Monday, February 15, 2010

Your guide to the metric system

The recording of TOV last night made me think. I post a lot of stuff here using the metric system (since it is my native system and honestly, everyone except Americans and Brits use it, and well, it's more logical). And in these Olympic times, much info comes your way in the metric system. So here is a guide to the metric system.

Lenght
1 meter (m) = 10 decimeters (dm) = 100 centimeters (cm) = 1000 millimeters (mm).
1 kilometer (km) = 1000 meters. 10 kilometers = 1 metric mile.
1 inch = 2,54 cm. 1 foot = 30.48 cm. 1 yard = 91.44 cm.

Some practical examples:
I am 1,76 m/176 cm tall. That is 5 feet and 9,29 inches.
If you are driving 80 km/h you are driving 49,7 mph.

Weight
The base unit is a gram (g). 1000 milligrams (mg) = 1 g. 100 g = 1 hektogram (hg). 1000 g = 1 kilogram (kg, the most used unit). 1000 kg = 1 metric tonn.
1 pound = 0,45 kg.

Practical:
I weight 72 kg. That is 158,4 pounds.

Volume
1 litre (l) = 10 decilitres (dl) = 100 centilitres (cl) = 1000 millilitres (ml).
1 litre = 33,81 ounces = 0,26 gallons.

So, any more nice info?
Yup! Not only do you see that everything here is based on the number 10, thus making conversion easy. There is also a connection between litres, meters and kilos. Look at this:
- 1 litre of pure water weighs excactly 1 kg.
- 1 liter is the same as 1 cubic decimeter.

Bonus, celcius
0 degrees celcius is the freezing temperature of pure water. 100 degrees celcius is the boiling temperature of pure water. If you want to convert a temperature in celcius to fahrenheit the formula is like this (celcius temperature x 9/5) + 32.
0 celcius is 32 fahrenheit.

1. I wish we would convert to the metric system. We learned it in elementary school and used it--and only it--for every science class I had all the way through college. It's so much more practical in everyday life.

2. It is. It's logical, simple and practical. Just a lot easier

3. Yes Natalie and Andy,
Every person who has gone to school has used the metric system for years (Unless you went to high school in Pennsylvania or Kansas, where science is scary and because evolution is just a theory.)

I have a BS in chemistry and I have used the metric system throughout my college career and now use it every day at work.

I think fear is the basis for us not converting. We don't want foreigner dictating policy in Uh-merica. It's just another ridiculous argument that shouldn't even be an issue.

4. Xenophobia, America's second biggest problem (after the need to call every political move a something-ism)

5. Hahaha to the -ism thing, Andy. Along those same lines, you know what drives Brian crazy? How we've added -gate to the end of everything since Watergate. The least little scandal becomes a full-blown "-gate" affair.

I think another reason we'll never change is that people are just too lazy to figure something new out, especially older people. People are just so freakin stubborn, even when you try to show them something that makes complete sense, like the metric system. Attempting to change it would become a full-tilt political issue, in which naysayers (let's face it: probably conservatives) would hijack the issue and turn it into a referendum on Americanness, so in order to show the world that you're a true patriot, you'd have to vote against it. Maybe that's my imagination taking it to extremes, but that's the way everything else goes here, politically speaking.

6. Darn it, does that mean that I can't call the whole Bettman/Crosby thing "Crosby-gate" anymore?? Good point on the "ism" thing. Though honestly, I think in my experience, I've seen less xenophobia and more just apathy and ignorance. I think it's rather ironic that one of the most diverse nations in the world has become so ignorant of those who are different from them. I think Canada (besides the Cherry crowd) has done a much better job of incorporating diversity into its culture and being proud of it. Perhaps we can learn a thing or two during our couple weeks observing our northern neighbors. Then again, probably not...

I really wish we'd change to the metric system. Working in a hospital, we pretty much exclusively use metric. It's a pain in the butt to have to convert temps from Celsius to Fahrenheit & kilos to pounds for our parents. They've been talking about converting to metric here forever, but I don't think it'll ever happen. And yes, the fact that 1 liter of water equals 1 kilo of weight is extremely helful in my job.

7. both comments have great points. The -gate thing annoys me too

8. I'm a scientist - I am measurementally bilingual. Plus I know moles! :)

And at least everyone in the US should understand metric volume - since beverages come in 2 litre bottles, after all (but also 20 oz bottles and 12 oz cans). All my measuring cups and spoons have milliliters listed on the handle along with teaspoons or cups. If people switched to metric at least we'd just need ONE measurement system instead of knowing both.

I don't think it's intolerance nearly as much as inertia. When all the road signs and speedometers are in mph, the idea of switching is just tiring.

9. Andy!

Love this. I've been advocating for the metric system since I was about 9 and realized our system is retarded.

Though, to my knowledge, the UK uses the metric system.... it's only the US, Burma and Liberia.

10. Petrella: The UK does on paper, but in practice they don't and the road signs are still in mph

11. You learn something everyday at Fight Night! I had no idea, I've never been to the UK. But OF COURSE they have to make things difficult and ridiculous.

I'll never understand how someone back in the day, in the States, decided that 12 inches = 1 foot, and 5280 feet = 1 mile is EASIER than 100 centimeters = 1 meter.... and 1000 meters = 1 kilometer. Power of ten. Beautiful thing.

12. I guess that the deal really is this: Back in the day everyone used the feet, inches etc system, So that was what they used in the states too. You guys just never converted like we did