Gerhard
>
> --!

2007\06\17@225650 by Rich

picon face
I absolutely agree with you.  The cultural element perhaps is the most
important consideration for understanding and perhaps improving the
educational experience.

{Original Message removed}

2007\06\17@231045 by Nate Duehr

face
flavicon
face

On Jun 17, 2007, at 8:48 AM, Brian B. Riley wrote:

> I recently attended my daughter's graduation from Burlington County
> (NJ) Community College. During the class Valedictorian speech I
> stopped trying to count somewhere around 37 "...uuuummmmmm"s. I think
> the chairman of the English department was out trying to higher one
> of Tony Soprano's boy's!

*Hire* one of the Soprano boys, perhaps?

{Quote hidden}

Good for her.  Shame on the parents.  Where were they when the kid  
wasn't learning to read and write?

> Invariably the students who cursed her out most vociferously when t
> hey were there were the first ones to come back from college to thank
> her!

Absolutely.

--
Nate Duehr
.....natespamRemoveMEnatetech.com



2007\06\18@000117 by Nate Duehr

face
flavicon
face

On Jun 17, 2007, at 10:01 AM, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

> Rich wrote:
>
>> I don't know about the US having the worst education system in the  
>> world.
>
> Definitely not. I also think that this trend is not so much related  
> to the
> educational system than to the culture as a whole.

If parents make sure their children are educated (and there are MANY  
stories of "uneducated" parents making sure their children get a  
better education than they did), the system and its problems don't  
matter.

It's all a reflection of the parent's priorities they set for  
themselves, their family, and the expectations they have of their  
children.

Most "soccer moms" in my area are the typical suburbanites who want  
two brand new SUV's in the driveway (usually Lexus) and a brand new  
(made out of cardboard-thin plywood and fake brick siding) house,  
with the perfect lawn in a "Covenant Controlled" (key word being  
CONTROL there...) so-called "Community".  They think this is "normal"  
life.  That's how stupid THEY are.

The parent's "needs" far outweigh the priority of education of the  
children.  That 50" plasma TV, and the 2nd or 3rd mortgage that goes  
with it, and mom or dad on the road traveling at least three or four  
days a week so they can afford all this "stuff" is more important  
than dad or mom staying home for a few years and teaching the  
children about life, themselves.

The children spend hours a day unsupervised in front of the  
PlayStation or TV, with no expectation of mom or dad really caring  
enough to take away their privileged little lives, if they don't do  
their homework.

Then the parents show up at parent/teacher conferences and make no  
changes with Johnny and Janey start showing signs of having bad  
grades.  Downgrade the house?  Have a parent stay home?  Spent more  
time with the kids on homework?  But that means I can't have my Lexus!

My brother-in-law and his wife chose to have his wife stay home with  
the kids, and he owns his own home on a middle-school teacher's  
salary.  The house is small in a 40 year old quiet low-crime  
neighborhood with real trees for a treehouse that dad built with the  
boys, the only TV (which is only allowed on for the news and one show  
a week, and a few videos once in a while as a "treat") is about 19"  
big, there's one five year old minivan and a ten year old Honda Civic  
in the driveway (both taken good care of), and eating out is a huge  
treat only done once a quarter or so.  The boys also saved money and  
pooled it TOGETHER from their allowances to buy an older gaming  
machine (I forget which, probably a PS1 or PS2?), and mom and dad  
allow 1 hour a day of either that or any other "entertainment" type  
of activity, like TV or a movie.  They have to CHOOSE what they want  
to do.   They gain their allowances by helping dad out around the  
house, which is getting better for dad as they get older, of course.

His three boys are smart, well-mannered, well-rounded, and already  
are showing signs of academic excellence.  They're just old enough  
that gaining the privilege of playing in sports is highly motivating  
to them, so they shoot for straight "A"'s so mom and dad will let  
them play.     I'm highly impressed with their kids.

I wish more parents took the time and care that they have -- instead  
of bitching about how the "system" is failing them.   In reality,  
they're failing their kids.

As a minority (a married adult without kids) I also get pretty damn  
annoyed that the majority get a tax BREAK for having multiple ankle-
biters running around.  It's your choice to have "dependents", you  
should be able to handle paying for them AND taxes, or you shouldn't  
have had the ankle-biters.

I read the local school district's financial plan and consider  
carefully where they're spending my tax money, but perhaps that's  
because they get so much of it.  Do any of the parents?   Oh wait...  
forgot... dad has two jobs to pay the 2nd mortgage and mom's a  
professional too.  And the kids need new designer jeans from the Gap  
this weekend.

Take away the B.S. "dependent" tax write-offs, and watch how fast  
parents will want some real accountability on where all that money  
goes.  (And around here, most of it goes to the school district  
ADMINISTRATORS from all the public documents about their budget that  
I've read... I'd be furious if I were a parent here.)

--
Nate Duehr
RemoveMEnatespamspamBeGonenatetech.com

2007\06\18@001541 by Nate Duehr

face
flavicon
face

On Jun 12, 2007, at 2:31 PM, Herbert Graf wrote:

> 4 years of lectures, quizzes, exams and many labs, and something as
> simple as the little line on a diode was still something they didn't
> know.

I could see that happening in a few cases, perhaps.  But what I can't  
figure out is after all that study, why that student couldn't  
conceive of a way to test the diode in their hand, safely, that would  
prove which end was which.

As that student, wouldn't you know, after four years of study about  
electronics, that you couldn't put a circuit together and make it do  
something, yet?  Wouldn't you be asking around to see if a teacher or  
anyone else could help you build something?

There's some interesting underlying problem here -- what exactly do  
these kids think "real life" is when they get done with school?  What  
do they think they're going to be doing, if they're studying  
electronics?

--
Nate Duehr
spamBeGonenate@spam@spamspam_OUTnatetech.com



2007\06\18@002253 by David VanHorn

picon face
We call the basics, "The three "R"s, reading, writing, and arithmetic..."
Only one of them begins with "R"!

2007\06\18@015439 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
>>> To put things even worse, the pupils in a 9th grade public school
>>> here
>>> in Sweden does not know how many cm (centimeters) is a m (meter).

1.    It doesn't matter, as a cm is a unit from the pit of hell and
has no place in an engineers toolbox ( notwithstanding the fact that I
use them frequently :-) ).

2.    There is no such thing as a centimeter * in Sweden :-) - only in
The US of A where they think that even the names of official
international units can be respelt **  different like coz they don't
like the way they are really spelt**.

Long ago my son spelt LASER as Lazer. I said that that was incorrect.
He said that that's how the Americans spell it and so that's how it
was these days (maybe not quite in those words). I disabused him of
the notion that an acronym could be respelled (let alone
decapitalised) to suit some US whim. He concurred. It's quite possible
that that was the last 'argument' with him that I ever won :-). Maybe
the only one. I didn't point out that it was (AFAIK) a US acronym in
the first place.


       Russell


*    Real life:        metre
     USAism:        meter

Being a metre matter as it's made, no doubt, from forms which give us
other words.
With meter we can expect meterication and its ilk.


** Anglo-pedants *** corrigenda:    respelled, spelled,


*** eg Jinx


2007\06\18@071529 by Tony Smith

picon face
> >>> To put things even worse, the pupils in a 9th grade public school
> >>> here in Sweden does not know how many cm (centimeters) is a m
> >>> (meter).
>
> 1.    It doesn't matter, as a cm is a unit from the pit of hell and
> has no place in an engineers toolbox ( notwithstanding the
> fact that I use them frequently :-) ).
>
> 2.    There is no such thing as a centimeter * in Sweden :-)


Wot, no love for decimetre & decametre either?

Centimetres come in handy in Australia, they're used to sort out the DIYers
from the real trademen.  Take ye olde 3" pipe, it's been transmogrified into
a 75mm one.  Unless you're a DIYer, then it's a 7.5cm one.  Anyone asking
for a 7.5cm bit-o-pipe will tend to be treated a bit shabbily.

A lot of Americans think measurements in metric are done with decametres,
metres, decimetres, centimetres & millimetres, much like using chains,
yards, feet, inches and assorted fractions.  Ooh, too hard!

In Oz, you just do everything in millimetres, even metre doesn't get used
much by industry.

If you buy a piece of MDF (say 8'x4') then that's 2400x1200, pronounced
twenty four hundred by twelve hundred.  It's rarely called a 2.4x1.2 metre
piece.  You don't have an units conversion problem because there aren't any.
It's all in millimetres.

Ok, the 2400x1200 is usually 2440x1220, so it's called twenty four forty by
twelve twenty, quite easy.  Works for small stuff and big stuff, gets a bit
silly around 10 metres.  1mm accuracy at 10 metres?  Ha ha funny.

You'll sometimes see metres used for lengths, like 3.6m metal bars.

The only time metre is used is when something is exactly on the metre, so
you get nine fifty (950mm), 1 metre, ten fifty (1050mm) etc.

Come on America, it's just like money...

Tony

2007\06\18@074703 by Dario Greggio

face picon face
Tony Smith wrote:

> Wot, no love for decimetre & decametre either?

We have them in Italy too :)


--
Ciao, Dario il Grande (522-485 a.C.)
--
ADPM Synthesis sas - Torino
--
http://www.adpm.tk

2007\06\18@081410 by Peter Bindels

picon face
On 18/06/07, TakeThisOuTjackripperspamspamearthlink.net <jackripperEraseMEspamearthlink.net> wrote:
> worked in the physical plant of a hospital and we had a plummer there that
> could'nt read a tape measure and guess what he was a high school grad,
> when i was a kid in school we had to read , write and practice grammar at
> home.

Didn't seem to do much good then. You have at least 4 errors in that
bit of text right there, not to mention the abysmal punctuation.

> it you dont think its the school system ask a recent grad what the square
> root of 2 is, most likely you will get a whats a square root.

...

2007\06\18@090458 by Tony Smith

picon face
> > Wot, no love for decimetre & decametre either?
>
> We have them in Italy too :)


You poor souls!  I figured there was one for 100 metres as well - and tada -
the hectometre. (Obvious in hindsight.)

I'd have called it the centametre - take that, you underachieving Swedish
kids.  Now your measurements can really be out be a few magnitudes.  The
panels are how big?  They power how much?

"and here is the hectometre record holder...", "my car does 4 hectos in 6
seconds*" etc.

Tony

* metric

2007\06\18@094559 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>"and here is the hectometre record holder...", "my car
>does 4 hectos in 6 seconds*" etc.

Gives a whole new meaning to 'ton up' ....

2007\06\18@095350 by Dario Greggio

face picon face
Tony Smith wrote:

>>>Wot, no love for decimetre & decametre either?
>>
>>We have them in Italy too :)
>
> You poor souls!  I figured there was one for 100 metres as well - and tada -
> the hectometre. (Obvious in hindsight.)

"Centimetro" is 1/100 of meter and is widespread,
"decimetro" is 1/10 and is less used, so are "ettometro" (100 meters)
and "decametro" (10meters) but we learn them at school or at least we did :)

--
Ciao, Dario

2007\06\18@105135 by Tony Smith

picon face
> >>>Wot, no love for decimetre & decametre either?
> >>
> >>We have them in Italy too :)
> >
> > You poor souls!  I figured there was one for 100 metres as
> well - and
> > tada - the hectometre. (Obvious in hindsight.)
>
> "Centimetro" is 1/100 of meter and is widespread, "decimetro"
> is 1/10 and is less used, so are "ettometro" (100 meters) and
> "decametro" (10meters) but we learn them at school or at
> least we did :)


I remember decimetre being taught (but never used), but not decametre or
hectometre.  Maybe I just forgot.  Decametre should have show up in
surveying...

Just stick with millimeters, it's all you need.  Perth is only around
4000000000mm from here, easy!

Tony

2007\06\18@113921 by Rich

picon face
I believe your perspective is on target and relates to a part of the
problem. The break down and undermining of the family unit and family values
has been a steady progression obtaining from the political aspirations of
social reformers.  You are describing the result of a political agenda that
has prized individualism over family.  In America, the counter culture
revolution of the 1960's generated the "ME" generation that abandoned
socially productive and harmonious values as "traditional" and cast
aspersion on the idea of tradition as obsolete or atavistic.  These people
you believe to be stupid are victims of the social engineering programs by
political interests that are convinced their ideas are better.


{Original Message removed}

2007\06\18@115209 by Rich

picon face
I could be "under exposed" but I am not familiar with that spelling of laser
in America.  But it would not surprise me if it does exist.  There are
numerous engineers in America that cannot sppell. :o)

{Original Message removed}

2007\06\18@121314 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>I remember decimetre being taught (but never used), but not
>decametre or hectometre.  Maybe I just forgot.  Decametre
>should have show up in surveying...

Hectare certainly shows up in surveying. 1 acre is ~0.45 hectares.

2007\06\18@132723 by Dave Tweed

face
flavicon
face
Alan B. Pearce <RemoveMEA.B.PearceEraseMEspamspam_OUTrl.ac.uk> wrote:
> > I remember decimetre being taught (but never used), but not
> > decametre or hectometre.  Maybe I just forgot.  Decametre
> > should have show up in surveying...
>
> Hectare certainly shows up in surveying. 1 acre is ~0.45 hectares.

I get 4046.85 m^2, or ~0.405 hectare.

Therefore, my ~52000 ft^2 lot is about 0.483 hectare.

-- Dave Tweed

2007\06\18@153001 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Jun 18, 2007, at 7:51 AM, Tony Smith wrote:

> I remember decimetre being taught (but never used), but not decametre
> or
> hectometre.  Maybe I just forgot.

We learned all the prefixes between milli and kilo (milli, centi, deci,
deca, hecto, kilo); even the non-metric US has rulers marked in cm, and
of course a millilitre and a cubic centimetre are the same.  There seems
to be less of that today.  (I also recall being taught how many quarts
in
a peck, and how many pecks in a bushel, which my kids aren't learning.)

BillW

2007\06\18@183529 by John La Rooy

flavicon
face
On 6/18/07, Tony Smith <@spam@ajsmithRemoveMEspamEraseMErivernet.com.au> wrote:
> I'd have called it the centametre - take that, you underachieving Swedish
> kids.  Now your measurements can really be out be a few magnitudes.  The
> panels are how big?  They power how much?
>

http://mathforum.org/library/drmath/view/58474.html

"The other ones, you just have to memorize. Sorry! In a perfect world,
'kilo' would be 'milla', and 'hecto' would be 'centa', so it would
look like

  1 millameter = 1000 meters
  1 centameter = 100 meters
  1 decameter  = 10 meters
  1 meter      = 1 meter
  1 decimeter  = 1/10 of a meter

  1 centimeter = 1/100 of a meter
  1 millimeter = 1/1000 of a meter

which would reduce the amount that you'd have to remember, but it
would be tough to tell sometimes whether someone was saying
'centimeter' or 'centameter', or 'millimeter' or 'millameter', so
maybe it's not such a good idea after all. (Note that there is no
confusion between 'deci', in which the 'c' sounds like an 's', and
'deca', in which the 'c' sounds like a 'k'.)"

2007\06\18@204401 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Russell McMahon wrote:

>>>> To put things even worse, the pupils in a 9th grade public school here
>>>> in Sweden does not know how many cm (centimeters) is a m (meter).

> 2.    There is no such thing as a centimeter * in Sweden :-) - only in
> The US of A where they think that even the names of official
> international units can be respelt **  different like coz they don't
> like the way they are really spelt**.

> *    Real life:        metre
>       USAism:        meter

Ah, the good old "we're the world" attitude from the good old Commonwealth
times :)

Thank the Entity for Wikipedia <http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meter> which
helps me easily show that there /is/ such a thing as a meter in Sweden.

FWIW, it German it's also "Meter". I think the spelling "metre" is more
latin-based, and possibly came to the British Isles by way of France.
Germanic languages seem to use more the "meter" version.

Gerhard

2007\06\18@205326 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
jackripper@earthlink.net wrote:

> it you dont think its the school system ask a recent grad what the square
> root of 2 is, most likely you will get a whats a square root.

I'm sure they've heard about it, but for the most part they just weren't
interested, for what reasons ever. At least that's my take from my
experiences.

Gerhard

2007\06\18@211736 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Jun 18, 2007, at 5:43 PM, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

> I think the spelling "metre" is more latin-based

we owe the obscure prefixes to latin and greek too, don't we?
It's not like they picked "elegant" prefixes (centa, centi ?)
when they devised the metric system.  (personally, I think
mere vowel changes to indicate the sign of the exponent would
have been a TERRIBLE idea, given differences in vowel usage
and pronunciation in different languages.  "deca" ought to be
"deka", even in english...)

BillW

2007\06\19@034716 by Alan B. Pearce

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>> Hectare certainly shows up in surveying. 1 acre is ~0.45 hectares.
>
>I get 4046.85 m^2, or ~0.405 hectare.

Well, I did indicate approximate, I just didn't say how approximate ;))) I
can see my memory is failing worse than I thought.

>Therefore, my ~52000 ft^2 lot is about 0.483 hectare.

I used to describe the property I had in NZ as an acre plus 10 sq metres ...
IIRC it was 0.4056 Hectare. Most people didn't pick up on the mixed imperial
and metric units.

2007\06\19@040327 by Dario Greggio

face picon face
John La Rooy wrote:

> "The other ones, you just have to memorize. Sorry! In a perfect world,
> 'kilo' would be 'milla', and 'hecto' would be 'centa', so it would
eca', in which the 'c' sounds like a 'k'.)"

I'm afraid that we Italians (Romans) or Greek people are guilty because
of this naming system... :-)

--
Ciao, Dario

2007\06\19@065905 by Tony Smith

picon face
> >> Hectare certainly shows up in surveying. 1 acre is ~0.45 hectares.
> >
> >I get 4046.85 m^2, or ~0.405 hectare.
>
> Well, I did indicate approximate, I just didn't say how
> approximate ;))) I can see my memory is failing worse than I thought.
>
> >Therefore, my ~52000 ft^2 lot is about 0.483 hectare.
>
> I used to describe the property I had in NZ as an acre plus
> 10 sq metres ...
> IIRC it was 0.4056 Hectare. Most people didn't pick up on the
> mixed imperial and metric units.


So how many cubic fortnights per hour is that?

BTW, is fortnight just an Australian thing these days?  (go on, laugh at my
lame joke).

My recent co-workers, be they German, Korean, Russian, Estonian, Swedish,
Indian or whatever have all looked at me blankly when I use fortnight.  What
gives?

Tony

2007\06\19@072947 by Rich

picon face
I thought everyone read Charles Dickens and learned what a fortnight is.
That is how I learned it as I recall.


{Original Message removed}

2007\06\19@081457 by Russell McMahon

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> FWIW, it German it's also "Meter". I think the spelling "metre" is
> more
> latin-based, and possibly came to the British Isles by way of
> France.
> Germanic languages seem to use more the "meter" version.

The French have naming rights. All others are impostors. And, the
French will happily tell you that THEY ARE the world. You can choose
whether to believe them :-).

I surprised that you don't side with me on this. When it comes to
"standards" or proper names or similar the owner has bragging, and
naming, rights. If others want to pick up their ball and run with it
they arguably need an international standards committee involved.
Which, in this case, they have very certainly got.

What would Napoleon have said? - even though his engineers got it
wrong.
Puzzled. Note how large a quarter circumference of the world is in
metres. Note that the figure is not exact - not even when the meridian
used runs through Paris.



       Russell




2007\06\19@153738 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Russell McMahon wrote:

> The French have naming rights. All others are impostors.

I disagree. I'd say they took up on the concept and improved and refined it
and developed it further. The SI meter of today has its roots in the mètre
from 1790, but it's not the same; neither in concept nor in size.


> I surprised that you don't side with me on this. When it comes to
> "standards" or proper names or similar the owner has bragging, and
> naming, rights.

I'm not sure why you think I'd side with you on this. IMO language is
different from engineering standards, for one. Then there's the question
whether le mètre is a "proper name or similar" or a concept (that has
different names in different languages). And then there is of course the
question of consistency (in your argument); if you really mean it, both the
Brits and the Yanks (and of course most if not all others) got it wrong: in
original French it's "mètre", neither "metre" nor "meter". (Or are you
trying to make a case for the use of "mètre" and just didn't find the right
key on your keyboard? :)

While I'm for common standards in many cases -- and certainly would not
like a French meter, a NewZealandish meter, a British meter and a Swedish
meter to be different in size, nor would I think it makes sense to use
different symbols for it in different countries --, I don't have a problem
with different spellings of the unit names. The spelling has no place in an
otherwise language-neutral engineering document anyway. And if the
engineering document needs elements of a written language, the language
context is already settled for other reasons, and the adequate (for the
language context) spelling of the unit names is simply settled by
association.

So... IMO there is only a correct (or incorrect) spelling of a unit name
inside the context of a language, which then conveniently also provides the
correct spelling. Especially the French are with me on this, FWIW.


> What would Napoleon have said?

Not sure what he'd have said, but here is what without doubt is considered
a proper name by most (which is not so clear in the case of the mètre), and
if you're talking about the one who I think you're talking about, his name
was Napoléon (or Napoleone, but definitely not Napoleon). So, you left me
confused... are you or are you not in favor of using correct proper names?
(FWIW, the Latin word from which both AE "favor" and BE "favour" are
derived is spelt "favor". Not yet sure about the relevancy of this in our
context, but I just thought I'd mention it... Could it be that "favor" is
something like going back to the original roots, back to the proper
spelling? If so, shouldn't BE follow the move? Just some food for
thought... :)


It seems that you have much fewer problems accepting adaptations of "proper
names and similar" into BE than into other languages (when was the last
time you spelled/spelt Ampere "Ampère"?). Could it be that you have a
BE-centric viewpoint? :)

Gerhard

2007\06\19@232908 by Russell McMahon

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The footnote "***", while specifically referenced on a number of
occasions, is to be understood throughout.

> ... a NewZealandish meter ... to be different in size

We have many many thousands of different sizes of meters in NZ - but
all our metres are the same size :-) (or, are meant to be).

> ... Could it be that you have a BE-centric viewpoint? :)

I'd hope so :-).
But, more a PV* one, plus a BE** centric keyboard at an obvious (to
me) level.
The same does not explain and is not of the same type of variation as
the transposition of "re" to "er" in words***.

While my daughter could, no doubt, were it not that she was currently
about 2000 km away from here,  make her text sing with *** umlauts,
graves, acutes, cedillas, carons, krouzeks, tremas, breves, kahakos
(macrons), ogoneks, hooks, dagesh****, mappiq, horns, (I can do tildes
:-)), titlos and more, using the very same keyboard that I am using
now, such a feat would require of me more education that happens to
have happened to date. For most purposes my missives are understood at
a basic level with the accents removed from my characters. [[Do note
that I'm not seeking to justify this lack of capability - just noting
it]].  A keyboard and/or software system that allows of ease of
variation of basic characters by people with semi-fixed (in this area
at least) brain paths would be a blessing.

Have you ever tried to send messages from a PC which thinks that you
want to converse in Chinese and is utterly dedicated to ensuring that
you do so ? :-). When sending emails from Taiwan I have been forced on
occasion to use Alt-nnn combinations to obtain "English" text or even
to cutting and pasting letters from other messages. I'm certain that
there would have been easy ways to convince said PCs that I wanted to
actually produce the characters shown on the keyboards that I was
using, but I could not at the time find anyone who could both
understand my question and answer it.

I'm aware that discussions like this are unlikely to produce
satisfactory outcomes when dealing with people who are not aware of
the existence of Aluminium :-).




       Russell


* Plain Vanilla

** There is ONLY British English. All other forms of xE are impostors.

Have you ever herd of eg English French, English German, French
Spanish etc? :-)
I imagine that eg "Brazilian Spanish" may be a meaningful concept.

I find it amusing that English is the *** Lingua Franca of the modern
world. I imagine that the Chinese are working on that.

***  Any requisite speech marks implied.


**** I'm not at all sure whether the plural of Hebrew terms deserves
an appended s in the current context so I have not used one. In other
cases where I have added an s it may in fact be superfluous.


How do you say "Deja vu" in French?


______________

Useful:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_key

2007\06\20@002024 by Rich

picon face
I once had a jaguar that had English, Metric and Wentworth standards.  It
was a (joy) maintaining it.  I don't hear much about Wentworth these days.
The Jag was a classic that I restored, 1952 Silverton roadster.  It took 16
quarts of oil and had 16 inch tires.  Do you know if Wentworth is still
around?



{Original Message removed}

2007\06\20@002924 by David VanHorn

picon face
> While I'm for common standards in many cases -- and certainly would not
> like a French meter, a NewZealandish meter, a British meter and a Swedish
> meter to be different in size, nor would I think it makes sense to use
> different symbols for it in different countries --,

Hmm.. Given that said meter sticks are at different latitudes, then
they ARE different lengths, or widths, or something, depending on how
you're holding them.

2007\06\20@020023 by J FLETCHER

flavicon
face
Not heard of Wentworth, do you mean Whitworth? British Standard Whitworth
 is still around. Camera/tripod threads are 1/4" BSW for small cameras, 3/8" BSW
 for larger, heavier ones. Not sure where else it's used on new items.
 
 John

Rich <EraseMErgrazia1spam@spam@rochester.rr.com> wrote:
 I once had a jaguar that had English, Metric and Wentworth standards. It
was a (joy) maintaining it. I don't hear much about Wentworth these days.
The Jag was a classic that I restored, 1952 Silverton roadster. It took 16
quarts of oil and had 16 inch tires. Do you know if Wentworth is still
around?



{Original Message removed}

2007\06\20@034945 by Richard Prosser

picon face
> I imagine that eg "Brazilian Spanish" may be a meaningful concept.
>

Er - wouldn't that be Brazilian Portugese ?

RP

2007\06\20@085345 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
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>> I imagine that eg "Brazilian Spanish" may be a meaningful concept.
>>
>
> Er - wouldn't that be Brazilian Portugese ?

No, Lithuanian Chinglish.

FWIW - the cold call real estate deal Mumbai call centre people are
managing far better English of late. What wrecks it is that, although
they INSIST that they are calling from Auckland, they seem to
invariably use a circuit with 2 satellite hops, 2 kHz bandwidth, 6 bit
PCM and a random noise generator running. Presumably this is actually
the result of super high compression technology over lowest cost
circuits. Quite why they do this I don't know, given the cost of
international volume calls these days. They seem unphased when I point
out to them that I get very very very few local calls with 2 satellite
hops therein.



       Russell



2007\06\20@100818 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Russell McMahon wrote:

>> ... Could it be that you have a BE-centric viewpoint? :)
>
> I'd hope so :-). But, more a PV* one, plus a BE** centric keyboard at an
> obvious (to me) level.

That's just a lazy excuse. I don't know what keyboard you have, but if you
have the '$' character above the 4, it's likely an US-ASCII keyboard. And
if it is, there's (in Windows, which you're using) the "US International"
keyboard layout which permits to easily type all (or almost all) European
letters. Even if not, there's the Alt-<number> way to type extended ASCII
and ANSI characters (which contain all or almost all European characters),
easily available in many of the ASCII tables floating around. I'm sure you
have one near your desktop (virtual or real, probably both). Then there's
of course Microsoft's keyboard layout editor that permits you to configure
your own keyboard layout.

For one who says he cares about the original way to write things, this
should (and could easily) have been resolved many many years ago.


> The same does not explain and is not of the same type of variation as the
> transposition of "re" to "er" in words***.

I'm not sure where you're trying to go with this. Are you trying to say
that "metre" is "more original" than "meter"? As I see it -- rather a
purist on occasion, especially when confronted with a purist type
argumentation :) --, there is no more or less original, there is only
original or not. For a French who cares about French spelling, "metre" is
as wrong as "meter" -- and that (the original correct spelling) is the
reference you seemed to have set. (Without, of course, being aware that
what BE considers original is not original at all, unlike AE, which
appropriately doesn't really care of whether it's original or not. Which
seems to me an attitude that's more realistic than pretending to be the
original when all there is is a lack of recognizing the difference to the
original.)

Besides, here's what seemed to have happened. The French invented the term
le mètre. The English accepted the concept, changed the spelling into
"metre" and changed the pronunciation into something that sounds like
"meter" -- probably because they really don't care about keeping anything
original that isn't original English. Later, the Americans did something
quite similar -- only they brought the spelling closer to the sound. Now
what's the qualitative difference between what the English did and what the
Americans did? (The original butchers are the English, one could argue in
this context, as they butchered the pronunciation, which is the soul of a
word. Unless, of course, they really wanted the "meter" and just spelled it
differently because they thought that was fancier. In which case that
spelling is merely irrelevant.)

(And don't expose again your BE centric viewpoint by saying that changing
an 'è' into an 'e' is less of a change than changing 'tre' into 'ter' when
it's already pronounced as 'ter'. Of course, from a BE centric viewpoint,
all others are insignificant and lucky to be alive... But then, they
should've given more power to that viewpoint before they lost the war
against the Americans; now it's too late :)


> While my daughter could, no doubt, were it not that she was currently
> about 2000 km away from here,  make her text sing with *** umlauts [...]
> such a feat would require of me more education that happens to have
> happened to date.

I suggest an online search for "extended ASCII", or -- if you have an ASCII
keyboard --, "US International keyboard". It is not complicated, I promise.
(At the end, I saw that you already found a main element, and from there
you easily find your way into Microsoft's keyboard documentation. If needed
at all.)

> For most purposes my missives are understood at a basic level with the
> accents removed from my characters.

Ooops... you're slick as a water snake :)  I take it that for most
Englishmen, and even for some stubborn NewZealanders, an AE text (using
meter, spelled, flavor and similar variations) is understood "for most
purposes". I didn't think that this was your original point. So where does
this come from now? Is it about being understood (an, if I may say so,
practical viewpoint and as such more typical American) or is it about
maintaining the original spelling (supposedly the English viewpoint here)?
And is "original" only what is BE (by definition, this is where all things
begin and end), or do you mean by "original" /really/ original (even if the
origin is outside BE -- which happens on occasion, even though it shouldn't
:)?


> A keyboard and/or software system that allows of ease of variation of
> basic characters by people with semi-fixed (in this area at least) brain
> paths would be a blessing.

There are two such "software systems" in widespread use. One is called
Windows and the other Linux (in no particular order). Both allow this
rather easily.

> When sending emails from Taiwan I have been forced on occasion to use
> Alt-nnn combinations to obtain "English" text or even to cutting and
> pasting letters from other messages. I'm certain that there would have
> been easy ways to convince said PCs that I wanted to actually produce
> the characters shown on the keyboards that I was using, but I could not
> at the time find anyone who could both understand my question and answer
> it.

It's actually rather easy once you have done one look into the Regional and
Language Options control panel, Language tab, Details. I haven't seen a
system configured for Chinese, but I think you don't need to work with
Traditional Chinese as input language if you don't want to.

> I'm aware that discussions like this are unlikely to produce satisfactory
> outcomes when dealing with people who are not aware of the existence of
> Aluminium :-).

Maybe. But I can assure you that having patience with people who are not
aware of the existence of le mètre is a good exercise, and the second step
then (dealing with aluminum) is a lot easier :)

> ** There is ONLY British English. All other forms of xE are impostors.

That's talking like someone with the authority to determine this... It
would all be easier if the world were one Commonwealth under one crown,
wouldn't it? But it ain't... Try to get over it :)  The crown, even though
relevant for New Zealand and a few others, is quite irrelevant outside of
this circle, and so are conclusions derived from its existence.

There are (and always have been) many forms of English (and of German, and
of any other living language, with the possible exception of Esperanto,
which may or may not be considered a living language). The concept of one
correct way of a language is a pipe dream of centralists. The moment you
lose control, the language goes its own way. Why should this be different
in, say, the USA from how it is in New Zealand? (Besides, I don't have the
time, but I'm sure I can find the one or other Englishman who doesn't
consider New Zealandish the real British English.)

There is a line of thought that could consider BE (and all other variations
of English) some pretty bastard children of the original Germanic. In most
if not all other Germanic countries, the correct spelling is "meter". So
who's going astray here?

Even the Wikipedia seems to disagree with you: "English is a pluricentric
language, without a central language authority like France's Académie
française; and, although no variety is clearly considered the only
standard, there are a number of accents considered to be more prestigious,
such as Received Pronunciation in Britain."

For them, it's only about prestige, not about correctness. There's even an
entry for New Zealand English, and a few New Zealand English dictionaries.
You're sure you're actually using British English -- or only think you're
using British English, but in reality you're using New Zealand English?


> I imagine that eg "Brazilian Spanish" may be a meaningful concept.

Depends. There is what they call Portuñol in Brazil (the word Português
joined with the word Español), which is what they speak mostly in the
border regions between Brazil (where they speak Brazilian Portuguese) and
the countries around it (where they speak their version of Spanish), or in
areas in Brazil where many tourists e.g. from Argentina are (and vice
versa). But that's probably not what you meant.

Both the Spanish spoken in the Americas and the Portuguese spoken in Brazil
vary from the languages in the original occupying countries. Considering
what the occupiers did, I find it easily understandable that there may even
be a need to distance themselves a bit. (This need may be less pronounced
or even reversed for the ones who still understand themselves as part of
the occupying party, of course.) And of course this independence -- which
may be decried in other parts of the world -- led to an independent
development of the language. Living languages change over time. Languages
are primarily linked to countries or other power structures (crowns etc.)
As soon as the power structure changes, the languages go different ways.
The only way to show that AE has no place in this world would be for the
Commonwealth of Nations to occupy the USA. As long as they are not prepared
to do that, there will be AE. It's as simple as that.


After my first few months in Brazil I could easily carry a fluent
conversation here, and also understand pronouncements at airports etc. But
when I flew home with the TAP (the Portuguese airline), I couldn't
understand a single word spoken by the attendants or the captain (in
Portuguese Portuguese). I'd say it's much more different than AE and BE
are.

> How do you say "Deja vu" in French?

You write "déjà vu", of course... for the purists. ("Say" is another
story...) The others (the realists) should be happy with anything from
aluminum flavours to un-originally spelt amperes... :)

Gerhard

2007\06\20@230128 by Rich

picon face
It could have been Whitworth my memory has Wentworth but that may have
applied to another measure.  Given the lapse of years I suppose it could
have been Witworth.  The idea that I had to use three different kinds of
tools was certainly novel at the time.  But I had a lot of fun with the Jag.


{Original Message removed}

2007\06\21@072920 by Howard Winter

face
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picon face
Tony,

On Mon, 18 Jun 2007 23:03:22 +1000, Tony Smith wrote:

> > > Wot, no love for decimetre & decametre either?
> >
> > We have them in Italy too :)
>
>
> You poor souls!  I figured there was one for 100 metres as well - and tada -
> the hectometre. (Obvious in hindsight.)

Well it is used for areas: the hectare is a square hectometre (100m x 100m for those who prefer number to words! :-)

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2007\06\21@074848 by Howard Winter

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Tony,

On Tue, 19 Jun 2007 20:58:54 +1000, Tony Smith wrote:

> BTW, is fortnight just an Australian thing these days?

Certainly not - it's English!  :-)

> My recent co-workers, be they German, Korean, Russian, Estonian, Swedish,
> Indian or whatever have all looked at me blankly when I use fortnight.  What
> gives?

Well they're non-native English speakers, so obviously there are words that aren't taught in Business English, and perhaps fortnight doesn't have an
equivalent in other languages?  We don't have a name for three weeks, for example - perhaps it's only English that has a name for two?

I've noticed a few phrases creeping into English-as-a-foreign-language which are not used by natives... the most common I've seen is "quite some"
when talking of numbers of things, where we'd say "quite a lot" or "quite a few".  The latter is logical nonsense, but started out as ironic and
nowadays either can be used interchangeably.  We use "quite some" when it has a scalar item attached, such as "quite some distance", "quite some
weight", but not when it relates to numbers of things.

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2007\06\21@081246 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Rich,

On Wed, 20 Jun 2007 00:20:19 -0400, Rich wrote:

> I once had a jaguar that had English, Metric and Wentworth standards.  It
> was a (joy) maintaining it.  I don't hear much about Wentworth these days.
> The Jag was a classic that I restored, 1952 Silverton roadster.  It took 16
> quarts of oil and had 16 inch tires.  Do you know if Wentworth is still
> around?

As has already been said, it's "Whitworth", but I'd be *really* surprised if it had anything Metric on it.  I started work on cars when I was about 10,
and I didn't encounter anything Metric on a British car before those made in about 1970.  Before that threads were UNF and UNC (unified coarse and
fine) and BSW (British Standard Whitworth).  UNx nuts and bolts used "AF" (Across Flats) spanners, while BSW used Whitworth spanners, which I
believe were sized avvording to the diameter of the thread, so a 1/2" AF open-ended spanner was 0.5" across its mouth, whereas a 1/2"W spanner
was much larger.

I believe Metric spanners are also measured across the flats, so a 13mm spanner will work on a 1/2" UNx bolt if it's not done up too tightly! :-)

Cheers,



Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2007\06\21@082935 by wouter van ooijen

face picon face
> fortnight doesn't have an equivalent in other languages?  

I would not know a Dutch equivalent. We would use "veertien dagen / twee
weken", so speaking English I would say "fourteen days" or "two weeks'>

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu




2007\06\21@083401 by Michael Rigby-Jones

picon face


>-----Original Message-----
>From: @spam@piclist-bouncesspam_OUTspam.....mit.edu [spamBeGonepiclist-bouncesEraseMEspammit.edu]
>On Behalf Of Howard Winter
>Sent: 21 June 2007 13:13
>To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
>Subject: Re: [OT] Units rant
>
>
>I believe Metric spanners* are also measured across the flats,
>so a 13mm spanner will work on a 1/2" UNx bolt if it's not
>done up too tightly! :-)
>

* wrenches for our US viewers ;)

Mike

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2007\06\21@085206 by Rich

picon face
Hi Howard:
I see you have a lot of car experience. Certainly more than I have had. I
only had sports cars for fun.  But you might want to check out the 1952 Jag
Roadster to see metric on a British car.  I bought mine used, I wouldn't be
old enough to buy it new.  But it did have metric on it.  I really dug into
it.  I even did a valve job and discovered that I had to replace the shims
in the exact same place they came from.  Not being a mechanic but just a kid
having fun, I had to follow the manual and advice from mechanic friends.  I
can say for sure that MY Jag had some metric hardware on it along with the
Witworth and English.  Whether or not the car was manufactured that way I
cannot say because I bought it used and restored it.  And, I did learn
something in the long run.

{Original Message removed}

2007\06\21@092039 by Jinx

face picon face

> > fortnight doesn't have an equivalent in other languages?  

I think the French have 'le fortnight' and 'le weekend'. A couple
of interlopers the Cultural Ministry would rather the French not
use

2007\06\21@093353 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Howard Winter wrote:

>> BTW, is fortnight just an Australian thing these days?
>
> Certainly not - it's English!  :-)
>
>> My recent co-workers, be they German, Korean, Russian, Estonian,
>> Swedish, Indian or whatever have all looked at me blankly when I use
>> fortnight.  What gives?
>
> Well they're non-native English speakers, so obviously there are words
> that aren't taught in Business English, and perhaps fortnight doesn't
> have an equivalent in other languages?  We don't have a name for three
> weeks, for example - perhaps it's only English that has a name for two?

I don't think fortnight is among the most commonly taught words. However,
even though there is no actual word for it, in the part of Germany where
I'm from, the (literally translated) expression "fourteen days" is quite
common for expressing "two weeks". You just have to have it heard (and
understood) once to recognize it -- and maybe fortnight is not that
frequent in formal (business) language?

Gerhard

2007\06\21@094128 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
Jeanette (of Polyglot brain and inclination) should read:

>> My recent co-workers, be they German, Korean, Russian, Estonian,
>> Swedish,
>> Indian or whatever have all looked at me blankly when I use
>> fortnight.  What
>> gives?

>> BTW, is fortnight just an Australian thing these days?

> Certainly not - it's English!  :-)

Also antipodean ***.
It's also alive and well across the pond (here in New Zealand).

An interesting date related term which not too many people use, and
which some people get wrong when they do, is "xxx week" meaning the
occurrence of xxx which occurs in the week after this one. eg if today
is Tuesday the 10th (which it isn't) "Wednesday week"  would be
Wednesday the 18th, 8 days hence. One can also use "xxx fortnight". eg
Thursday fortnight from the above would be Thursday the 19th. This
usage is probably intended to prevent having to say "the Thursday
after next" on Tuesday the 10th when referring to Thursday the 19th.
Even the phrase "The Thursday after next" is liable to riong foreign
to foreign ears as it is a contraction of "the Thursday after next
Thursday" with the second Thursday implied.

My well educated and intelligent wife recently, on a Tuesday, said
"next Thursday ..." when she in fact meant Thursday week. For reasons
which did and do escape me she took exception to my failure to
correctly comprehend which date she was actually referring to.

I can't complain - the late list member Peter Crowcroft reported his
wife having turned round with a loaded pistol pointed horizontally
after it jammed while target shooting. She realised what she had done
immediately and could not subsequently account for having done
something so lethally dangerous which she had had drilled into her as
an utter no no*. She still suffered the resultant compulsory eviction
from the shooting club as a consequence. Compared to that, turning up
at an event a week early when MY wife has brain fade would be a truly
minor matter :-)




           Russell

*  no no = another Englishlanguageism of obvious meaning for the
ESOL**  amongst us to excercise their brains with.

** ESOL    = English as Second or Other Language. (The official term
used here at least for English language courses for people whose
native tongue is not English (nor NZlandish).

***    While everyone has antipodes and most of them aren't here, we
claim the label as a geographic descriptive by dint of historical
usage. While the antipodes of NZ is/are in fact Spain, the term is,
for us, used with respect of Mother England.

The antipodes of Australia is the Bermuda Triangle (get out yer world
globe and check, Cobber). Go figure. :-)





{Quote hidden}

2007\06\21@094131 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
>>I believe Metric spanners* are also measured across the flats,
>>so a 13mm spanner will work on a 1/2" UNx bolt if it's not
>>done up too tightly! :-)
>>
>
> * wrenches for our US viewers ;)


What have wenches got to do with it?



           Russell



2007\06\21@095905 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>My well educated and intelligent wife recently, on a Tuesday,
>said "next Thursday ..." when she in fact meant Thursday week.

I would take that to be correct.

>For reasons which did and do escape me she took exception to
>my failure to correctly comprehend which date she was actually
>referring to.

If she had said 'this Thursday then it would have been the Thursday two days
hence, but saying 'next Thursday' means the one a week later.

Alan (putting flame suit on, should you show this to the wife).

2007\06\21@100052 by PAUL James

picon face
Another name for spanner

-----Original Message-----
From: piclist-bouncesspamBeGonespammit.edu [RemoveMEpiclist-bounces@spam@spamspamBeGonemit.edu] On Behalf
Of Russell McMahon
Sent: Thursday, June 21, 2007 8:34 AM
To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
Subject: Re: [OT] Units rant

>>I believe Metric spanners* are also measured across the flats, so a
>>13mm spanner will work on a 1/2" UNx bolt if it's not done up too
>>tightly! :-)
>>
>
> * wrenches for our US viewers ;)


What have wenches got to do with it?



           Russell



2007\06\21@100425 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Russell,

On Fri, 22 Jun 2007 01:32:32 +1200, Russell McMahon wrote:

>...
> An interesting date related term which not too many people use, and
> which some people get wrong when they do, is "xxx week" meaning the
> occurrence of xxx which occurs in the week after this one.

I use it quite a lot - but I have found that it confuses my (New Yorker) girfriend!

>... For reasons
> which did and do escape me she took exception to my failure to
> correctly comprehend which date she was actually referring to.

I believe that this escape of reason is fairly common when conversing cross-gender ;-)

> I can't complain - the late list member Peter Crowcroft reported his
> wife having turned round with a loaded pistol pointed horizontally
> after it jammed while target shooting. She realised what she had done
> immediately and could not subsequently account for having done
> something so lethally dangerous which she had had drilled into her as
> an utter no no*. She still suffered the resultant compulsory eviction
> from the shooting club as a consequence.

Quite!  Muzzle-sweep was an instant dismissal when I was doing some shooting, many years ago.  I did manage an Accidental Discharge (AD) at the
end of a Practical Shotgun competition - I was cycling the pump action (with the barrel pointed skywards) to empty the gun, when somehow a finger
made its way onto the trigger and fired one off.  The feeling of shock and utter, unaccountable stupidity is still a clear memory to me to this date.  
But the barrel was pointed in a safe direction, so it wasn't actually a dangerous act - but I have rarely felt so small!

> Compared to that, turning up
> at an event a week early when MY wife has brain fade would be a truly
> minor matter :-)

Indeed.

>             Russell
>
> *  no no = another Englishlanguageism of obvious meaning for the
> ESOL**  amongst us to excercise their brains with.
>
> ** ESOL    = English as Second or Other Language. (The official term
> used here at least for English language courses for people whose
> native tongue is not English (nor NZlandish).

Here it's known as EFL (English as a Foreign Language) because we don't assume they can speak only one language beforehand  :-)

> ***    While everyone has antipodes and most of them aren't here, we
> claim the label as a geographic descriptive by dint of historical
> usage. While the antipodes of NZ is/are in fact Spain,

I thought it was Portugal?

When I visited New Zealand I said that I was as far away from home as I could be, and still have my feet on the ground.  This may be true, or there
may be some little island further South from there which qualifies - I don't have a globe with enough detail.

Cheers,

Howard Winter
St.Albans, England
51.72N  0.35W  (IO91tr for the Radio Amateurs)

Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2007\06\21@101527 by Tony Smith

picon face
> > > fortnight doesn't have an equivalent in other languages?  
>
> I think the French have 'le fortnight' and 'le weekend'. A
> couple of interlopers the Cultural Ministry would rather the
> French not use


Well then, I'll have to ask for a French co-worker.  The last French girl
was rather cute.  Well, cute is not quite correct, she was 'something'.
What that 'something' is is somewhat unexplainable.  You've seen the woman
who has all the waiters run over to help her as she walks into a restaurant.
This girl would have the waiters from the establishment across the road run
over to help as well.  She was 'something'.  No wonder this project is
taking so long.

Slowly working thru the atlas*.  Much fun can be had in telling the most
outrageous lies possible, for example "Lamingtons are in fact coated with
Vegemite, not chocolate as one might assume from their appearance."

Tony

(* Need to get someone Jewish as well so I can ask them about left-handers.)

2007\06\21@103840 by Michael Rigby-Jones

picon face
>>>I believe Metric spanners* are also measured across the flats,
>>>so a 13mm spanner will work on a 1/2" UNx bolt if it's not
>>>done up too tightly! :-)
>>>
>>
>> * wrenches for our US viewers ;)

>{Original Message removed}

2007\06\21@105929 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>The wenches are on calendars pinned up in the wrench users building.

Round here I once asked for the 'wench with a wrench' when I wanted some
assistance to assemble something (the wench concerned worked in the
mechanical department and took it all in good fun).

2007\06\21@112857 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> ... and maybe fortnight is not that
> frequent in formal (business) language?

We have almost no formal distinctions between formal and informal
language. There is some distinction between polite and familiar forms
of address but these tend to be informal ;-).

Mother / mum. mummy, ma
Father / Dad, daddy
Hello, Good morning / Hi.


While there are indeed "colloquialisms" and contractions which you
would not use in polite or business settings, almost any word which is
acceptable English is 'good to go' in almost any context. So
'fortnight' could be used without raising an eyebrow in any context at
all.


       Russell


2007\06\21@114438 by PAUL James

picon face


Ma ... From Maternal

Pa ... From Paternal

-----Original Message-----
From: .....piclist-bounces@spam@spamEraseMEmit.edu [.....piclist-bouncesRemoveMEspammit.edu] On Behalf
Of Russell McMahon
Sent: Thursday, June 21, 2007 10:24 AM
To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
Subject: Re: [OT] Units rant

> ... and maybe fortnight is not that
> frequent in formal (business) language?

We have almost no formal distinctions between formal and informal
language. There is some distinction between polite and familiar forms of
address but these tend to be informal ;-).

Mother / mum. mummy, ma
Father / Dad, daddy
Hello, Good morning / Hi.


While there are indeed "colloquialisms" and contractions which you would
not use in polite or business settings, almost any word which is
acceptable English is 'good to go' in almost any context. So 'fortnight'
could be used without raising an eyebrow in any context at all.


       Russell


2007\06\21@171304 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Fri, 2007-06-22 at 03:23 +1200, Russell McMahon wrote:
> > ... and maybe fortnight is not that
> > frequent in formal (business) language?
>
> We have almost no formal distinctions between formal and informal
> language. There is some distinction between polite and familiar forms
> of address but these tend to be informal ;-).
>
> Mother / mum. mummy, ma
> Father / Dad, daddy
> Hello, Good morning / Hi.
>
>
> While there are indeed "colloquialisms" and contractions which you
> would not use in polite or business settings, almost any word which is
> acceptable English is 'good to go' in almost any context.

Which is one of the few "good" things about the english language IMHO.

> So
> 'fortnight' could be used without raising an eyebrow in any context at
> all.

Interesting thing is here in English Canada if you said fortnight I'd
say a substantial percentage of the population would have no clue what
the heck you were saying... :)

TTYL

2007\06\21@182233 by Ian Stewart

flavicon
face

> As has already been said, it's "Whitworth", but I'd be *really*
> surprised if it had anything Metric on it.  I started work on cars
> when I was about 10,
> and I didn't encounter anything Metric on a British car before those
> made in about 1970.  Before that threads were UNF and UNC (unified
> coarse and
> fine) and BSW (British Standard Whitworth).  UNx nuts and bolts used
> "AF" (Across Flats) spanners, while BSW used Whitworth spanners,
> which I
> believe were sized avvording to the diameter of the thread, so a
> 1/2" AF open-ended spanner was 0.5" across its mouth, whereas a
> 1/2"W spanner
> was much larger.
>
> Howard Winter
> St.Albans, England
>
>
A full size Whitworth nut is  one and a half times the diameter + an
1/8 th. of an inch.

Cheers
Ian Stewart

2007\06\21@184040 by Ian Stewart

flavicon
face



> >My well educated and intelligent wife recently, on a Tuesday,
>>said "next Thursday ..." when she in fact meant Thursday week.
>
> I would take that to be correct.
>
>>For reasons which did and do escape me she took exception to
>>my failure to correctly comprehend which date she was actually
>>referring to.
>
> If she had said 'this Thursday then it would have been the Thursday
> two days
> hence, but saying 'next Thursday' means the one a week later.
>
> Alan (putting flame suit on, should you show this to the wife).
>
I was once told that the use of "this" and "next" was of Scottish
origin.
Is it?

Ian

2007\06\21@195008 by Gerhard Fiedler
picon face
Russell McMahon wrote:

> [...] almost any word which is acceptable English is 'good to go' in
> almost any context.

At least from the languages I know, this applies to all of them.

> So 'fortnight' could be used without raising an eyebrow in any context at
> all.

Maybe, maybe not...  I at least haven't seen it in a contract. Nor in a
formal text written in the last ten years. Which probably means that it
would raise a few eyebrows if it were used. At least among the ones who
read such stuff... :)

Gerhard

2007\06\21@195228 by Rich

picon face
Is spanner the Brit name for wrench, like open end or box wrench or perhaps
crescent wrench?

----- Original Message -----
From: "PAUL James" <.....James.PaulSTOPspamspam@spam@colibrys.com>
To: "Microcontroller discussion list - Public." <piclistEraseMEspam@spam@mit.edu>
Sent: Thursday, June 21, 2007 10:00 AM
Subject: RE: [OT] Units rant


> Another name for spanner
>
> {Original Message removed}

2007\06\21@213726 by Jinx

face picon face

> Is spanner the Brit name for wrench, like open end or box wrench
> or perhaps crescent wrench?

'spanner' used to be, and probably still is, more common in the UK
and Commonwealth countries than 'wrench'

My older UK dictionary (1951) says

'Spanking - a series of slaps intended as...' ooops

'Spanner - span(1) + er, a wrench (then obvious definition)

'Span(1) -
Old English/Middle English/Old High German/Dutch 'spannen',
clasp, enfold, fasten, stretch ; Old Norse 'sponn'

'Wrench' - OE/ME/MHG twist

(interesting OHG word derivation for 'wench', too fortuitously
suggestive even for me to post)

An adjustable one (wrench, not wench) is known as in, IME,
decreasing popularity

Crescent
Monkey wrench
Adjustable spanner


2007\06\21@224430 by Marcel Duchamp

picon face
Jinx wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Spanner (as a wrench) was used by Mark Twain in his story "Roughing It",
ca. 1880.  See Gutenberg press.

2007\06\21@231041 by Jinx

face picon face
> > Crescent
> > Monkey wrench
> > Adjustable spanner
> >
> Spanner (as a wrench) was used by Mark Twain in his story
> "Roughing It", ca. 1880.  See Gutenberg press.

My friend's plumber dad, UK early 70s, would ask for him to
"pass the monkey', ie "plumber's wrench"

http://images.acclaimimages.com/_gallery/_TN/0279-0605-2400-0515_TN.jpg

Never heard it referred to as a 'plumber's spanner'

I've read a definition somewhere that said 'spanner' was the
correct term for an adjustable 'wrench', but it seems a thing
for working with nuts and bolts is whatever you want to call
it

eg the Google image results for 'box spanner' are what I'd
variously call 'spanner', 'ring spanner', 'plug spanner' (with
tommy bar) or 'socket'. I had once what I'd truly call a 'box
spanner'. A bar with a cube at each end, each with 6 different
size 'closed spanners'

2007\06\21@232940 by Richard Prosser

picon face
On 22/06/07, Jinx <RemoveMEjoecolquittspamspamBeGoneclear.net.nz> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

You mean like a "Wheel Wrench"?

A box spanner to me is like an elongated socket - a spark plug spanner
would be a good example.

RP

2007\06\22@000146 by Jinx

face picon face
> > spanner'. A bar with a cube at each end, each with 6 different
> > size 'closed spanners'
> >
>
> You mean like a "Wheel Wrench"?

No, that to me would be a wheel spanner ;-) Ridiculous ;-)

The thing I referred to is .... start with a 1" cube and in each
face is a 'hexagonal closed spanner' (actually that's just 5, not
6, so a total of 10). Really handy, wonder where it went. The
connecting bar had flat spots so you could use an adjustable
spanner to get leverage with the end spanners

2007\06\22@001004 by Carey Fisher

face picon face

>>    
> A full size Whitworth nut is  one and a half times the diameter + an
> 1/8 th. of an inch.
>
> Cheers
> Ian Stewart
>  
Q: What's a Whitworth?
A: Oh, about a ha'pence.

2007\06\22@001214 by Carey Fisher

face picon face

>>
>>    
> A full size Whitworth nut is  one and a half times the diameter + an
> 1/8 th. of an inch.
>
> Cheers
> Ian Stewart
>  
Me: Hey Dude... hand me that henway.
Dude: What's a henway?
Me: Oh, about 2 kilos.

2007\06\22@010055 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
My wife replies:

Subject: Re: [OT] Units rant


In my defence: many years ago, when I was in the University Field Club
(which frequently gathered for events or went on "field" trips where
we mostly camped in some remote place and sang songs around a
campfire) people declared that there should be no confusion if "this
Thursday" meant Thursday this week and "next Thursday" meant Thursday
next week. It makes sense to me and I've used the terminology ever
since.

Val (Russell's wife)

_____________________________________________________


My well educated and intelligent wife recently, on a Tuesday, said
"next Thursday ..." when she in fact meant Thursday week. For reasons
which did and do escape me she took exception to my failure to
correctly comprehend which date she was actually referring to.

2007\06\22@024825 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> A full size Whitworth nut is  one and a half times the diameter + an
> 1/8 th. of an inch.

Now almost obsolete guideline: When designing any equipment using
Whitworth threads nothing smaller than 3/8 thread diameter should be
specified. This is because the large head size wrt thread size causes
proportionally large spanners to be used and users' brains are
programmed to apply "tightening torque" somewhat proportionate to head
and tool size. A 1/4" thread will be happily shorn off by many people.
This is much less so with systems that use much lower head/thread
diameters.

This "rule" could be ignored at ones peril. Any amount of equipment
did in fact use smaller diameters than 3/8".

Did I hear someone out there in the dark say BA, cycle thread, pipe
threads, gas threads*  ... .


       Russell


* tapered ! :-)




2007\06\22@024825 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
The devil is in the details - in this case in the text that you show
as [...]
I said "... here ...". Unless you are accustomed to NZ documents your
observations are unlikely to be wholly relevant, notwithstanding the
somewhat universality of legalese.
.


           Russell

{Quote hidden}

2007\06\22@024825 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> Q: What's a Whitworth?
> A: Oh, about a ha'pence.

Maybe as much as tuppence three farthing on occasion.

Normally more like ten or twenty a shilling

Several gross may be worth a Guinea and a hundred may fetch a Crown on
a good day.

I have several Crown(s) which were minted here only for most special
occasions such as Coronations. The Half Crown was standard fare until
we decimalised in 1967.

Our shillings changed to 10 cent pieces at decimalisation but it took
a few years for the powers that be to remove the word "shilling" from
the 10 cent pieces. That's progress for you.

The farthings went first.
The hapence / haypennies/happence hung in there along with pennies
until decimalisation.
Way back when a half loaf of bread was 4 pence but a full load 7 pence
haypenny. (It's actually halfpenny but pronounced hay...). That's
volume discounting for you.
Nowadays the same plain would be in the $1.50 - $2.50 range so I've
seen prices change by a factor of around 25:1 or so.

The 1 cent (1.2 pence) and 2 cent (2.4 pence) pieces arrived in their
stead to be phased out a decade ort so ago with inflation.
The sixpence transmogrified into a 5 cent piece and hung in their
until last year when it also was abandoned as of too little value for
commerce.

The surviving 10c 20c 50c and $1 and $2 coins all shrank and the lower
two changed colour to a cuprous look (although steel based) to match
the prior 1 and 2 c pieces and fool our brains into thinking it was
business as usual. Effectively the PTB and treasury are trying to get
us to accept a 10:1 devaluation over time with inflation as just what
happens. Which it is.



       Russell

2007\06\22@045351 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>I was once told that the use of "this" and "next"
>was of Scottish origin.
>Is it?

Hmm, don't know, my Scottish origins don't have anything to say about it.

2007\06\22@050036 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
> Is spanner the Brit name for wrench, like open end or box wrench
> or perhaps crescent wrench?

Both terms get used, but are usage dependant. A spanner is always used on a
nut, or similar formed point designed for a tool to lock onto.

A wrench will typically have claw teeth on the jaws for gripping on an
unformed surface, like a pipe wrench onto round pipe. However a wrench may
still be used on formed nuts, as in a well wrench for removing the nuts
holding a car wheel.

Perhaps this derives from the verb 'wrench' as in 'to wrench something
round' whereas a spanner is always regarded as being used in a controlled
manner (until it slips off the nut and bangs your hand against the exhaust
pipe ...).

2007\06\22@051756 by Michael Rigby-Jones

picon face


{Quote hidden}

The plumbers/pipe wrench is very often refered to as a 'Stillson' in the UK, which is a trade name.

Mike

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2007\06\22@053724 by Jinx

face picon face
> The plumbers/pipe wrench is very often refered to as
> a 'Stillson' in the UK, which is a trade name.

That's right. Haven't heard that name for a long time

2007\06\22@054342 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
>> > spanner'. A bar with a cube at each end, each with 6 different
>> > size 'closed spanners'

>> You mean like a "Wheel Wrench"?

> No, that to me would be a wheel spanner ;-) Ridiculous ;-)

Wheel brace, please :-).

> The thing I referred to is .... start with a 1" cube and in each
> face is a 'hexagonal closed spanner' (actually that's just 5, not
> 6, so a total of 10). Really handy, wonder where it went.

I have one.
Metal is not the highest quality alas.



       Russell


2007\06\22@062702 by Jinx

face picon face
> spanner is always regarded as being used in a controlled
> manner (until it slips off the nut and bangs your hand against
> the exhaust pipe ...)

Could be another one to add to "Tools and their uses"

Spanner - tool to expedite the removal of knuckle skin

> > wheel spanner

> Wheel brace, please :-)

Of course, brace. Dad's old Ford Popular had a real brace-
type nut taker-off (ie made like a brace drill, like a crank)
but I've not seen one of those for a long time. They've been
the cross type for ages



2007\06\22@081642 by Goflo

picon face

---- Jinx <spamBeGonejoecolquitt@spam@spamclear.net.nz> wrote:
>
> Of course, brace. Dad's old Ford Popular had a real brace-
> type nut taker-off (ie made like a brace drill, like a crank)
> but I've not seen one of those for a long time. They've been
> the cross type for ages

When I started working in garages the old-timers called them
"speed wrenches", and had a selection of lengths and drives
( 1/4, 3/8, 1/2 ).  Pre air tools, of course. I've still got a couple
in my tool box. Right next to the Tommy bars  :)

Jack

2007\06\22@100700 by Tony Smith

picon face
> > A full size Whitworth nut is  one and a half times the diameter + an
> > 1/8 th. of an inch.
> >
> > Cheers
> > Ian Stewart
> >  
> Me: Hey Dude... hand me that henway.
> Dude: What's a henway?
> Me: Oh, about 2 kilos.

So what's a piecost then?

Tony

2007\06\22@101203 by Tony Smith

picon face
> > > Crescent
> > > Monkey wrench
> > > Adjustable spanner
> > >
> > Spanner (as a wrench) was used by Mark Twain in his story "Roughing
> > It", ca. 1880.  See Gutenberg press.
>
> My friend's plumber dad, UK early 70s, would ask for him to
> "pass the monkey', ie "plumber's wrench"
>
> images.acclaimimages.com/_gallery/_TN/0279-0605-2400-05
15_TN.jpg
{Quote hidden}

They get called plumbers spanners / plumbers wrench / stillson / stilTson
(!) in Oz.  Not that you see them all that much since sink fitting went
plastic.

I don't see what I'd call a box spanner on that page.  I'd call a box
spanner what you see in top of this picture -
<http://www.born2bike.freeuk.com/images/puncturekit.jpg>, (bad photo), they
used to be common, but they seem to have been replaced by this
<http://www.discountbicycles.co.uk/accessories/tools/spanner.jpg> these
days.

Aha - http://www.ucp.co.uk/handy.htm - it seems they are a dumbell spanner.
Hmmmm.  (BTW, how'd you get get 6 sizes per end?)

The other type <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adjustable_spanner> are known
as adjustable spanners (duh!) here (Oz), or shifting spanners, or more
commonly just as shifters.  Sometimes Crescent (tm).

As the article says, their primary purpose is to round off bolt heads; thus
increasing ones vocabulary, or round off nuts, thus adding nuts splitters,
WD40, chisels, or more exotic swearing etc to your life.

Tony

2007\06\22@104855 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Russell McMahon wrote:

> The devil is in the details

You're right, that's where the devil is. This is probably the reason why
some don't really want to go there :)

> in this case in the text that you show as [...] I said "... here ...".

Talking about details, I can't find a "here" in your past messages
regarding this matter :)

You said "we", though, but it wasn't quite clear who "we" is. The two
concepts ("we" and "here") have some orthogonal aspects.


> Unless you are accustomed to NZ documents your observations are unlikely
> to be wholly relevant, notwithstanding the somewhat universality of
> legalese.

Come on, Russell... it seems you are being stubborn just for stubborn's
sake :)  Actually, you so far rather convinced me that fortnight is indeed
quite rare in formal documents in NZ, mainly because if it were being used,
you would have come out of the conditional a long time ago and cited some
funny or otherwise memorable use of it.


Here's a bit commented history:

Me: "... maybe fortnight is not that frequent in formal (business)
language?"

You: "We have almost no formal distinctions between formal and informal
language. [...] almost any word which is acceptable English is 'good to go'
in almost any context. So 'fortnight' could be used without raising an
eyebrow in any context at all."

Comment: The distinction between formal and informal language is not what
could be used, it is what actually is used in different environments. While
the majority of words could be used in every setting, only a certain subset
is commonly used in specific situations, and there are some subsets of
commonly used words that can be associated with classes of situations. So
my comment was not about whether fortnight could be used, it was about how
frequently it is actually used in formal (business) language. You so far
have not stated that you know of a single instance where it was used in
such a situation. To me this indicates a low frequency of use (exactly
because I put value in what you write, even though it may not look like it
right now :)


Me: "I at least haven't seen it in a contract. Nor in a formal text written
in the last ten years."

You: "Unless you are accustomed to NZ documents your observations are
unlikely to be wholly relevant, notwithstanding the somewhat universality
of legalese."

Comment: I'm not sure where the restriction to NZ comes from (my original
comment to which you responded was an answer to Howard), and I'm in fact
not familiar with NZ documents. But independently of this, let's get real
finally: have you (certainly familiar with NZ documents) seen fortnight
used in a formal (business) document that was written in the last ten
years? And if so, was this so often as to classify fortnight as one of the
words commonly used in such documents that deserve their place in the
vocabulary of formal (business) language? That's been the question, right?

Gerhard

2007\06\22@115648 by Harold Hallikainen

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I haven't been following the thread closely, but getting back to units, in
College physics, we had to work problems in both metric and US units. I
got tired of having to multiply or divide everything by 32 in US measure,
so I did the problems with velocities in furlongs per fortnight and
accelerations in furlongs per fortnight squared...

Harold


{Quote hidden}

> -

2007\06\22@122123 by Russell McMahon

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> But independently of this, let's get real
> finally:
> - have you (certainly familiar with NZ documents) seen fortnight
> used in a formal (business) document that was written in the last
> ten
> years?
> - And if so, was this so often as to classify fortnight as one of
> the
> words commonly used in such documents that deserve their place in
> the
> vocabulary of formal (business) language?
> - That's been the question, right?

Yes
Yes
Not necessarily but yes for the purposes of the discussion if wished.

A major problem in this and a number of similar discourses is that you
tend to seek to find or find meanings in my words which are unintended
and hard to construe. For example, in this case, you have concluded
that what you consider to be conditional language on my part indicates
that I am attempting to convey a false impression.

Avoiding the trap of attempting to answer your question and then
having you define "formal" or "Business" in some inobvious manner I
should just suggest that you got to

       http://www.google.co.nz

Select "pages from New Zealand" and search for fortnight and be
surprised at what you find.

BUT

Being a sucker for punishment I'll offer a few samples of what you
could turn up if you did that:

_________

This from our inland revenue department.
More businessy would be hard to find IMHO if not IYHO.
Look just below the second green bar in several places or search on
the mooted term

       http://www.ird.govt.nz/wff-tax-credits/entitlement/what-is-wfftc/ftc/

A union newsletter

       http://www.aut.ac.nz/resources/staff/tiasa/member_benefit_programme2.pdf

A university application form for consideration for an aegrotat pass

       http://www.engineering.auckland.ac.nz/uoa/fms/default/engineering/undergraduates/docs/aegrotat_consideration.pdf


Retirement village charges information sheet

       http://www.eldernet.co.nz/Facilities/Service/DisplayService/FaStID/1464


This one is worth quoting as it is a legal submission in a law case

   http://www.cpag.org.nz/resources/submissions/res1178517396.pdf

 1.. For example, in terms of rates of payment: according to
information obtained from the Inland Revenue Department's website for
the 2005/2006 year minimum CTC payable for families with one child
(earning an income before tax of up to $34,500), per fortnight, was
$30. In comparison according information obtained from the Inland
Revenue Department's website for 2006/2007 year the minimum IWP
payable for families with one (earning an income before tax of up to
$53,000), is $120 per fortnight.
And many many many more.

ie it's just part of the vocabulary here. I'm not at all sure why you
would have doubted that when it was initially stated but I imagine
that, now you have ample demonstration of it's use, that you'll doubt
it still :-). No?


       R




2007\06\22@140641 by Howard Winter

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Jinx,

On Fri, 22 Jun 2007 16:01:25 +1200, Jinx wrote:

> > > spanner'. A bar with a cube at each end, each with 6 different
> > > size 'closed spanners'
> > >
> >
> > You mean like a "Wheel Wrench"?
>
> No, that to me would be a wheel spanner ;-) Ridiculous ;-)

Or "wheelbrace" over here!  :-)

> The thing I referred to is .... start with a 1" cube and in each
> face is a 'hexagonal closed spanner' (actually that's just 5, not
> 6, so a total of 10). Really handy, wonder where it went. The
> connecting bar had flat spots so you could use an adjustable
> spanner to get leverage with the end spanners

A bit like the shape of the projector in a Planetarium?  I think we call that a cycle spanner - as it's small and light enough to carry with you when
cycling, for doing running repairs.  In fact I think the small ones fit into the puncture-repair kit tin.

Three (and counting) nations divided by a common language...  :-)

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2007\06\22@141205 by Howard Winter

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Russell,

On Fri, 22 Jun 2007 17:41:03 +1200, Russell McMahon wrote:

>...
> Did I hear someone out there in the dark say BA, cycle thread, pipe
> threads, gas threads*  ... .

I did start talking about BA, but thought better of it and deleted it.  I couldn't remember if it was used on things like petrol and brake pipes, so I
chickened out of possibly making a mistake.

For a change!  ;-)

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2007\06\22@141631 by Howard Winter

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Gerhard,

On Fri, 22 Jun 2007 10:04:25 -0300, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

>...
> Come on, Russell... it seems you are being stubborn just for stubborn's sake :)

Is there another reason for being stubborn?  :-)))

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2007\06\22@143144 by Howard Winter

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picon face
Jinx,

On Fri, 22 Jun 2007 22:26:40 +1200, Jinx wrote:

>...
> > Wheel brace, please :-)
>
> Of course, brace. Dad's old Ford Popular had a real brace-
> type nut taker-off (ie made like a brace drill, like a crank)
> but I've not seen one of those for a long time. They've been
> the cross type for ages

I remember the brace-type, but the last one I remember was supplied with my father's 1967 A60 Austin Cambridge.  The central offset was the right
size to use the jack as a lever, with the foot of the jack across the open end, giving about two feet (600mm) of leverage so you could loosen the
nuts half a turn before jacking the car up.

Since then the ones that come with the car have usually been L-shaped, with the nut-driver at one end and a thick wedge at the other, to get the
hubcaps off.  They're useless for undoing a well-jammed wheelnut, so many years ago I bought myself one of the cross-types and always carry that
- you can get both hands across it and rarely need any more leverage.

The six-way "spider" version that used to be seen in garage workshops was the worst thing in the world to trip over - if you did it forwards it would
wallop you hard on the shin - sometimes twice, as it turned over, and if you backed into it it produced panic because you felt something fall over and
imagined whatever it was was going to break... which of course it doesn't!

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2007\06\23@002144 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Russell McMahon wrote:

> For example, in this case, you have concluded that what you consider to
> be conditional language on my part indicates that I am attempting to
> convey a false impression.

Well, I was wrong on that part (and on the fortnight part, as far as NZE
goes)... but at least it shows that you (that's the you that goes with your
'we' :) speak your own variation of English. With which I don't find
anything wrong -- other than some others, who think there should be only
one variation, using original words in unoriginal spellings declared as
original :)

> ie it's just part of the vocabulary here.

Now /here/ you use the mentioned 'here'...

> I'm not at all sure why you would have doubted that when it was initially
> stated but I imagine that, now you have ample demonstration of it's use,
> that you'll doubt it still
> :-). No?

I don't doubt it -- even if I couldn't verify it, I would believe you. But
to be fair, the jump from BE to NZE on your part was not obvious.

Gerhard

2007\06\23@002505 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Howard Winter wrote:

>> it seems you are being stubborn just for stubborn's sake :)
>
> Is there another reason for being stubborn?  :-)))

Oh, yes there is. You never just wanted to p*** someone off? In all
friendship? :)

Gerhard

2007\06\23@065222 by Howard Winter

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Rich,

On Thu, 21 Jun 2007 19:52:18 -0400, Rich wrote:

> Is spanner the Brit name for wrench, like open end or box wrench or perhaps
> crescent wrench?

Well it's the *English* word for it... I don't think it's just Britain that uses it :-)

Wrench tends to be used for the less precision tools, like Stillson or pipe wrenches, whereas spanner usually means precision devices like open-ended
or ring spanners.  I think what you call a "crescent wrench" we call an "adjustable spanner" (the swedish company Bahco makes some very nice, very
expensive ones - most of the others aren't terribly good and tend to have so much slop that they are very likely to round off a nut that needs a high
force to undo it).

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2007\06\23@071245 by Howard Winter

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Russell,

On Fri, 22 Jun 2007 17:59:51 +1200, Russell McMahon wrote:

>...
> I have several Crown(s) which were minted here only for most special
> occasions such as Coronations. The Half Crown was standard fare until
> we decimalised in 1967.

You did so before we did?  That's my "You learn something every day" item for today!  :-)

> Our shillings changed to 10 cent pieces at decimalisation but it took
> a few years for the powers that be to remove the word "shilling" from
> the 10 cent pieces. That's progress for you.

So your Dollar was half the value of your former Pound?  I think we may have learned from your mistake when we decimalised in 1971 - we kept the
pound the same and just changed the pence, to "New Pence", appreviated "p" instead of the former "d" (from the Roman "dinari").

> The farthings went first.

Here too, in the early 60's I think - I barely remember them in circulation.

> The hapence / haypennies/happence hung in there along with pennies
> until decimalisation.

We carried ha'pennies over to decimalisation, but they were never handled by banks - you couldn't write a cheque for less than a penny.  The coins
themselves disappeared a few years after decimalisation (they were known as "tiddlers" and were worth so little that people wouldn't bother to pick
one up if they dropped it!)

> The 1 cent (1.2 pence) and 2 cent (2.4 pence) pieces arrived in their
> stead to be phased out a decade ort so ago with inflation.
> The sixpence transmogrified into a 5 cent piece and hung in their
> until last year when it also was abandoned as of too little value for
> commerce.

We still have one and two-pence coins, but they are generally a nuisence.  Most coin-accepting machines won't take anything less than 5p.

> The surviving 10c 20c 50c and $1 and $2 coins all shrank and the lower
> two changed colour to a cuprous look (although steel based) to match
> the prior 1 and 2 c pieces and fool our brains into thinking it was
> business as usual. Effectively the PTB and treasury are trying to get
> us to accept a 10:1 devaluation over time with inflation as just what
> happens. Which it is.

Yes, that happened here too.  Having had the old penny last from about 1800 to 1971, the new set of coins lasted only about 20 years before they
were replaced by newer, smaller ones, and the lower value notes disappeared too.  There never was a 50p note in England to replace the "ten bob
note", although the Isle of Man did have one, and the pound note went a number of years ago to be replaced by the "Margaret" (nicknamed after the
then Prime Minister: "small, brassy, and thinks it's a sovereign"! :-)  They did rationalise the sequence, though - we now have 1, 2, 5 and their decades
throughout the range from 1p to GBP100.  The introduction of the 2p, 20p and GBP2 coins means that you end up with a lot less 1's in your pocket -
something that always seems to be a problem when I'm in America - the lack of a $2 item means you end up with a lot of singles in your wallet,
especially since prices usually have the 99c ending, but that's ex-tax and adding the tax pushes it over the $ boundary, so a lot of change has four $1
bills in it.

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2007\06\23@071504 by Howard Winter

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Gerhard,

On Sat, 23 Jun 2007 01:23:10 -0300, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

> Howard Winter wrote:
>
> >> it seems you are being stubborn just for stubborn's sake :)
> >
> > Is there another reason for being stubborn?  :-)))
>
> Oh, yes there is. You never just wanted to p*** someone off? In all
> friendship? :)

Actually, no, almost never.  I have very few friends, so I like to keep the ones I have!  :-)

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2007\06\23@071701 by Howard Winter

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Alan,

On Thu, 21 Jun 2007 15:59:25 +0100, Alan B. Pearce wrote:

> >The wenches are on calendars pinned up in the wrench users building.
>
> Round here I once asked for the 'wench with a wrench' when I wanted some
> assistance to assemble something (the wench concerned worked in the
> mechanical department and took it all in good fun).

Good thing, otherwise you could have ended up with a wrench to the gonads!  :-)

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2007\06\23@082349 by Rich

picon face
It's cool to get educated on the list :o)
----- Original Message -----
From: "Howard Winter" <RemoveMEHDRWEraseMEspamKILLspamH2Org.demon.co.uk>
To: "Microcontroller discussion list - Public." <spamBeGonepiclistspam_OUTspamRemoveMEmit.edu>
Sent: Saturday, June 23, 2007 6:52 AM
Subject: Re: [OT] Units rant


{Quote hidden}

> --

2007\06\23@084448 by Russell McMahon

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>> Howard Winter wrote:

> On Sat, 23 Jun 2007 01:23:10 -0300, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

>> >> it seems you are being stubborn just for stubborn's sake :)

But, no.
Just trying to convey information.
Unsuccessfully it seems :-).

       Russell



2007\06\23@084448 by Russell McMahon

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> So your Dollar was half the value of your former Pound?  I think we
> may have learned from your mistake when we decimalised in 1971 - we
> kept the
> pound the same and just changed the pence, to "New Pence",
> appreviated "p" instead of the former "d" (from the Roman "dinari").

I didn't / don't see that as a mistake and admit thinking that the UK
"new pence" system was cumbersome and liable to confuse and also to
inflate prices.
It was probably necessary however to maintain the existence of the GBP
as it had such pomp and antiquity to it.

The change from 12p to 10c to the shilling and 10 shillings to the
dollar made sense and was smoothly accomplished

Coins were    1 2 5 10 20 50 100 200 c
Notes            1 2 5 10 20 50 100 $

Now
Coins            10 20 50 100 200 c
Notes            5 10 20 50 100 $

We also used d for pence.
In fact currency used to be LSD which had nothing to do with "Lucy in
the Sky with Diamonds" - which allegedly had nothing to do with drugs
but with a picture that one of their children brought home from
school.

'That's nice dear. What is it?"
"That's Lucy in the Sky with DIAMONDS!!!"
Ah !!!



Hookey Walker !!!




       Russell


2007\06\23@085741 by Tony Smith

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{Quote hidden}

Australia is pretty much the same, except we call "adjustable spanners"
shifters for some reason.

We also like our tools to be dual purpose -
<http://www.alexjulius.com.au/nafa_good_gear_2005/images/sea%20spanner.jpg>.

Just what every crappy tool needs, a bottle opener.

Tony

2007\06\23@101122 by Recon

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Howard Winter wrote:

>Rich,
>
>On Thu, 21 Jun 2007 19:52:18 -0400, Rich wrote:
>
>  
>
>>Is spanner the Brit name for wrench, like open end or box wrench or perhaps
>>crescent wrench?
>>    
>>

Crescent is a brand name of tools.  to the best of my knowledge they
first marketed the "adjustable wrench" so after that most people just
called it the crescent wrench

Also pipe wrenchs AFAIK, have the gripping teeth on the jaws and one jaw
that flexes to help grab the object better.
The monkey wrenches were adjustable with smooth jaws.  The wrenches were
shaped like the letter "F".
Here in Midwestern US a lot of old timers would call the smaller ones  a
Ford wrench.

Recon

{Quote hidden}

2007\06\23@102248 by Rolf

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Tony Smith wrote:
{Quote hidden}

In South Africa we also use the term "Shifting Spanner", or "shifter".

Of course, wiki has a great page:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adjustable_spanner

Rolf

2007\06\23@113014 by Goflo

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Did'nt realize the Pound note had gone away. Back in the day Bank
of England printed notes were works of art - 1970s Thai 100 Baht
notes come to mind, just beautiful...

I never did get a grip on the thruppence, farthings, bob, sovereigns, guineas, and so on which infest what we call "English Literature".

It'd be nice to say that after accepting the Redcoat surrender
we rationalized our currency, but that is'nt the way that happened.
Either :)

Jack

---- Russell McMahon <.....apptechspamRemoveMEparadise.net.nz> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> --

2007\06\23@114840 by Denny Esterline

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>...

>  They did rationalise the sequence, though - we now have 1, 2, 5 and their
> decades
> throughout the range from 1p to GBP100.  The introduction of the 2p, 20p
> and GBP2 coins means that you end up with a lot less 1's in your pocket -
> something that always seems to be a problem when I'm in America - the lack
> of a $2 item means you end up with a lot of singles in your wallet,



>...
Actualy the USA does have a $2 bill <
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_two-dollar_bill> just most people
don't use it.

-Denny

2007\06\23@115534 by Goflo

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---- Denny Esterline <desterlinespam@spam@gmail.com> wrote:
> Actualy the USA does have a $2 bill <
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_two-dollar_bill> just most people
> don't use it.

Three dollar bills too - Mine's got Bill Clinton's picture on it  :)

Jack

2007\06\23@120132 by Russell McMahon

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> I never did get a grip on the thruppence, farthings, bob,
> sovereigns, guineas, and so on which infest what we call "English
> Literature".

Ah - I'd forgotten "bob".
Bob = shilling = 12 pence = 10 cents latterly.
Two bob = 2 shilling piece.

Didn't usually get used other than that AFAIR although perhaps "For
thirty Bob I'd sell you ..." may have been used.

Guinea was usually the preserve of the professionals and/or people
trying to put on side. (1 pound 1 shilling = 21 shillings AFAIR)

2 farthings = 1 halfpenny (haypenny / ha'penny)
4 farthings = 1 penny
3 pennies = thruppence.
6 pennies = sixpence (= 1 tanner?)
12 pennies = 1 shilling.
2 shillings and sixpence = half a crown.
5 shillings = 1 crown.
20 shillings = 1 pound
21 shillings = 1 guinea

Sovereign was large and I recall not what relationship it had.
Part of my brain said it really effectively means "large" and depends
on what its made of.

Crowns were never standard fare here afair.

LSD = pounds shillings and pence.

eg 4 - 6s - 2 1/2 d


       Russell
.

2007\06\23@122349 by Tony Smith

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> Ah - I'd forgotten "bob".
> Bob = shilling = 12 pence = 10 cents latterly.
> Two bob = 2 shilling piece.
>
> Didn't usually get used other than that AFAIR although
> perhaps "For thirty Bob I'd sell you ..." may have been used.


"Mad as a 2-bob watch".

Tony

2007\06\23@175515 by Goflo

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---- Russell McMahon <EraseMEapptechRemoveMEspamSTOPspamparadise.net.nz> wrote:
>
> Ah - I'd forgotten "bob".
> Bob = shilling = 12 pence = 10 cents latterly.
> Two bob = 2 shilling piece.

Any connection to Robert Peel?

Jack

2007\06\23@193750 by Jinx

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> > Bob = shilling = 12 pence = 10 cents latterly.
> > Two bob = 2 shilling piece.
>
> Any connection to Robert Peel?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shilling

A slang name for a shilling was a "bob" (which was invariant in the
plural, as in "that cost me two bob"). In The Gambia, white people
are called ' tuobabs', supposedly from the price of a slave which
was 2 shillings

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_coinage#Slang

Missing slang -

Some of the issues of George II sixpence were designed by John
Sigismund Tanner, and the denomination was known as a "tanner"
right up to decimalisation

A bit sad it's just history for kids now

http://www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/customs/questions/moneyold.htm

2007\06\23@200308 by Jinx

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> > Didn't usually get used other than that AFAIR although
> > perhaps "For thirty Bob I'd sell you ..." may have been used.
>
>  "Mad as a 2-bob watch".

Comedy writers Dennis Norden and Frank Muir had a
couple of characters, in Take It From Here IIRC, called
"Bob and Penny, the Gascoignes". They used the gag only
once, but it was clever enough for me to remember after
all this time

2007\06\23@201436 by Jinx

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> The introduction of the 2p, 20p and GBP2 coins

You've seen this -

http://128.192.145.172/opp/200p1997.jpg

1997 2-pound coin commemorating industrial advancement,
featuring a gear train that can't work ;-)

2007\06\23@211306 by Rich

picon face
The only place you can spend that one is at the DNC :-))

----- Original Message -----
From: <RemoveMEgofloKILLspamspamTakeThisOuTcox.net>
To: "Microcontroller discussion list - Public." <spamBeGonepiclistspam@spam@mit.edu>
Sent: Saturday, June 23, 2007 11:55 AM
Subject: Re: [OT] Units rant


>
> ---- Denny Esterline <RemoveMEdesterlinespam_OUTspamgmail.com> wrote:
>> Actualy the USA does have a $2 bill <
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_two-dollar_bill> just most
>> people
>> don't use it.
>
> Three dollar bills too - Mine's got Bill Clinton's picture on it  :)
>
> Jack
> --

2007\06\24@021807 by Russell McMahon

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>From my cousin Martin

Hi Russell,

When I were a boy...

Farthings were still used in the UK in the very early 60's -
"Blackjack"
sweets were a farthing each at the village shop. This was Bradenstoke,
just
up the road from RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire, and BEFORE shops converted
to
self-service! Many houses had thatched roofs and no significant
plumbing, we
lived in a 32 foot caravan...

Martin R


2007\06\24@061712 by Tony Smith

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> >From my cousin Martin
>
> Hi Russell,
>
> When I were a boy...
>
> Farthings were still used in the UK in the very early 60's -
> "Blackjack"
> sweets were a farthing each at the village shop. This was
> Bradenstoke, just up the road from RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire,
> and BEFORE shops converted to self-service! Many houses had
> thatched roofs and no significant plumbing, we lived in a 32
> foot caravan...
>
> Martin R


That's impressive, he didn't mention hills, snow or unshod feet once.

Tony

2007\06\24@064327 by Jinx

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> we lived in a 32 foot caravan...
> >
> That's impressive, he didn't mention hills, snow or unshod
> feet once

Yeah but, 32ft. I mean, come on. Mansion. Bet theirs had
wheels too. Lucky b*st*rds

Oh, and I remember Blackjacks (and Fruit Salads) and NO
self-service. I got banned for a week from our local shop for
taking a handful and leaving the money on the counter. Fed
up waiting for the assistant to come from a customer at the
other end of the shop (I was 8 and had things to do). I know
he saw me put it there, so always thought he made a big deal
out of it. Tch eh ? There's honesty for you

http://www.aquarterof.co.uk/black-jacks-p-413.html

2007\06\24@083220 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> In The Gambia, white people
> are called ' tuobabs', supposedly from the price of a slave which
> was 2 shillings

Sounds suspiciously like Baobab.
aka fat, ugly, full of water ?


       Russell



2007\06\24@085214 by Tony Smith

picon face
> > we lived in a 32 foot caravan...
> > >
> > That's impressive, he didn't mention hills, snow or unshod feet once
>
> Yeah but, 32ft. I mean, come on. Mansion. Bet theirs had
> wheels too. Lucky b*st*rds


You're right, sheer luxury.  I'd forgotten about Blackjacks.

Tony

2007\06\24@112046 by Russell McMahon

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flavicon
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>> Yeah but, 32ft. I mean, come on. Mansion. Bet theirs had
>> wheels too. Lucky b*st*rds

His father, my uncle was in the RAF, so it may have been a section out
of a Hercules body :-.).

Said uncle was lucky 3rd man out of a Lancaster somewhere over the
Reich when usually the man in his position died. Last thing he
remembered was the plane going down with him inside and then he was
alive and injured on the ground. Spent the rest of the war as guest of
The Fuehrer's. non-royal government.

> > That's impressive, he didn't mention hills, snow or unshod feet
> > once

Compared to the above snow and unshod feet just doesn't cut it.

After the war he flew (as ?load master?) relief and evacuation
missions throughout Africa. Interesting life if you can manage to keep
it. He told me about triple bagging grain for on the fly (very
literally) dropping of aid. Drop grain in one sack from a Hercules at
10's of feet off the deck at throttled-right-back and the sacks too
often burst on impact. Sew said grain sack into a 2nd sack (coaxial)
and they sometimes burst on impact. Sew said double bagged grain into
a 3rd sack and they never all burst on impact. Load up that grain and
let's go ... .



       Russell


2007\06\24@193222 by peter green

flavicon
face

> Have you ever tried to send messages from a PC which thinks that you
> want to converse in Chinese and is utterly dedicated to ensuring that
> you do so ? :-). When sending emails from Taiwan I have been forced on
> occasion to use Alt-nnn combinations to obtain "English" text or even
> to cutting and pasting letters from other messages. I'm certain that
> there would have been easy ways to convince said PCs that I wanted to
> actually produce the characters shown on the keyboards that I was
> using, but I could not at the time find anyone who could both
> understand my question and answer it.
>  
If its running windows and you see a blue square with a language code in
the system tray try clicking on it. You may well find an english option
in the list that pops up.


2007\06\25@080313 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
peter green wrote:

>> Have you ever tried to send messages from a PC which thinks that you
>> want to converse in Chinese and is utterly dedicated to ensuring that
>> you do so ? :-). When sending emails from Taiwan I have been forced on
>> occasion to use Alt-nnn combinations to obtain "English" text or even
>> to cutting and pasting letters from other messages. I'm certain that
>> there would have been easy ways to convince said PCs that I wanted to
>> actually produce the characters shown on the keyboards that I was
>> using, but I could not at the time find anyone who could both
>> understand my question and answer it.
>
> If its running windows and you see a blue square with a language code in
> the system tray try clicking on it. You may well find an english option
> in the list that pops up.

And if the blue square isn't there, of if "EN" doesn't pop it, it often
takes under a minute to put it there.

Gerhard

2007\06\25@081615 by Roger, in Bangkok

face
flavicon
face
In Thailand it's farang, literally guava ... pasty-white and lumpy.

Roger, in Bangkok


On 6/24/07, Russell McMahon <apptechspamspamparadise.net.nz> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2007\06\25@084712 by Russell McMahon

face
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face
{Quote hidden}

In the above paragraph the normal meanings of "forced", "utterly
dedicated", "could not at the time" and "Chinese" apply :-). Resorting
to Alt-nnn for plain text entry is often a reliable sign that one has
come to the end of one's other resources.

I'm reasonably Windows-user competent.
I only used the methods that I did because they were the best that I
found that I could do in the circumstances..
I assume that the (presumably) Chinese IT person who set the system up
was substantially more Windows competent than I and didn't want me to
do things my way :-).
Not having a Chinese-Windows CD on my person, nor even an English one,
and not being willing to utilise either had I had one, being a long
long way from home in someone else's country and hotel, I found my
options to be more than usually restricted.

I know that in fact there WAS a simple way to do what I wanted but I
couldn't establish how to enable it (despite very very extensive
attempts to do so) and I couldn't find anyone present who knew AND who
could understand me AND who would show me how.

> And if the blue square isn't there, of if "EN" doesn't pop it, it
> often
> takes under a minute to put it there.

For some values of often :-).

In the guest PC room of a Taichung City hotel Murphy seemed to only
speak Chinese.



       Russell

2007\06\25@084712 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
Samoan:

       Palagi        (Par langi)

Maori:

       Pakeha        Some translate as

                           Cooked head

                           Pale skin.

                           ...

___________________________

POM

       Prisoner of Mother england?             (Compulsory colonials)

       Pomegranate                                        (turns
bright red in the sun)(more likely)



       Russell


> In Thailand it's farang, literally guava ... pasty-white and lumpy.

>> > In The Gambia, white people
>> > are called ' tuobabs', supposedly from the price of a slave which
>> > was 2 shillings
>>
>> Sounds suspiciously like Baobab.
>> aka fat, ugly, full of water ?

2007\06\25@090050 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>Maori:
>
>        Pakeha        Some translate as
>
>                            Cooked head
>
>                            Pale skin.
>

I always understood the 'literal' translation of Pakeha was 'white devil'
...

2007\06\25@113524 by Goflo

picon face

---- "Alan B. Pearce" <spam_OUTA.B.Pearcespam_OUTspamspam_OUTrl.ac.uk> wrote:
> >Maori:
> >        Pakeha        Some translate as
> >                            Cooked head
> >                            Pale skin.
> I always understood the 'literal' translation of Pakeha was 'white devil'

.Hawaiian "pake"  --->  A Chinese.   "lolo" ---> Crazy.
"pakelolo" --->  pot ... Supposedly because the Chinese
introduced the killer weed to the Islands. If so, the other
ethnic groups had pretty well closed the gap by the 70s
when I lived there.

2007\06\25@211141 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Russell,

On Tue, 26 Jun 2007 00:46:46 +1200, Russell McMahon wrote:

>...
> POM
>
>         Prisoner of Mother england?             (Compulsory colonials)

I thought it was POHM - Prisoner of His/Her Majesty, printed on the clothing of those who qualified?

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2007\06\25@214838 by Goflo

picon face
Was'nt there a huge stink in Oz over a newspaper headline
that went  "Poms" did something or other,  sports-related, a
few years ago?

Jack

---- Howard Winter <HDRWspam_OUTspamH2Org.demon.co.uk> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> --

2007\06\26@050716 by Jinx

face picon face
> Wasn't there a huge stink in Oz over a newspaper headline
> that went  "Poms" did something or other,  sports-related, a
> few years ago?

Last big story not so long ago

"Whingeing Poms take offence at beer's cool marketing gimmick"

The advertisement claims that the brewer Tooheys' new Supercold
brand is "cold enough to scare a Pom" and features footage of an
overweight, pale, balding man in a Union Jack T-shirt cringing in
fear at the offer of a cold beer

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/article656235.ece

"A group of British expatriates living in Australia has launched
legal action to outlaw the use of the word in advertising on the
basis that Pom is a derogatory term"

Get over it. A lot of eye-rolling this side of the Tasman. They
claim racism, but Aussies (many descendants of Englishmen)
calling Englishmen-living-in-Aussie "Poms" hardly seems that
grievous. And not likely to make the epithet "whingeing Poms"
go away in a hurry

If you look through Aussie newspapers for "Poms", you'll find
plenty of them in the sports section

"Poms collapse"
"Poms demolished by state team"
"Poms fail to deliver"
"This Pommie side's a joke"
etc etc

2007\06\26@092914 by Michael Rigby-Jones

picon face


{Quote hidden}

Indeed, I hope quite a bit of eye rolling over here as well.  As you say these berks are living up (down) to the stereotype, and it is especialy petty when they are living in someone elses country.  Personaly I'm quite happy for the Bruces and Sheilas to continue with the traditional naming convention.  

Still, at least our (real) beer is served at an appropriate temperature ;)  

Mike


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2007\06\26@111626 by John, N5DWI

picon face

Fish Shop

Yes, the owner / operator of the fish shop died.

We were there buying some fish a few weeks before he did himself in.

I remember wondering at that time what his life expectancy might be.

So, when the newspaper article about his demise appeared it caught my
attention.  Unfortunately, the article didn't go into very much detail,
so if one hadn't previously been in his shop, it wouldn't have been at
all clear just what did happen, at least beyond the fact that he was
electrocuted.

If the Darwin awards had begun earlier, he would have been a winner.

jw


2007\06\26@115452 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Russell,

On Sun, 24 Jun 2007 04:01:43 +1200, Russell McMahon wrote:

>...
> Crowns were never standard fare here afair.

They weren't here either (in my lifetime) but they were issued for commemoration, and they were legal tender.  When I was working in a petrol
station as a student, someone came in and said "can I have 50p of petrol (it was a *long* time ago!) and pay with these?" and held out two Churchill
Crowns.  "Of course" says I, "they're legal tender" and proceeded to dispense said fuel, pocketed the crowns and put 50p of my own in the till.  It
would only have complicated the cashing-up procedure if I hadn't - there was no place to record Crowns on the cash sheet!  ;-)  I still have them,
somewhere...

Cheers,



Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2007\06\26@121453 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
."Of course" says I, "they're legal tender" and proceeded to
>dispense said fuel, pocketed the crowns and put 50p of my
>own in the till.  It would only have complicated the cashing-up
>procedure if I hadn't - there was no place to record Crowns
>on the cash sheet!  ;-)  I still have them, somewhere ...

And how much (potential) profit is there from that transaction ??? ;)

2007\06\26@133832 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> They weren't here either (in my lifetime) but they were issued for
> commemoration, and they were legal tender.  When I was working in a
> petrol
> station as a student, someone came in and said "can I have 50p of
> petrol (it was a *long* time ago!) and pay with these?" and held out
> two Churchill
> Crowns.  "Of course" says I, "they're legal tender" and proceeded to
> dispense said fuel, pocketed the crowns and put 50p of my own in the
> till.  It
> would only have complicated the cashing-up procedure if I hadn't -
> there was no place to record Crowns on the cash sheet!  ;-)  I still
> have them,
> somewhere...

I wonder where he (presumably) stole them from? :-)


       Russell

2007\06\26@163810 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Russell McMahon wrote:

>> And if the blue square isn't there, of if "EN" doesn't pop it, it often
>> takes under a minute to put it there.
>
> For some values of often :-).

Right. I was purposefully cautious, because I never sat at a Chinese
system, much less know how a typical Chinese system looks like, nor of
course how your specific system looked like.

> In the guest PC room of a Taichung City hotel Murphy seemed to only
> speak Chinese.

OTOH, from your earlier comments about the difficulty to type accents it
seems that you might not be (or not have been) familiar with the process of
setting up a Windows system for several input locales. Possibly being
familiar with this can help with some unwilling Chinese systems. (Again,
purposefully cautious :)  But of course these configuration items may have
been disabled for normal users.

As a side thought, it seems that using the Character Map ("charmap") and
clicking may be a more efficient way to "type" than using Alt combinations.
I don't know, but it's something to try on the next stubborn system.

Gerhard

2007\06\27@021439 by Jinx

face picon face

> Still, at least our (real) beer is served at an appropriate
> temperature ;)  

Yes, you really do need to have a warm drink in an English
summer

2007\06\27@060717 by Michael Rigby-Jones

picon face


>-----Original Message-----
>From: KILLspampiclist-bouncesspam.....mit.edu [spam_OUTpiclist-bouncesspamKILLspammit.edu]
>On Behalf Of Jinx
>Sent: 27 June 2007 07:13
>To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
>Subject: Re: [OT] Units rant
>
>
>
>> Still, at least our (real) beer is served at an appropriate
>> temperature ;)
>
>Yes, you really do need to have a warm drink in an English summer

And some kind of sea worthy vessel to get to the local pub if you live in the north of England!

Mike


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not make any use of this information, or copy or show it to any
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2007\06\27@080531 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>And some kind of sea worthy vessel to get to the
>local pub if you live in the north of England!

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/2/story.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10448202

Hope no-one here has problems from this. It is going to create ongoing
problems for those affected for a long while.

2007\06\27@084058 by Jinx

face picon face

> Hope no-one here has problems from this. It is going to create
> ongoing problems for those affected for a long while

After the last UK "1 in 100 year" floods, there was a lot of
debate about new housing developments in known or potential
flood plains. Wonder if anybody took any notice

2007\06\27@115335 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
>>> Still, at least our (real) beer is served at an appropriate
>>> temperature ;)
>>
>>Yes, you really do need to have a warm drink in an English summer
>
> And some kind of sea worthy vessel to get to the local pub if you
> live in the north of England!

BUT you just wait until the Greenland ice cap slides off the land and
melts like Al Gore says is going to happen if we keep going on brewing
CO2 producing beer the way we are. Sea levels are going to rise 12
feet in almost no time. It's going to be a VERY cold swim to the pub
then. But, only for a wee while. When the Atlantic Conveyor stops
you'll soon be able to WALK to the pub again - but 12 feet above the
old route, and much more slippery, and cold. (It will be uphill both
ways, and don't expect shoes).




       Russell

2007\06\27@115335 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
>> Still, at least our (real) beer is served at an appropriate
>> temperature ;)

> Yes, you really do need to have a warm drink in an English
> summer

You just wait until after the Atlantic Conveyer (sub Gulf Stream
reverse current) stops due to small additional increases in
atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Then you'll have to thaw your beer and
then boil it to get anything like warm.

Which just goes to show the hazards of consuming a product that
generates small additional atmospheric CO2 concentrations.



       Russell





2007\06\27@140852 by Goflo

picon face
Bet ya a nickel growing the grain & hops pull more CO2 out of the air
than the beer fizzes into it  :)

Jack

---- Russell McMahon <RemoveMEapptechRemoveMEspamEraseMEparadise.net.nz> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> --

2007\06\30@124311 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Jinx,

On Thu, 28 Jun 2007 00:40:04 +1200, Jinx wrote:

>
> > Hope no-one here has problems from this. It is going to create
> > ongoing problems for those affected for a long while
>
> After the last UK "1 in 100 year" floods,

Time flies these days - we seem to have a 100 year flood every other year!

> there was a lot of
> debate about new housing developments in known or potential
> flood plains. Wonder if anybody took any notice

Yes, the insurance companies have been telling the Government they'll have to improve the flood defences and drainage in those areas.  Can't have
them risking having to actually pay out any claims, eh?  :-)

With all the news of flooding, I can't help but admire the optimism of whoever decided to call one of the proposed residential areas "Thames
Gateway".  I can just see some of the roadnames... Hightide Street, Alluvial Alley, Runoff Road, Culvert Close, Devastation Drive, Crisis Crescent...

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2007\06\30@124801 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Russell,

On Wed, 27 Jun 2007 05:14:23 +1200, Russell McMahon wrote:

{Quote hidden}

"She"!  And they were issued as commemorative coins, it's just really unusual to see them in circulation because they tend to be worth more than
their face value.  Like sovereigns - their face value is GBP1, but quite apart from any numismatic value, they contain about half an ounce of gold!

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2007\06\30@124906 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Alan,

On Tue, 26 Jun 2007 17:14:48 +0100, Alan B. Pearce wrote:

> ."Of course" says I, "they're legal tender" and proceeded to
> >dispense said fuel, pocketed the crowns and put 50p of my
> >own in the till.  It would only have complicated the cashing-up
> >procedure if I hadn't - there was no place to record Crowns
> >on the cash sheet!  ;-)  I still have them, somewhere ...
>
> And how much (potential) profit is there from that transaction ??? ;)

I don't know, and it's still potential since I still have them!  I suppose I ought to look them up and find out what they may be worth these days...

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England



'[OT] Units rant'
2007\07\01@054936 by Jake Anderson
flavicon
face
Russell McMahon wrote:
{Quote hidden}

good idea to carry an ubuntu live CD around with you then (or stick it
on a USB stick) ;->
MUWHAHAHA!

my understanding was a large % of china used their own flavour of linux
for their computing needs.

2007\07\01@105926 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> Yes, the insurance companies have been telling the Government
> they'll have to improve the flood defences and drainage in those
> areas.  Can't have
> them risking having to actually pay out any claims, eh?  :-)

Insurance is a risk spreading mechanism.
If you keep acquiring risk to spread it is sensible to see if its
cheaper to reduce the risk than to keep having the spreadees pay for
it. In the short term peaks in realised risk (the water comes
in)(collapse of the wave function assumes a whole new meaning) in one
area can be reasonably covered by income from other areas whose
realsied risks are lower in the short term than long term actuarial
projections. In the long term this is untenable and adjustments must
be made to either reduce the rate of realisation in the problem areas
or to modify the relevant actuarial projections and the fees which are
based on them.

More succinctly: Insurance is meant to be a means of averaging peaks
in cost due to short term fluctuations away from long term
statistically based projections. Where situations change so that the
cost projections are no longer valid one needs to either reduce the
costs or increase the charges.

Failure of TPTB to install improved flood protection systems may lead
to the insurance companies leaving the market entirely and leaving the
home owneres to carry their own risk, or to increase premiums by a
factor of 10 to 100 times. Neither outcome tends to be desirable.

Or: Insurance is meant to cover "accidents" - not near certainties.




           Russell






2007\07\01@204304 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 7/1/07, Jake Anderson <KILLspamjakespamspamBeGonevapourforge.com> wrote:
> my understanding was a large % of china used their own flavour of linux
> for their computing needs.

I do not think that is true and I believe that percentage is single digit.

Yes certain industry (eg: telecom industry and the banking industry) use
Unix or Linux more often. Even for them the corporate desktop is still
dominated by Windows. The government and many companies
now mostly use legitimate Windows software since leading PC companies
like Lenovo signed deals with Microsoft to use Windows XP or Vista.
For small companies and home users, illegal copies of Windows
are still rampant in China. The situation is getting better now because of
the progress of the economy and the pressure from the software
industry. Anyway, the Chinese government start to recognize the
importance of IP protection. The thing to take note is that China is a
vast country and the policy of the central government often can not
go down well to the local government. Some parts of China have
an average GNP of US$5000 per capita and some parts have less
than US$1000.

devdata.worldbank.org/external/CPProfile.asp?PTYPE=CP&CCODE=CHN

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