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View Poll Results: left, center or right aligned?
Left aligned 12 28.57%
Center aligned 10 23.81%
Right aligned 0 0%
mixed (overhead center, exit left aligned) 19 45.24%
i don't look at the signage anyway 1 2.38%
Voters: 42. You may not vote on this poll

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Old March 9th, 2007, 09:34 AM   #201
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADCS View Post
If someone is, say, 195 cm, I'll just say he's about 6' or so, since that's pretty close.
In small numbers it matters, but not in bigger cases! 195 cm is actually 6'4/5, which when you're talking about height of a person, makes quite a difference!
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Old March 9th, 2007, 11:12 AM   #202
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Von Königsberg View Post

You've got to be joking. Don't tell me it is easier to calculate 3/4 + 3/8 than 0.750 + 0.375.
Sure it is. 3/4 is 6/8 which plus 3/8 equals 9/8, or 1.125. Sure, putting the decimals in the calculator is easier, but when working by hand, fractions win out almost every time. That's why after we started Algebra in school, we never worked in decimals in math class again.

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In small numbers it matters, but not in bigger cases! 195 cm is actually 6'4/5, which when you're talking about height of a person, makes quite a difference!
OK, you're right there. Those three extra inches do come into play, especially in height.

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If we assume that most liquids have the density of water (1 g/cmł) then you can momentarily convert mL into grammes and litres into kg. If you come to a store, you wouldn't ask for a "1/8 kg of cheese". You would say you need "150 g of cheese".
That's how it was done in Mexico. However, given my already-stated love for fractions, I'm sure I'd still do it with fractions even if we converted.
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Old March 9th, 2007, 11:15 AM   #203
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For the record, I appreciate these discussions. I certainly wouldn't have much of a problem if the US converted to metric; however, I think that healthy debate is very important, and that it helps us all understand each other better.
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Old March 10th, 2007, 07:15 PM   #204
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Von Königsberg View Post
Distances under 1 km (short or long) are measured in metres, no exception.
I use hectometres and dekametres
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Old March 11th, 2007, 04:46 AM   #205
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I use hectometres and dekametres
You've got to be the first one who does it.
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Old March 11th, 2007, 02:37 PM   #206
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Von Königsberg View Post
You've got to be the first one who does it.
We have hectometer posts along the motorway, instead of milemarkers. But Decameters?
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Old March 12th, 2007, 05:48 AM   #207
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris1491 View Post
We have hectometer posts along the motorway, instead of milemarkers. But Decameters?
I meant units that you use in your daily life. You would never say "3 hectometres" when you are giving directions to someone. Instead, you would say "300 metres", right?
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Old April 7th, 2007, 08:03 AM   #208
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADCS View Post
No, I agree. As I said, metric probably makes more sense today, with calculators and all. A foot has no real relation to anyone's foot size, it's mostly derived from a bunch of measurements that once had to do with someone's foot size. It's just as arbitrary as a meter.

One more thing, why is being able to move the decimal point all that important? In physics class, I would be docked points if I put 2.5 km/s as opposed to 2500 m/s (just for an example, not real life in the least bit). Same as if I put 25 cm/s as opposed to 0.25 m/s. It's almost as if the SI actually got rid of the biggest advantage of the metric system! Only way it really helps is when you have to convert to the base measurement, which in a real-life situation, isn't really all that important often.

The biggest true advantage of the metric system is that most of the other units of measurement in a scientific context are based on metric measurements.
One reason why you probably got docked points off is
1) Because you didn't give the right units that was given in the question in the first place.
or 2) you didn't use the correct number of significant digits.

That's why metric continuous to be consistent.
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Old April 7th, 2007, 08:49 AM   #209
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Quote:
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One reason why you probably got docked points off is
1) Because you didn't give the right units that was given in the question in the first place.
or 2) you didn't use the correct number of significant digits.

That's why metric continuous to be consistent.
Then again, that's pretty pointless, isn't it? 2.5 km is the same as 2500 m, so why the need for conversion? It's just ****-retentive people having to get everything exactly right, and getting pissed off if it isn't, not to mention lording it over those who don't nearly care as much. Oh, and sig figs... show me a normal, non-science enthusiast who can even figure out how to do them right.

Besides, we are talking in an everyday context, not the highly specialized scientific realm, of which I have already stated SI is better for.
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Old April 7th, 2007, 11:20 AM   #210
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADCS View Post
Besides, we are talking in an everyday context, not the highly specialized scientific realm, of which I have already stated SI is better for.
Believe it or not, outside of the USA people actually live in this so-called "scientific realm" doing decimal calculations and other related things. And you know what? They consider it an everyday life

Besides, what do you usually do if a fraction's denominator is not a power of 2? Something like 5/11 + 7/9.
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Old April 7th, 2007, 11:39 AM   #211
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haha so true, its about time metric was adopted everywhere regardless of the problems it would cause in the US.
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Old April 7th, 2007, 06:17 PM   #212
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Why stifle progress for the sake of the old dinosaurs?
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Old April 7th, 2007, 08:33 PM   #213
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Von Königsberg View Post
Believe it or not, outside of the USA people actually live in this so-called "scientific realm" doing decimal calculations and other related things. And you know what? They consider it an everyday life

Besides, what do you usually do if a fraction's denominator is not a power of 2? Something like 5/11 + 7/9.
Honestly, does it matter if it is represented as 2500 m or 2.5 km? You know what is being talked about either way, so the conversion is pretty much unnecessary. Give me an everyday occurrence where you would HAVE to convert between different scales. It's pretty rare, isn't it?

5 times 9 is 45. 7 times 11 is 77. 45+77 is 122. So it's 122/99. Which may seem unwieldy, but in a mathematical context is a hell of a lot more precise than 1.23232323232323232323..., especially when you have to do more work with the numbers. Besides, if we are talking about everyday measurements, 7/11 in. would be as absurd as measuring something as 113567 μm. Sure, there are areas where you would need that precision, but generally that is very specialized. Something that needs to be about that long would be standardized to 5/8 in. Just as the 113567 μm would be standardized to 114 or 115 mm.

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Why stifle progress for the sake of the old dinosaurs?
Why "progress" when it is unnecessary? To make everyone else happy? What's wrong with sticking with something that works for you?
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Old April 7th, 2007, 10:31 PM   #214
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADCS View Post
Give me an everyday occurrence where you would HAVE to convert between different scales. It's pretty rare, isn't it?
Foe example when you are on a freeway and you see a sign stating the next exit is in 300m. You automatically know that's 0.3 Km's, so you know how much is it.

If you have a sign stating the distance for the next exit in feet, you have no idea what part of a mile does that represent... and as you're used to distances in miles for roads, that sign in feet will confuse you... unlike the metric signs in roads where distances are measured in km's.


That's just an everyday exemple... there are tons of others.
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Old April 7th, 2007, 10:42 PM   #215
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Why "progress" when it is unnecessary? To make everyone else happy? What's wrong with sticking with something that works for you?
Why invent automobiles when horse carriages work?
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Old April 7th, 2007, 10:44 PM   #216
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How do you measure for example distances in a house or so in the US?
In metric, for a roam, it could be something like 4.5 x 5.6 m^2.

How do you do in there? I guess you measure it in feets... But feets and fractions of feets, or do you also use inches, like you do when measuring a person's height?


Another great thing about metric scale is that we just need 1 scale in our rulers.
If someone who works with furniture is measuring a new piece, he willl just measure it with a ruler marked with mm's and cm's... and he can measure any distance with it.... be it 1.2m, 27 cm or 17mm.

How do you do in there? The rulers must have diferent scale I guess. 1 with inches... and another with feet, if you need to use feet. And what unit do you use for measures below inches?
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Old April 7th, 2007, 10:45 PM   #217
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Quote:
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Why invent automobiles when horse carriages work?
Exactly.
The right answer for the reply ADCS made to your post.
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Old April 7th, 2007, 11:03 PM   #218
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Quote:
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Then again, that's pretty pointless, isn't it? 2.5 km is the same as 2500 m, so why the need for conversion?
Would you like to say it's 384,400,000 meters to the moon, or the diameter of a hydrogen atom is 0.000000000005 meters everytime?

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Originally Posted by ADCS View Post
It's just ****-retentive people having to get everything exactly right, and getting pissed off if it isn't, not to mention lording it over those who don't nearly care as much. Oh, and sig figs... show me a normal, non-science enthusiast who can even figure out how to do them right.

Besides, we are talking in an everyday context, not the highly specialized scientific realm, of which I have already stated SI is better for.
Isn't it more educationally beneficial for a school age child to be more in tune with the scientific community than with grandma and grandpa?
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Old April 7th, 2007, 11:35 PM   #219
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And what unit do you use for measures below inches?
Millimetres. One inch is 25,4 millimeters, makes sense, right?
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Old April 8th, 2007, 12:45 AM   #220
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Quote:
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Why invent automobiles when horse carriages work?
Not even the same sort of thing. Horse carriages don't work nearly as well as cars do for most things we need to do on a daily basis. For most things, the two measurement systems work just as well. Otherwise, the US would be an undeveloped cesspool (which it's not, obviously).

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Would you like to say it's 384,400,000 meters to the moon, or the diameter of a hydrogen atom is 0.000000000005 meters everytime?
That's silly and pedantic. Just as silly as saying it's 1,191,286,089 feet to the moon. No one works in those sort of scales (except in a scientific context, as I keep stating). Most people would immediately work with kilometers when talking about something as far away as the moon, a meter being exactly 1/1000 of a kilometer is not relevant information, unless you do have to convert, which in a scientific SI environment, is useful (which is why it is good for science and American scientists use it exclusively).

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Isn't it more educationally beneficial for a school age child to be more in tune with the scientific community than with grandma and grandpa?
They certainly deal with grandma and grandpa more often than the scientific community. Most of them are not going to be scientists; those that do will learn SI.

You have to understand, for most Americans (and a good bit of the British, as well), this is akin to us telling the rest of the world that they are stupid for not speaking English exclusively. Not nearly on the scale of that, but the same sort of offense.
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