Tuesday, May 08, 2012

The Metric System

Initially, the U.S. was slated to go to the metric system sometime back in the 70's I think.

Was It Just My Imagination?
I could have sworn all the kids in my age group had to start to learn the new metric system that would soon replace our old ways of measurement.

I recall learning a much more efficient way of measuring.  The virtues of the new system were extolled at length by our teachers:

  • It's in base 10, the same as our numbering system  take a look at this chart and tell me how simple our current system is when converting distances:

U. S. SYSTEM                   METRIC SYSTEM

1 mile = 5280 feet             1 kilometer = 1000 meter
1 mile = 1760 yards            1 hectometer = 100 meter
1 rod = 5.5 yards              1 dekameter = 10 meters
1 yard = 3 feet                1 decimeter = 1/10 meter
1 foot = 12 inches             1 centimeter = 1/100 meter
                                        1 millimeter = 1/1000 meter

1 gallon = 4 quarts            1 liter = 1000 milliliters
1 quart =  32 fluid ounces
1 fluid ounce = 8 drams
  • Then add in all the other weird measurements, like Fahrenheit temperatures...yeesh ours is complex.  Zero should be freezing...not 32 degrees.

  • The basic measurement of a meter is based on the distance light goes in a specified time or some such thing, so it's easy to maintain standards

  • Don't even get me started on knitting needle sizes...there's the U.S. standard, the British standard and the former Canadian standard.  Most of them change approximately half a millimeter but skip various sizes.I do remember the one thing my dad had to say about it, and that was that it would be expensive for companies like the one he worked for to convert to the new system and he didn't think it was worth it.

It would probably be a lot more expensive now, but I still would like to see this country comply in this one area.

Current Knitting
I'm going to bore you to death with the slow progress of my current jumper...I mean pullover (see, we can't even come up with a consistent word for a standard sweater!...what's the metric equivalent of pullover/jumper?)

I keep slogging away at it.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Uh...none...the flag is clearly a non-issue for blog readers.  Good to know!

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