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Did you learn how to use the metric system in school?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on February 17, 2012

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Photo of Robert Kleibohmer

“Yes.”

Photo of Pamela Carper

“Not really. We talked about it but didn’t learn it.”

Photo of Zach DeHart

“Yes, unfortunately.”

Photo of Hillary Willson

“We started learning it in eighth grade and used it through high school.”

Comments

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 1 month ago

Some time ago, the price of gasoline was being discussed, and it was claimed to be too high. I made the remark that there is a very quick and easy way to lower the price.

Just start selling it by the liter! Most people would probably think the price was suddenly much cheaper, and maybe there was something wrong with their car because its fuel mileage was so much lower now.

That reminds me of a fraternity prank played years ago that my younger brother told me about. One of the members of the fraternity had a Volkswagen Bug, and he was endlessly computing and bragging about what wonderful fuel mileage he was getting with it.

So, his fraternity brothers began the practice of adding fuel to his gas tank when he was not around. Never very much at a time, a gallon at the most. But there were a few men doing it.

Suddenly he was getting over 50 miles per gallon in town, and the bragging went on and on! And, everyone pretended to be impressed, and mentioned that maybe they should get a VW Bug too.

Then one day, by agreement, everyone quit adding gas to the tank.

Instantly, the VW Bug was not getting over 50 mpg in town any more.

So, the owner took it to the shop to see what could possibly be wrong with it.

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beatrice 2 years, 2 months ago

It would require us to either change the size of our football fields, or we have to start calling midfield the 45.72 meter line. Sorry, but if it messes with our football, it ain't gonna happen.

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RoeDapple 2 years, 2 months ago

I gots a 7.62mm x 51mm that I can hit a 30cm dinner plate at 300 meters with. I know cuz I walked it off at 324 paces (give or take . . .)

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rockchalker52 2 years, 2 months ago

I'm not fer shore cuz of my density issues & all, but when T_O_B told ant that we could up the average to 2.66 without him, who 'zactly izzit that's gettin' dissed there?

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autie 2 years, 2 months ago

I just recently opened up a quart of scotch yet had to use club soda from a liter bottle....will that explode or start and international event?

"Average brain density on OTS is 2.63 grams per cubic centimeter". Hey, that's just a little shy of an eight ball.

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tange 2 years, 2 months ago

Hmm... how many fingers you got? Toes?

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Andini 2 years, 2 months ago

I have a 10 mm locked and loaded and am not afraid to use it.

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overplayedhistory 2 years, 2 months ago

Only communists would want to use a measurement system that is base ten and is universally used in science (except for that Mars probe incident). Can you imagine measurements here being the same as everywhere else, yes I do think that would be the end of America.

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The_Original_Bob 2 years, 2 months ago

"Average brain density on OTS is 2.63 grams per cubic centimeter." Ant

Well, if you'd quit posting on the OTS, we could up that average to 2.66 gpcc.

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LadyJ 2 years, 2 months ago

"If God had wanted us to use the metric system,

Jesus would have had 10 apostles."

-- US Senator Jesse Helms

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LadyJ 2 years, 2 months ago

•Referring to football as a “game of millimeters” just doesn’t have the same ring to it. •Inchworms will become centipedes. •Meter sticks are very stubborn — they won’t give an inch! •Currently, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The conversion to metric would mean that a gram of prevention is worth approximately one‑sixtieth a kilogram of cure. Yuck. •Nobody wants to go traipsing all over Hell’s half‑hectare. •Cemetery workers would strike if they were asked to bury the dead “six meters under.” •You could no longer love someone a bushel and peck. You would have to love them 37.9 liters. •The famous barroom reprimand, “Mind your p’s and q’s” (pints and quarts), would become, “Mind your h’s and l’s” (half‑liters and liters).

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boltzmann 2 years, 2 months ago

After reading these comments, the fact that the US is losing its edge in science is becoming easier to understand.

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rockchalker52 2 years, 2 months ago

Well, I might be thick headed but I yam not thin skinned.

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Antonym 2 years, 2 months ago

Average brain density on OTS is 2.63 grams per cubic centimeter.

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g_rock 2 years, 2 months ago

Oddly enough however, I don't mind converting European shoe sizes when needed....

<---double standard haver!

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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 2 months ago

Give a Martian a gram and he'll take an ounce.

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Catzilla 2 years, 2 months ago

Come on America! It takes about 10 minutes to learn the metric system!

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autie 2 years, 2 months ago

and to follow up Rara, the number of dime bags one can extract from 3.5 grams of XOXOX whatever spurious powder it may be....unknown. That is like the metric equvilant of how many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll.

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Andini 2 years, 2 months ago

To answer ots...no. It wasn't taught yet.

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autie 2 years, 2 months ago

Rara, I believe, roughly speaking, an eight ball is approximately 3.5 grams....without gettin to decimallly with it.

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rockchalker52 2 years, 2 months ago

What's a henway, anyway? My friend, Gus, tried to put one on a scale when an egg dropped out & broke in his lap. That Gus, always yolkin' around. Sometimes there's no egg-squeezing his behavior.

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Rara_Avis 2 years, 2 months ago

I do know that the best friendships are based on drugs, not the metric system.

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RoeDapple 2 years, 2 months ago

The metric "tonne" equals 1,000 kilograms of mass before metrification a ton equaled 2,240 lbs., or a "long ton" In the US ton refers to the "short ton", or 2,000 lbs

A long ton is 1016 kg A short ton is 907 kg

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Rara_Avis 2 years, 2 months ago

As a matter of fact, I think the metric system was only taught to train kids in the art of buying drugs, hence more fuel for the War on Drugs, which never has worked but did create some jobs. Well, and maybe them metric wrenches, but RoeD would know more about that.

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CWGOKU 2 years, 2 months ago

I measure my body parts in metric, makes em sound bigger, know what I mean?

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FlintlockRifle 2 years, 2 months ago

Nope I grew up in the USA in a one room school out in the country, never even seen one of these "metric" untell one day I was working on my old Chevy and my 1/2 socket didn't fit whatever I wanted to remove, found a 12 point socket and presto got it removed. Stll not a fan of the dang sysyem,

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Rara_Avis 2 years, 2 months ago

I learned math on an abacus. I thought the metric system was worthless until I started buying drugs in 4th grade. It didn't help much with weed. I mean, how many grams are in a dime bag? This was the 70's so you could still buy lids and dime bags. Metric applied more to horse and blow, but to this day I still don't know how many grams are in an 8 ball.

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labmonkey 2 years, 2 months ago

I know metric like many know a foreign language. I know the units and have to use them in my field, but I still think in standard and always reference to standard measurements in my head to get an actual concept of size.

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autie 2 years, 2 months ago

(from a source)

God Hates fLags. Fred is not dead. Fred has not been dead. And accordingly all indications would be Fred doesn't plan on being dead anytime soon.

Sorry to bust anybody's bubble.

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RoeDapple 2 years, 2 months ago

golf balls must have a diameter of not less that 42.67mm and weigh no more than 45.93 grams

autie I see you have a new (or not so new) follower on another thread (from a source)

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autie 2 years, 2 months ago

Yeah..that 48 inches comment from the other day. I might be a pretty good size ole boy, but damn that is a lot....48 inches? I could take my wife camping.

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rockchalker52 2 years, 2 months ago

Penny's has new pricing & a good selection of expando-pants from 48 inches to 15 hands.

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 2 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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CWGOKU 2 years, 2 months ago

Ditto to Gandalf and Babboy. Total waste of time. Took the day off. Looks like a pretty day out there. Later

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Richard Payton 2 years, 2 months ago

Better feed the meter on Mass St. or you get a ticket.

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autie 2 years, 2 months ago

286.333 K and the white bass should turn it on. Baskets full.

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g_rock 2 years, 2 months ago

Isn't there an ap for that? Do I really need to learn it? No one here uses Euros or Pesos anyway...

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RoeDapple 2 years, 2 months ago

When I built the bunker I settled for 25 cubits by 18 cubits by 8 cubits

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BABBOY 2 years, 2 months ago

I think they tried and were telling us that some day the standard system would not be used.

That was like the 70s or something.

I do not know, but it seems to me if you can blow up the whole world you can get away with calling a meter a yard.....

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autie 2 years, 2 months ago

damn it man, stop! I'm learning stuff.

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rockchalker52 2 years, 2 months ago

More helpful measurements: supposedly you can weigh stuff by stones (14 lbs) or half-stones (you figure it out). Half stones are recommended when converting ounces & grams.

However, A stone's worth of wax weighs 12 lbs whereas a stone of mutton or beef is 8lbs, the same as sugar & spice (and everything nice.) A stone of wool weighs 14, 15, or 22 lbs. depending on the gullibility of the buyer.

So, I guess a stone weighs whatever you need it to weigh. That's pretty handy. Let's see, 4 inches to the hand so Withey is 21 hands skyward & tRob is 20...

...wiki ...wiki ...wiki...

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autie 2 years, 2 months ago

I guess if the oil companies really wanted to screw with us they would sell gasoline by the litre and 95% of Americans wouldn't know how much they got....and why do they sell soda in two litre bottles? Wine is in 750 millilitre bottles...what the hey? Yet scotch comes in a quart, pint, or (get this) four fifths of a quart. How did they figure that one? Must have come from some drunken Irishmen.

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The_Original_Bob 2 years, 2 months ago

"It is time the US joined the rest of the world."

Oh, hell no. It is time for the rest of the world to join America.

/Spits //Scratches balls ///Shoots off fireworks

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Andini 2 years, 2 months ago

Nobody likes the Metric System. Nobody,

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Andini 2 years, 2 months ago

RoeDapple (anonymous) says… Well . . . you have no idea how difficult it was in 1965 to convince your date that 9 centimeters equals 1 foot . . . just sayin' . . .


Now that is some funny stuff Roed!!

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melott 2 years, 2 months ago

I have relatives in England who have a flooring company. They all hated the idea of metric conversion. Now they love it and would never go back. It is time the US joined the rest of the world. We were on the path to do that--until Ronnie Ray-gun canceled it. One more obstacle to selling American products.

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The_Original_Bob 2 years, 2 months ago

I remembered a nine fingered man that measured humour in metres.

Hat tip to Autie.

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RoeDapple 2 years, 2 months ago

Well . . . you have no idea how difficult it was in 1965 to convince your date that 9 centimeters equals 1 foot . . . just sayin' . . .

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 2 years, 2 months ago

I refused to. Principles are important.

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autie 2 years, 2 months ago

it seems to me somewhere along the line way back when that we didn't care so much about metres but grams and gram equivliant became so important. We became walking conversation charts...how many grams are in X number of ounces? Or how many grams are in one eighth of an ounce? Must have been story problems for math class, huh?

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thuja 2 years, 2 months ago

Final calculations placed the spacecraft in a trajectory that would have taken the orbiter within 57 kilometers of the surface where the spacecraft likely disintegrated because of atmospheric stresses. The primary cause of this discrepancy was human error. Specifically, the flight system software on the Mars Climate Orbiter was written to calculate thruster performance using the metric unit Newtons (N), while the ground crew was entering course correction and thruster data using the Imperial measure Pound-force (lbf). This error has since been known as the metric mixup and has been carefully avoided in all missions since by NASA.

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Roland Gunslinger 2 years, 2 months ago

Yea, a base of 10 is SOOO much harder than our current system, oh wait....

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appleaday 2 years, 2 months ago

We use it all the time in health care. It's not that difficult.

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Flap Doodle 2 years, 2 months ago

Metric system, I spit when I say the words. Patooie! There was nothing wrong with measuring in poods and chains. The little thin pancake eaters tried a decimal calendar after their revolution. For a couple of years, nobody in the country knew what the heck day it was.

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RoeDapple 2 years, 2 months ago

And while we're at it, what the heck was the point of learning to cypher in base 13? Do they still do that?

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RoeDapple 2 years, 2 months ago

I retained more from my eighth grade Latin class. Another waste of time.

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RoeDapple 2 years, 2 months ago

Metric was never intended to replace inch/foot in the US. It was brought in by the automotive industry to justify cheaper parts being supplied from sources outside US borders. The simplest way to prove this is to go to a tool distributor and ask to purchase a set of metric sockets. The sales rep will ask,"Would you like those in 3/8" or 1/2" drive?"

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labmonkey 2 years, 2 months ago

I think we got more of it than the the standard system.

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