Sep 12 26

I don’t understand imperial measurements: and typically the Americans add extra levels of screwiness! First, as a nation, there’s the simple fact that they insist on using imperial measures at all. Then they make everything worse by having different measures! When will those silly Yanks get with the programme and drop daft imperial units?! Even those few people who hang on to antiquated measurement systems that strain the brain must accept that this outdated system has several significant drawbacks (and I’m sure there are more negatives yet very few positives):

  • Confusion between scientists caused the Mars Climate Orbiter to crash due to using imperial units while the specification called for metric. :zip:
  • The maths for working stuff out has to be known. For example, 16 ounces in a pound, 14 pounds in a stone, and 12 inches in a foot is quite random. If you don’t already know this you can’t work it out. Whereas with metric everything can be worked out – everything is in 10s. Easy. 1000 grams is 1 kilogram – even “kilo” means 1000, so it’s 1000 “grams”. 100°C is the boiling point of water and 0°C the freezing point. While 32°F is what? Could metric be easier? Of course I do know imperial units do have a basis, that is explained on the page linked below, my point is that you need to already know the details. There is no way to work out that a pound has 16 ounces in it. You have to know it. Whereas with metric you can infer stuff from the simple logic. :geek:
  • To compound the problems, the Yanks insist on having their own version of imperial measures. For example, 1 imperial pint is 1.2009 US pints! So we have a double whammy of confusion in many cases – metric vs. imperial and imperial vs. US imperial. :angry:
  • etc.

Consider these: 12 inches in a foot, 3 feet in a yard, 22 yards in a chain, rods, fathoms, furlongs, stone, links, perches, acres, etc. How many oddities can I think of? A lot! Check out this Wikipedia page, if you fancy getting confused!

However, I’ve long thought there is a light at the end of this long dark antique tunnel… And this hope? Perhaps one of the most iconic science fiction shows to have ever broadcast, Star Trek, uses metric units!

You’re position is 75,000 kilometres from the Klingon border.
“Captain, are you seeing this?”


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