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back to article Register SPB hacks mull chopping off feet

Weary special-projects-bureau operatives at El Reg have decided the time has come to consider exclusively adopting the International System of Units (aka SI Units), and ditching the mile, pound and related measurements. It's a royal pain in the backside working with two systems, which results in sentences such as "Baumgartner …

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Pint

Go ahead

I think the metric system makes a lot of sense. Just don't take my pint away, that's all. Every time I go home to visit, I get beer in measly 0.5l portions, and it is quite frankly an inferior way of serving beer.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Go ahead

When outside of the pub I drink from 500ml microbrewary type beer bottles. It seems to still work the same.

I'm not for forcing pubs to change, but I do dispute the allegiance to the pint as a measure for beer.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Go ahead

Pint (UK) is 568ml, so you're being robbed!

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Pint

Don't like the smaller beer?

Then go ahead and order a real beer.

(I am paraphrasing a real-life Bavarian waitress here, 'real' refers to the proper SI unit of volume.)

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Re: Go ahead

Unless you like Guinness 'Original' (the non-widgety version), which has been sold almost universally as '500ml' but with '13% extra free' for the past few years...

Makes me wonder if maybe there's a loophole that can be exploited... sell half a pint of beer at full rates of duty, but put it into full-pint glasses that must be 'rented' at, say, 25p per drink... you get your half-pint at full price, pay 25p on top to rent the glass, and have it filled to the brim with 50% extra 'free'!

Everybody wins, except George Osborne... so everybody wins!

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Headmaster

Re: Go ahead

Take it from a drug addicted nutcase - drink your beer in buckets - the metric ones - that hold 20 liters.

Pints be damned.

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Pirate

Re: Go ahead

Just expect an El Reg themed "Gimli Glider" when someone makes a bit of a cock-up with measurements! I am looking at you LOHAN!

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Childcatcher

Re: Go ahead

I hate mixed units. Feet have got to go.

Just threw up at a New Scientist article using hundredths of a cm. Erm that would be 0.1mm or thereabouts.

Personally I don't see what is wrong with microSmoots.

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Coat

El Reg units

SI plus El Reg units obviously.

Those crazy examples didn't even have a double decker bus in them!

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Thumb Up

SI señor

It is a lot less confusing that the muddle that is imperial (what ever flavo(u)r you prefer).

Though someone really should drag NASA into at least the late 18th century.

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Pint

Re: SI señor

Yes, Imperial measures in America, though shouldn't they really be Colonial units?

Note that America also has Coroners!

Couldn't find an icon for my schooner of sherry, so this "pint of sack" will have to do.

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Pint

Ten gallon hat

Not forgetting that the U.S. pint is a mere 16 ounces which makes their gallon a piddling amount.

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Pint

Re: SI señor

All the Americans I know say Imperial units but what they really mean is US Customary.

The volume measures differ even when they have the same name.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_the_imperial_and_US_customary_measurement_systems

And a message to our hosts: why don't URLs turn into links?

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Pint

Both have a place . . .

. . . as long as the units are clearly declared.

Weight of a person - should obviously be in stones. All other weights in Kg please.

(Flight level two-five-zero, QNH 1013)

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Mushroom

Yes please!

It is about time we ended the experiment that is SI and go back to British Imperial with proper Imperial units.

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Devil

Re: Yes please!

I think Imperial unit standardization already went a step to far, let alone the even more radical SI.

Every town should have its own measurements again! It's like insane that a mile in London is the same as a mile in Brighton! Reverting to the old tried and tested practice from before all this standardization nonsense will encourage thinking local again !

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Anonymous Coward

Americans...

My brother-in-law's father is an American physics teacher, he was very clear on the subject when I asked him, he words were along the lines of:

"The metric system is the only sensible way forward, any engineering or physics which uses the imperial system is a nightmare. It's just not fit for modern use, we need to change over to metric."

I tend to argee.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Americans...

I guess "argee" is a compromise between agree and argue. A very useful neologism that should be widely used.

Upvote if you argee. Or, downvote if you argee.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Re: Americans...

"Upvote if you argee. Or, downvote if you argee."

I would, but unfortunately the forum system only permits either an upvote or a downvote, not both. I'd hate you to think I am argeeing when in fact I am argeeing.

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Boffin

Re: Americans...

Arguably for much of physics even the SI units are a RPITA. So many things would be easier with "natural" units. For example in particle physics using Planck Units, however these are not exactly practical outside their specialisms (time in units of approximately 5.4e-44s and distance of 1.6e-35m).

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Bronze badge

Re: Americans...

Time in units of approximately 5.4e-44s and distance of 1.6e-35m. Would make medal tables in athletics contests fiendishly difficult to print, or even understand!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Americans...

You could always disargee ...

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Thumb Up

Are you trying to wind us up?

I tried to compromise but El reg wouldn't let me give half and up and half a down vote.

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Yes Please

Let's go for SI units & join the rest of the human race. Honourable exception to be given to aircraft height & beer.

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Left/Right Coordinates

Normal aircraft heights should of course be negative. This ensures the yaw angle increases clockwise in a right-handed coordinate system.

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What about the Universal Engineering Standard?

I've been using these for as long as I can remember:

Gnat's<Smidge<Touch<Nudge<Bit<Lots

Then again I am on record as describing a trench as 4m long by 6" wide - only in the UK!

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Re: What about the Universal Engineering Standard?

i used to work in the digital printing world and it was pretty normal to define an inch as 25.2mm so that a 600dpi spacing was 42 microns rather than 42 1/3 microns. Then you simply had the difficulty of remembering when you needed to convert from "real inches" to "internal metric inches" ...

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Silver badge

Re: What about the Universal Engineering Standard?

You forgot 'Shitloads' [Bobby Block, VP of Communications for SpaceX, when being asked how much water is used over the vent during a launch], but that is forgiveable as it is only used when to refer to abnormally large quantities!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What about the Universal Engineering Standard?

"i used to work in the digital printing world and it was pretty normal to define an inch as 25.2mm"

It's 25.4mm.

So glad that your not machining and fitting my bearings, slides, seals, washers, gaskets, and all the other nit picky shit that goes "Hiss / leak / catch fire / bang / scrape / seize / etc." because 0.2mm tightness or looseness was enough to cause more problems than I care to mention.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What about the Universal Engineering Standard?

His definition works as stated. However,

"So glad that your not machining ..."

Oops.

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FAIL

Re: What about the Universal Engineering Standard?

Well, for the record, an inch is 25.4mm

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Trollface

<repost>

Look, everyone knows what happens if you keep switching units: you'll crash into Mars

(which would actually be pretty spectacular for a helium balloon)

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Thumb Up

Re: <repost>

"Look, everyone knows what happens if you keep switching units: you'll crash into Mars"

I was trying to work out the best way of saying this but it appears, AdamT, that you have hit the hit the proverbial nail on the head. Well done, sir!

Now. What's the volume of the head of a nail as expressed in SI or El Reg units? It's got to be an awful lot smaller than a walnut (0.16gf in Reg units).

Colin

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Go

Re: <repost>

> Look, everyone knows what happens if you keep switching units: you'll crash into Mars

That would be classed as a spectacular success for the LOHAN project. Anything that increases the chance of crashing into mars should be done. Keep with mixed units.

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Coat

penalty for non-compliance

Metric martyrs should be made to sit Victorian applied maths exams, with poundals and bushels and British Thermal Units and all the other ridiculous ones that I can't remember. Compulsory resits until they agree to go on telly to say how much easier SI is.

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Joke

Re: penalty for non-compliance

"Metric martyrs should be made to sit Victorian applied maths exams, with poundals and bushels and British Thermal Units and all the other ridiculous ones that I can't remember."

In the US, however, wouldn't this be "cruel and unusual punishment" and against the Constitution?

Colin

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Go

Re: penalty for non-compliance

It doesn't need anything so contrived, sadly. Mixed units are a continual problem in the UK. Give your putative examinee a car, tell them it does 30 mpg, they need to drive 100 miles, petrol is £1.37 a litre and they have £20. Is it enough?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: penalty for non-compliance

tell them they're in France, it does 30 mpg, they need to drive 100 km, petrol is €1.37 a litre and they have a £20 travellers cheque. Is it enough?

There... yours was too easy...

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Bronze badge

Re: penalty for non-compliance

WTF kind of old bangers are you guys driving that only get 30mpg?

Oh, hang on. Are you using reg units for mpg? Marrows per Galleon?

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MPG?

Why introduce needless volume measurements?

I'm spending money to travel so the natural units for measuring a car's efficiency should be miles-per-£.

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Headmaster

Re: MPG?

So, when your car fuel efficiency suddenly falls, do you:

a) take it to be repaired

b) blame your government for increasing fuel tax

c) blame the European government

d) blame OPEC

e) get out and walk?

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Coat

Re: penalty for non-compliance

I did Physics at Higher Crrtificate level (the exam at 18 after Matric) in 1950, and many of the questions required working in mixed units: cgs and imperial, using a slide-rule as calculator More time doing arithmetic than actual physics! The slide-rule had markings for pi and "e" and the HP/kw equivalence factor to make calculations "easier".

My old slide-rule still in the pocket.

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Re: penalty for non-compliance

Here in sunny South Africa we converted to the metric system in the early sixties (took about ten years to do the job, mind).

This story reminds me of the joke about the farmer who bitterly complained about the negative effect that the new system had on him (just to explain - the conversion rate for money was two Rands to the Pound):

His complaint was that it had become impossible to farm anymore, as

"My farm is now sixty percent further from town and my land was halved. I now use almost five times as much fuel and fuel consumption has taken a terrible dip, whilst my lorries and trailers can only carry half as much as before. The cost of everything doubled whilst my yield was halved. My labourers now demand twice as much as before and then they tell me it will make things a lot easier!"

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Silver badge

Converting to old fashioned units

If you do decide to keep the old, imperial units, could you at least stop converting to (or even bothering with) multiple decimal places. For example in the article, does it matter that the dude in question reached a speed of 586.92 km/hr or that 1,315kg is 2,899 pounds.

Although I appreciate a bit more than "in a pressurised rather heavy capsule", I doubt it matters to anyone reading whether the capsule's weight is given to 4 digits of accuracy when 1.3 tonnes (or tons, the difference is slight and immaterial - just please god: not metric tonnes) would tell us all we need to know. Though informing us what that is in olympic swimming pools-full of linguini is obviously a definite requirement.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Converting to old fashioned units

Notwithstanding the issues of meaningless accuracy its probably best to err on the side of the metric the subject is used to being described in. i.e. aircraft altitue in feet, ship speed in knots, horse prices in guineas and yes, leave me with my pint of beer.

Leave SI units to the supermarkets.

Perhaps the SPB should invent their own units?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Converting to old fashioned units

What's the matter? Too much work? If so, perhaps a script could be written. Over ten years, it might not even use 1 KwH...

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Boffin

Re: Converting to old fashioned units

How do you feel about PI?

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Thumb Up

Re: Converting to old fashioned units

I like being an utter prick who spells the metric tonnes as tons - fuck them - it's easier.

Every fucking thing should be METRIC tons by now, or KKg's (Hey I just invented that - fancy that a new ISO standard - KKg's - I Said it Orrite.)

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