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Should BPL go metric?
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Peter McDonough
(crazypete) - F

Locale: Above the Divided Line
Re: Metric on 08/08/2007 22:40:54 MDT Print View

And in answer to the original question of the thread, BPL can, and should post the metric equivalencies adjacent to the standard american oz and inches. That way, both the American and foreign readers are satisfied.

Removing the american measurements would be ludacris, kinda like increasing the minimum wage.

Tony Beasley
(tbeasley) - MLife

Locale: Pigeon House Mt from the Castle
re:Should BPL go metric? on 08/08/2007 22:55:27 MDT Print View

I would like to thank all of the BPL forum users that have contributed to this debate.

I never thought for a second that BPL would go metric only and that all forum users would use SI that would be too simple, to quote a former Australian Prime Minister “Life is not meant to be easy”. The best that I could have hoped for is for forum users to use the correct terminology and state what standard is being used that at least would allow for correct conversions, it is not difficult to put US fl oz or US cup, but in reality this will not happen either.

I get the feeling that consensus is “yes” BPL and the US should go metric but it is all too hard. Unless the US government makes it compulsory to go metric then it will not happen.

I am very disappointed with this weeks BPL .com news, the “Should BPL go metric?” thread was not mentioned, actually Forum Heat was not even there, is this a message or an oversight from the BPL Editors.

It could be argued that if BPL accepts International members and their money then it is an International magazine not only a US domestic magazine; therefore I believe that it should cater to its readers as if it is an international magazine and use metric as its standard. It is not illegal for BPL to go metric if you read the NIST site it is encouraged. In a world population of about 6.6 Billion the non-metric population make up a less than 350 million. The US measurement system is too messy and archaic.

Below are some paragraphs extracted from the US Metric conversion law.

http://ts.nist.gov/WeightsAndMeasures/Metric/pub814.cfm#act

Title 15 U.S.C. Chapter 6 § (204) 205a - 205l
METRIC CONVERSION LAW
(Pub. L. 94-168, §2, Metric Conversion Act, Dec. 23, 1975)

§ 204. Metric system authorized. - It shall be lawful throughout the United States of America to employ the weights and measures of the metric system; and no contract or dealing, or pleading in any court, shall be deemed invalid or liable to objection because the weights or measures expressed or referred to therein are weights or measures of the metric system. (14 Stat. 339, Adopted July 28,1866)

This law goes on to mention: (2) Although the use of metric measurement standards in the United States has been authorized by law since 1866 this Nation today is the only industrially developed nation which has not established a national policy of committing itself and taking steps to facilitate conversion to the metric system.


4) Industry in the United States is often at a competitive disadvantage when dealing in international markets because of its nonstandard measurement system, and is sometimes excluded when it is unable to deliver goods which are measured in metric terms.

Has anything changed since 1975 ????

I would also like to comment on this statement: "I used 1 oz (29 ml) of alcohol to boil 2 cups (.47 L) of water from 20C (68 F)." These are firmly established, trade-legal measurements”

The use of “oz” as a measurement of volume is not trade legal measurement According to the (US) National Institute of Standards and Technology http://www.nist.gov/ ounce (oz) is a unit of mass or weight not volume, volume is defined by fluid ounce or fl oz. The use of oz as a measurement of volume is not, and while the cup is a legal measurement it does not feature as a major legal volume measurement unit.

The NIST site is a wealth of information.

This is an interesting document:
NIST Handbook 44 - 2007 Edition
Specifications, Tolerances, and Other Technical Requirements
for Weighing and Measuring Devices.

And is this is found at http://ts.nist.gov/WeightsAndMeasures/h44-07.cfm

An interesting paragraph from this article: Units and Systems of Measurement
Their Origin, Development, and Present Status

From this we see that in the customary British system an avoirdupois ounce of water at 62 °F has a volume of one fluid ounce, because 10 pounds is equivalent to 160 avoirdupois ounces, and 1 gallon is equivalent to 4 quarts, or 160 fluid ounces. This convenient relation does not exist in the U. S. system because a U. S. gallon of water at 62 °F weighs about 8⅓ pounds, or 133⅓ avoirdupois ounces, and the U. S. gallon is equivalent to 4 x 32, or 128 fluid ounces.

The metric system has this convenient relationship which it can make life easy.

I would also like to point out that in my main area of interest MYOG Backpacking stoves in recent times a high proportion of the main forum contributors are from metric countries, in the MYOG canister side Yukio Yamakawa, Roger Caffin and myself and in the alcohol side Franco Darioli, Ke Wu, and Yukio Yamakawa.

This will be one of my last posts on this topic as I want to get back to my latest projects, a sub 100g (3.53 oz) pot, windshield and liquid feed canister stove and I am currently doing some work on understanding hot gas flow around a pot and windshield will post results soon.

Tony

ian wright
(ianwright) - F

Locale: Photo - Mt Everest - 1980
Is Mars metric? on 08/08/2007 23:01:08 MDT Print View

Didn't one of those probes sent to Mars a few years ago crash into the planet because the European Space Agency (or someone) was working in metric but someone in America measured something in Imperial?

Peter McDonough
(crazypete) - F

Locale: Above the Divided Line
Re: Is Mars metric? on 08/08/2007 23:05:37 MDT Print View

You obviously did not see the Transformers movie.....

larry savage
(pyeyo) - F

Locale: pacific northwest
there is an interesting website ... on 08/09/2007 12:44:03 MDT Print View

There is an interesting website that deals in ultra light bicycle parts, weight weenies. [you'll have to put it in a search engine]. They have a system conversion tool as part of their website so you can. Perhaps this would be a simple multi-measurement device for BPL.

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
Going Metric; Tony, Ben, thanks for the posts on 08/09/2007 22:28:36 MDT Print View

That NIST post was very informative. I had no idea just how complicated the US system is; and all the legal rammifications (selling "cups" of something which are smaller than the "Cup" the customer was expecting).
Im afraid this lack of measuring compatibility of our products on the world market is one small contributing factor to "The Big Bump"; where China becomes the next global superpower, the US is bumped down to become the next post-imperial UK, and the UK becomes the next France. (I don't know where that leaves France..)

Anyone want to guess how many US high school graduates can tell you the number of teaspoons in a gallon? But every elementary child in this country I'm living in knows there are 1000cc's in a liter. So called 'word problems' (you know, Sally has two cups of A and 2 gallons of B and gives half...) are much easier in base 10.

Ben, great example about switching to the roman alphabet. Japan considered that after WWII but it was soundly defeated. Now less than 1% of its population can do international business in English.

Edited by Brett1234 on 08/09/2007 22:36:04 MDT.

Benjamin Smith
(bugbomb) - F - M

Locale: South Texas
Re: re:Should BPL go metric? on 08/12/2007 14:33:35 MDT Print View

Tony,

Rest assured that BPL staff is watching this thread with great interest. The "Forum Heat" section of the newsletter was excluded last week because the newsletter was prepared in advance due to my absence. There was definitely no intent to send a "message!"

Ben

Robert Mohid
(mohid) - F
You can do it too ! on 08/21/2007 08:48:11 MDT Print View

Canada went metric and the world didn't end.

What's the big deal ?

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: No You Can't! on 08/21/2007 10:48:45 MDT Print View

"Canada went metric and the world didn't end. What's the big deal?"

I'll tell you what's the big deal!

My folks and I visited Vancouver a few years back, and we pulled into a gas station to get gas. My dad asked me how Canadian and US gas prices compared. Well, the gas was priced in Canadian dollars by the liter! I could probably translate Canadian to US dollars in my head and I could tranlate (roughly) liters into gallons -- but not both at the same time! "Beats the hell out of me", I told my dad. He muttered something about me being useless despite my master's degree. :(

Edited by ben2world on 08/21/2007 10:53:53 MDT.

Tony Beasley
(tbeasley) - MLife

Locale: Pigeon House Mt from the Castle
If BPL does not go metric they should at least use correct US measurement terminology. on 08/21/2007 18:23:57 MDT Print View

While looking at the BPL shop site and I notice that there is some incorrect and inconsistent measurement terminology and standards.
Some examples:

- “With a filled-to-the-brim volume of 550 ml (19.4 oz)”

- “Volume: 19.4 fl oz (550 ml)”

-“A 46 oz (1300 ml) capacity titanium cooking pot with deep dish 18 oz (500 ml) capacity lid - a kit suitable for the SUL duo or hearty thru-hiker. No handles, thin walled titanium, and a remarkable weight of only 4.00 oz for the entire kit (2.54 oz for the pot alone!).”

-Capacity: 750 ml

Whilst it is great they have put the metric volumes in they have not used the correct US terminology, the use “oz” as a volume is incorrect, when it should read “US fl oz” and the second example has the fl oz but should read “US fl oz”. In the third example “oz” is used for volume and weight and there is also no metric value for the weight, and the fourth example there is no US volume value.

Some of the BPL the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2007 News reviewers were also inconsistent with their measurement standards and terminology used is.

What chance does the rest of the world have of understanding the US measurement system if it is not used properly by the domestic users.

Tony

Shawn Basil
(Bearpaw) - F

Locale: Southeast
If you're metric, use metric. on 08/21/2007 20:14:25 MDT Print View

Tony, those of us who think in US units KNOW what we mean when we say ounce and YES we're going to say "ounce" instead of "US fluid ounce" as readily as we're going to say "white gas" in terms of the european term "naptha".

You began this thread saying you wanted US customary units eliminated from BPL. When you realized how outrageous this request was, you backtracked saying you wanted to provoke discussion. I don't buy it. You wanted your way then and now you're beating a dead horse in order to complain that this site is going to continue using US customary units in addition to metric.

In the examples listed, metric units are given. USE THEM!! IGNORE the other units listed. And quit complaining about Americans using Americans units. Period.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Metric on 08/21/2007 21:17:47 MDT Print View

I think the status quo is just fine: BPL states the US measurement first, then followed by metric equivalent.

Those familiar with US terms pretty much will know instantly within the context when an ounce (oz) refers to weight versus volume. There is no need for BPL to spell this out further. With metric equivalents stated, I believe this should be pretty clear to everyone else in the world as well.

Tony Beasley
(tbeasley) - MLife

Locale: Pigeon House Mt from the Castle
Re:If you're metric, use metric on 08/22/2007 00:33:10 MDT Print View

Hi Shawn,

“You began this thread saying you wanted US customary units eliminated from BPL. When you realized how outrageous this request was, you backtracked saying you wanted to provoke discussion “I don't buy it. You wanted your way then and now you're beating a dead horse in order to complain that this site is going to continue using US customary units in addition to metric.”

NO Shawn I do not think my request for BPL to go metric was outrageous, you might think it is outrageous but I do not, I am very serious about it. I have not changed my position at all, after my original posting I realized that I am ‘beating a dead horse’ that is why I was trying to say in my last posting if BPL does not go metric then it at least should use correct terminology in what ever measurement system it chooses to use, and I do not think this is to much to ask.

Surely Shawn you as teacher of Math you should understand the importance of using correct terminology.

"In the examples listed, metric units are given. USE THEM!! IGNORE the other units listed.

You are wrong metric units are not all and given “remarkable weight of only 4.00 oz for the entire kit (2.54 oz for the pot alone!).” and there are many more examples of one or the other system only being used by BPL editors and staff.

"And quit complaining about Americans using Americans units. Period."

I will if Americans use American units correctly. If I have learnt one thing out of this is that the American system is messier that I first thought.

Tony

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Spitting Against the Wind on 08/22/2007 13:04:48 MDT Print View

Tony:

It's one thing to ask BPL to be more conscientious about disclosing metric alongside English.

But now, you are trying to "educate" Americans that their system is "messy" and they should use terms more consistently? Nothing wrong theoretically, but you may as well be spitting into the wind. We already know that!

The English language itself is 753 times messier than the measurement system. But folks using either on a daily basis get by well enough. You are overreaching!

My advice is that you drop the subject, just focus on metric, and be at peace.

Edited by ben2world on 08/22/2007 13:08:00 MDT.

Joshua Gilbert
(joshcgil2) - F

Locale: Seattle
English language on 08/22/2007 13:20:11 MDT Print View

Ben,
Is that "753 times" complexity metric, U.S., or imperial?
Josh

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Linear Complexity on 08/22/2007 13:23:27 MDT Print View

The 753 times would be the same precisely -- in all three measurements.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re:If you're metric, use metric on 08/22/2007 13:49:35 MDT Print View

Hey Tony, is "learnt" an English word?

Miriam Webster

Edited by jshann on 08/22/2007 13:50:08 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Is "Learnt" an English Word? on 08/22/2007 13:54:20 MDT Print View

Yes it is. Learnt = learned. Maybe Tony will want to further clean things up by urging us to get rid of one or the other?

Edited by ben2world on 08/22/2007 16:59:29 MDT.

Tony Beasley
(tbeasley) - MLife

Locale: Pigeon House Mt from the Castle
Re:Is "Learnt" an English Word? on 08/22/2007 17:24:46 MDT Print View

Gidday Mate,

There are many words that are different in Australian English than in US English, and the same with UK English.

This reminds me of an incident that recently happened with an Australian female passenger flying on a US domestic flight when she was told something by an air hostess she replied the words “fair dinkum”, the air hostess thought that she had been sworn at and had her arrested when the plane landed. ‘fair dinkum’” is an Australian term that means true or honest. The woman has since been banned from all US domestic flights.

And Ben I am going to drop this thread, my head is very sore and I have not made any impression on the brick wall yet and that is fair dinkum.

I hope I am not banned from the BPL forums for writing fair dinkum.


Seeyalatermate

Tony

Jon Rhoderick
(hotrhoddudeguy) - F - M

Locale: New England
Re: Re: re:Should BPL go metric? on 08/22/2007 17:26:08 MDT Print View

OK so heres my riddle for you guys

Which three countries are the only ones to not use metric in the world
AND NO USING WIKIPEDIA
you'll find some interesting names, one is very obvious of course but the other two are....