[time-nuts] gravity controlled pendulumn clock?
jimlux at earthlink.net
Tue Dec 13 18:15:49 EST 2011
On 12/13/11 12:26 PM, shalimr9 at gmail.com wrote:
> Having spent more of my adult life in the US than in France, and having been thoroughly exposed to both systems, I can testify (in my own name) that it is easier and faster to get a good approximation when doing mental arithmetic on engineering problems using the metric system than the imperial system.
> Of course, when you punch numbers in a calculator, the difference is less (even though there are fewer constants involved when using the metric system in general) so there is less typing involved.
> If you don't care about being accurate, then the imperial system is fine :)
> A gallon ( a yard, a pound,...) are not the same depending on where you are, and I am not talking about relativistic effects (or maybe I am...). Who cares how much is an ounce of water anyhow?
Oh, then you're getting into all sorts of interesting units. Gallons,
corn gallons, Scots gallons, etc.
And when speaking of drink, for some amount of time in England, if you
bought it in a bar, it could only be served and priced in fractions of a
gill (for distilled spirits) or no less than a pint (for cider, beer,
etc.) (a pint is, of course, 4 gill (except in Scotland), and since a
gill is 5 fluid ounces, that makes the pint of beer some 20 ounces).
And we are not speaking here of archaic units that haven't been seen in
centuries. I think the UK went away from the gill fraction thing in
bars (I don't recall seeing the sign about "all spirits sold in this
establishment..." last winter in Heathrow), but it certainly existed in
the early to mid 90s. (There's this weird alcohol unit thing, but I
have no idea what that is.. probably some quasi metric measure of
equivalent ethanol). I think, also, that in Australia, the "pint of
beer" varies among states.
And the stone is still used as a measure of human weight (and for
perhaps other purposes) My wife's English relatives talk about gaining a
stone over the holidays. And when hiring a horse to ride in the
southwest of England, they tend to ask what you weigh in stone (but the
horse business is the epitome of archaic.. Even in the more modern US we
run races in furlongs, timing them in 1/5ths of a second, measure height
of the horse in hands, although we do weigh jockeys in pounds)
There are also a whole host of "fair weight and measure" laws in most
countries which regulate the minimum sale quantity of something (e.g.
you cannot buy a loaf of bread weighing less than a pound in the state
of Oregon, raising an issue if you wish to purchase a demi-baguette).
Likewise, vegetables and fruit have minimum sale quantities (the odd
"dry pint"). I think in Germany, there's a minimum sale quantity for
beverages, as well.
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