Grinds my Gears - Imperial unit system

Time to shake our fists, because here is another edition of "What Really Grinds my Gears"

You know what grinds my gears?

Electronics that use 3 batteries, like my small LED flashlight. Why not just use 4? It will be stronger, and there really is no saving one battery. I tend to lose that extra leftover battery anyway.

You know what also grinds my gears?

The American/British imperial unit system. Why can't we switch to the metric system? The metric system is based on the power of ten, while the imperial system is based on random things. The only one that makes sense is four quarts in one gallon. The rest is retarded! For example, I was making some pancakes awhile ago, and I had to get on the internet to find out how many cups were in a pint. If they gave me directions based on one unit, I could get the proportions right, like 1 part milk and 2 parts flour. But they said something like 2 cups of milk for a pint of flour. In that case, I had to look it up. But if they said I needed 500 mL of milk, it's so easy to make makeshift measures. All I have to do is fill up a 2 Liter Coke bottle one quarter way. Or if someone asks me my height in inches, I'd have to do some multiplication (5x12 plus 8= 68), whereas it's immediately obvious that 1.7 meters is 170 centimeters.

People complain about not being used to metric measurements, but I know firsthand that all you need is a week to get used to it. After a week driving around in Vietnam or Europe, it was getting easier to estimate how long a kilometer is. And to make it easier on you, 100 meters is pretty much 100 yards. In fact, if someone tells me that a certain distance is 60 feet away, I have no idea how far that is unless I convert it to 20 yards. In a way, this means that I intuitively already prefer meters over feet. How many feet are in a mile? 5,280 I think. Good luck getting a below average third grader to remember that. It's easier to remember 1,000 meters in a kilometer. And we already know how much a liter of water is. It's half of the Coke bottle. The kilogram won't be that hard to adjust either. At least it's based on water. One mL of water takes up one cc, which weighs one gram. That means that one liter of water weighs one kilogram. HAX! Still complaining about not knowing how much a kilogram is? Step on a scale, congrats now you know how much you weigh in KGs. Who knows what one pound was supposed to measure? Was it supposed to be the weight of King Henry VIII's jewel satchel? So arbitrary.

Some others complain that they won't know if they're getting a good deal. Is two dollars for a liter of gas a good deal? Competition still exists and collusion is still illegal, changing to the metric system doesn't mean changing to communism. Just look at Costco, then look at 76. You will know what is a good deal and what is expensive.

The one thing that I actually would like to keep though is the Fahrenheit temperature scale. It is arbitrary. Mr. Fahrenheit established 0 degrees by mixing ice water and some chemicals. And he established 100 degrees because it was the body temperature of a horse. Definitely arbitrary. The Celsius scale is based on the freezing and boiling temperature of water. However, Fahrenheit scale increases are more modest than a Celsius increase for more precise definition. Also, the meaningful temperatures on earth range from 0-100, a great coincidence. Of course in Siberia the temperature is below 0, and in deserts is above 100. But for the most part, all civilized places are between 0 and 100. If you're using Celsius, everything above 50C is useless to humans because nowhere on earth is that hot. And if we were using Celsius in New York, you would say it's negative 10C instead of 15F (common winter temperature). I think we should avoid negatives if we can. The beauty of that 0-100 Fahrenheit scale is that it fits the power of tens like the rest of the metric scale. It's why people like using 100 percent instead of fractions or decimals.

Granted, there is one hard part about the metric system. You have to learn the prefixes. But we already know many of them:

tera - 1,000,000,000,000 (a good byte unit to measure amount of pron DL in a year)
giga - 1,000,000,000
mega - 1,000,000
kilo - 1,000
centi - 100x of these to make the one unit (100 centimers in a meter)
milli - 1,000x
micro - 1,000,000x
nano - 1,000,000,000x
pico - 1,000,000,000,000x

Yes that means that Apple should have called the iPod mini the iPod micro. And if a new one comes out that is smaller than the nano, it will be called the iPod pico.

I may be a nerd and intellectual, but I believe the metric system is not Anti-American. If anything, it will simplify our lives and require us to memorize and calculate less. We can be more lazy, and it doesn't get any more American than that.


Khorn said...

Regarding the flashlight: I think the flashlight company have a secret contract with battery company to make you buy more battery. Just like the hotdog and buns scam. Not enough hotdogs per pack of hotdog buns. :P

First of all why AAA over AA? I think the AAA replaces the AA, because of space constraint within the flashlight handle. 2 double AA would increase the diameter of the flashlight handle and would waste material during fabrication. This is when the AAA comes in, they are quite smaller but would require more energy (extra battery) to power your flashlight. Plus, depending on how many LED used, the list goes on.

Last note: It's all about making the flashlight small and compact. Just imagine you have a circle and you need to fit as many circles (AAA battery standard size) inside it as possible. 3 AAA would make the size of flashlight handle smaller than 4 AAA. 2 AAA would not be a good use of space and leave a gap in the flashlight handle. Why handle have to be a tube and not a rectangle or other shape? Cheap to make...I won't go into details. If you have a CAD program to circumscribe circles inside a fixed circle, then you know that 3 AAA fit better than 4 AAA.

I'll post about the units of measurement later.

J.Frosty said...

it's the old "not enough buns for these hot dogs" scenario, companies secretly developed trade agreements in the late 1800s to produce flashlights that use 3 batteries so that when you need new batteries you have to buy more. ALL packs of batteries come in even numbers, no matter it be a 100 back or a pack of 2. This trend will not break until every family spills the blood of the first born child.

Mother Russia said...

+1 to Khoa's analogy with the hotdogs LOL

J.Frosty said...

HOLY CRAP! lmao, i didn't even notice that i basically copied what khoa said. GG lol