# Imperial system fun

Zahlanzi
Debates 24 Jun '17 09:43
1. 24 Jun '17 09:431 edit

This is a lecture poking fun at the masochistic usage of the incredibly stupid imperial system.

If you ask a european how many millimeters are in 2 metres, he will imediately answer you. 2 thousands.
How many grams are in 2 kilograms? 2 thousand
How many milliliters are in 2 litres? 2 thousand

Now, how many inches are in 2 miles? Can you answer me without googling ? Did you ask first if i meant nautical or land miles?
How many inches in 3 yards?

This was particularly funny: How many barleycorn to an inch?
The answer is three from the center of the ear full and round. What the hell does that mean? (your shoe sizes apparently are based on barleycorns)

Here is another quiz:
What weighs more, a pound of feathers or a pound of gold?
Feathers are measured in Avoirdupois pounds: 453 grams
Gold is measured in Troy pounds: 373 grams

Which weighs more, an ounce of feathers or an ounce of gold? Same? nope.
Avoirdupois ounces 28.35 grams
Troy ounces are 31.10 grams
So a pound of feathers weighs more than a pound of gold but an ounce of feathers weighs less than an ounce of gold.
simple.

I have to skip american recipes when i cook because how much is a cup? Flour is measured in cups, but butter is measured in sticks. Vanilla essence might be measured in teaspoons or table spoons.

Less fun is when children die because they OD on medication because a doctor says 3.5 ml and the pharmacist labels 3.5 teaspoons or table spoons or whatever.
2. 24 Jun '17 11:02
Originally posted by Zahlanzi
This is a lecture poking fun at the masochistic usage of the incredibly stupid imperial system.

If you ask a european how many millimeters are in 2 metres, he will imediately answer you. 2 thousands.
How many grams are in 2 kilograms? 2 thousand
How many milliliters are in 2 litres? 2 thousand

Now, how ...[text shortened]... ecause a doctor says 3.5 ml and the pharmacist labels 3.5 teaspoons or table spoons or whatever.
The SI-system is the international system for measuring purposes. It is designed to be easy to use.
USA seems to want to be outside the international system. Their loss.
3. wolfgang59
Mr. Wolf
24 Jun '17 12:04
US fear they might catch "Socialism" from metric system .
4. shavixmir
Guppy poo
24 Jun '17 13:02
There's a book about the apocalypse (can't remember the name) where the horse rider "disease" has been dropped because of antibiotics and.... no.. not to the point.

But one one of the pages they give a classic summary of British money before 1971.

Oh. That's not really related to the imperial measurement system at all...

Well, use yer bloody fantasy! There's a poetic connection at least!
5. wolfgang59
Mr. Wolf
24 Jun '17 22:31
Originally posted by shavixmir
There's a book about the apocalypse (can't remember the name) where the horse rider "disease" has been dropped because of antibiotics and.... no.. not to the point.

But one one of the pages they give a classic summary of British money before 1971.

Oh. That's not really related to the imperial measurement system at all...

Well, use yer bloody fantasy! There's a poetic connection at least!
(That's Pounds(L), Shillings(S), Pence(D) )

4 farthings to a penny
12 pence to a shilling
20 shillings to a pound
240 pence to a pound (how else can you divide your basic monetary unit between 3 ???)

2 shillings to a florin
5 shillings to a crown (my pocket money when young was half -a-crown ; a big silver coin!)

1 pound 1 shilling to a guinea! (ie 252 pennies)

Oh happy days ...
6. 24 Jun '17 22:37
29 Knuts in a Sickle
17 Sickles in a Galleon
7. joe shmo
Strange Egg
25 Jun '17 13:15
Originally posted by Zahlanzi
This is a lecture poking fun at the masochistic usage of the incredibly stupid imperial system.

If you ask a european how many millimeters are in 2 metres, he will imediately answer you. 2 thousands.
How many grams are in 2 kilograms? 2 thousand
How many milliliters are in 2 litres? 2 thousand

Now, how ...[text shortened]... ecause a doctor says 3.5 ml and the pharmacist labels 3.5 teaspoons or table spoons or whatever.
Yes, the imperial system can be cumbersome to use in the sciences, but we aren't actively using all the archaic imperial metrics in America. The system is deeply entrenched in our understanding of the world. Its not as though we can flip a switch and see the world in metric instantly. So for now... we learn both, and use both while the imperial system dies out...or doesn't.

Also, when building something completely new the most efficient derrivation is rarely (if ever) formulated first. The fathers of modern science probably didn't think their unit system was "incredibly stupid" as you so eloqently put it. It was just an infant.
8. wolfgang59
Mr. Wolf
25 Jun '17 22:31
Originally posted by joe shmo
The fathers of modern science probably didn't think their unit system was "incredibly stupid" as you so eloqently put it. .
Oh I think they did!
Imperial measures were not conjured up by scientists but by merchants and traders.
Learned men would have been as frustrated with those measures as US academics are today.
9. 26 Jun '17 07:29
Is science in China using the SI-system? Anyone here knows?
10. 26 Jun '17 08:13
Originally posted by joe shmo
Yes, the imperial system can be cumbersome to use in the sciences, but we aren't actively using all the archaic imperial metrics in America.
But very many are. I have seen sonhouse getting all mixed up due to imperial metrics. If you used the international system exclusively in science that would be a first step. I believe the UK still uses miles for road speeds.
11. 26 Jun '17 08:16
Originally posted by FabianFnas
Is science in China using the SI-system? Anyone here knows?
Wiki suggests they went metric long before the UK.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_units_of_measurement
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metrication_in_the_United_Kingdom
12. 11 Jul '17 15:39
13. sh76
Civis Americanus Sum
13 Jul '17 00:59
Originally posted by Zahlanzi
This is a lecture poking fun at the masochistic usage of the incredibly stupid imperial system.

If you ask a european how many millimeters are in 2 metres, he will imediately answer you. 2 thousands.
How many grams are in 2 kilograms? 2 thousand
How many milliliters are in 2 litres? 2 thousand

Now, how ...[text shortened]... ecause a doctor says 3.5 ml and the pharmacist labels 3.5 teaspoons or table spoons or whatever.
While the Metric system certainly makes a lot more sense than what we use, I do wonder why the fact that you have to "skip American recipes" because you're too stupid to do some basic arithmetic is something you've decided to advertise. Even if you don't like to multiply or divide, doesn't your phone have a calculator?

Most Americans over the age of 9 are perfectly capable of using either system.
14. kmax87
Land of Free
13 Jul '17 06:031 edit
Originally posted by FabianFnas
The SI-system is the international system for measuring purposes. It is designed to be easy to use.
USA seems to want to be outside the international system. Their loss.
The aerospace industry, historically has largely been driven by the US, and the benefits of a gravitational units system, when working out force free body diagrams is unparalleled.

When the force (lbf) required to lift a pound mass(lbm) is the same numerical number, you can see why many are not keen to change. The push back by engineers to learn a whole new data base of benchmark values of thrust/output values for a vast array of powerplants would be enormous.

Manufacturers will always quote Imperial specs because of the vast body of engineers who would instantly recognise the brilliance of their numbers. Put it this way. If it were that useless a system engineers would have migrated exclusively to the SI system decades ago.

But that's not the only obstacle to change. Since the Model T, the US has produced billions of new and spare parts to service the auto industry. Add in the vested interest I of tool makers and for better or worse in some aspects of modern life, the US is stuck with Imperial. If they had made the change after WW2 it would have cost a fortune then. Now, forget about it.

Now for the non engineer, it is a pain, but only if you leave the US or if you visit from an SI unit country(most of the rest of the world). But if your job's in aerospace you probably would prefer working in the US because unless you are a walking sliderule/calculator or can visualise EXCEL or MATLAB without the aid of a PC, then from a resolution of force perspective, Imperial rocks.
15. wolfgang59
Mr. Wolf
13 Jul '17 06:06
Originally posted by sh76
While the Metric system certainly makes a lot more sense than what we use, I do wonder why the fact that you have to "skip American recipes" because you're too stupid to do some basic arithmetic is something you've decided to advertise. Even if you don't like to multiply or divide, doesn't your phone have a calculator?

Most Americans over the age of 9 are perfectly capable of using either system.
Using a calculator to convert imperial to metric is one of the dumbest things I've heard.