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Loose rivets
18th Dec 2008, 06:54
This was posted on a radio tec forum by a certain 'Pete'. However, it come complete with an aviation link, so I don't feel too bad about the re-promulgation.




When I Was Bound an Apprentice, I Learnt To Use My Hands,
Folk Never Talked Of Measures That Came From Far Off Lands.
Now I'm A British Workman Too Old To Go To School,
So Whether Chisel Or File I Hold,
I'll stick To My Three Foot Rule.

Some Talk of Millimetres and Some of Kilograms,
And Some of Decilitres to Measure Beer and Drams.
But I'm A British Workman Too Old To Go To School,
So By Pounds Iíll eat and By Quarts Iíll drink,
And Work By My Three Foot Rule.

A Party of Astronomers Went Measuring Of the Earth,
And Forty Million Meters They Took To Be its Girth.
Five Hundred Million Inches Though,
Go Through From Pole To Pole.
So Letís Stick To Inches, Feet and Yards,
And The Good Ole Three Foot Rule.

The Great Egyptian Pyramids A Thousand Yards About,
And When The Masons Finished It They Raised A Joyful Shout.
The Chap That Planned That Building,
I'm told He Was No Fool,
And now `Tis Proved Beyond a Doubt,
That He Used A Three Foot Rule.

Here's a Health to Every Learned Man,
That Goes By Common Sense,
And Would Not Plague the Workman on Any Vain Pretence,
But As For Those Philanthropists,
Who'd send us Back To School,
Oh! Bless Their Eyes If They Ever Tries,
To Put Down The Three Foot Rule.



I (Pete) first saw this on the wall in the Design dept of Hawker Siddley (now BAE) where my late father worked.I copied it and now have it on my workshop wall!

V2-OMG!
18th Dec 2008, 07:27
Do you realize that ever male member on this forum is now going to glance downward....
and feel terribly inadequate???

Blacksheep
18th Dec 2008, 08:56
And now `Tis Proved Beyond a Doubt,
That He Used A Three Foot Rule.Nah! Old Amenhetop didn't go for these new fangled three foot measures, he stuck to the good old fashioned cubit rod that his grandfather gave him when he graduated from masonry school.

"Boy, fetch me the yardstick!" " Aye Sire, right way! But do you want the buying stick or the selling stick?"

BlueDiamond
18th Dec 2008, 09:23
What possible problem could anyone have with a system where everything is in multiples of ten? Nothing could be easier. Try converting 41 yards to inches in your head, then try converting 41 metres to centimetres. It will take you less time to do the second calculation in your head (2 or 3 seconds) than it will to do the first. In fact you could do it in less time than it would take to key the first few figures of the Imperial measurements into a calculator!

Easiest sytem in the world to work with.

tony draper
18th Dec 2008, 09:29
Yer that's why all they furriners are illiterate and inumerate Madam Bluey,they can only work in tens,one blames the increased stupidity level evident in our young on the decimal system.
:E

Davaar
18th Dec 2008, 09:32
What possible problem could anyone have with a system where everything is in multiples of ten?

One person may have been whoever designed, manufactured, filled and sold to me the four-can pack of Perrier, each can containing 330 mll, that now reposes in the refrigerator.

woollcott
18th Dec 2008, 09:36
Quick question for the imperial neanderthals - how many feet in a mile?

Blacksheep
18th Dec 2008, 09:38
5,280.

Thats 63,360 inches.

henry crun
18th Dec 2008, 09:38
Which mile, nautical or statute ?

tony draper
18th Dec 2008, 09:44
Men went to the Moon in Feet per second,they burned fuel in lbs and their vehicle weighed 3200 tons at take off and stood 310 feet tall,**** metrics,it's for lazy planks.
:rolleyes:

Blacksheep
18th Dec 2008, 09:47
...which is 160,934.40 centimeters.

which is 1,609.344 meters.

Dead logical the metric system.

I remember the candela being the luminous intensity, in a given direction, of a source that emits monochromatic radiation of frequency 540◊1012 hertz and that has a radiant intensity in that direction of 1/683 watt per steradian. Or in simple terms the light emitted by one square centimeter of a black body radiator at the temperature of freezing platinum. It replaced the archaic Imperial measure of candlepower - one candlepower being the light produced by a pure spermaceti candle weighing one sixth of a pound and burning at a rate of 120 grains per hour.

Parapunter
18th Dec 2008, 09:47
One always remembers the famous quote from That's life:

- What do you think of the new metric system?

- I think they should wait until all the old people have died first.

tony draper
18th Dec 2008, 10:01
Yer, and the beings that replace us will need no system of measurement,suffice to know they are sitting three meters up a tree grunting and picking nits off each other.
They are halfway there already.
:rolleyes:

Blacksheep
18th Dec 2008, 10:08
Anyhow, the metric people don't count in tens, otherwise we'd be using decimeters instead of centimeters, one hundred of which make up a meter. Only the legendary Spaghetti Monster has a hundred fingers.

I liked inches because we divided them up using halfs, fourths, eighths, sixteenths, thirty-seconds, sixty-fourths etc. Which is REALLY logical.

Binary even... ;)

Shack37
18th Dec 2008, 10:36
At school in the 50s I did metric AND imperial and we memorised the conversion tables, 2.54cm=1", 1m=39.36" etc so never a problem using either/or. This was in Norn Irn of course where standards were higher.:8

s37

sisemen
18th Dec 2008, 11:04
http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c92/allan907/Renaissance.jpg

and of course under metric rules you get this....

http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c92/allan907/uglybuilding.jpg

....apparently it's a theatre (!) in Devon - not a power station :ugh:

ShyTorque
18th Dec 2008, 11:09
When decimal currency came to UK I was in my teens and had a paper delivery round. I had to collect money on the saturday. I gave one old lady her change in the new decimal coins. She looked at me with narrowed eyes and said:

"This decimal currency will never catch on around here, you know!" :suspect:

Davaar
18th Dec 2008, 12:40
I've said it before and no doubt I'll say it again: I like the traditional American system: Regular, King Size, and Giant Economy. Works for me. And while I am at it, I have some gut-understanding of "miles per gallon". I buy the stuff in gallons, and one gallon will take me, by and large (nautical allusion) a given distance. What in the Hell am I to make of litres per kilometre (have I got that right? or is it per 100 km? Both equally meaningless)? Whatever may be intended, sure doesn't work. I do not plan my driving in units of 100 km. Does anyone? I blame the French. And da Leeberal, especially that SOB Trudeau.

woollcott
18th Dec 2008, 12:50
5,280.

Thats 63,360 inches.

Now someone please explain where this number came from
I know the basis for the metric system - very straight forward but 5280?
Who pulled that number out of their arse?

I have inflicted on myself the joys of vintage British vehicle restoration for many a year and it just makes you want to :ugh:- they weren't just imperial, they were the most complicated form of imperial possible.......
Its just an excuse to make things complicated..................

Lon More
18th Dec 2008, 12:53
Who pulled that number out of their arse?

I blame the Romans

Davaar
18th Dec 2008, 13:01
Now someone please explain where this number came from
I know the basis for the metric system - very straight forward but 5280?
Who pulled that number out of their arse?


The Imperial system is human, the metric system artificially scientific. One does not set out to walk 5280 feet but a mile, which as the word tells you is 1000 paces. A foot is the convenient measure for making a chair or a table. Guess where it comes from. A fathom is the spread of two arms. And so it goes. No matter which system ones uses, the use of the measure for a large unit is inconvenient for a small unit and vice versa. That is why people sell me cans of fluid in 330 ml units. I do not want 1000 ml. The cans used to be 7 fluid ounces. Still are, of course, but Hey! 330 ml is so much more satisfying to say than 7 fluid ounces. Or oz.

GrumpyOldFart
18th Dec 2008, 13:33
Try converting 41 yards to inches in your head



Errrrm... why would you want to, Blooey?


:confused:




And, of course, we have calculators up here in civilisation... :E

tony draper
18th Dec 2008, 13:48
It's a doddle, 360x4+36.we didn't have calculators if they had existed then we would have been thrashed within a inch of our lives for using one at school.
That is exactly the kind of thing we would have been asked to do in our heads,not even chalk and slate allowed.
:rolleyes:

Burnt Fishtrousers
18th Dec 2008, 13:56
In the UK We still have the mentality that if its big its miles, if its small its mm and M
If its drinkable or our car consumes it, its pints and gallons (apart from sump oil which is strictly litres of course) and of course engine size in CC or litres.

So its your 2L car does 35miles to the gallon, the kitchen unit worktop standard width is 600mm and your TV screen/penis/wifes chest size size is "X" inches ...I'm off for a half litre of 6X and to smoke an oz of rough shag outside in 4 degree Celcuis temperatures

o-OK Mr Dorfman was that metres orrrr Yaaards

Blacksheep
18th Dec 2008, 14:09
Who pulled that number out of their arse? The meter is of course a nice logical and scientifically based unit. Perfect in form, fit and function.

Originally the French wanted to make it the length of a pendulum with a half period of one second.

After they discovered that gravity is not a constant over the whole of the earth, they decided it was one ten-millionth of the length of the meridian through Paris from pole to the equator.

Later when they discovered that the earth is an oblate spheroid rather than a sphere, they re-defined it again several times in terms of lumps of platinum-iridium alloy.

Then, presumably in deference to Superman, it was once more redefined upon the wavelength of krypton-86 radiation, but there were difficulties in actually measuring this phenomenom.

So, it now stands defined as the length of the path travelled by light in vacuum during a time interval of 1/299 792 458 of a second.

...and so it shall remain. Until they discover a problem with the caesium atom that helps to define the duration of a second and change their minds again.

sisemen
18th Dec 2008, 14:15
Try explaining the reading of the thingy that measures how far your car has gone when you try to sell it. Or claiming for distance travelled.

Odometerage :yuk:

Kilometerage :yuk:

Stockpicker
18th Dec 2008, 14:18
Who pulled that number out of their arse?

George the Second said with a smile
Seventeen-sixty yards in a mile

T'rest is yer three times table....... :p

Dop
18th Dec 2008, 14:19
I seem to remember hearing somewhere that during the design of Concorde all the British engineers worked in Imperial measures, all the French engineers worked in Metric, and when they put it all together everything fitted perfectly.

Is that true?

tony draper
18th Dec 2008, 14:24
Actually Mr B the French took the Metre from the English Cloth Yard which is three inches longer than the standard yard,and we sent them plenty of Cloth Yard Shafts to work from.
:E

Blacksheep
18th Dec 2008, 14:48
Ah yes, the buying yard.
I remember it well.
The buying yard had copper tips, the three inch shorter yard used for selling had brass.

Then there were the holes drilled and tapped in the base of the weights and, in the compartment at the bottom, the matching slugs for screwing into them when the W & M man was due.

The origin of "short selling" on futures I presume. ;)

..and there are still people who believe they can get a bargain at the market. :hmm:

Matari
18th Dec 2008, 16:17
But not your acres, according to, of course, an EU Commission which decides these things...
"The parliamentary vote assures that milk bottles and draught beer may be sold as pints and road signs marked in miles, under a special deal for Britain and Ireland."
EU allows pints and miles to stay on in metric world - but the acre is going - Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/3797670/EU-allows-pints-and-miles-to-stay-on-in-metric-world---but-the-acre-is-going.html)

chuks
18th Dec 2008, 16:40
Their mile was different from ours.

Also, usually there were 80 men in a Roman Century, not 100.

For another one, September, October, November and December are not the seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth months.

Blame this on lead frying pans if you want to blame it on anything, or just tell me why your British hundredweight (cwt.) has 114 pounds in it, hmm? What, they throw a stone on the pile as lagniapp?

Once you have lived with decimal for a while I think you will find that imperial is inferior. Sorry! I can do litres per 100 kilometres very easily but miles per gallon... you cannot easily get there from here! I know it is four quarts per gallon but pints, gills and all that... You have liquid ounces and troy ounces... Fageddaboudit!

Centigrade is another one. I talk to my people back in the States and tell them it gets up to 50į in the desert, when that is when they put on a sweater. Well, no, being Yanks that would be when they turn up the central heating!

On the other hand, nautical units for flying, knots and nautical miles, fit very well. You can keep that metres per second for laboratory use.

Confusion creeps in depending on what ICAO table your region uses, though. You end up with an unholy mess, statute and nautical miles, metres and feet and God knows what, all co-habiting uneasily together. If something has to go let it be Imperial.

Back when Britain still had a motorcycle industry I bought some Whitworth spanners. I was left looking at this enormous thing marked "3/8-inch" thinking someone must have been at the rough scrumpy there!

tony draper
18th Dec 2008, 16:41
**** the EU and the horse they rode in on,height measured in hands,:rolleyes:

brickhistory
18th Dec 2008, 16:45
**** the EU and the horse they rode in on,height measured in hands,

What they couldn't do with panzers and mounted knights (time periods freely mixed is hereby acknowledged), they're doing via the EU.

And you're letting them.

"Lie back and think of England" indeed.

Shack37
18th Dec 2008, 16:51
Blame this on lead frying pans if you want to blame it on anything, or just tell me why your British hundredweight (cwt.) has 114 pounds in it, hmm? What, they throw a stone on the pile as lagniapp?


CWT=112lbs. Everything else agreed.:ok:

forget
18th Dec 2008, 17:11
And letís hear it for the Cubit. :D:D Not the average length of an Egyptian armpit but the once specific linear measure of 18.24 inches, and with magical properties. One Radian, 57.3 degrees divided by one Cubit = 3.141, Pi.

For navigational purposes the Earth is divided into 360 degrees longitude, with each degree divided into 60 minutes, and each minute divided into sixty seconds.

One minute of arc, from the centre of the earth, is 6,080 of today's feet, or 72,960 inches. 72,960 divided by 18.24 = 4,000. So a minute of arc is the clumsy number of 6,080 feet, or exactly 4,000 Cubits. The equatorial circumference of the Earth is 131,328,000 feet, or 86,400,000 Cubits. Taking this further, 1,000 Cubits is precisely the distance traversed by an overhead sun in one second of time.

Other connections seem to suggest that 18.24 is anything but a 'normal' number. The circumference of the Earth is 131,328,000 feet. At some time in history the original navigators saw it as 86,400,000 Cubits, which happens to be, divided by one thousand, the number of seconds in a day. Perfect correlation between time and distance, the two major elements of navigation.

Bring back the Cubit.:D:D

Davaar
18th Dec 2008, 17:35
If its drinkable or our car consumes it, its pints and gallons (apart from sump oil which is strictly litres of course)

Exactly so; and going back to the British cars I had in auld lang syne, the consumption of oil exceeded the consumption of fuel.

Matari
18th Dec 2008, 18:08
Forget:

I love that "cubit" stuff...reminds me of the "golden mean."

The Golden Mean (http://www.vashti.net/mceinc/golden.htm)

Fascinating, the intersection of art and mathematics...

Mac the Knife
18th Dec 2008, 18:16
So why doesn't a circle now have 100 degrees?

What's with this old fashioned 360 stuff?

:hmm:

tony draper
18th Dec 2008, 18:54
Hmmm,and why do computers reckon a 1000 is 1024.:rolleyes:

Crosshair
18th Dec 2008, 21:28
I am building a four-meter skiff (called a 12-footer out of tradition, but the plans are all in metric).

The first step: Build a model.

As the plans are all in metric, making a 1/10-scale model is trivial.

Beats having to buy a special 3/4-inch-to-the-foot rule from the hobby shop to scale down traditional measurements.

woollcott
19th Dec 2008, 00:53
One does not set out to walk 5280 feet but a mile, which as the word tells you is 1000 paces. A foot is the convenient measure for making a chair or a table. Guess where it comes from. A fathom is the spread of two arms.


Bollocks. Your length of pace is not my length of pace. Your foot is not 12" long. Your arm span is not my arm span.

It might have been OK in the 18th century but standardisation in a modern world is a neccessity.

The British have always made things overly complicated, just for the sake of it. It simply defies logic and common sense.

Davaar
19th Dec 2008, 02:10
Bollocks.

Ah! The literal mind, inescapable, with all its lightness, subtlety and wit.

Davaar
19th Dec 2008, 02:16
What, they throw a stone on the pile as lagniapp?


No. A stone is 14 lbs.

Loose rivets
19th Dec 2008, 06:45
When building a cathedral, first build the stone hut that will house the rod. It's very valuable. But, don't order yer stones from the next town by messenger. Their rod could be well out...but they'd say it was your rod at fault.

Wonder how anything ever got built.


"Pillars of the Earth" and other tales from the days of Yore.

Blacksheep
19th Dec 2008, 08:42
Bollocks. Your length of pace is not my length of pace.It certainly is if you've ever been in the military!

Like all wearers of the Veterans Badge, I still stride an 18" pace at exactly 120 steps per minute (except for the Guards at 100 and Light Infantry Regiments at 180) - as measured out by the trusty pace sticks of Corporal "Jock" Bailey and Sergeant "Dino" Stoneman. Every Drill Instructor in the British military is issued with a copy of the Drill Manual, the Drill Instructor's Official Joke Book and their very own Standard Mahogany Pace Stick with brass fittings ("Stick, paces for the measuring of" as it is described in the MOD Stores Catalogue).

Its the origin of the expression "drilled into you" and it was started as far as we can tell by the Romans with their straight roads and their milestones every thousand paces.

Davaar
19th Dec 2008, 10:34
the Drill Instructor's Official Joke Book

Centre man! Third rank! SWING your arms or I'll rip them out at the root, stick them up your *rs*, and have you for a lollipop!

It was a joke, wasn't it?

larssnowpharter
19th Dec 2008, 10:48
the Drill Instructor's Official Joke Book

There's sh1t at the end of my pace stick, Smith!! the drill Sgt said, spittle flying and poking the kid in the belly with said pace stick.

Smith: Looking downNot at my end, Sir!!!!

One learned one's drill in the light infantry at the 160/180 (forget now) paces per minute, commands given a pace earlier, and found it difficult to adapt to the RAF system. looked a right prat at times.

woollcott
19th Dec 2008, 13:28
OK, lets try some progression:

Some one please explain the logic behind:


12 ounces to the pound, 2240 pounds to the ton

12 inches to the foot, 3 feet to the yard 22 yards to the chain, 10 sq yards to the acre. I could go on and on ..............

Now lets look at the metric:

10mm = 1cm - 100cm = 1m - 1000m = 1km Need I go on?

The imperial system belongs in the 18th century

tony draper
19th Dec 2008, 13:34
Err it's 16 oz in a lb,they had to come up with the metric system because the generations born after mine are thick and can only think in tens.
:)

Blacksheep
19th Dec 2008, 13:44
The imperial system belongs in the 18th century Counting in tens is fine.

...for people who need to do it on their fingers. :oh:


As for the rest of the metric system, it is as illogical as any other. I was obliged to learn the definitions for both the Systems International and the Imperial units while at Technical College and judging from the experience failed, and still fail, to see any good reason for going metric. Besides, all the best aero-engineering is American and all the spanners in my toolbox are in AF sizes.

BS
Heavily biased Boeing mender
"If it ain't Boeing, I ain't going..."

GrumpyOldFart
19th Dec 2008, 14:02
10 sq yards to the acre



At that rate I've got quite a few 'acres' I can sell you, Woollcott.

Davaar
19th Dec 2008, 14:05
10 sq yards to the acre. I could go on and on ..............


No doubt you could but, as you so often demonstrate, wrongly. Here is a little task for you: Find out how many square yards there are in an acre.

Perhaps you are wise to stick to the ten times table.

In Dr draper's day and mine we mastered quite easily by the age of ten the arcana that baffle you.

P.S. Have you come across "drams" (formerly "drachms") yet? There are 16 of them in a ............................ [?].

forget
19th Dec 2008, 14:21
woollcott, What's 1/3 of a metre?

tony draper
19th Dec 2008, 14:33
One only requires the brain and central nervous system of a whelk to master metrics whereas getting one's head around the complexities of Imperial measure when young promotes abstract thought in adulthood.
:rolleyes:

Davaar
19th Dec 2008, 15:02
Yes. Not to mention Sterling. One has admired people, commonly met at one time, who would casually run a pencil up the sides of page after page of columnar accounts in Pounds, Shillings, Pence, and fractions of pence and reach an accurate total, en route dividing mentally at each line, the fractions of pennies by four, the pennies themselves by 12, and the shillings by 20. Some will no doubt think I am making this up.

I wonder if Woollcott can find a square root without one of those little electronic toys and without log tables or slide rule.

k3k3
19th Dec 2008, 15:35
When I went to school an acre was one chain by one furlong, easy!

sisemen
19th Dec 2008, 15:44
The scene - somewhere in middle England on a warm summer's day at the local hostelry:

Ale Server to Publican: "Sir, we got a lotta thirsty customers and oi think we be running out of beer shortly"

Publican to Ale Server: "Well get down them cellar stairs young 'un and fetch them firkin barrels up"


Firkin = 9 galls of beer
4 Firkins = 1 barrel
5 Firkins = You've had too firkin much - go home.

Now you don't get a rich and varied language like that with metric :}

Davaar
19th Dec 2008, 15:59
Those are your long thin acres. Recall in a way the run-rig system. I suspect that lies in the post-graduate level in Oz. They go, subject to correction by Woollcott, with the Torrens system. Not decimal, of course, but very handy. One mile square is a section, of 640 acres. When your farm is a section, you have four quarters, each of 160 acres, conveniently divisible into parcels of forty acres (e.g.,"the back forty"). Very convenient. Out west in this fair land a farm may run to fifteen sections. Now thanks to da Leeberal we are converting to metric.

Why are the railway halts (where they still remain) on the prairies nine miles apart? Easy-peasy: at that spacing the team of horses never had to haul the grain more four and a half miles to the elevator. Neither the farmer nor the horses gave a moment's thought to metric.

Why are the streets in Saskatoon so broad? Easy-peasy: to allow a team and waggon to turn about without impossible backing, the three-point turn not having been invented at the time.

Go shove the metric system, save in those endeavours for which it is suited.

GrumpyOldFart
19th Dec 2008, 16:22
A quarter section is 640 acres.



In this part of Canada, and elsewhere, one suspects, a quarter section is 160 acres, and a square mile, 640 acres. With respect...

Davaar
19th Dec 2008, 16:27
Thank you. You are perfectly correct, and I was just correcting my inaccuracy (see above) at the very moment you were doing the same on my behalf. I had allowed one level of division too many, and as I did the additions it was obvious.

ORAC
19th Dec 2008, 17:29
May one humbly recommend, though I am sure you have it already, Davaar, "Measuring America (http://www.amazon.com/Measuring-America-Wilderness-Fulfilled-Democracy/dp/0802713963)" by Andro Linklater.

More esoteric and obscure, but a revelation of an unknown part of the history of India to me, is "The Great Hedge of India (http://www.amazon.com/Great-Hedge-India-Barrier-Divided/dp/0786708409)" by Roy Moxham.

Otherwise....

1 x skein = 360 ft
1 x bolt = 120 ft
1 x shackle = 90 ft
1 x rope = 20 ft
1 x ell = 45 in
1 x cubit = 18 in
1 x nail = 9 in
1 x span = 9 in
1 x hand = 4 in
1 x palm = 3 in
1 x inch = 12 line
1 x barleycorn = 1/3 in
1 x caliber = 0.01 in

1 section = 640 acres = 1600 rood = 6400 sq chain = 102,400 sq rod = 27,878,400 sq ft = 64,000,000 sq link.

Beer:

1 x last = 640 gal
1 x wey = 320 gal
1x chaldron = 288 gal
1 x butt = 108 gal
1 x puncheon = 70 gal
1 x seam = 64 gal
1 x hogshead = 63 gal
1 x coomb = 32 gal
1 x bag = 24 gal
1 x kilderkin = 18 gal
1 x strike = 16 gal
1 x firkin = 9 gal
1 x bucket = 4 gal
1 x gallon = 2 pottle
1 x pottle = 2 quart
1 x quart = 2 pint
1 x pint = 4 noggin/gill
1 x noggin/gill = 5 ounce
1 ounce = 8 dram
1 x dram = 60 minim

TRC
19th Dec 2008, 19:02
OK.

Enough is enough.

If you like the bloody metric system, use it. Stop complaining about the Imperial way of measuring things. So the Imperial system isn't logical enough for those who weren't taught it or used it. If you are one of those people - stop trying to understand it, you won't. You probably don't need to anyway so stop whining about it.

The Romans gave us multiples of twelve, and things measured in sixties. They counted, not by counting their fingers but by counting the sections of the fingers of one hand using the tip of the thumb on the same hand to do it. They counted each 12 on the fingers and thumb of their other hand. Three sections per finger equal 12. Five twelves are sixty.

As somebody said earlier, what is a third of a metre?

Another good example of the "Imperial" system was the old £.s.d money system. You could divide a pound exactly by 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 8 without any awkward bits left hanging out - try doing THAT with 100 pennies to the pound.

Flanders and Swann summed up my reaction to lots of the posts in this thread. If you are a bloody foreigner and don't like the way the British do things - tough.

"And crossing the channel one cannot say much
For the French or the Spanish, the Danish or Dutch
The Germans are German, the Russians are red
And the Greeks and Italians eat garlic in bed

The English are noble, the English are nice
And worth any other at double the price

And all the world over each nation's the same
They've simply no notion of playing the game
They argue with umpires, they cheer when they've won
And they practice before hand which spoils all the fun

The English the English the English are best
I wouldn't give tuppence for all of the rest

It's not that they're wicked or naturally bad
It's just that they're foreign that makes them so mad
The English are all that a nation should be
And the pride of the English are Chipper and me

The English the English the English are best
I wouldn't give tuppence for all of the rest."

bnt
19th Dec 2008, 19:50
Who's complaining about the Imperial system? This whole thread has been a bunch of (um) old hands, complaining about the Metric system. I can understand how Metric would be a problem if you grew up Imperial, but if you grow up Metric (as I did), there's a lot to learn when you return to the UK. I mean, come on: 16 ounces to the pound, but 14 pounds to the Stone, and you think that's somehow more "human"?

I was recently playing around with the formulas for the "artificial gravity" you would feel if you were on a rotating space station, such as the one in 2001: A Space Odyssey. The formula is very simple, if you have the units right: g = ⍵≤r . ⍵ is the speed of rotation in radians per second. r is the radius of the rotation in metres. g is the acceleration you feel, in m/s≤, where Earth gravity is typically taken as 9.8 m/s≤. The only awkward bit in there is the Radian, but that's not Metric, and its use in Engineering actually predates the Metric system.

I have a book published in 1902, which I "liberated" from a bookshelf in a Dublin pub: Heat and Light (Cambridge University Press) by R.T. Glazebrook (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Glazebrook) (FRS, first director of the National Physical Laboratory (http://www.npl.co.uk/)). Just a few pages in, the author is referring to Joule's experiments in Manchester, in which he determined the specific heat of water, and the results are given in Metric: to raise 1 gramme of water by 1į centigrade, it takes 41.9 million ergs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erg) of heat. It's the same all the way through, as far as I can see, except in the problems set for students, which also test their ability to convert to and from Metric.

This in a UK science text book from 1902. It's a little ironic to think that the Metric unit of Heat is named after an recently-deceased English scientist, whose first job was brewing beer, and who did all his pioneering work in the Imperial system. Do you think Dr. Joule would mind? :8

TRC
19th Dec 2008, 20:10
Who's complaining about the Imperial system?

Half of Australia - see above.

Well, not quite half........

OK. Just three.

Davaar
20th Dec 2008, 01:08
Thank you, ORAC, I'll get that one. A man has to be equipped.

Then we have horses, measured in "hands" of 4 1/2 inches, and the railway standard gauge of four feet eight and a half inches, save at one time on the Great Western Railway where it was seven feet and a quarter inch, the Durango and Silverton Railroad where it is two feet, and who can tell what others beside?

sisemen
20th Dec 2008, 02:04
and who can tell what others beside?

Easy peasy. There were over 60 different rail gauges in the UK of which almost 40 remain in being ranging from 10 1/4inch right up to 7ft 6 in (and that ignores the "miniature" railways under 10 1/4

There are probably a whole lot more in the rest of the world.

Source: The Railway Magazine Sep 2008

Davaar
20th Dec 2008, 03:13
1 x skein = 360 ft


I suppose, though, a Tangled Skein would = 1 Orczy?

Much as a Mighty Atom would = 1 Corelli?

[Who would have guessed her real name was "Mary Mackay"? The knowledge I owe to PPRuNe!]

Fruity Tones
20th Dec 2008, 04:35
Fruity recalls an educational ditty which was regularly broadcast over the pedal wireless in preparation for the introduction to Australia of what was commonly pronounced as Dismal Guernsey. 'Twas sung to the tune of "Click go the shears":

"In come the dollars, in come the cents
Out go the pounds and the shillings and the pence
So be prepared when the money starts to mix
On the fourteenth of february nineteen sixty six."

woollcott
20th Dec 2008, 12:13
Silly me- a typo.

Everyone, and I mean everyone always knew it was 10 square chains to the acre..........

woollcott
20th Dec 2008, 12:21
"save at one time on the Great Western Railway where it was seven feet and a quarter inch, "

Again I ask - Why would anyone pick a figure of 7ft and 1/4" ?

Why not just 7Ft? What possible reasoning is behind it?

I know Brunel was a great man and brilliant engineer, but again, it defies logic.

tony draper
20th Dec 2008, 12:50
Errr prolly because the wheels were seven foot and a quarter inch apart.
:)
Seriously,probably a built in tolerance the flanges of railway wheels do exactly touch the outside edges of the rails,they gallop side to side slightly,allows for the axle expanding and contracting due to temperature and slight errors in the distance betwixt the rails.
That's the way I figure it anyway,one could be wrong of course.
:cool:

radeng
20th Dec 2008, 13:21
Exactly, Mr. D.

You also have coned wheels, which helps when going round curves.

Interestingly, the British Association screw thread started life as the Swiss Thrury horological thread. As BA, it didn't become 'imperialised' in British Standards until 1951 - prior to that, it was always stated in millimetres.

Davaar
20th Dec 2008, 13:38
Why not just 7Ft?

I do not know. The record appears to be voluminous, so I am sure you will be able to trace the reasoning. One missing determinant appears to have been any compulsion to suit cases to even arbitrary units of measurement. What is the magic about 7 feet? Russia at one time had 6 feet, and I believe they now have something in the order of 4 feet 11 and a bit. You can check as easily as I.

What possible reasoning is behind it?

When you ask that kind of question you imply there was no reason; but you have no idea what the answer might be. Why does the RAF wear a particular shade of blue/grey uniform? What drove a selection committee to that particular choice? Were there pro- and anti- factions? Did Mrs Trenchard fancy it?

Or was it that the RAF came into existence in April 1918, the Russians had a revolution in October 1917, and English manufacturers were stuck with huge stocks of undeliverable woollen material woven for Russian cavalry and dyed -- Yes! -- a particular shade of blue/grey that by a happy chance differed from khaki and navy blue and was convenient for a new service?

Why did the prototype Me 109 have a Rolls-Royce Kestrel engine? Did Willi Messerschmitt hate BMW, or metric, or Germany, so much? Or was it just on balance best at the time to buy an available British product?

I suppose the Kestrel was built to Imperial measurement, which would lead you to ask: "What possible reasoning drove Willi to use Imperial measure in his brand-new toy? Silly Willy!"

tony draper
20th Dec 2008, 13:49
Here;s summat else. threads..
history of screw threads (http://www.sizes.com/tools/thread_history.htm)

TRC
20th Dec 2008, 14:54
Why not just 7Ft? What possible reasoning is behind it?



The extra 1/4 inch was to provide clearance for the locomotive wheels on curves.

Davaar
20th Dec 2008, 17:02
Makes sense to me. The narrow (two-feet or so) gauge on the Durango and Silverton Railroad is to allow the trains to get round the short radius curves of dizzy drops in the San Juan Mountains in SW Colorado.

It may be little enough to people who casually fly into forbidding remote airstrips, but the highway into Durango is forbidding enough to lesser breeds such as I. The mountains go up to 12,000 feet or more, and the highway itself to +/-11,000 feet, as I recall, with bottomless drops off the side. When the road signs at the Wolf Creek Pass hinted that one drive slowly, this one did drive slowly. I suspect the engineers who designed the tracks on the D & R started from the realities of geography, not from any aesthetic diktat to make the gauge 2' exactly.

fokker
20th Dec 2008, 17:27
Drapes,

The reason your confuser thinks that 1000 is actually 1024 is simple. In old confusers, like what I started with in 1976, each 'bit' of information (each binary 1 or 0) was a little graphite doughnut with three wires through it so that it could be located - 'addressed'.

Eight of these 'bits' made a 'byte', or hexadecimal character.

Wake up at the back!

Now the clever part ... in case any individual bit became corrupted, each byte also included a 'parity bit', a ninth bit. If the total number of bits 'on' in the data byte was even, th parity bit would also be 'on'; if that number was odd, the parity bit would be 'off'. Thus, if one of the data bits became corrupt or unreadable, it could be reconstructed by inference by checking against the parity bit. Geddit? Simple innit?

And that's why there are the 'extra' - parity - bits in bytes, kilobytes, megabytes, gigabytes and terrabytes. Dunno what the next one's called.

I got better. I stopped being a computer bod (Bill Gates put the 'anal' in 'analyst') a became a pilot.

Triffic.

:8;)

G-CPTN
20th Dec 2008, 17:44
I believe that the separation of the standard British railway tracks derives from the standard adopted by carriages, which in turn was based on the ruts in roads left behind by the Roman chariots. The size of a chariot was fixed by the width of two horses.

goldfrog
20th Dec 2008, 20:30
The reason your confuser thinks that 1000 is actually 1024 is simple. In old confusers, like what I started with in 1976, each 'bit' of information (each binary 1 or 0) was a little graphite doughnut with three wires through it so that it could be located - 'addressed'.

Eight of these 'bits' made a 'byte', or hexadecimal character.

Wake up at the back!

Now the clever part ... in case any individual bit became corrupted, each byte also included a 'parity bit', a ninth bit. If the total number of bits 'on' in the data byte was even, th parity bit would also be 'on'; if that number was odd, the parity bit would be 'off'. Thus, if one of the data bits became corrupt or unreadable, it could be reconstructed by inference by checking against the parity bit. Geddit? Simple innit?

And that's why there are the 'extra' - parity - bits in bytes, kilobytes, megabytes, gigabytes and terrabytes. Dunno what the next one's called.

I got better. I stopped being a computer bod (Bill Gates put the 'anal' in 'analyst') a became a pilot.As convoluted and almost entirely incorrect mess of psuedo science I could not wish to read :)

The reason 1000 = 1024 in computer speak is the fact the memory sizes are created in powers of 2. The error increases as the size increases;

1Kb is 2 to the power 10 - 1,024
1Mb is 2 to the power 20 - 1,048,576
1Gb is 2 to the power 30 - 1,073,741,824
1Tb is 2 to the power 40 - 1,099,511,627,776
1Pb is 2 to the power 50 - 1,125,899,910,000,000 (petabyte)

As to your theory on parity bits they are indeed used to detect errors in memory but it is not possible to correct errors with a single parity bit. To make error correcting memory you need more parity bits to form a hamming code.

There I feel better now

fokker
20th Dec 2008, 20:45
... and with the greatest respect....bollocks.

Of course you can detect errors with a single parity bit in exactly the way described. It's not a 'theory'; I was a systems programmer starting on IBM 370/155 processors in 1976.

I suspect you weren't even alive.

There, I feel better now!



Nurse! My tablet!

goldfrog
20th Dec 2008, 21:25
I never said you could not detect errors with a parity bit only that you could not correct them.

I'm older than you think, my starter for 10 was 1973, LATCC, Marconi Myriad, 32K memory, 24 bit Flight Plan Processing System. Still have a lump of the core memory on my desk.

woollcott
20th Dec 2008, 22:35
Here;s summat else. threads..
history of screw threads (http://www.sizes.com/tools/thread_history.htm)




Dont get me started on that one............................

Davaar
21st Dec 2008, 02:16
Before we leave the subject I'd like to be sure the ploughgate is not overlooked. As per one entry in Google:

Ploughgate was a Scottish land measurement, used in the south and the east of the country. It was supposed to be the area that eight oxen were said to be able to plough in one year. Because of the variable land quality in Scotland, this could be a number of different actual land areas. There were also regional discrepancies, but it was generally considered to be just over 100 Scottish acres on average.

Many sources say that four ploughgates made up a daugh, but in other places it would have appeared to have been the equivalent of one daugh exactly. Ploughgates were subdivided into oxgangs; the most common division appears to have been eight to a ploughgate.

Its flexibility but substantial accuracy appear to me one of its charms, no doubt antipathetic to Oz.