Whittet (
14 Oct 1995 19:45:20 GMT

In article <>, says...
>Wolf Read ( wrote:
>: David C. Wright wrote:
>: : Personally, I like the 15 Liters/Kilometer figure, resulting in a total
>: : consumption for the given trip of 457.5 liters (I don't even want to guess
>: : at what it would be in imperial). It was a bit dicey for about two years
>: : after Canada changed to metric, but I don't think anybody will *ever* want
>: : to go back. I find it amusing that, after Americans threw off most things
>: : British, they still cling to the Imperial system of weights and measures
>: : like it was a life-raft. Sooo difficult. I'm amazed they still don't use
>: : Chains and Furlongs (oops - they still do, don't they?).
>: You are so right. I firmly believe that the USA should trash the old
>: system and go metric. It's time for the change.
>: --
>: Wolf Read at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
>: LBNL refuses to recognize me. :)
>: "Distance is meaningless: It is the artificat of a limited mind."
>: --
>: Wolf Read <>
>Here, here (see my other posting on the same topic in sci.physics
>elsewhere). Having taught Physics for about 14 years using only the metric
>system in SI units, I can't believe the difficulties I remember having as a
>pupil in the late 1950s over here wrestling with the ergs, poundals, the
>dynes, the rods, poles, perches and that whole crazy paraphernalia.

It's not suprising that fifties science, which gave us nuclear weapons
and the cold war, has some difficulty understanding a system based on
powers of two. Multiplying warheads by a factor of ten
was so much more effective.

> It's
>just so much easier to handle the numbers in a base 10 system. And, so what
>if the French originated it!!? We've happily drunk their wine for long
>enough without too many problems. Of course, as I note elsewhere, the
>Romans used the mile as one thousand paces (mile as in milli), so even the
>French may have been a little derivative in their decisions about metric
>length and names.
>The Brits of course managed to wrestle
>from the French the meridian line. I don't know the story behind that but I
>have a vague memory of national prestige and maritime supremacy in the
>nineteenth century being in there somewhere.
The British may be willing to go along with doing all those distasteful
perverted French things
they expect to get paid enough for it to make it worth their while
and were probably inclined that way to begin with.

In America, we just expect the rest of you will eventually regain
some sense of decency.