• (cs) in reply to Pap
Pap:
Anonymous:

Why should we convert? The imperial system came before SI! Sometimes, it is just better ot use an already existing (and functional) system rather than consuming resources (time, energy, money) developing a new system and then trying to convince everyone that yours is better. SI is no more a golden hammer than COBOL is. :P

Plus, measuring temperature in centigrade is just plain dumb.

Little known fact:  At the intended standard temperature/pressure, water does NOT freeze at 0 deg C and it does NOT boil at 100 deg C.  They screwed it up.

-0.001 °C and 99.974 °C

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celsius#The_melting_and_boiling_points_of_water

Actually, at normal atmospheric surface pressures, pure water freezes at -40 degrees Celsius.  Impure water at standard atmospheric surface pressure will freeze at 0 degrees Celsius.  The cleaner the water is, the lower the freezing point.  Although it matters by the kind of impurity (salt has the opposite effect).

Also, Celsius is great for realizing temperature.  0 degrees is fricking freezing.  10 degrees is rather cold.  20 degrees is comfortable.  30 degrees is hot.

Finally, there is no such thing as degrees Kelvin!

• Steve (unregistered) in reply to Cody
Anonymous:
The real WTF is that he wasn't greeted as the hero he is.

No, the real WTF was that he could find a printer that uses fan fold paper - taping the pages together furrfu!

The more I work with computers, the better and better subsistence farming looks as an alternative

• (cs) in reply to Charlie

Yeah, but standard units are smooth, like a factory.

• Marcel (unregistered) in reply to -
Anonymous:

And at 0C water freezes, that's a very natural starting point.

No no, you don't understand. The lowest temperature of the winter in Danzig in 1708, THAT's a very natural starting point.

Oh well, yes, there are more theories on how 0°F was derived, but I like that one the most.
• (cs) in reply to Anonononymous

The WTF on the units front is that the Americans took good old Imperial measures and then screwed them up. A pint in America is small (another weapon in keeping adult Americans from drinking?), and what the hell is a cup anyway? And Americans don't recognise the stone, the good old unit of weight for people (14lb, so a person is generally between 8 and 15 stone - nice sized numbers).

Units are generally best when values fall in a range that people can deal with. If it's an artificially bounded scale (like temperature, at least as far as everyday life is concerned), the zero point should be something people can relate to - this is why I much prefer degrees C to F, freezing point is an obvious change in how things feel. Numbers should generally end up between 0 and 20 for everyday use - small enough that people can grasp them, big enough that fractions aren't necessary.

The imperial system does that nicely:

Length: inches (body parts, small furniture, size of firewood logs), feet (people, large indoor objects), yards (rooms, houses), miles (distance to the next village). A 'precision' unit would be good (things have a tendency to be measured in 32nds of an inch). The missing middle units, the chain (22 yards) and furlong (220 yards) distances within a village and small town, are probably outdated.

Metres and km are just as good for the big stuff, but a foot-sized measurement is definitely missing.

Weight: The choice of the kg as the SI unit, not the g, is a WTF of its own. But most everyday weights are not nice numbers in either. Ingredients for cookery are typically 10-20 oz, stuff to carry generally 0-20 lb, people typically 10-20 st. None of those work terrifically well in SI units, though 'stuff to carry' can work in kilos.

Volume: Until the advent of precision science, most ordinary people's measures are well covered by the fl. oz (drinks), the pint (jugs that a person can easily move) and the gallon (the largest amount of water reasonably movable without wheels). Larger amounts are well catered for with the barrel, of course.

I do concur that scientific calculations are far easier in SI units, and I'd never dream of doing them in anything else. But for everyday experience I stick with imperial ones, because the numbers are all the right size.

• Marcel (unregistered) in reply to Mr. Physics
Anonymous:

Anyway, British units are so much nicer because there are more prime factors to play with which makes commerce easy.  (I don't want a full dozen -- I only want a third of a dozen.)   The metric system is dumb!  It only uses prime factors of 2 and 5.  Neither is it easy to represent many fractions.  How do you represent a third of a killogram?  333.33333333333333333333333333333333333333333...(etc...)  mg?  Stupid! Stupid! Stupid.  I mean, who creates a system of measurement just because it matches the number of fingers you have.  Bah!!!

So... why exactly do you still use the decimal system?
By the way, the answer's simply "1/3 kg", kilo only has one "l" and it would be 333.3... grams, not milligrams.
• Fuz (unregistered) in reply to Cody

never worked at a large company, eh? :-)

there's no WTF there. it's just that Dilbert is non-fiction.

• (cs) in reply to m0ffx

Anonymous:
The yard is now defined as 0.9144 metres, so the speed of light in miles per second will be a terminating or recurring decimal, not "a crapload more" if that is meant to imply irrationality.

Well, 1/.9144 does repeat indefinitely, so I would say that there are a "crapload" of digits is a reasonable characterization.

(It also has a fairly long period: 1.093 613 298 337 707 786 526 684 164 479 440 069 991 251. All digits after the decimal repeat.)

• (cs) in reply to Volmarias
Volmarias:

Did you even know there was a measure of unit called a hogshead?

Honestly, it's like saying "Jeez, why use all these new programming languages? Assembly JUST WORKS!

So how many liters per hectare are you again, off the top of your head?

• (cs) in reply to m0ffx

Anonymous:

The speed of light is DEFINED as 299,792,458 m/s.

"The speed of light in a vacuum", since we're being pedantic.  :)

• (cs) in reply to WeatherGod

WeatherGod:

Actually, at normal atmospheric surface pressures, pure water freezes at -40 degrees Celsius.

Wow, apparently this isn't a troll after all.

http://www.plantpath.wisc.edu/fac/joh/Exp2TeachGuide.htm

"First, most students do not understand, and initially will not believe, that pure water freezes at -40°C.  Someone in class is bound to say, “Don’t you mean 0°C?”  The problem is that most of us have been taught about the freezing point of water under equilibrium conditions, i.e., when there is an ice crystal present.  Given a perfect ice nucleus in pure water, the freezing point of water is 0°C.  Most of us will never encounter really pure water so we will never observe water as a liquid below about -10°C.  Many chemicals and contaminants, such as dust particles, will act as ice nuclei at temperatures below -5°C, though few are as effective as the ice nucleating bacteria, which are very active at -2° to -3°C.  So be sure to stress that the freezing point of pure water is -40°C and that less pure water is unlikely to supercool below -8° to -10°C."

• (cs) in reply to emurphy

(While we're at it...)

Another interesting fact about common water is that it begins freezing at 4C and doesn't reach 0C until it's completely frozen.  It is most dense at 4C and actually expands as it approaches 0C, because it reorders itself into its crystal structure.  It's because this crystal structure is less dense that ice actually floats on water.

As for us Canadians, we use SI for everything except force, in which case we typically use pounds. For engineering applications, SI is a godsend.  The fact that it works well over large scale changes (like 10^12) make it exceptionally useful.  For example, how many microns are in a kilometer?  Now how many mils are in a mile?  Not so easy...

• (cs) in reply to WeatherGod
WeatherGod:

Actually, at normal atmospheric surface pressures, pure water freezes at -40 degrees Celsius.

Don't you mean -40 degrees Fahrenheit?

• Gorgoroth (unregistered) in reply to Polari

Anonymous:
Huge respect for the guy who manages to get US and UK catch up with the rest of the world, but I won't be holding my breath.

Based on the thorough study of american movies it seems that you already use the SI system in USA. Namely when measuring illegal drugs such as cocaine ;-)

• (cs) in reply to Mr. Physics
Anonymous:
Anonymous:

It is far quicker and easier to convert between units in SI as everything is in multiples of 10.  For example, once you know that the meter is standard for distance and kilo means 1000 then you know that a kilometer is 1000 meters.  Now tell me, can you remember off the top of your head how many feet are in a mile, or how many cups in a gallon, or pounds in a ton?

Yep, I can. 5280, 16, and 2000 respectively.

I can also tell you off the top of my head that a slug (the British unit for mass, not the animal) weighs 32 pounds (the British unit for weight, not the British unit of currency).

British units are very good for commerce: 1 foot is made up 12 inches.  12 is evenly divisible by 2, 3, 4,and 6.  The original calendar was to have 360 degrees (and because of this, the circle has 360 degrees) because 360 is such a nice number.  It not only equals 12*30 (12 30-day months), but is evenly divisible by 2,3,4,5,6,8,9,10,12, (and many others).  (There's no love though for 7 or 11 -- sigh.)

Anyway, British units are so much nicer because there are more prime factors to play with which makes commerce easy.  (I don't want a full dozen -- I only want a third of a dozen.)   The metric system is dumb!  It only uses prime factors of 2 and 5.  Neither is it easy to represent many fractions.  How do you represent a third of a killogram?  333.33333333333333333333333333333333333333333...(etc...)  mg?  Stupid! Stupid! Stupid.  I mean, who creates a system of measurement just because it matches the number of fingers you have.  Bah!!!

Oh and by the way, the British were dumb enough to abandon the unit system named after them.  They've turned to the dark side and have been using the metric stystem for quite a while.

True, but what you assume is there are only 2 systems: metric and British. Which is only true because the metric system replaced all the others. In the early 19th century there was a plethora of systems, almost every country had its own traditional system. There were at least six different miles and other horrible things. And with the coming of the golden era of steam there was good reason to abandon these as engineers and workers from different countries had to work together on large projects, a real tower of Babel unless you agree on one particular system. The CGS system's main advantage was that it was easier to calculate with it on paper.

However, standardization has its quirks. There is an urban legend about the size of the space shuttle's solid-fuel rockets which says it's size is based on what can be carried on a railway. The distance of the rails however is based on the distance of the wheels of the coaches of the 19th century. Which in turn is based on the distance of the trenches in Europe's most frequented roads. Which is based on the size of the ancient Roman coaches. And Roman coaches were drawn typically by two horses so the space shuttle's rockets were eventually designed to match the size of the backsides of two Roman horses.

This actually might not be true but tells a lot about how standards evolve.

• m0ffx (unregistered) in reply to emurphy
emurphy:

WeatherGod:

Actually, at normal atmospheric surface pressures, pure water freezes at -40 degrees Celsius.

Wow, apparently this isn't a troll after all.

http://www.plantpath.wisc.edu/fac/joh/Exp2TeachGuide.htm

"First, most students do not understand, and initially will not believe, that pure water freezes at -40°C.  Someone in class is bound to say, “Don’t you mean 0°C?”  The problem is that most of us have been taught about the freezing point of water under equilibrium conditions, i.e., when there is an ice crystal present.  Given a perfect ice nucleus in pure water, the freezing point of water is 0°C.  Most of us will never encounter really pure water so we will never observe water as a liquid below about -10°C.  Many chemicals and contaminants, such as dust particles, will act as ice nuclei at temperatures below -5°C, though few are as effective as the ice nucleating bacteria, which are very active at -2° to -3°C.  So be sure to stress that the freezing point of pure water is -40°C and that less pure water is unlikely to supercool below -8° to -10°C."

Nonononono. I know water can be taken down to -40 °C without freezing - but that's supercooling. And homogeneous nucleation depends on random fluctuations, so the -40 °C is just when it becomes likely on short timescales. Left to itself for much longer, pure water at -n °C will freeze, probably as a single crystal, and quite rapidly after a long, random, wait.

The temperature at which the stable phase at 1 atm changes from water to ice is 0 °C (+/- those little fractions someone discussed earlier). Below that ice is stable, above water. Of course water can persist metastably below 0. It depends on what is meant by freezing point, I would normally take it as the change in the stable phase. I guess that's why the switch was made to the triple point for the temperature definition.

• (cs) in reply to Yes, I'm "Daren"

That is the Stone Cold Steve Austin way of saying it.

• (cs) in reply to gl
Anonymous:

186,000 miles per second, it's not just a good idea, it's the law!

Well, no, actually it's an axiom.

biziclop:

Anonymous:
Seven feet of buggy code, not seven pages.

I cannot comment on his skills but he certainly was a tall developer.

"Seven feet of buggy code", I'll store this phrase alongside "works as coded".

Once I had to reverse engineer the requirements from a 25kloc Cobol program. The main program consisted of a single 16kloc routine spanning over 20 pages of printed code. It failed the taller than me law.

• javascript jan (unregistered) in reply to Anonymous
Anonymous:

Volmarias:

And how many hogshead per foot squared are you tall?

...were you aware that a hogshead is not a unit of length? :P

It is a brewery term for volume, and if I remember correctly, 1 hogshead is about 55 gallons .. give or take ...

The real WTF is that anonymous is this stupid.

• jim (unregistered) in reply to javascript jan

I have been known to measure time in units of volume, particularly on a Friday night:

"How long have you been in the pub?" "About two pints."

I don't realy care if Celcius, Fahrenheit or Kelvin are used, those are all kind of arbitrary, what matters is that there is only one scale to measure temperatures in each system. For the rest of the SI vs. Imperial usint debate, I side definately on the SI side, for one main reason: the number of different units. In the Imperial system you have a lot of different units to measure what is essentially the same quantity. For example length is measured in meters in SI, but in inches, feet, yards, miles, hands, and what have you, in the Imperial system. And I'm not even talking about surfaces and volumes, which also use the metre in SI, but often completely new units in the Imperial system.

Reducing the amount of conversions you have to do and conversion constants you have to remember is a great advantage for two reasons:

- You can't make errors doing the conversions either rounding errors or computational errors.

- You don't need a lookup table for the conversions, any system that supports decimal computations will suffice.

When using computers this usually gets even worse as those actually represent decimal numbers in binary usually (you can do BCD), so every conversion you do adds to more conversions internally with the associated loss in precission.

The whole thing: reports manufactured by a process involving a dozen manual steps, programmers scorned on for improving because it was "not their responsibility", the pointy haired boss embarassed by a printout...

ARGH...

• Chris (unregistered) in reply to Polari

Anonymous:
How about we stop the SI vs imperial units -debate right here? Anyone who's ever done any unit conversions knows SI units are infy better, and anyone who has any common sense knows that trying to change the system used by a big country would be pretty damn awkward. Imperial units are merely bad, not completely horrible. Huge respect for the guy who manages to get US and UK catch up with the rest of the world, but I won't be holding my breath.

I don't know about the US, but the UK is slowly on the way to conversion to SI units. When I was taught science and maths at school, we were taught in SI units. The imperial system was certainly mentioned, but not really dwelled upon that much. Most Brits under the age of about 30 (at a guess) will probably favour the metric system.

• GT (unregistered) in reply to Anonymous
Anonymous:
Anonymous:
Anonymous:
Who would use feet to measure length anyway?
Only an American or British, as every other country use SI units.  7 feet would be 2 meters or so.  Yes those two countries should convert to SI system, but why USA/UK would care of the rest of the World.  My 2 cents.
Why should we convert? The imperial system came before SI! Sometimes, it is just better ot use an already existing (and functional) system rather than consuming resources (time, energy, money) developing a new system and then trying to convince everyone that yours is better. SI is no more a golden hammer than COBOL is. :PPlus, measuring temperature in centigrade is just plain dumb.
Apparently, you've never tried to do engineering calculations in the imperial system.  My GPA would have been noticable higher if we used SI.  Mass in the imperial system is measured in "slugs" not pounds.  Pounds are a measurement of force.  Then to confuse things, somebody invented the "pounds-mass" and "pounds-force", WTF!  For everyday work, the imperial system does work, but the SI is MUCH better for technical work.  The Fehrenheigt scale is easier to relate weather conditions to, every 10 degrees is a noticable difference.  Celsius is easier to determine how far the temp is from water freezing (0) or boiling (100), which can be convenient.  I guess it's just what you're used to.  In engineering school I would sometimes rough-convert my answers to SI problems to imperial just to check if the answer was reasonable.
• Mr. Sparkle (unregistered) in reply to GT

Anonymous:
Anonymous:
Anonymous:
Anonymous:
Who would use feet to measure length anyway?
Only an American or British, as every other country use SI units.  7 feet would be 2 meters or so.  Yes those two countries should convert to SI system, but why USA/UK would care of the rest of the World.  My 2 cents.
Why should we convert? The imperial system came before SI! Sometimes, it is just better ot use an already existing (and functional) system rather than consuming resources (time, energy, money) developing a new system and then trying to convince everyone that yours is better. SI is no more a golden hammer than COBOL is. :PPlus, measuring temperature in centigrade is just plain dumb.
Apparently, you've never tried to do engineering calculations in the imperial system.  My GPA would have been noticable higher if we used SI.  Mass in the imperial system is measured in "slugs" not pounds.  Pounds are a measurement of force.  Then to confuse things, somebody invented the "pounds-mass" and "pounds-force", WTF!  For everyday work, the imperial system does work, but the SI is MUCH better for technical work.  The Fehrenheigt scale is easier to relate weather conditions to, every 10 degrees is a noticable difference.  Celsius is easier to determine how far the temp is from water freezing (0) or boiling (100), which can be convenient.  I guess it's just what you're used to.  In engineering school I would sometimes rough-convert my answers to SI problems to imperial just to check if the answer was reasonable.

The imperial system -only- works for everyday work because people are used to using it all their life, because that's exactly what the rest of the world is saying about SI.

SI works just as well for everday work as Fahrenheit. It's just that SI works better for everything else.

• Anonymous (unregistered) in reply to Mr. Sparkle

I think Abe "Grandpa" Simpson said it best...

<font size="-1">"My car gets fourty rods to the hogshead and that's the way I likes it!"
</font>

• (cs) in reply to Anonymous

Anonymous:
Not to mention the SI binary units...yea...those have really caught on....so which "kilo" is it today...1000 or 1024?

I propose we compromise: 1012!

Anonymous:
... (not "degrees Kelvin" either, just "Kelvin"!) ...

Lowercase K, actually; "kelvins".

• Hog Shed (unregistered) in reply to emurphy

It's really kind of sad that among a population of people who are supposed to be gathered here to laugh at silly ideas from a point of view of rationality and detachment, there are so many repeating the 'metric mantra', as if 10 is the Proper Factor For Numbers To Have and the met[re|er] is somehow The Right Length To Use.  The problem is not that the USA and parts of the UK refuse to 'modernize'; the problem is that people are so prone to follow ideas that sound good in meetings but don't actually improve life.

Having said that, of course there are some things that the metric units happen to be more comfortable for.  For me it breaks up like this:

Distance:  mm and cm for small, precise things.  Inches, feet, and miles for 'human sized' distances.  SI for astronomical distances.  Sun for certain kinds of fittings and furniture (it's a well known unit in some places).

Weight:  kg all the way!  Why?  Because I have a 'feel' for how much a full can of Coke weighs, and I can imagine holding three of them to imagine a kg.  Also, I find pounds a bit too small.  There's one large exception to this:  stones are an excellent, comfortable way of measuring people's weight.

Volume:  pints for milk and beer.  Lit[er|re]s for anything else.  How do you even measure the capacity of a bag in traditional units?  I have no idea.  Cups for flour, sugar etc.

Time:  I don't think anyone uses the metric time measurements any more, and of course SI adopted the second.

Area:  square feet or square met[re|er]s.  I don't find either of them more intuitive than the other.  Jo (again, it's a well known unit for some) for areas of rooms.  Acres for large areas, square miles for even larger ones.

Temperature:  Well, fahrenheit is just weird.  I don't really like Centigrade but it's still better than fahrenheit.  Exception:  human body temperature.

Absent from my personal measurement vocabulary:  Nautical miles, other funky miles, and fathoms.  'ounces' and the whole incomprehensible Imperial volume system.  Pounds, except in groups of 14.  Hectares and whatnot (I don't measure farms).  Gallons.

• Spoe (unregistered) in reply to Anonymous
Anonymous:

Why should we convert? The imperial system came before SI! Sometimes, it is just better ot use an already existing (and functional) system rather than consuming resources (time, energy, money) developing a new system and then trying to convince everyone that yours is better. SI is no more a golden hammer than COBOL is. :P

Plus, measuring temperature in centigrade is just plain dumb.

Besides, in certain areas Imperial is better suited to computing, being based on powers of 2 and all.

2 cups = 1 pint

2 pints = 1 quart

4 quarts = 1 gallon

etc.

or

2 pecks = 1 kenning

2 kennings = 1 bushell

2 bushells = 1 strike

16 strikes = 1 chaldron

etc.

See?  Much better than that silly base 10 for computing.
• rycamor (unregistered) in reply to harmonist

The original poster meant celsius, but another irony to all this is that -40C and -40F is almost exactly the same. Look at a thermometer.

• quux (unregistered)

Way late to the game here, but this sounds an awful lot like a financial services place in Boulder, CO that I used to work.

If the Darren is around, is this the place you're talking about?

• jayh (unregistered) in reply to EvanED

Remembering those numbers isn't hard. What is easy in SI and hard in imperial is "how many meters are in 5.43 km" vs "how many feet in 5.43 miles." The former is still trivial; the latter almost everyone would pull out a calculator for. (And almost everyone who wouldn't pull out a calculator would pull out paper and pencil.)

But in the real world, how often do you need to calculate that alone. Typically if you start calculating in feet, you stay there, and the occasions when a conversion is needed, that's only one of several that the particular situation called for that need a calculator anyhow.

Sure the 10 base sounds nice, but in the real world you almost never encouter such a conversion in isolation.

jay

• Mr. Sparkle (unregistered) in reply to Hog Shed

Anonymous:
Distance:  mm and cm for small, precise things.  Inches, feet, and miles for 'human sized' distances.  SI for astronomical distances.  Sun for certain kinds of fittings and furniture (it's a well known unit in some places).

[...]

Area:  square feet or square met[re|er]s.  I don't find either of them more intuitive than the other.  Jo (again, it's a well known unit for some) for areas of rooms.  Acres for large areas, square miles for even larger ones.

Why is SI bad for human sized distances yet fine for areas? Or, why is one system bad but that system to the power of 2 good?

• Reed (unregistered) in reply to Anonymous
Anonymous:

The correct temperature scale would be something similar to the following:

0 is cold (avg "cold" amongst "normal" people)

10 is hot (avg "hot" amongst "normal" people)

5 is "just right" (as decided amongst "normal" people)

This is exactly what Faranheit is, except it's 0 to 100.

• (cs) in reply to RevEng
RevEng:

Another interesting fact about common water is that it begins freezing at 4C and doesn't reach 0C until it's completely frozen.

I don't think this is true, unless you have an interesting definition of 'begins freezing'.  It does become more ordered the colder it gets but this is true from steam downwards.  You can have water at 0C.

RevEng:

It is most dense at 4C and actually expands as it approaches 0C, because it reorders itself into its crystal structure.  It's because this crystal structure is less dense that ice actually floats on water.

This part is true though, it is densest at 4C even though it is not a crystal at this point.

• Gordonious (unregistered) in reply to EvanED

This happens to me too!

I cut out and keep all the lonely curly braces, and use them as confetti at weddings.

In a move that may not have been the wisest career choice, Daren held the first page in the air above his head and let the other taped-together pages cascade to the floor. With over seven-feet of highlighted code in hand, Daren said: "this is what's wrong with the code."
So he openly challenged the directors' judgment, technical know-how and budget spending. Of course a status-and-prestige-oriented personality would go for him after having ostensibly proved being a clear and present danger to his tenure.

Well, Daren did not really challenge the Director's judgment, the Director inappropriately challenged Darens judgment.  When you hire someone, you are hiring their experience, skills, and wisdom.  When you get too high up the chain, you often get a bit removed from the technology, especially newer technology, and you have to recognize that others may something that you do not.  (Note that I am not saying that challenging someone's experience/wisdom/judgment is wrong, doing so without good reason is wrong.)

Additionally, the whole printout thingy was fine.  The directory further challenged Daren's wisdom by demanding to know "what was wrong" with the code.  Daren, in response to a request from a more senior member in the chain of command, simply did as was instructed and and presented the requested information in an easy to see format.  WIth ample highlighting used to draw attention to specific areas, no less.  It is that simple.

Moral - be careful what you ask for... you just might get it.

Peace!

• Jaj (unregistered) in reply to mare

Who would use feet to measure length anyway?

My girlfriend? When describing me ;-]

• (cs) in reply to Expat
Anonymous:

Nah, Celcius is better...  at 0 degree Celcius is "Man, it's cold!", but at 0 degree Fahrenheit is "Man, I'm f### freezing my b###, what the \$%# I'm doing outside!!!!", !! :-D

(I can't think on the usefulness of Kelvins)

At the end I guess is as dumb as meassure the temperature in x=1.8(Tc)+32

Centigrade / Celsius is fairly pointless; there's nothing particular to recommend it.  Kelvin is an absolute measure, which is useful.  The reference points for degrees-C aren't significantly meaningful.

Fahrenheit, on the other hand, is fairly clever, considering the requirements it was designed to meet.  It's based on two reference temperatures, which are assigned to 32 and 96 degrees.  The difference between 96 and 32 is 64.  Do those numbers look familiar?

If that's not clear enough, think about this: you have a linear gauge, with two reference points marked on it.  Now you want to mark it in gradations corresponding to a unit you've developed.  What kinds of intervals will give you an easy geometric construction procedure so you can do that mechanically?

The other SI units are useful, and the correspondence of the Celsius/Centigrade/Kelvin degree to the other SI units is sometimes useful, but the actual reference points of the C scale not so much.

• Tony (unregistered) in reply to Spoe

Imperial 69 == metric 181

• BA (unregistered) in reply to Hog Shed

Anonymous:

Weight:  kg all the way!  Why?  Because I have a 'feel' for how much a full can of Coke weighs, and I can imagine holding three of them to imagine a kg.  Also, I find pounds a bit too small.  There's one large exception to this:  stones are an excellent, comfortable way of measuring people's weight.

But (kilo)grams aren't a measure of weight, they are a measure of mass. That's why a kilogram of sand weighs more on Earth than on the Moon, whereas a pound of sand has more mass on the Moon.

• Romani (unregistered) in reply to oranda
Anonymous:

The director paid good money for those seven pages! Think of how gypped he would have been if those consultants had only provided him with 2-3 pages :)

That's all fine, but try to avoid the racial slurs next time!

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

• (cs) in reply to Anonymous
Anonymous:

Why should we convert? The imperial system came before SI! Sometimes, it is just better ot use an already existing (and functional) system rather than consuming resources (time, energy, money) developing a new system and then trying to convince everyone that yours is better. SI is no more a golden hammer than COBOL is. :P

Plus, measuring temperature in centigrade is just plain dumb.

I know one reason:)

To avoid launching rocket to the space while getting the calculations in meters, thinking they are in foots and sending the rocket way off....

• Jimbo (unregistered) in reply to Gorgoroth

Nope, and even though we no longer purchase Quarts or pints of Whiskey as it comes in liters, we really won't be officialy on the SI system until BEER is sold in other than 12 oz., 16 oz, and Quart sizes

• (cs) in reply to rycamor

Anonymous:
The original poster meant celsius, but another irony to all this is that -40C and -40F is almost exactly the same. Look at a thermometer.

Actually it is exactly: -40 * 9/5 + 32 = -8*9 + 32 = -72 + 32 = -40

But I'm pretty sure the poster that said "don't you mean -40 degrees fahrenheit" was making a funny...

• Anonymous (unregistered) in reply to MET
MET:
RevEng:

Another interesting fact about common water is that it begins freezing at 4C and doesn't reach 0C until it's completely frozen.

I don't think this is true, unless you have an interesting definition of 'begins freezing'.  It does become more ordered the colder it gets but this is true from steam downwards.  You can have water at 0C.

RevEng:

It is most dense at 4C and actually expands as it approaches 0C, because it reorders itself into its crystal structure.  It's because this crystal structure is less dense that ice actually floats on water.

This part is true though, it is densest at 4C even though it is not a crystal at this point.

By "begins freezing", I think he is referring to the fact that it is at this point that it starts crystallizing into ice.

• (cs) in reply to Jackal von ÖRF
Jackal von ÖRF:
R.Flowers:

Anonymous:
Who would use feet to measure length anyway?

I use my hands, and a tape measure.

Actually, practitioners of parkour use their feet/shoes in measuring distances. For example if you know that you can jump 8 shoe lengths from a standstill, then you can measure the length of a gap and avoid hurting yourself needlessly if it's too long. Nobody carries a tape measure when doing parkour, so it's pointless to know in centimeters how far you can jump.

So you sell the land by measuring it by foot right? Now lets eval. Lets assume you bought 50 feet land when you were 10 years old and now you are 30 years old. I assume your feet grew with you so now you will sell the same land but you will sell it as 25 feet but then again the person getting may only get 20 feet???

• Anonymous (unregistered) in reply to v6h10p6
v6h10p6:
Anonymous:

Why should we convert? The imperial system came before SI! Sometimes, it is just better ot use an already existing (and functional) system rather than consuming resources (time, energy, money) developing a new system and then trying to convince everyone that yours is better. SI is no more a golden hammer than COBOL is. :P

Plus, measuring temperature in centigrade is just plain dumb.

I know one reason:)

To avoid launching rocket to the space while getting the calculations in meters, thinking they are in foots and sending the rocket way off....

You just proved my point.  The Imperial system was already well established.  By introducing another system, you get the result you just described.

• zid (unregistered) in reply to Anonymous

Kilo = 1000

Kibi = 1024

1 kilobyte = 1000 bytes

1 kibibyte = 1024 bytes

KiB vs. kB