[time-nuts] gravity controlled pendulumn clock?

Jim Lux jimlux at earthlink.net
Wed Dec 14 17:25:37 EST 2011

On 12/14/11 12:44 PM, Justin Pinnix wrote:
> Contrary to popular belief, most of us in the U.S. have heard of the metric
> system and understand how it works.  Personally, I agree that it is a
> simpler and superior system.
> But, English is the system we "think" in.  We know that if a person is 300
> lbs they need to lose weight, you need to drink 8 cups of water a day, and
> wish for 70 degree days.  Grandma's cookie recipe uses 1 cup of flour.
>   Trying to convince 300 million people to re-learn all of that is a tough
> sell when there is no obvious advantage to them.  Most are not scientists
> or engineers and aren't likely to do business with a foreign country.

Based on practical experience (moving to another country several times 
over the years), the disruption in day to day life is minimal.  Pretty 
soon, you ask for a half or third kilo of cheese instead of a pound. 
You know that 10 degrees is cool, chilly in the shade, 20 degrees is 
nice, 30 degrees is pleasantly warm, and 40 is hot.  -20 is where spit 
goes clink.

A yard and a meter are about the same, so if you're buying fabric or 
rope or wire that works out pretty well.

A square meter is about 10 square feet, so if you're looking at 
apartments, 40 sq m is smallish, 200 is palatial.

People by gasoline by money amounts (or "fill it up").  Back when gas 
started to go over $1/gallon, some stations changed their pump to read 
in liters, and it was only moderately inconvenient, and after a while 
you get used to it.

I think if we did the "massive cutover" there would be whining and 
complaining for about a month or two.

In a year, all the recipes would be printed in metric, except for books 
specializing in archaic styles.. but those exist today.. my wife has 
screwed up more than once using a recipe originating from her (English) 
mother or grandmother.

If you buy a graduated measuring cup today it likely has both metric and 
US Customary units on it.  Yes, you need to know that a teaspoon is 5ml 
and tablespoon is 15ml, but that's not exactly an ordeal.

The tricky thing is manufacturing and customary sizes.  That 1/4-20 bolt 
has a long and enduring history and we'll be making them for decades to 
come.  But over 10-20 years, instead of bolt bins at the local hardware 
store having mostly customary units with a smaller section for metric, 
we'll have more metric, with a smaller section for customary.

Most folks have both sets of wrenches and hex keys, etc.  (or, they just 
use the adjustable wrench or those ChannelLok serrated pliers, so they 
can rip the corners off any nut, metric or US)

> Those of us who are scientists and engineers likely use metric at work and
> English at home.  Is that wrong?  Maybe, but we're smart people and we can
> deal with it :-)
> It's not like metric is totally absent.  We drink 2 liter cokes and defend
> ourselves with 9mm pistols.   Our cars use mostly metric parts.  Even ham
> radio operators, arguably the most jingoistic and set in the past bunch
> around, get on the 80, 40, and 20 METER bands.
> Furthermore, I've been to some of these countries that supposedly use the
> metric system.  One of them measured distance between cities in km and
> speed limits in MPH.  Now THAT was annoying!
> "Progressives" tried to force Metric on the U.S. in the 1970s and it didn't
> catch on.  Besides, we've got bigger standardization problems to deal with
> these days - getting everyone here to speak English!

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