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This is why we Americans...


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...need to start teaching the metric system in our schools (I found this in a CNBC news article this morning):

 

"The rocket will launch from Blue Origin’s private facility in West Texas, aiming to reach above 100,000 kilometers (or more than 340,000 feet altitude) before returning to Earth safely a few minutes later."

 

 

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While it's true that there was some effort toward metrification back in 1981-82 it was never seen as a serious attempt. As in most all things, politics ruled the day. Industrial America was the real opposition to adopting the metric system. The crying and complaining to Congress was not wholly unexpected but the voracity of the opposition, particularly from the automobile manufacturers (and especially from General Motors) was something that the politicians wanted no part of. They found it easier to just eliminate the whole plan and satisfy their major campaign contributors. We would have been wholly on a metric base here for the last 30 years had we simply the courage to do so. Now we're alone in the industrialized world as the only nation still using an insane system of measurement. I remember asking an automobile-mechanic friend how he felt about switching over to a new system. After listening to all his complaints about having to have two sets of wrenches,etc.,etc.,etc. I asked him if he ever worked on any Japanese or German cars. 

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1 hour ago, Stillwater said:

Plus two questions to the Brits: How far is this in Inch? How many ounces of fuel were used?

 

Hello,

while we may have left the EU, as far as I am aware there is no intention to return to the imperial measurements in day to day life.

Most people under the age of 50 or so have no idea what they are in any case, as the imperial system has not been taught in schools since 1974.

Quaintly, we continue to mark our road distances in miles and measure our speed in miles per hour, even though every commercial

vehicle over 3.5 tonnes must be fitted with an EU spec tachograph which does everything in kilometres and kph and every car speedometer is

calibrated in both mph and kph.

 

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I have been using the metric system since I joined the military back in 1989...everything we do in the Infantry is measured by the metric system. When I go hiking and camping with my friends now, when they ask how far the hike is, I tell them about 15-20k. I get some strange looks in return. I further confuse them when I tell them we will be starting the hike at 1700 ;) 

 

Landon

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1 hour ago, Sniper31 said:

I have been using the metric system since I joined the military back in 1989...everything we do in the Infantry is measured by the metric system. When I go hiking and camping with my friends now, when they ask how far the hike is, I tell them about 15-20k. I get some strange looks in return. I further confuse them when I tell them we will be starting the hike at 1700 ;) 

 

Landon

 

ha ha  So true Landon.  Bit of a late start for a hike though!  :D

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39 minutes ago, Rob Abernathy said:

 

ha ha  So true Landon.  Bit of a late start for a hike though!  :D

 

All depends Rob...some of the best hikes are during the evening sunset :) Also, in hot places around Utah, Arizona (Grand Canyon) etc, much cooler and safer to hike in the cool of the evening. But, a good morning hike is also a very nice thing as well ;)

 

Landon

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There are some things that are best measured in non-metric; altitude and speed are my favorite. Meters is too coarse for altitude, especially for IFR minima. Try a flight with metric turned on and the slow movement of the altimeter will get your attention during climbs/descents. Nautical miles/knots are my preference for distance and speed, especially for VFR. 60 NM is 1 degree of latitude (and nearly so in lower latitudes), so useful for quickly finding rough distances without a plotter.

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7 hours ago, Nick Cooper said:

Quaintly, we continue to mark our road distances in miles and measure our speed in miles per hour,

As a friend from The Colonies I appreciate that. Now, if you would only learn to drive on the other side of the road...(but I've learned to do fairly well on left-hand turns :)).

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49 minutes ago, W2DR said:

As a friend from The Colonies I appreciate that. Now, if you would only learn to drive on the other side of the road...(but I've learned to do fairly well on left-hand turns :)).

Back in 1990 I was stationed in Naples during Desert Shield.  I had leave over Christmas, so rather than going home to the 'States, my wife and I decided to meet in London, so we could spend the Holidays with my cousins in Hythe, and her friends in Beccles.  In setting this up, my wife arranged A rental car, and to save A few pounds, opted for a manual transmission.  Should not, it seems, have been a problem, except I had never shifted gears with my left hand!  Until I got used to it, it was an adventure.  Learning to drive on the "wrong" side of the road was the easy part.  Getting the gear shift was another thing.

 

Ken

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10 hours ago, adambar said:

They tried to use the metric system once in the US back in thr 80s or something and everyone hated it including me. :D

I loved it, if only because it made infinitely more sense and was far, far easier to do math in. The added bonus that I understood measurements as I travelled the world was nice once I became an adult. What a shame.

By the way, guess who is looking to abandon it

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4 hours ago, Ken Q said:

Back in 1990 I was stationed in Naples during Desert Shield.  I had leave over Christmas, so rather than going home to the 'States, my wife and I decided to meet in London, so we could spend the Holidays with my cousins in Hythe, and her friends in Beccles.  In setting this up, my wife arranged A rental car, and to save A few pounds, opted for a manual transmission.  Should not, it seems, have been a problem, except I had never shifted gears with my left hand!  Until I got used to it, it was an adventure.  Learning to drive on the "wrong" side of the road was the easy part.  Getting the gear shift was another thing.

 

Ken

 

Yeah, and mixing up the levers for the windscreen wiper and the turn indicator.:D

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9 hours ago, Ken Q said:

Getting the gear shift was another thing.

Before our first trip to England I'd never even thought about the "left hand" shifting problem. And I'm soooo glad I rented a car with an automatic gearbox. I can't even imagine the problems I would have had. It was hard enough just to remember which side of the road to drive on. If I would have had to also remember which hand to shift with I think my brain would have gone into overload.

 

PS: And I'm also glad that the only time I drove the car in London proper was to get out of town for our trip through the countryside.

Edited by W2DR
kant spel
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1 hour ago, W2DR said:

Before our first trip to England I'd never even thought about the "left hand" shifting problem. And I'm soooo glad I rented a car with an automatic gearbox. I can't even imagine the problems I would have had. It was hard enough just to remember which side of the road to drive on. If I would have had to also remember which hand to shift with I think my brain would have gone into overload.

 

PS: And I'm also glad that the only time I drove the car in London proper was to get out of town for our trip through the countryside.

I once met an American Gentleman who sent a whole 2 days trying to leave the Hyde Park Corner roundabout:)

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Well my American friends, if you ever visit England, I will buy you a drink, when you will discover to your delight that an English pint of beer is 568ml in volume, whereas the US pint is 473ml. This is because you foolishly declined to update the definition of the gallon in 1824, preferring to stick with the 1707 'wine gallon'. 

Cheers!

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1 hour ago, Rodger Pettichord said:

 I liked it when track and field went to metric. It was a lot easier to run 400 meters than 440 yards.

I agree with that. What I still can't understand, though, is what happened with the hurdles? When we switched from 110 yards to 100 meters nothing changed, i.e., the track had the same number of hurdles spaced the same distance apart.

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4 hours ago, John Heaton said:

I once met an American Gentleman who sent a whole 2 days trying to leave the Hyde Park Corner roundabout:)

I don't know if it's available in Australia but there's a movie called National Lampoon's European Vacation. It's a comedy about an American family's first trip to Europe. One of the best parts of the movie is seeing what happens when they encounter the roundabouts in England. Great stuff......

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Kids and I went to Ireland couple years ago and always had to remember to enter the roundabouts to the left since I'm an American.   They had too much mead one night so I drove us back to the hotel in Shannon.  Got to a round about and I faked like I was going to go right.......their reaction was priceless!

 Personally I always thought the metric system was easier it use.  At least here in the USA we kept the width of railroad tracks the same as in Britain.

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2 hours ago, W2DR said:

I don't know if it's available in Australia but there's a movie called National Lampoon's European Vacation. It's a comedy about an American family's first trip to Europe. One of the best parts of the movie is seeing what happens when they encounter the roundabouts in England. Great stuff......

 

Colorado is chock full of roundabouts...they are everywhere, from the small mountain towns to the mid-size towns to large cities like Colorado Springs and Denver. Lucky for me, about 5 years before I moved to Colorado, I had gone on a ten day bicycle ride across northern Italy, along the southern edge of the Italian Alps. Negotiating a road cycle through those roundabouts, where the motorists could give two hoots if you were on a bicycle, well, now that was an adventure :)

 

Landon

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On 10/16/2021 at 1:33 PM, flying_fish said:

I remember my father driving around this the wrong way towing a caravan. Cried with laughter, better than Disneyworld!

Tring.thumb.jpg.99a996e2af2cba3f59f09c60c1d0462f.jpg

 

That's a crazy one!

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