Re: Metric Time (was Re: Why not 13 months? (Was La Systeme Metrique))

Jock Robert Ian Christie (jchrist@leland.Stanford.EDU)
13 Oct 1995 12:47:05 -0700

In article <45hehv$>,
Robert A. Uhl <> wrote:
>In article <45f466$>,
>Jack Fertig <> wrote:
>>As an American I'm embarassed at our country's resistance to the metric
>>system. I'm even more embarassed at our xenophobia, lack of a health
>>care system, crime, violence... oh, well. Metrics seems a small matter
>>from this side. But it's true enough. We should get with it.
> Get with what? Other nations' disdain for their histories? The
>changing over to a system with _no_ benefits? Do tell.
> I always thought that the problem was that there is no reason for us
>to convert. The fact that the rest of the world uses it doesn't
>matter; the rest of the world also lies awake at night hoping that we
>don't decide to reduce it to radioactive grit...
>>I think it's quite enough to know that a meter is a bit more than a yard.
>>A centimeter is a little less than half an inch. A Kilometer is about
>>2/3 of a mile. (Or for more than a few, 5/8 is a closer fraction.) A
>>liter is a little more than a quart. A decilitre is a tad less than a
>>cup. It's really as easy as pie, and a lot easier than 3.1416.


For those of you who are SCARED of the metric system - Please dont be.
Neither system is "better", but I personally think that it makes a lot
of sense for the USA to stop being so pigheaded and just switch over,
as thoughtfully pointed out before.
There will be lots of whining at first, but people will get used to it.

I will provide a simple example using the both temperature scales.
Similar (easy) example could be made using distances or masses.

Very few of us can distinguish between 20 C (68 F) and 21 C (70 F) anyhow.
If you can get the "hang" of the table below, you will be well equipped
to understand this very simple (and logical) temperature system.

Really Cold -40 C -40 F
Cold -20 C -4 F
Freezing 0 C 32 F
Chilly 10 C 50 F
Nice 20 C 68 F
Warm 30 C 86 F
Body Temperature 37 C 98.6 F
Hot 40 C 104 F
Boiling 100 C 212 F

If you are really desperate for a sloppy equation of thumb.

deg_C = 0.5*(deg_F - 30); /* Not right, but close */

I just cant stand anti-metric whining.
Jock Christie