Thursday, November 06, 2014

Non Metric Australia

I once complained to the BBC because many of their radio programmes use US dollars and not pounds Sterling. There is some logic to it though, that around the world people know US dollars better than any other currency.

I read something about a driverless car topping a driverless car speed record in Germany. Australia and Germany are countries that officially uses metric measurements, yet the article must have been lifted straight from a US publication as the speed was given in miles per hour with the kilometres per hour in brackets. Get that? In an Australia publication miles were used when talking about car speed when we use metric from another metric country. There is no logic to that at all.

As I have mentioned before, I am greatly concerned at the backward steps we have taking with metrication.  We are back to pounds per square inch in tyre pressures, pounds and ounces for babies, calories for food energy, brake horse power for car engines. Sizes of tv screens and computer monitors have gone backwards with most now talking in inches. These are tvs being made in metric countries being sold in a metric country ant he screen size is predominately in inches. Metricating the length of a Subway roll, 6 inch or footlong, is perhaps unreasonable, and eight inches will always be a respectable figure.

There used to be some sort of government metric authority to promote metrication and help people understand it. I wonder if there are any remains of it in some government department.

24 comments:

  1. English and American metrication are for me so difficult. I prefer European one.

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    1. Our official system is much closer to yours Gosia, except we use millilitres instead of centilitres and millimetres instead of centimetres.

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  2. I've wondered why mens pants sizes in Australia are still given in inches. (Mind you, the inches number is a more flattering figure than the metric equivalent.)

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    1. Victor, I think that is another one that has gone backwards. I am sure in the past they were labelled only with the metric.

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  3. I'm the worlds worse measurer, so I get the beer fairy to do it,
    Weights and measures mean nothing to me but I get your point.
    Merle..................

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    1. So he has to help you measure when you are cooking Merle?

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  4. Its confusing the whole of it. I wish it was one thing or the other. Many younger ones don't know what i am talking about if I mention inches!

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    1. WA, I think if people our age, oops, are prepared to make the effort and change, as we did, then standards need to enforced instead of half this and half that, much worse in England.

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  5. Frustrating isn't it? I am very, very tired of the mish-mash. Despite the fact that I still don't think in metrics where height is concerned. And, to be completely inconsistent I do for distance.

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    1. EC, mish mash is a good pair of words to describe how it is now. I have had to relearn the old system now, and it is ridiculous. I suppose it is like being bi-lingual. I can now think in both and know, as far as linear measurement goes, but not really weights.

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    1. Yep John. Now what is your height and weight in metric?

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  7. The only one I can't quickly convert is the miles to kilometres ratio, if I was a driver I'd probably know it. I easily convert the 6 inch (15cm) or footlong (30cm) and 8 inches is a standard cake pan diameter. 4 inches (10cm) is a good hem length for skirts and dresses. I'm also reasonably good with weights. 1kg is 2.2 pounds etc.

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    1. River, but you are converting back to the old to know? I generally don't need to convert now. Children now will have there heads messed up by it all.

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    2. I don't bother with conversions, I just buy what looks to be the right size etc. For instance when pounds and ounces were first converted to grams there were a lot of ads on TV about women now not knowing what size can of beans to buy, which frustrated the heck out of me. Just buy the one that fits your hand as it always did.

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    3. Buy what fits your hand is a great thing to do and forget about measures.

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  8. The only country who uses the miles and km, inches and cm etc is the UK in Europe. Because elderly people can't cope with the new system which was only introduced in the 90th ! I have never seen a mile or an inch in Germany. Probably most of the people don't even know what that is. That's the same with the temperatures. We all use Centigrades and no Fahrenheit.

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    1. Gattina, they can't cope because they weren't forced to the new system, like we were here.

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  9. Thanks to a good education in the 1960s (which may qualify me as 'elderly') I have no problem with conversions although I think I'm a bit like River - if it looks like a pound and feels like a pound then it's probably about 450 grammes. The advantage with the UK adopting both systems is our practical and pragmatic view - there's a place for both Imperial and Metric systems, plus the fact we don't like being dictated to by the French, whose failure of an Emperor forced metrication on Europe and would have done to the UK had we not taken the wind out of his sails at Waterloo. And a few years of living in the Netherlands introduced me to their measure of the 'pond' - which I gather has been around awhile and equates to about half a kilogram, coincidentally pretty close to the UK pound. I'm sure there are other variations still in use if you look closely enough.

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  10. Chris, I can't agree. It should be the one or the other. Perhaps the UK should have stuck with imperial and bugger the French. I've not heard about the Netherlands pond, an old weight measurement I guess.

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  11. I must admit I do all my calculations in metric now Andrew EXCEPT calories will always be calories because 200 calories sounds so much more acceptable than 800 kilojoules :)

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    1. You are such a modern young thing, Grace. I remain quite ignorant of either calories or k/js.

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    2. Andrew, please! We are not, nowadays, allowed to 'bugger the French', we might contract some unmentionable disease. They, with the Germans, control the EU which the UK foolishly joined - we should have kept our distance and adopted a Norwegian-style 'relationship' that didn't involve full membership and therefore enforced compliance with idiot rulings from Brussels/Strasbourg.
      Back on topic, however, and thanks to PerthDailyPhoto for saying what I wanted to say. Three examples;
      First -
      New Mum - "The baby is 3.10Kg, is that a good weight, what was I when I was born?"
      New Mum's Mum - "Er, Seven and a half pounds."
      Second -
      A pint of beer is nice. Half a litre is really not quite enough although these days it seems Australia is adopting the Continental approach of pulling a beer until the froth overflows rather than measuring an exact quantity. In The Netherlands, at least, two fingers of froth on a beer is good. I gave the barman at my local two fingers and ever after had a properly poured beer with about a quarter-inch of 'head'. Just right.
      Third -
      Distances and Height - how idiotic is it to have races that comprise fractions of the standard measurements of distance? The mile is (almost exactly) 1.6 km, conveniently referred to as '1600 metres', and the two mile Melbourne Cup run over ,er, 3.2 kilometres, or 3,200 metres. Let alone personal height at, say, 180cm. What's wrong with 'Five feet eleven inches'?
      Like it or not (and I don't, really) the world is subject to American rules and they seem to be a bit reluctant to convert to metric, ...
      On the other hand, there are Russian Miles, Scots Miles, Irish Miles (and probably Country Miles) all of which aren't the same as a standard English Mile. So I've probably blown my case.

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    3. Chris, the baby weight debate will still be going on in one hundred years unless young people bite the bullet and forget about pounds and convert their own born weight. Ok Mum, thanks. I was 3.1 kilos then.

      As a barman, you could get shot for putting too much head on a customers beer. They felt like they were being cheated. Yes, embracing the pint of beer has been responsible for another step backwards.

      After this year's Melbourne Cup, perhaps the race is too long and should be shortened to 3 kilometres.

      How do you know my height? I think there is a win for those of us who like metrics with height.

      Then there are fathoms and knots, which for mine can go the way of perches and rods.

      Consolation prize, just as an expression rather than a meaningful measurement, I'd like to see miles kept. Run a mile, miles away etc. Kilometres just doesn't quite fit very nicely.

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