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View Poll Results: Should the US switch to metric units?
Yeah, ASAP!! 71 73.96%
I dunno. Let me think about it. 7 7.29%
Now why would anyone use the metric system? 18 18.75%
Voters: 96. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-13-2009, 02:23 AM   #41 (permalink)
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Not getting into inches and ounces for a moment, how hard would it be to only switch to the centigrade system? (I used "centigrade" as not to use anyone's name )
It seems that temperature is more independent from all of the other measures, while lengths, volumes and weights a more intertwined with each other. This should make it slightly easier to implement.
I know it'd be odd at first, as old recipes would ask for oven temperatures of 400 deg. (F), while a "metric" oven would only go to 250 deg. (C). Also, 32 deg.F is literally freezing, while 32 deg.C is starting to be on the hot side. Plus centigrade has a lower "resolution", i.e. 1 deg.C is about 2 deg.F.

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Old 02-13-2009, 03:21 AM   #42 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truckncycle View Post
As a woodworker, I actually find English/American units more accurate - millimeter is the smallest size you can easily measure with Metric but with English units you can get down to 32ths and 64ths. The math is easier with Metric. I think that shipping will most likely continue to use nautical miles which doesn't really match Metric or English units. A nautical mile is approximately 2000 yards (2025), 1852 meters, or one minute of latitude.
It's nice having a system (feet) that cleanly divides into halves, thirds and fourths.
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Old 02-13-2009, 01:17 PM   #43 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piwoslaw View Post
Not getting into inches and ounces for a moment, how hard would it be to only switch to the centigrade system?
That still goes back to the "handy size" feature of British units. Ever notice that weather reports that give temperatures in C often use decimal points - as in "Australian temperature hits record 31.9 degrees", while in F it's a nice even 115 degrees.
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Old 02-13-2009, 02:09 PM   #44 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
That still goes back to the "handy size" feature of British units. Ever notice that weather reports that give temperatures in C often use decimal points - as in "Australian temperature hits record 31.9 degrees", while in F it's a nice even 115 degrees.
115 degrees
31.9*C = 89.4*F

I'd venture that the 31.9*C record is simply due to some over zealous weather person excessively enamored of a digital thermometer (that's probably isn't really accurate to +-0.1*C anyway). Transplant the same idiot to the USA with the same thermometer - they'd switch scales and voilą - a record 89.4*F.
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Old 02-13-2009, 02:14 PM   #45 (permalink)
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My biggest beef with metric is buying gas in litres... We get ripped off with price fluctuations of "only" 6 or 7 cents but that could be a 10% price increase.
Also on premium grades of fuel, 91 octane is always 10 cents more per litre than 87 octane. That works out to 38 cents more per US gallon! In the US normally the difference is 10 or 15 cents...

Also, if you measure carefully, all our building materials are made to the nearest millimetre, 4x8' sheets are actually some number in mm, same with the thickness.
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Old 02-13-2009, 02:48 PM   #46 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndyIan View Post
Also, if you measure carefully, all our building materials are made to the nearest millimetre, 4x8' sheets are actually some number in mm, same with the thickness.
A buddy of mine owned a house built ~1890 (forget the exact year). When he tore out all the interior walls facings and ceilings to remodel and insulate, he found dated receipts for the materials to purchased to build the house. With all of the framing exposed and the receipts in hand it was obvious that at the time rough cut 2x6s were actually about 2 3/16" x 6. 3/16". The few, finished 2x6s also exposed measured almost exactly 2" x 6".

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Old 03-30-2009, 01:55 AM   #47 (permalink)
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Just remembered another archaic unit: the horsepower, with different definitions giving it values between 735.499 and 9809.5 watts. I thought of it while doing mental calculations for EV conversions. It's easier when the ICE's power is given in kW than in hp. In Europe all cars are rated in kW officially, but everybody uses hp in everyday use. This is probably due to advertising, since a commercial for an 80kW car will be less appealing than a 107hp car. Same with pseudo-racers saying "The 245 horsies under my hood just can't wait to get free." They're not going to say "My 182 kilowatts are just itching to go crazy."
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Old 01-24-2010, 01:25 AM   #48 (permalink)
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If you guys could please go ahead and switch to the metric system it would be a big help in forums as I would have to do less conversion in my head as I read.

In NZ the switch to the Imperial system to metric was in 1976, also from Pounds to Dollars (NZD) in 1967.

I don't think there were really any problems, maybe a few confused older folk. So I think it's been demonstrated around the world that it can be done.

I'm sure there were a few cases of people doing 100mph in a 100kph zone.

I've always found it slightly ironic that USA clings to the British system (modified a little), yet I live in a British Commonwealth member nation and we made the switch to metric without flinching. The difference being New Zealand is a young nation, things are easy to administrate - we have about the size and population of a single US state.
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Old 01-24-2010, 02:26 AM   #49 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by womprat View Post
If you guys could please go ahead and switch to the metric system it would be a big help in forums as I would have to do less conversion in my head as I read.
Mental calculations help exercise your brain, which is one of the purposes of this forum IIRC there were plans to add an option for converting units between imperial(US) and metric, at least in the garage, but it's still low on the to-do list. It would be nice if it could also translate units inside posts, say the post's author would have to wrap it in a command like [unit]...[/unit] or [miles]...[/miles], but I think that may be too complicated, if possible at all.

I've noticed in the last 6-8 months many new members from outside of the US and I'm guessing that the crowd is getting even more international (no stat option, but is there a voluntary EcoModder Usermap).


Quote:
Originally Posted by womprat View Post
The difference being New Zealand is a young nation, things are easy to administrate - we have about the size and population of a single US state.
The US is much younger than Britain, but it's the UK that switched first.
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e·co·mod·ding: the art of turning vehicles into what they should be

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Piwoslaw's Peugeot 307sw modding thread


Last edited by Piwoslaw; 01-24-2010 at 04:22 AM.. Reason: Typos
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Old 01-24-2010, 03:07 AM   #50 (permalink)
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My mom was in Australia when they converted, and she said that it took two weeks for people to forget the old way. Canada is still a huge mess, because the U.S. promised they would convert six months after we did.
I prefer the proportions of things I design using inches, so I wish we used base 12 or 60 for our numbers. I'm also outraged by 19 mm plywood. Sure, it fits in a 3/4" slot, but 19 is an awful large prime number to deal with. 20 would divide so much neater.
I remember some shoolkid parroting that Celsius is more logical, because it matches the freezing and boiling points of water, but actually, I think that it is more sensible for 0 to be about as cold as it usually gets, and 100 as hot as it usually gets, but that comes with gradations too fine to notice.
I do enjoy leaving off the F or C when noting that it has hit -40 here, and waiting for the queries. :-)

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