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...
Precisely! Ask several people to estimate the distance to, say, your
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.
Because I keep writing stuff that will be seen by an
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.
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.
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
Really? is that by weight or volume?:-)
112lb = 1 hundredweight (cwt)
20cwt or 2240lbs + 1 ton.
12" = 1'
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?
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.
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).
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.
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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