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Thread: What's a millimeter?

  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    There is about 62 miles to a kilometer.
    C'mon, Chuck... you know that's not right.

    .62 miles
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  2. #22
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    What I meant to say was "62 miles to 100 km".

    Some people find decimals confusing. Sometimes my fingers can't keep up with my mind.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    Congress passed the "Metric Conversion Act of 1975" and established the United States Metric Board. I recall all highway signs in California at about that time were being converted to dual-system. I thought the US had finally arrived in the 20th century. Then came Lyn Nofziger and the Reagan Administration who essentially disbanded and defunded the whole effort in 1982. So we went back to the 1324 (Edward II) standard of "three barleycorns, round and dry".
    There was another push to move things to metric around 1996. I recall a mandate came down that all government agencies were to move to metric. The state DOT started "letting" new construction projects requiring that metric units were used. Loads of fun, because they could not legally change existing construction projects, many of which were very long term. Had to revamp a materials testing database to accept both English and Metric units, some of which meant spelunking in to very old specification documents because they didn't understand all of the math they were doing. Supposedly even road signs were to eventually change. I heard a rumor that one of the neighboring states actually had signs ready to go. But then it was all called off... although by then about half the construction projects were let as metric and could not be undone. There very well could be some metric unit projects still out there today. At least the last time I checked (a long time ago) they appeared to be moving back to English units.

  4. #24
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    I believe that Interstate 19 between Flagstaff and Mexico is one of the last US interstates with metric-only distance signs.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    As a student of history, I've long considered it peculiar that the US, who rebelled against British crown rule, has elected to keep the British Imperial system of measure, long after the British themselves have abandoned it.
    Although they are "offically" Metric, the UK still uses the Imperial system and requires it to be taught in school.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperi...ts#Current_use

    Also, nautical miles are used globally.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    People don't carry calculators any more--they carry smartphones. Fat lot of good that will do you if you're trying to figure things in the woods in Pocahontas County, WV.
    Do you have a smartphone? The vast majority of the world's population either has one or is a short distance away from someone who does.

    They work just fine without service anywhere in the world, and every one I've seen comes with at least a rudimentary calculator. Some come with unit conversions built in. For the ones that didn't, no one who needs to do a conversion has any excuse to not get a third party app ahead of time.

    The bottom line is that if you're doing something that requires conversion, you're not at all likely to be somewhere that you don't have access to a suitable calculator.

    I used to be able to look at something and tell if it was 1mm or /32". I can't anymore, but I can see the difference between 5mm and /16".

    Unfortunately the only unit which might be critical in a life or death situation is the mL, which I don't use enough to get accustomed to.

    What I find funny is that most of the things that I've encountered that had grossly incorrect metric numbers like the original post, have been European or Asian. So I don't think units familiarity is the problem.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by KC9UDX View Post
    Do you have a smartphone? The vast majority of the world's population either has one or is a short distance away from someone who does.
    I do and don't use it. I find them cumbersome. I keep it around in case a tree falls on me and I need to get help. Trusting the thing to always tell the truth is risky. More than one body has been fished out of the woods here because some navigation information was wrong. No paper map, no cell coverage; no place to recharge = slow death.

    As I edge toward the great void, I'd rather keep my mind sharp so I'll be distinguishable from a parsnip as the curtain comes down.

  8. #28
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    I think Clothing and shoes are still sold with measurements in inches (or S/M/L/XL/XXL etc. which has no numerical equivalent).

    Cell phones are useful around the house (if a computer is not nearby and running) for PDF reading, conversions, looking stuff up. My cheapo phone uses WIFI as well as 4G so I don't even use up minutes or data around the house.
    What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
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  9. #29
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    Here in Canada everything is metric except most building supplies, so we still have 2 x 4s etc. (but of course they're only 1.5 x 3.5 ); plywood thickness can be stated either way.

    I see there's a class action lawsuit over Home Depot and Menards "deceiving the public" by selling 4 x 4's that are only 3.5 x 3.5...

    http://www.jsonline.com/story/money/...ize/405300001/

  10. #30

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    The US liquor industry switched to metric decades ago.

    That didn't slow down the alcoholics one bit.
    If you're looking for DS/DD or DS/HD 3" or 5" floppy disks, PM me. I've got some new, used, and factory over-labeled disks for sale.

    There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in. -- Leonard Cohen
    ☞ Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.

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