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Old 09-22-04, 04:11 PM   #1
funbun
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Metric vs. "Standard"

Why doesn't the U.S. completely switch to the metric system? Our cars all use meteric nuts and bolts. The same is true for our bicycles. I just ordered a set of GTR plans from Greenspeed. It's strange. The plans are in metric but the tube sizes are in "standard". I'm always going back and forth. I'm beginning to understand why NASA is losing so many probes.
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Old 09-22-04, 04:34 PM   #2
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We have been wondering that for years. Can't be ease of use. If you can't count by 10 then surely fractions must just boggle the mind.
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Old 09-22-04, 04:59 PM   #3
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I heard it would just be too costly for the U.S. to convert all it's manufacturing to the metric system.
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Old 09-22-04, 05:32 PM   #4
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I thought it was just because it was invented by the French.
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Old 09-22-04, 06:21 PM   #5
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I remeber when i was in school a date was set for the us to "Officially" convert to the metric system.

I can't remember if i was in grade school or junior high.

But complaints from the people (us) stoppedit, and it was never heard from again.
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Old 09-22-04, 07:19 PM   #6
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yeah. karlfitt, I remember that too. How old are you?
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Old 09-22-04, 07:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karlfitt
But complaints from the people (us) stoppedit, and it was never heard from again.
That's democracy in action folks. It doesn't matter if it's the best decision, as long as it's the most popular.
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Old 09-22-04, 07:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funbun
Why doesn't the U.S. completely switch to the metric system? Our cars all use meteric nuts and bolts. The same is true for our bicycles. I just ordered a set of GTR plans from Greenspeed. It's strange. The plans are in metric but the tube sizes are in "standard". I'm always going back and forth. I'm beginning to understand why NASA is losing so many probes.
I remember a big push to go metric back when Jimmy Carter was President. Signs got put on the highways with both, and we started learning metric. It didn't go over well at all. I mean as kids we were picking it up and all, but it seemed that we, as a total population, just weren't willing to make the change.
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Old 09-22-04, 08:09 PM   #9
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Here in Alabama there was an attempt back in the 90s to go metric. Mile markers were given in kilometers and miles. This created a problem for state troopers and emergency workers. Someone would have a car reck and give the kilometer marking and ment mile marking. Ambulances would be on th other side of the state looking for people because they had the mile markers confused with the kilometer marking. They took down all the metric marking though.

I find the meteric system far superior. Base on 10 what else could be easier. Even the U.S. Army uses the metric system. It doesn't take that long to learn. Conversion are far easier.
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Old 09-22-04, 08:35 PM   #10
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I think metric's a better system but it would be too redicuously hard to convert everything.
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Old 09-22-04, 08:43 PM   #11
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How so? Everytime you buy a bag of chips or a Coke it has metric and standard units. You car has miles per hour and kilometers per hour on the same dial. It seem that th U.S. is running in 50/50 mode right now. Why would completely converting be expensive?
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Old 09-22-04, 08:56 PM   #12
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Learn metric? That's like an oxymoron.
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Old 09-22-04, 09:14 PM   #13
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I thought it was just because it was invented by the French.
The Metric System and the Saxophone are the 2 things the French did contribute to the betterment of mankind.
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Old 09-23-04, 11:55 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funbun
How so? Everytime you buy a bag of chips or a Coke it has metric and standard units. You car has miles per hour and kilometers per hour on the same dial. It seem that th U.S. is running in 50/50 mode right now. Why would completely converting be expensive?

North America is slowly going metric...inch by inch.

Even in Canada I buy lumber in lengths of feet.

At work (a surveyor), I may think in feet but takes notes in metric - I.e. That's about 1 foot.......write down 0.3 metres.

Digger
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Old 09-23-04, 12:07 PM   #15
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Not all things are better in metric. Woodworking, for instance, works better with fractions of an inch rather than centimeters and millimeters, since centering an item naturally works with fractions. Also, your average woodworker can't figure fractions of a millimeter.

Now, in things such as bicycles, yes, we should probably move completely to the metric system, to keep everything common
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Old 09-23-04, 12:18 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Seanholio
Not all things are better in metric. Woodworking, for instance, works better with fractions of an inch rather than centimeters and millimeters, since centering an item naturally works with fractions. Also, your average woodworker can't figure fractions of a millimeter.

Now, in things such as bicycles, yes, we should probably move completely to the metric system, to keep everything common

You could use a decimal point - 0.1mm, 1.4mm, 10.8mm, etc.
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Old 09-23-04, 12:47 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funbun
The Metric System and the Saxophone are the 2 things the French did contribute to the betterment of mankind.
the saxophone was invented by adolphe sax, a belgian. the french saxophone builders at the henri selmer company did make a lot of excellent saxophones in their day, however.
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Old 09-23-04, 01:10 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by digger
North America is slowly going metric...inch by inch.

Even in Canada I buy lumber in lengths of feet.

At work (a surveyor), I may think in feet but takes notes in metric - I.e. That's about 1 foot.......write down 0.3 metres.

Digger
I made fun up top but really I do the same. I refuse to know my heigh in cm...and pounds are the only weight to measure weight regardless of labels. Maybe it because I was in school during the changeover in the 80's but I can visualize a kg. I can EASILY figure out how big 6'5 and 270pounds is. And when I worked in the factories back east I found imperial much easier. But that is probably again because I learned imperial first.
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Old 09-23-04, 01:56 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cicadashell
the saxophone was invented by adolphe sax, a belgian. the french saxophone builders at the henri selmer company did make a lot of excellent saxophones in their day, however.
Cicadashell, you must be from the University of Michgan. Are you a saxophonist?

Good points, the saxophone patent was issued in Paris, France in 1846. Also, Adophle Sax, Jr. sold one of his factories to Henri Selmer and in 1920 Selmer began making saxophones. I think that is the primary reason Selmers are so popular it tis the only link we have to the creator of the world's greatest instrument
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Old 09-23-04, 04:15 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by HammerTheHill
yeah. karlfitt, I remember that too. How old are you?


You mean you want me to admit in public my age???


P.S. I'm 44
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Old 09-23-04, 10:36 PM   #21
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I prefer metric to inches because I've found it to be more accurate when measuring.

I also think that part of the reason the US has had such a hard time converting is because we listed the metric equivalent to the "standard" we were used to. A 12-oz can of Coke is 355ml, instead of selling it as a 350ml can, for example. If manufacturers would have sold their products in nice even metric amounts, people would have had to adapt. Just recently I noticed that soda is available in .5 liter bottles, which equate to 16.9 oz (I think). I'd much rather buy a 500 ml bottle of Dr Pepper than a 473 ml bottle -- it's easier to say "give me a half-liter bottle" than it is to say, "I'd like a 473 of Dr Pepper."
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Old 09-24-04, 07:47 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funbun
Cicadashell, you must be from the University of Michgan. Are you a saxophonist?

Good points, the saxophone patent was issued in Paris, France in 1846. Also, Adophle Sax, Jr. sold one of his factories to Henri Selmer and in 1920 Selmer began making saxophones. I think that is the primary reason Selmers are so popular it tis the only link we have to the creator of the world's greatest instrument
actually ann arbor is my home town; i've always lived here, although i do have an engineering degree from u-m. the saxophone i learned in high school, at home and in taverns across the region. another reason selmers are popular is that they're really good instruments - big tone and excellent intonation. i have a mark vi tenor (serial # 69,xxx) and it's just incredible.

on topic, i think metric is certainly more straightforward by design, and advantageous for scientists and engineers. imperial is somewhat better suited for everyday use - working in multiples of two and three is easier to visualize than multiples of ten, because with the latter things get really big (or really small) rather quickly. certainly it is easiest, as an adult, to use the system you grew up with. also, the lack of a global standard system poses challenges to commerce. the u.s. appears to be awfully stubborn in its reluctance to convert, but there are serious issues of backwards compatibility to be dealt with (z.b. survey of the public lands, water/sewer infrastructure). for the time being i have room for both sets of tools in my toolbox!
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Old 09-24-04, 08:06 AM   #23
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Off topic. VIs are wonderful horns. There was a guy here in T-tonw that found a 80,xxx MarkVI alto in near prestine condition for $2,300!!
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Old 09-24-04, 09:13 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allister
I thought it was just because it was invented by the French.
Isn't that a good enough reason to stay with imperial?
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Old 09-24-04, 09:14 AM   #25
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If we would have made that transition back in the 70’s when President Carter made the push, my job would be a lot easier.

I but parts for machines that were made in Italy, Austria, Canada and a few from the US. I have to stock standard supplies in Metric and the asinine “Standard” system (which is only standard in the US). With the speed of communication ever increasing foreign trade is following making the need to switch over even more important. We communicate in both at work.

I find it interesting that Pipe sizing is in fractions of an inch no matter where you are. At least that’s been my experience. British Standard Pipe Parallel (BSPP), similar to the US’s Nation Pipe Thread (NPT) is sized in inches and the thread spacing in measured in Thread/Inch.
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