Metric system

Saturday, September 28, 2002 8:28 AM

It's saturday afternoon, i just woke up (i work in a large disco in Amsterdam) and my mind drifted off coasters a bit...
Just finished reading the fantastic tripreport from Sean and i started wondering... why is it that you Americans (yes, i know there are buzzers with other nationalities aswell) still use that, in my eyes strange, system of inches, feet, yards, miles, gallons, pounds etc etc?
The values just don't relate to eachother and using the metric system is just so much easier when doing some math. Just wondering...

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Werner Stengel: Ich sprich, denke und traüme Achterbahn!

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Saturday, September 28, 2002 8:34 AM
Because it would cost too much for factories to switch.
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Saturday, September 28, 2002 8:36 AM
I wonder all the time myself.
No explanation for it, though, don't know why.
Especially with temperatures, it's so simple & common sense-like.
All our miles, feet, all the conversions are funny.
There has to be a reason why we've never converted to metric, JMHO alot of people freak out when they see it, especially "country" people are not welcome to thinking about, better book smart than common sense I guess.
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Saturday, September 28, 2002 8:38 AM
Huge hassle.

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.:| Brandon Rodriguez |:.
http://www.coasters2k.com

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Saturday, September 28, 2002 8:41 AM

honestly, I would love to switch. when making coasters in NL, I even use meters instead of feet.

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-Bob (formerly Coaster Jedi)
Do any of you know how to build a sundial out of a pen and a donut?
uh oh, sounds like someone has a case of the mondays.

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Saturday, September 28, 2002 8:48 AM

Well, Helios that is a funny thing.....most buzzers are too young to remember that we DID at one time make a pretty serious push to go metric....(Jimmy Carter, anyone?). I was a relatively colossal flop...schools tried to teach it to a bunch of students who got little/no practice using it outside of school. Adults were unreceptive for the most part, and the "American" system won out after a short time....(I'm *thinking* the ionitiative ran it's course between the first and second OPEC embargoes (between '73 and '77, more or less). The metric system makes MUCH more sense, and is based on actual real-world science (earth's circumference, etc.) whereas our system is based on such inane "measurements" as the length of the arm of some long-lost King or Pharaoh....I can't *make up* comedy THAT good, lol. We do still have metric measuremets on a lot of our packaging...(454 g pounds of sugar, etc.). I even remember once getting to buy gas in litres!

I'm still trying to figure out what system the Aussies use....anyone?

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"Cornwallis, swim for your life or you're gonna get caught in the whirlpool."
I have ridden the future, and it's name is......X!

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Saturday, September 28, 2002 8:50 AM

I think metrics is much easier, as well. I think eventuallly the U.S. will switch. Remember how much tax money NASA lost when they lost that Mars spacecraft due to not making the correct conversions?

Funny thing is, here in Atlanta, we DID make a "semi" switch to metrics in 1996 for the Olympics. By the end of the year, everything was back to normal.

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My two favorite coasters are both named Superman.
Nitro, Gemini, Laser, Ice, Thunder...The American Gladiators!

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Saturday, September 28, 2002 9:06 AM

I'd like to quote a comedian about this issue:

"We're stubborn! We're stupid! We tried! We can't!"

That sums it up right there. :) It would cost billions of dollars to change all our factories, manufacturing, gas stations, cars, etc. to the metric system. Americans are lazy and many aren't up for a change.

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LocoBazooka--Sevendust, Nonpoint, Stereo Vent, Mushroomhead
Korn Tour (With no name)--Korn, Puddle of Mudd, Deadsy

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Saturday, September 28, 2002 9:14 AM
I also agree that the metric system would be much easier. Anytime that I can I would rather use the metric system. The customary is just so complicated but I don't see a change in the near future.

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What would we all do if roller coasters became non-existent???

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Saturday, September 28, 2002 9:30 AM

I live VERY close to Canada, and once I get into Canada, it's like stepping into some foreign twilight zone when it comes to metric vs. medevil.

Gas LOOKS cheap, until you realize you gotta almost multiply it by 4. Speed limits are in kM/h... meaning I'm actually cruising the highway at 100mph instead of 62 (which is what 100kM/h is)... then again, all Canadians drive that way! ;)

Most of their food is labeled with only metrics...

...you know the funny part? (not really funny... actually) In Canada, they use sometimes use pounds for weight measurement in food, and miles for distance occassionally.

I think that (and I hope in my lifetime) we will never change to metrics... it's toooooooooo hard to get used to! How would we tell the difference between a record breaking coaster anymore? What would qualify as a "giga" coaster? 300 meters? Uhh..... damn, that'd actually be pretty tall!!

You know many parks, books, websites and such that'd have to change their terms of weight & length to accomodiate metric? Quite a bit! Even Guniess World Records, for longest coaster & fastest & tallest.... all is in medevil terms... would have to all be converted... and not many would be happy.

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Saturday, September 28, 2002 9:35 AM
exactly. it's not so much a matter of having to learn the metric system as it is having to adapt to it. anyone can learn how to convert between metric units. but very few americans can find any sort of practical applications to metric units. it's like a foreign language.

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it's not my birthday.

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Saturday, September 28, 2002 9:41 AM
Well, we still use some metric, I mean we buy 2 "liter" bottles of coke, don't we?
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Saturday, September 28, 2002 9:53 AM

Still, i can remember of a historical event of 350 million people adapting to a rather significant conversion they'd have to use every day: the introduction of the Euro. Here in Holland our government gave us 28 days to adapt and many people predicted total chaos. But it worked flawless.
Ok, it took 25 years of preparation and it took billions and billions of ....err.... Euro's to do so, but now half a year later, i almost can't imagine i used to pay and calculate with guilders. So i guess that proves that a large operation like that, can be acomplished.

And for the ones who didn't know yet:
inches to cm's = devide by 2,5
feet to metres = devide by 3
miles to km's = devide by 1,5
pounds to kilo's= multiply by 2
gallons to litres = devide by 4
dollar to euro = 1:1

(i'm not gonna post the formula to convert from degrees in Centigrade to Fahrenheit.... that one is waaaaaaay to complicated to do without a calculator)

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Werner Stengel: Ich sprich, denke und traüme Achterbahn!

*** This post was edited by Helios on 9/28/2002. ***

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Saturday, September 28, 2002 10:10 AM

gator: while I am too young to remember it, I do remember hearing something about it from one of my teachers. he basically said that we tried and that the people rejected it. he even told us this story where one gas station went metric so some people in the area threatened the owner and went to the gas station that was still english.

considering that we almost switched, as long as the people accept it, I think it could work. and I'm sure that it will happen in my life time.

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-Bob (formerly Coaster Jedi)
Do any of you know how to build a sundial out of a pen and a donut?
uh oh, sounds like someone has a case of the mondays.

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Saturday, September 28, 2002 10:21 AM

What I don't get is Bristish people. They calculate miles and feet yet use metric in everthing else? Whats the deal with that?

Factories use both measurements anymore. Depending on what it is.

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All I need is 4.5 million bucks and a half a mile long sliver of land and maybe someone could build me my very own Shivering Timbers. ;)

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Saturday, September 28, 2002 10:27 AM
Blame Ronald Reagan. Though some were having trouble adjusting to the metric system when we attempted to switch (which should be expected!), he's the one who killed it.
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Saturday, September 28, 2002 10:32 AM

Helios said:

(i'm not gonna post the formula to convert from degrees in Centigrade to Fahrenheit.... that one is waaaaaaay to complicated to do without a calculator)



Here's my method:

Step 1. Add 40 (C to F or F to C)
Step 2. Multiply by 9/5 (C to F) or Multiply by 5/9 (F to C)
Step 3. Subtract 40 (C to F or F to C)

Most scientific calculators will have many of these conversions programmed in. I don't really think it is the converting that is the problem, it is people's perceptions. Most Americans will not understand the weather report that says "record high of 35 degrees with a pressure of X kPa and wind of X km/h" or a cereal box that says "energy of X kJ" We use inches of Hg for pressure and Calories for energy.

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My two favorite coasters are both named Superman.
Nitro, Gemini, Laser, Ice, Thunder...The American Gladiators!

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Saturday, September 28, 2002 10:38 AM

That is exactly what it is. A 6 foot tall person is 6 feet tall, not a little less then 2 meters. 60 miles is 60 miles not 100 Km.

You get the idea. It's perception. And stubbornous. I don't want to change I will tell you that much and I would resist it if we tried to.

I think most other Amercan's think the same way.

Does it really bug you Europeans that much?

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All I need is 4.5 million bucks and a half a mile long sliver of land and maybe someone could build me my very own Shivering Timbers. ;)

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Saturday, September 28, 2002 10:45 AM

How much does the use of Imperial measurements cost American businesses when they lose international deals to companies that deal in metric, and how would that compare to the cost of changing?

Coasters are easy.

Mega was 100 feet, is now 30 meters.
Hyper was 200 feet, is now 60 meters.
Giga was 300 feet, is now 90 meters.
Tera was 400 feet, is now 120 meters (yeah, like anybody would actually build a coaster that tall. :)

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Saturday, September 28, 2002 10:54 AM

Your conversions are wrong.

A meter is 39 inches.

100 feet is about 31 meters a difference of about 3 feet from your calculations

200 feet is about 61.5 meters a difference of about 4.5 feet from your calculations

300 feet is about 92.3 meters a difference of over 6 feet

400 feet is about 123 meters a difference of about 9 feet from your calculations

It's not as simple as you think.

-Brent (who is hoping he is not coming off as an ass but instead is just trying to make his own point, I am not a "calculation" nazi)

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All I need is 4.5 million bucks and a half a mile long sliver of land and maybe someone could build me my very own Shivering Timbers. ;)

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