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 28th December 2017, 05:58 AM #1 alexi_drago Graduate Poster   Join Date: Oct 2006 Posts: 1,341 Metric Vs imperial Inanother topic - huffpost area man uses basic math to work something out Someone has brought up usage of imperial units in the US, it is strange that in the UK we use miles for distance and stones/pounds for people's weight and feet/inches for people's height (and there are other examples) but at school, university and work I've only ever worked with metric and have no idea how to calculate or convert imperial units. For example, occasionally at work I have to calculate the weights of blocks given the dimensions in mm and the density in kg/m³ and to me that's done very easily, how easily can that be done by someone used to imperial units given dimensions in feet/inches/fractions of inch and density in pounds/foot³? __________________ The secret NASA doesn't want you to know - God makes rockets work in space.
 28th December 2017, 06:08 AM #2 Crossbow Seeking Honesty and Sanity     Join Date: Oct 2001 Location: Charleston, WV Posts: 11,593 Originally Posted by alexi_drago Inanother topic - huffpost area man uses basic math to work something out Someone has brought up usage of imperial units in the US, it is strange that in the UK we use miles for distance and stones/pounds for people's weight and feet/inches for people's height (and there are other examples) but at school, university and work I've only ever worked with metric and have no idea how to calculate or convert imperial units. For example, occasionally at work I have to calculate the weights of blocks given the dimensions in mm and the density in kg/m³ and to me that's done very easily, how easily can that be done by someone used to imperial units given dimensions in feet/inches/fractions of inch and density in pounds/foot³? The process is a bit tedious, but it can be done with accuracy. What I do is convert the feet, inches and fractions of an inch into decimal feet, then plug-and-chug. Once upon a time, I used a spread-sheet to make the conversions that way I could explicitly see each step. __________________ 08 JAN 2018 > Trump says that he is "Like, Really Smart" and that he is "a Very Stable Genius". 11 JAN 2018 > During an Oval Office meeting, Trump asks "“Why are we having all these people from ****hole countries come here?”" A man's best friend is his dogma.
 28th December 2017, 06:17 AM #3 alexi_drago Graduate Poster   Join Date: Oct 2006 Posts: 1,341 Thanks, I didn't doubt it could be done with accuracy, one thought I had was to convert everything into fractions but again, tedious, and wondered if there were particular methods to working with imperial units for calculating things like volumes. __________________ The secret NASA doesn't want you to know - God makes rockets work in space.
 28th December 2017, 06:43 AM #4 Crossbow Seeking Honesty and Sanity     Join Date: Oct 2001 Location: Charleston, WV Posts: 11,593 Originally Posted by alexi_drago Thanks, I didn't doubt it could be done with accuracy, one thought I had was to convert everything into fractions but again, tedious, and wondered if there were particular methods to working with imperial units for calculating things like volumes. The way I do such things is: Measurement Value > Feet - Inches - Inch Fractions To convert the above value to Decimal Feet use: Decimal Feet Measurement = (Feet) + (Inches)/12 + (Inch Fractions)/12 For example: Measurement Value = 12 feet, 5 3/16 inches Then, ... Decimal Feet Measurement = (12) + (5)/12 + (3/16)/12 Decimal Feet Measurement = (12.000) + (0.417) + (0.016) Decimal Feet = 12.432 I hope this helps. __________________ 08 JAN 2018 > Trump says that he is "Like, Really Smart" and that he is "a Very Stable Genius". 11 JAN 2018 > During an Oval Office meeting, Trump asks "“Why are we having all these people from ****hole countries come here?”" A man's best friend is his dogma.
 28th December 2017, 06:56 AM #5 alexi_drago Graduate Poster   Join Date: Oct 2006 Posts: 1,341 Thanks again, is that a common method and is it common historically? And are there measuring instruments (rulers tapes micrometers etc) that measure decimal feet? __________________ The secret NASA doesn't want you to know - God makes rockets work in space.
 28th December 2017, 07:07 AM #6 rwguinn Penultimate Amazing     Join Date: Apr 2003 Location: 16 miles from 7 lakes Posts: 11,008 Originally Posted by alexi_drago Thanks again, is that a common method and is it common historically? And are there measuring instruments (rulers tapes micrometers etc) that measure decimal feet? Yes. We used them all the time in the oil drilling game. They are available. But why bother? Everybody has a calculator on them if they have a cell phone. (A hint for conversions; do the calculations in whatever units you are given, THEN convert to whatever you need. Helps prevent inaccuracies from cerrping in) __________________ "Political correctness is a doctrine,...,which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end." "I pointed out that his argument was wrong in every particular, but he rightfully took me to task for attacking only the weak points." Myriad http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?postid=6853275#post6853275
 28th December 2017, 07:09 AM #7 Crossbow Seeking Honesty and Sanity     Join Date: Oct 2001 Location: Charleston, WV Posts: 11,593 Originally Posted by alexi_drago Thanks again, is that a common method and is it common historically? And are there measuring instruments (rulers tapes micrometers etc) that measure decimal feet? Of course. When I am on the job, I often use a tape measure where one side is graduated in feet, inches, and fractions of an inch and the other side of the tape is graduated in feet and hundredths of a foot. __________________ 08 JAN 2018 > Trump says that he is "Like, Really Smart" and that he is "a Very Stable Genius". 11 JAN 2018 > During an Oval Office meeting, Trump asks "“Why are we having all these people from ****hole countries come here?”" A man's best friend is his dogma. Last edited by Crossbow; 28th December 2017 at 07:56 AM. Reason: Typo correction
 28th December 2017, 07:13 AM #8 Monza Alta Viro     Join Date: Jan 2005 Posts: 2,021 As an engineer in the US, we have to work with both Imperial and SI units. We have several suppliers in the US that will use Imperial units for fabrication drawings, and then our customers are mostly international and require interface dimensions in SI. Certainly, the metric system is much easier to use and requires less rote memorization for conversion. Crossbow's method above is correct and how I deal with the units. There are 12 inches in a foot, three feet in a yard, 5280 feet in a mile. It's not the most useful system. Then you get into pound force and pound mass, the use of slugs (which most Americans are not even aware of). I wish the US would have followed through with the conversion to metric in the '70s.
 28th December 2017, 08:38 AM #9 Trebuchet Penultimate Amazing     Join Date: Nov 2003 Location: The Great Northwet Posts: 15,568 I can do a lot of conversions reasonably accurately in my head. That said, I have apps on both my phone and PC that will do it simply and accurately. A British ex-pat co-worker taught me a neat trick for C to F: Double it. Subtract 10%. Add 32. That's actually exactly correct. The other direction is a bit more complicated. __________________ Cum catapultae proscribeantur tum soli proscripti catapultas habeant.
 28th December 2017, 10:52 AM #10 The Norseman Meandering fecklessly     Join Date: Dec 2008 Posts: 7,467 Originally Posted by Monza As an engineer in the US, we have to work with both Imperial and SI units. We have several suppliers in the US that will use Imperial units for fabrication drawings, and then our customers are mostly international and require interface dimensions in SI. Certainly, the metric system is much easier to use and requires less rote memorization for conversion. Crossbow's method above is correct and how I deal with the units. There are 12 inches in a foot, three feet in a yard, 5280 feet in a mile. It's not the most useful system. Then you get into pound force and pound mass, the use of slugs (which most Americans are not even aware of). I wish the US would have followed through with the conversion to metric in the '70s. I think that really depends on what you're working on or working with. Joinery/carpentry for example is far easier and more intuitive with inches/fractions/ratios than metric. Conversions between measurements and working a lot with mathematics, metric rules the roost.
 28th December 2017, 11:27 AM #11 Trebuchet Penultimate Amazing     Join Date: Nov 2003 Location: The Great Northwet Posts: 15,568 When I'm King of the World (KotW) (TM), we'll stop counting on our fingers and use Octal. It makes much more sense and common fractions work perfectly. __________________ Cum catapultae proscribeantur tum soli proscripti catapultas habeant.
 28th December 2017, 05:34 PM #12 rjh01 Gentleman of leisure Tagger     Join Date: May 2005 Location: Flying around in the sky Posts: 23,435 Originally Posted by Trebuchet When I'm King of the World (KotW) (TM), we'll stop counting on our fingers and use Octal. It makes much more sense and common fractions work perfectly. Make that hex. It is what computers convert their binary to when they cannot convert to decimal. __________________ http://rsi.org.au/ http://www.2xxfm.org.au/
 29th December 2017, 05:44 AM #13 alexi_drago Graduate Poster   Join Date: Oct 2006 Posts: 1,341 Originally Posted by rjh01 Make that hex. It is what computers convert their binary to when they cannot convert to decimal. There's a few reasons hex is used, each hex digit corresponds directly to 4 bits so if you know the bit patterns for 0-F it's easy to go between binary and hex in your head, not so easy with decimal and binary, also hex just requires 2 digits per byte and is easier to read and input than binary or decimal which is why you get hex editors. Things like addressing and memory maps make much more sense in hex too. If you're working with 24 or 32 bit colour values, each pair of hex digits correspond to the RGB channels, it would be a nightmare trying to work with those colour values in decimal. __________________ The secret NASA doesn't want you to know - God makes rockets work in space.
 29th December 2017, 08:07 AM #14 Trebuchet Penultimate Amazing     Join Date: Nov 2003 Location: The Great Northwet Posts: 15,568 Hex requires new number digits. Using alpha characters would confuse the public. For octal, we just need to teach people that thumbs are not fingers. Or amputate the pinky from every newborn for a couple of generations. It's only useful for extending when you hold a teacup anyway. The one "Imperial" measure I strongly prefer is Fahrenheit. The range of zero to 100 nicely approximates the normal range of temperatures in temperate climes. And the gradations in Celsius are too coarse. Anyhow, Celsius himself wanted zero to be hot and 100 cold. __________________ Cum catapultae proscribeantur tum soli proscripti catapultas habeant.
 29th December 2017, 11:21 AM #15 CORed Philosopher   Join Date: Dec 2008 Location: Central City, Colorado, USA Posts: 7,701 Originally Posted by Monza As an engineer in the US, we have to work with both Imperial and SI units. We have several suppliers in the US that will use Imperial units for fabrication drawings, and then our customers are mostly international and require interface dimensions in SI. Certainly, the metric system is much easier to use and requires less rote memorization for conversion. Crossbow's method above is correct and how I deal with the units. There are 12 inches in a foot, three feet in a yard, 5280 feet in a mile. It's not the most useful system. Then you get into pound force and pound mass, the use of slugs (which most Americans are not even aware of). I wish the US would have followed through with the conversion to metric in the '70s. The one thing Jimmy Carter got right and it unfortunately went nowhere. I even remember some right-wingers claiming conversion to metric was a Communist plot. I think it's slightly more likely that the opposition to it was a Communist plot to keep us handicapped by using a crappy system of measurement.
 29th December 2017, 01:20 PM #16 ddt Mafia Penguin     Join Date: Dec 2007 Location: Netherlands Posts: 18,343 Originally Posted by alexi_drago There's a few reasons hex is used, each hex digit corresponds directly to 4 bits so if you know the bit patterns for 0-F it's easy to go between binary and hex in your head, not so easy with decimal and binary, also hex just requires 2 digits per byte and is easier to read and input than binary or decimal which is why you get hex editors. Things like addressing and memory maps make much more sense in hex too. If you're working with 24 or 32 bit colour values, each pair of hex digits correspond to the RGB channels, it would be a nightmare trying to work with those colour values in decimal. And hex fits better than octal because one byte fits exactly in 2 hex digits, a 16-bit word in 4 hex digits and so on. There's one notable exception: PDP-11 machine language. The PDP-11 had 8 registers and 8 addressing modes which were each coded as a sequence of 3 bits, so writing out the value of an instruction in octal neatly gave you one octal digit for the (source or target) register and one octal digit for the addressing mode. __________________ Founder of the group "The Truth about Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu aka Mother Teresa" "I think it is very beautiful for the poor to accept their lot, to share it with the passion of Christ. I think the world is being much helped by the suffering of the poor people." - "Saint" Teresa, the lying thieving Albanian dwarf
 29th December 2017, 01:32 PM #17 rjh01 Gentleman of leisure Tagger     Join Date: May 2005 Location: Flying around in the sky Posts: 23,435 Originally Posted by Trebuchet Hex requires new number digits. Using alpha characters would confuse the public. For octal, we just need to teach people that thumbs are not fingers. Or amputate the pinky from every newborn for a couple of generations. It's only useful for extending when you hold a teacup anyway. The one "Imperial" measure I strongly prefer is Fahrenheit. The range of zero to 100 nicely approximates the normal range of temperatures in temperate climes. And the gradations in Celsius are too coarse. Anyhow, Celsius himself wanted zero to be hot and 100 cold. I do not see it as a major issue in inventing new digits. As for counting on fingers you just count using your joints on your fingers and thumb (5 X 3) + your hand joint of your left hand. No need to use your right hand for anything other than pointing. __________________ http://rsi.org.au/ http://www.2xxfm.org.au/
 29th December 2017, 01:38 PM #18 abaddon Penultimate Amazing     Join Date: Feb 2011 Posts: 17,384 Originally Posted by alexi_drago Inanother topic - huffpost area man uses basic math to work something out Someone has brought up usage of imperial units in the US, it is strange that in the UK we use miles for distance and stones/pounds for people's weight and feet/inches for people's height (and there are other examples) but at school, university and work I've only ever worked with metric and have no idea how to calculate or convert imperial units. For example, occasionally at work I have to calculate the weights of blocks given the dimensions in mm and the density in kg/m³ and to me that's done very easily, how easily can that be done by someone used to imperial units given dimensions in feet/inches/fractions of inch and density in pounds/foot³? I'm old enough to have learned both, but in practice it is metric all the way. __________________ Who is General Failure? And why is he reading my hard drive?
 29th December 2017, 01:48 PM #19 Senex Philosopher     Join Date: Mar 2007 Posts: 5,391 Originally Posted by abaddon I'm old enough to have learned both, but in practice it is metric all the way. I was in school when President Carter tried to change us over to that European mumbo jumbo metric system. I took pride in doing my part to see that stupid ass system was sent packing. The rest of the world should just go American. That crap system never sent a man to the moon or stopped the Germans.
 29th December 2017, 02:04 PM #20 rdaneel Illuminator     Join Date: Oct 2003 Location: I'M IN THE PHONEBOOK! I'M SOMEBODY!!! Posts: 3,467 Originally Posted by rjh01 I do not see it as a major issue in inventing new digits. As for counting on fingers you just count using your joints on your fingers and thumb (5 X 3) + your hand joint of your left hand. No need to use your right hand for anything other than pointing. You have 3 joints on your thumb? __________________ "Let me guess, my theories appall you, my heresies outrage you, I never answer letters, and you don't like my tie." - The Doctor "Any sufficiently analyzed magic is indistinguishable from Science!" - Agatha Heterodyne "Million to one chances crop up nine times out of ten." - Terry Pratchett
 29th December 2017, 02:09 PM #21 abaddon Penultimate Amazing     Join Date: Feb 2011 Posts: 17,384 Originally Posted by rdaneel You have 3 joints on your thumb? Everyone does. Some are unaware of it. Without it, your thumb would not be opposable. __________________ Who is General Failure? And why is he reading my hard drive? Last edited by abaddon; 29th December 2017 at 02:11 PM.
 29th December 2017, 02:13 PM #22 rdaneel Illuminator     Join Date: Oct 2003 Location: I'M IN THE PHONEBOOK! I'M SOMEBODY!!! Posts: 3,467 Originally Posted by abaddon Everyone does. Some are unaware of it. Without it, your thumb would not be opposable. Ack, Nevermind then. __________________ "Let me guess, my theories appall you, my heresies outrage you, I never answer letters, and you don't like my tie." - The Doctor "Any sufficiently analyzed magic is indistinguishable from Science!" - Agatha Heterodyne "Million to one chances crop up nine times out of ten." - Terry Pratchett
 29th December 2017, 02:18 PM #23 GodMark2 Master Poster     Join Date: Oct 2005 Location: Oregon, USA Posts: 2,023 Please, each hand obviously comes equipped for a 4 digit magnitude with a sign bit, two hands have 8 bit magnitude, 1 sign, and 1 overflow/underflow. Directly translatable into hexadecimal. As for feet and yards, they've been defined in terms of meters since 1959. So, we're all using the metric system anyway, just with added obfuscation. __________________ Knowing that we do not know, it does not necessarily follow that we can not know.
 29th December 2017, 02:32 PM #24 abaddon Penultimate Amazing     Join Date: Feb 2011 Posts: 17,384 Originally Posted by rdaneel Ack, Nevermind then. It isn't exactly obvious compared to the other digits on one's hand. It is, however easy to demonstrate. Using only the two obvious thumb joints, touch each of your other fingertips on one of either hand, left or right. One cannot without using the thumbs third joint. It's an odd bit of anatomical trivia. What I found odd about it was that even making the attempt using just the two obvious thumb joints formed my hand into a pose I have seen before, in chimpanzees. Try it, it's a bit strange. To me, it reinforced our common ancestor. __________________ Who is General Failure? And why is he reading my hard drive?
 29th December 2017, 09:54 PM #25 grmcdorman Graduate Poster   Join Date: Mar 2007 Posts: 1,209 Originally Posted by ddt And hex fits better than octal because one byte fits exactly in 2 hex digits, a 16-bit word in 4 hex digits and so on. There's one notable exception: PDP-11 machine language. The PDP-11 had 8 registers and 8 addressing modes which were each coded as a sequence of 3 bits, so writing out the value of an instruction in octal neatly gave you one octal digit for the (source or target) register and one octal digit for the addressing mode. There's another exception. The UNIVAC (subsequently Sperry Univac, then Sperry, now UNISYS) mainframes (1100 series) had 36-bit words; octal was always used for binary data. Neither hex nor octal is an exact fit, of course, and the design is so old (yes, it's still used, I believe, in a few shrinking markets) that hex was unheard of anyway. Original character set was 6 bit (no lower case); "bytes" are 9 bit. Did quite a bit of assembly programming on them back in the late 80s, including a stint working on the first C compiler for them. __________________ "Hello. My name is Inigo Skywalker. You are my father. Prepare to die."
 29th December 2017, 10:26 PM #26 JoeMorgue Self Employed Remittance Man     Join Date: Nov 2009 Location: Florida Posts: 9,704 Oh come on it's not our fault, pirates stole our meter. No seriously in 1793 an official "Meter" was sent from Paris to Thomas Jefferson, then the Secretary of State and a fan of the metric system. But, through various shenanigans involving storms and shipwrecks and pirates, the Meter never made it to us. (FTR, I'm a proponent of the United States adopting the metric system.) __________________ (Formally JoeBentley) "Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset, Se7en "Hating a bad thing does not make you good." - David Wong
 30th December 2017, 02:22 AM #27 fagin Philosopher     Join Date: Aug 2007 Location: As far away from casebro as possible. Posts: 5,519 Metre, please. __________________ There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda
 30th December 2017, 03:03 AM #28 3point14 Pi     Join Date: Nov 2005 Posts: 14,205 Originally Posted by fagin Metre, please. Well we can try it in iambic, but I'm not sure that's going to help the discussion. __________________ What I say above is what I mean. Don't go looking for subtext, it isn't there, don't try to read between the lines, there's nothing to read. If some of what I read doesn't seem to make sense, please ask.
 30th December 2017, 03:09 AM #29 Trebuchet Penultimate Amazing     Join Date: Nov 2003 Location: The Great Northwet Posts: 15,568 Originally Posted by fagin Metre, please. You say "litre", I say "quart". __________________ Cum catapultae proscribeantur tum soli proscripti catapultas habeant.
 30th December 2017, 03:24 AM #30 Octavo Illuminator     Join Date: Jun 2007 Location: South Africa Posts: 3,296 Originally Posted by Trebuchet You say "litre", I say "quart". You say quart, I say 750 milliliters. __________________ This signature is intended to imitate people.
 30th December 2017, 03:26 AM #31 a_unique_person Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning     Join Date: Jul 2002 Location: Waiting for the pod bay door to open. Posts: 38,463 Originally Posted by CORed The one thing Jimmy Carter got right and it unfortunately went nowhere. I even remember some right-wingers claiming conversion to metric was a Communist plot. I think it's slightly more likely that the opposition to it was a Communist plot to keep us handicapped by using a crappy system of measurement. He got more right than that but the Hate Carter campaign worked magnificently. __________________ Continually pushing the boundaries of mediocrity. Everything is possible, but not everything is probable. For if a man pretend to me that God hath spoken to him supernaturally, and immediately, and I make doubt of it, I cannot easily perceive what argument he can produce to oblige me to believe it. Hobbes
 30th December 2017, 03:30 AM #32 alfaniner Penultimate Amazing     Join Date: Aug 2001 Posts: 17,727 For what it's worth, with the wind chill it's going to be 40 degrees below zero in my area this weekend. C or F, you say? Doesn't matter, they're the same! __________________ Science is self-correcting. Woo is self-contradicting.
 30th December 2017, 10:00 AM #33 paulhutch Master Poster   Join Date: Mar 2010 Location: Blackstone River Valley, MA Posts: 2,121 Originally Posted by rjh01 Make that hex. It is what computers convert their binary to when they cannot convert to decimal. All the microprocessors and micro-controllers currently used in volume exclusively use binary because they can only efficiently and accurately store electrical or magnetic fields in two states. Decimal, hexadecimal, octal, etc, are only used by the humans who input numeric values to the computers, where they are promptly stored and manipulated by the micro in binary.
 30th December 2017, 11:15 AM #34 WhatRoughBeast Graduate Poster   Join Date: Apr 2011 Posts: 1,255 Originally Posted by Trebuchet When I'm King of the World (KotW) (TM), we'll stop counting on our fingers and use Octal. It makes much more sense and common fractions work perfectly. I can tell you don't cook much. 1/3 (or 2/3) of a cup is a "common fraction".
 30th December 2017, 12:13 PM #35 cullennz Embarrasingly illiterate     Join Date: Sep 2006 Posts: 12,945 Nautical measurements have always done my head in Knots. Fathoms. Leagues etc __________________ I generally oppose gun control, but I support the ban on assault weapons and I support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun. With today’s Internet technology we should be able to tell within 72-hours if a potential gun owner has a record. Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p.102 , Jul 2, 2000
 30th December 2017, 01:49 PM #36 GodMark2 Master Poster     Join Date: Oct 2005 Location: Oregon, USA Posts: 2,023 Originally Posted by Octavo You say quart, I say 750 milliliters. That's a fifth, not a quart. __________________ Knowing that we do not know, it does not necessarily follow that we can not know.
 30th December 2017, 02:34 PM #37 rjh01 Gentleman of leisure Tagger     Join Date: May 2005 Location: Flying around in the sky Posts: 23,435 Let us compare the two systems. Starting with length. Imperial 12 inches make a foot 3 feet make a yard 1760 yards make a mile Metric 1000mm make a meter 100cm make a meter 1000 meters make a kilometer All common measurements. Yet one uses almost random numbers to convert and the other uses powers of 10. That is one advantage of metric. I could use almost any type of measurement and my argument would still work. Then how do you express a length? In imperial it might 2 feet 5 inches. In metric it would 1.24 meters. __________________ http://rsi.org.au/ http://www.2xxfm.org.au/
 30th December 2017, 04:14 PM #38 fagin Philosopher     Join Date: Aug 2007 Location: As far away from casebro as possible. Posts: 5,519 No it would be 73 and a bit cm. __________________ There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda
 31st December 2017, 01:17 AM #39 GlennB Loggerheaded, earth-vexing fustilarian     Join Date: Sep 2006 Location: Pie City, Arcadia Posts: 22,108 I was raised on Imperial, but science at school/Uni was all metric so I'm happy in both systems. Apart from temperatures, where °F no longer mean very much to me. BBC World News slowly flips the numbers in C and F for their N American weather forecasts and I'm always a little surprised at the C-to-F conversion. __________________ "Even a broken clock is right twice a day. 9/11 truth is a clock with no hands." - Beachnut
 31st December 2017, 01:46 AM #40 Senex Philosopher     Join Date: Mar 2007 Posts: 5,391 Originally Posted by GlennB I was raised on Imperial, but science at school/Uni was all metric so I'm happy in both systems. Yes, their first victory is getting you to state you are happy in both systems. Stop being a pawn.

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