Wish you all the best sir peter.

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]]>So, I formed a plan. At one of the last applause lines of the presentation, I stood up. I just stood there. I motioned for my friend sitting next to me to stand up too and he did. No one else that I could see was standing up. The applause was a strong one, but it was coming to an end. I figured that I didn’t make it, so I started to sit down again. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw one other guy far to my right stand up. I stood right back up again. A couple other people in my row stood up. Then, everyone stood up, they were just waiting for a “first follower” to show them that it was OK to do it. It was like I was the shirtless dancing guy:

http://sivers.org/ff

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]]>The metric system is optimized around unit conversions (e.g. between mass, volume, surface, distance, power, temperature, etc). This is the *least* common use of everyday measurements.

To belabor that point, consider your example of the weight of a soda can: the US gallon derives by definition from wine – it was originally eight bottles of wine. The ounce is defined in terms of this – 128 fluid ounces per gallon, or, 16 fluid ounces per bottle of wine. 128 is a nice number to subdivide, obviously. With four ounce servings, there would be precisely four glasses per bottle. The metric system ruined this simplicity when the US adopted the metric standard for wine bottles – the completely logical and practical number of 750 ml. How often do i care about the *weight* of the bottle? I care about the number of *servings*. Because what I generally do with soda cans is drink the content, not calculate how many my trailer can carry. How many glasses can you pour from a “can of 355 ml soda”? In the US the standard is 12 ounces. And the answer is: it serves two large glasses, or three small glasses. 12 is easy to subdivide. Good luck with 355.

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]]>Too late at night!

All the best,

Carl.

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]]>If one resists base 10, going back some 5000 years (or more?) to the Babylonians, and base 60, would make some sense. It includes base 12, so to speak, and we are already used to counting seconds and minutes (time and angles both!)in 60’s.

For the egg vendor the numbers 12 and 20 makes sense…

I had just learned to divide an English pub bill in three, without paper and pen, when they went decimal on me! The Â£ used to be 20 shilling and a shilling was 12 pence.

I am not sure anymore about the Swedes, but most people in Europe can tell you the weight of 3,55 dl water (= 355 ml = 355 g). A common can of soda. What is the weight (or mass, rather) of 9 oz (volume) of water? You get the idea?

Did you know that the pound is a force? It is the force that accelerates the mass of one stone by one feet per second squared.

Calculate how much power is needed for to heat up 10 l air per second by 320 K! C for air is ~1,012 J/(g*K) and the mass of air is ~1,3g/l. Calculate that with Imperial units and you will go crazy!

If one do not respect the units, and how they are supposed to be expressed in the SI system, it can be almost as messy as the Imperial system. I think just this is a major reason for confusion among Americans. I have some medicine bottles where the weight of the pills is given in “MG” whatever that is! Mega gravity? 10E6 * 9.81 m/sÂ²? An unusual unit but one can never be sure about pharmacists!

“Centigrade” has not been a unit since 1948…

There is no “degrees kelvin”. Kelvin IS temperature.

For conductivity there is no “mho” but there is Siemens.

Speed is measured in m/s.

Volume in mÂ² (not in acre-feet or barrels…)

dimensions in m, not in football fields or cm!

Study the SI system and once you understand it, it makes all the sense in the world and it makes life a lot easier!

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