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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 July 15th, 2006, 07:25 PM   #101
andysimo123
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India, UK, Japan, Australia, South Africa, afew other African Countries, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia etc all drive on the left. Thats well over 1 billion people.
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Old July 15th, 2006, 07:56 PM   #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieP
Bollocks. Seven hundred years ago everybody drove on the left (Pope Boniface VIII even made it law for pilgrims heading to Rome) - it was the Americans that decided to be different (the first driving-on-the-right law was made in Pennslyvania in 1792)...
Actually, most of the right-driving was caused by Napoleon, a left-handed man that insisted on changing the rules in all the territories he conquered. The United States changed its own rules, but did not impose right-handed driving upon other societies.

FM 2258: Stop shaming our country. You sound like a small-town redneck talking about this stuff. Using customary measurements is "easy" because we're used to it, not because they are inherently easier to use. There's nothing wrong with asking someone's height in feet, but we're talking about crucial industrial and military processes being screwed up by conversions.
Quote:
The big problem with Celsius is that the freezing and boiling points of water are largely irrelevant to daily life, so half the scale is effectively wasted and unavailable for use.
Not if you cook. The entire scale is very relevant, plus some more.
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Old July 15th, 2006, 09:17 PM   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieP
1. The freezing point of water is very relevant to daily life, unless you live somewhere hot where it never snows!

2. The Celsius scale doesn't have an upper limit, so how can half of it be wasted?



3. The British redefined a pound as exactly 453.59237 grams, not 500.


i agree

1,2) if the temperature is around zero degrees celsius, i know that glaze is possible

furthermore a difference of 1 degree celsius is one kelvin (which is more scientific, but it's easier to say we have 20 degrees celsius than we have 293 kelvin out there)

3) but a german pound ("pfund") is 500g or a half kg



every engineer or natural scientist in the world would prefer the metric sytem because it's more logical and all other si-units are based on meters, kelvin and grams, so it's much easier and faster to convert a unit into an other
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Old July 15th, 2006, 10:57 PM   #104
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Quote:
if the temperature is around zero degrees celsius, i know that glaze is possible
Not quite. Outdoors, wind chill throws a huge wrench into the whole scheme. Indoors, water's freezing point is largely irrelevant too... you have a refrigerator that's probably physically incapable of getting cold enough to freeze water, and a freezer that's almost guaranteed to be cold enough to freeze water at any temperature it's capable of operating at. I have never, in my life, seen anybody genuinely care about the precise temperature of their freezer. It's either "cold enough" or "not cold enough".

Ditto for the boiling point of water. You put water on the stove, or in the microwave, turn it on high, and wait until it starts boiling. There's no temperature measurement involved. When it starts to boil, it's ready.

I maintain that for the specific purpose of climate description, Fahrenheit is superior to Celsius, because its zero and "100" values convey information beyond mere temperature. Negative doesn't just imply "cold" -- it implies "dangerously cold". Likewise, 100+ doesn't just imply "hot" -- it implies "dangerously hot".

Now, for lab work, Celsius might make life easier. But for answering the question, "how miserably hot is it outside?", Fahrenheit wins.

Strictly speaking, there's nothing magic about Celsius. The SI units defined in terms of it could just have easily been defined in terms of Fahrenheit. The fact is, water is basically the ONLY thing that has a freezing-boiling spread in the 0-100 degree C range anyway. For everything else, Celsius is as arbitrary as Fahrenheit. If the French hadn't been determined to make a clean break with everything and stuck with Fahrenheit as the metric temperature scale, America would probably be metric today (ask Americans what they dislike about the Metric system, and "temperature" almost always comes #1 in the list.)
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Old July 15th, 2006, 11:11 PM   #105
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It's a mixed bag in the UK for sure. I've never seen a metric sign here. Same as the US, except for right when you cross the border from Canada (or Mexico, I guess).
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Old July 15th, 2006, 11:28 PM   #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desirous
Actually, most of the right-driving was caused by Napoleon, a left-handed man that insisted on changing the rules in all the territories he conquered. The United States changed its own rules, but did not impose right-handed driving upon other societies.

FM 2258: Stop shaming our country. You sound like a small-town redneck talking about this stuff. Using customary measurements is "easy" because we're used to it, not because they are inherently easier to use. There's nothing wrong with asking someone's height in feet, but we're talking about crucial industrial and military processes being screwed up by conversions.

Not if you cook. The entire scale is very relevant, plus some more.
Does that mean I can say most people drive on the right as an inheritance of the French Empire?

I'm left handed too, so I won't complain.
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Old July 15th, 2006, 11:35 PM   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Détritus
Does that mean I can say most people drive on the right as an inheritance of the French Empire?
More or less. France and all the countries France conquered established colonies with right-side-drive. Some countries switched around in rebellion, such famously anti-Western China (did you know Chinese stock-tickers are red when up and green when down?) and America.

http://users.pandora.be/worldstandar...the%20left.htm
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Old July 17th, 2006, 06:54 PM   #108
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I don't get what the big deal is about converting to metric. Australia is a metric country but that doesn't mean you are prohibited from using imperial if you want to. You won't be put in jail for measing your olive oil in teaspoons. My grandparents have an old Holden and the speedo is in miles which my grandfather stuck a little sticker on it with conversion. The car doesn't automatically become unroadworthy because the speedo is not in kilomtres. Measuring jugs practically always have mls on one side and cups on the other. If you buy a thermometer it likely to have both scales on it. Tape measures and rulers also usually have both. Most people here naturally think in metric but most people are also familiar with inches and feet. That is probably the extent of it though. Otherwise it's litres and celcius and kilograms. Everything official is printed in metric but doesn't stop ordinary people from using imperial for their own uses so I don't see why a changeover would be such a dramatic earth shattering event.
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Old July 18th, 2006, 09:24 PM   #109
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http://www.freedom2measure.org/

I didn't get to read all the responses since there was a lot of attacking and it frustrated me, but the bottom line is the metric system is no more precise, or logical, or a way of the future than the Imperial system--and anyone who said it is is just confused that somehow powers of 10 are somehow more logical than powers of 2. And I don't know how you can say "because America uses it it's better". Not the case. The English invented it, and if they had a brain on their shoulders and some balls, they'd still be using it.

In America we're used to imperial, and I don't know where the pro-metric lobby gets its jollies, but it should quit trying to make the entire world think alike. Celebrate our differences, fools.
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Old July 18th, 2006, 09:45 PM   #110
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By the way, dividing things into 8ths and 16ths is much more logical than into 10ths, if you think about it.

A foot is a unit of measure that evolved over hundreds of years of human experience. A meter is the distance light travels in a vacuum in as much time as it takes light to travel a meter (since the definition was invented to fit the distance, not vice versa...)

Hmm... which seems more logical?
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Old July 20th, 2006, 09:39 AM   #111
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The one which could be divided in an easier way, in 10, 100, 1000... to get always the same units
Units have to be used by common people, not defined. Who minds of the scientific definition of the meter in everyday life!


Don't take this as an offence, but what kind of modern measurement system can still use those "strange" units?
Yard, feet, inches, why not an arm or an hand? Why don't we use an elbow for measurements?
I know that those are fixed as standards... but the question is that they don't work in a simple way.

Gosh, I can divide in a moment some kilometers by centimeters... try to divide miles by inches, what a mess!!

1 foot = 12 inches. Then, 1 mile = 5280 feet.
1 square foot = 144 sq. inches. 1 square miles = ... oh, WTF!

So, tell me without a calculator how many sq.inches there are in 1 sq. mile!!

100 cm = 1 meter ... 1000 meters = 1 km
10000 square cm = 1 sq. meter, simply because it's 100^2!

Our original question:
1 km = 10^5 cm
so, simply 1 sq.km= 10^10 cm!

You only have to cut and add some zeros! That's so simple!
Once you get one, you get the whole system... I really never understood the existence of the imperial system in a modern, science-based world


A little note to point out. When describing a car's performance usually is used the 0-100 km/h or 0-60 mph time.
Even if it's totally useless... car experts prefere 0-1000 meters time, or the 0-160-0 km/h time, but that's another story.

0-100 km/h time can be slightly different from the 0-60 mph one: that's because 60 mph is exactly 96 km/h and not 100.
Some cars (for example, the Alfa Romeo 156 GTA) reach the maximum for a certain gear between 96 and 100 km/h, and of course while shifting you lose some time to reach 100 km/h...
So they can do a good 0-96 and a lousy 0-100!


That's probably the only good thing with imperial measures... but since the 0-100 or 0-60 time is basically useless to describe a car's real performance, the imperial should be erased with no regrets!


But we should be honest: there's only one problem about the imperial system in the US for foreigners. That's PORN.
In Europe we are tired of converting a 9" to 22.86 cm any time we want to watch some porn!
US citizens: convert the porn industry to metric system, and we will leave you in peace with your damn imperial highways and weights, forever!!
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Old July 21st, 2006, 07:42 PM   #112
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You just have to jump the decimal points when switching inside the metric system. But YOU CAN'T DO THIS in the imperial system! USE METRIC IN THE US ASAP!!!

Last edited by hkth; July 21st, 2006 at 07:51 PM.
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Old July 22nd, 2006, 02:44 AM   #113
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When I began reading the Dubai forums about a year a go all the building heights (in meters) appeared foriegn. I was brought up using feet. As time went on however, I become more and more used to recognizing meters until by 2006 Iwas begining to convert building heights in feet, to meters because I had become so familiar with it. Just like learning a language we don't learn it until were forced to by circumstances.

I do think Farenhiet is much more useful than Celsius however. It's much more precise to say it's 33 degrees F than 0 degree Celsius.
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Old July 22nd, 2006, 03:13 AM   #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndySocks
By the way, dividing things into 8ths and 16ths is much more logical than into 10ths, if you think about it.
no.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndySocks
A foot is a unit of measure that evolved over hundreds of years of human experience. A meter is the distance light travels in a vacuum in as much time as it takes light to travel a meter (since the definition was invented to fit the distance, not vice versa...)

Hmm... which seems more logical?
There meter was invented during the french revolution (around 1789) and they didn't know the speed of the light at that moment. The definition of a meter changed after and scientists choose the distance light travels because it is not something that can change.
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Old July 23rd, 2006, 04:51 PM   #115
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The metre was originally defined to be one ten-millionth of the distance from the equator to either Pole.
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Old July 24th, 2006, 07:28 AM   #116
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This reminds me of a poster my 10th grade chemistry teacher had on the front of her desk:

"If we were meant to use the metric system, we would have 10 fingers and 10 toes."
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Old July 25th, 2006, 06:33 AM   #117
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the US might be more used to the imperial system, but it does not mean its better. and why would you not want to be familiar with both systems? what would be so horrible in having to convert? i guess as someone who knows both im just smarter than you and rest of the nation who struggles figuring out that one meter is a little over 3 feet and can figure out without using google that 400m is around 1300ft
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Old July 25th, 2006, 07:04 PM   #118
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Temperatures especially. After a while the formula becomes unnecessary. You remember that 68=20, 86=30, etc. and extrapolate from there. It's very useful this week, talking to European friends about their heatwave. :P
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Old July 25th, 2006, 08:08 PM   #119
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Gosh, we reached 40 degrees here in Italy! That's too much for me!

Some say a transition from imp. to metric would be too difficult... remember, four years ago, how many europeans had to change thier value!!

And the quantification of money is more based on personal "feeling" than measurements... I mean, when I use a different value for the first time, I'm never sure of how much money I'm spending.
How much for a can of Coke? Some bread? A tiny car?

...while for everyday measurements it's not so "vague", you learn soon how much bread is a kilogram of bread.
On the highway, if you see the "1000 meters" sign and then the "500 meters" one, you can easily figure out where your exit is, even without stopping and measuring the remaining space with a ruler


So, I we've been able to swap to EUR, it will be much easier for the americans to get acquainted to metric system
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Old July 26th, 2006, 12:23 PM   #120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desirous
Temperatures especially. After a while the formula becomes unnecessary. You remember that 68=20, 86=30, etc. and extrapolate from there. It's very useful this week, talking to European friends about their heatwave. :P
One thing (of many!) that bugs me about most UK newspapers is that they always talk about "sub-zero" temperatures when we have a cold snap, but then trumpet the fact that it's "101.4 degrees!!" in a heatwave. ****tards.
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