I don't get it, why is metric better?

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On 8/7/2016 4:39 PM, John McCoy wrote:

LOL I had to read the 3 times before I got it. LOL... That is actually how a particular group of Texans pronounce it. Most Texans pronounce it like Henry Ford pronounced it.
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On 08/07/2016 8:50 AM, John McCoy wrote:

I'm positive of it for the bulk (as in essentially all) of the regulars. The drop-ins are something can't tell about, of course.
The other thing of the wreck w/ the regulars (and much of usenet) is that the regulars are of a certain age that most likely also colors most responses in such categories of discussion as this thread...
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On 8/6/2016 9:04 AM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

town centre in miles and you will get widely different answers. 45 years ago, I moved to W. Australia and shortly afterwards the authorities announced "as of next Monday, the Celsius scale will replace Fahrenheit". We soon got used to it. I can no longer think in Fahrenheit terms and if I visit the US and see the weather forecast, I have to convert the temps to Celsius. Graham
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On 8/6/2016 4:42 PM, graham wrote:

international audience I sat down and wrote a little utility to convert between Fahrenheit and Celsius temperatures. That way I can give the temperature in both units so everybody can see what I am talking about.
Bill
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On Saturday, August 6, 2016 at 7:37:40 AM UTC-7, John McCoy wrote:

When the meter was defined, it was a different world, of course. Louis XV ran up debt, Louis XVI tried a number of ways to pay it all off. Notably, one year the king's 'rent collectors' collected their bushels of wheat from farms, using a brand new 'royal bushel' measure which was rather larger than the one used the year before.
The size of the Earth was beyond the power of any king to adjust. They didn't WANT a measure basis that could be fabricated and held up as an example.
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Well, that's the French for you, isn't it. They could have done what the English did, and mark a stick and call it the "official" foot...given the impracticality of actually measuring the distance from the pole to the equator, it would have been just as valid (oh wait - that is what the actually did).
John
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On 8/6/2016 8:37 AM, John McCoy wrote:

Then there's: 16oz=1lb 112lb = 1 hundredweight (cwt) 20cwt or 2240lbs + 1 ton. 12" = 1' 3'= 1yd 45"=1 ell (obsolete) 22 yds = 1 chain 10 chains = 1 furlong 8 furlongs = 1 mile
And you talk of the original definition of the kilometre being arbitrary? Graham
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But all of those were, at some point in time, defined by some physical thing in common use, and were fairly intuitive to their users (especially in medieval times, when counting by twelves was common and counting by tens wasn't).
There's no way you can say a tiny fraction of the distance from the pole to the equator is intuitive.
John
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On Sun, 7 Aug 2016 13:58:50 -0000 (UTC), John McCoy

Exactly. Twelve is a much nicer number than ten. Ten is used because some people need their fingers to count. ;-)

Right. Furlong was a much more useful measure (the length of a furrow - the distance an ox could pull a plow without resting).
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On Sat, 6 Aug 2016 14:37:38 -0000 (UTC), John McCoy

That's why coffee cups are 5oz? ;-)
An easier measurement to grasp is the ounce or pint. Gets two measurements for the price of one. Cubic feet aren't obvious for the same reason that cubic meters aren't. We don't think in volume (a cubic foot looks nothing like 8 gallons).
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On 8/6/2016 5:06 PM, snipped-for-privacy@attt.bizz wrote:

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OK, you got me. It's really 7.5 gallons. ;-)
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Not quite. It's actually a bit under seven and a half.
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On 8/6/2016 8:22 PM, Doug Miller wrote:

Still 2 to 3 times more than I would have guesstimated.
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On 8/7/2016 12:32 AM, Leon wrote:

The eye deceives. A five gallon pail of paint is roughly 12 x 17. Looking at it and not counting the corners that is more than a cubic foot to the eye, but you still have 2 1/2 gallons to go.
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On 08/07/2016 7:59 AM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

And a good rough estimate for most purposes...

The deception is at least partially caused by the volume of the "missing" distance being the cube of that linear distance not simply directly proportional nor even squared for the area, which at least is also roughly outlined for a visual clue...
OTOH, the volume of something _under_ 1 of whatever units is normally grossly over-estimated for the same reason excepting that since the number >1 is in the denominator, it reduces the quotient more than is intuitive... 1/2" --> 1/8 cu-in/unit length whereas 1/4 --> 1/64. Just looking doesn't tend to lead to that additional 8X reduction...one "knows" it, yet it isn't always intuitive.
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On 08/07/2016 8:59 AM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

The volume of a cylinder is Pi X the radius Squared X the height.
(12/2)squared*Pi*17= 4.45 square feet
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On 08/07/2016 8:59 AM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

The volume of a cylinder is Pi X the radius Squared X the height.
(12/2)squared*Pi*17= 1.1 square feet
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On Sun, 7 Aug 2016 09:23:22 -0400, Keith Nuttle

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On 8/7/2016 7:59 AM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

An oddly pleasant and distant memory of mine from my early childhood. I was probably 4~5 years old.
I recall my parents doing yard work and me being in the middle of it all. It was a fun time for me because I got to watch dad and hopefully help dad mow the yard with the gas powered reel mower. The mower was exceptionally easy to control, I could do it all by my self. Starting the motor was another matter as it required wrapping a rope around a pulley and giving a forceful and full pull and repeating several times. The wind up lever handle had not yet come to market.
I recall the 1 gallon dented red metallic "Gasoline" can that had an internal and reversible metal flexible nozzle with a strainer on the top end when it was stored in the can. And the strainer end had a small metal screw cap the same size as the metal screw cap for the vent on the other side of the carry handle on the top of the can. And with the exception of the paint and cork gaskets, it was all steel.
Anyway I always did and still think of that dented red metallic gas can when I picture the size of a gallon. ;~)
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