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#68699 - 08/14/06 02:30 AM Metric Inches
PEdoubleNIZZLE Offline
Member

Registered: 06/16/04
Posts: 176
Loc: McKeesport, PA, USA
I had a weird day on Friday at my work place (at the home center with the blue sign). Since I broke my foot in two places, I wasn't supposed to work because I can't wear a regular shoe. But since OSHA doesn't care about what I do at my house, I decided it was time I replaced my porch light, so I went shopping where I work. A customer recognized me as an employee and asked me to cut some wire. I told him I can't do it for him, but I'd get someone to help him (since I'm a nice guy). I got the electrical associate, and he asked the customer what he needed. "I need some 12 gauge thhn for 3 phase... you know red, black, blue, white, green." We knew what colors he needed, but he might have thought we didn't know (those are also the only colors we stock at our store. You want purple? We don't got no stinkin purple! )

So the associate asked him how long he needed it. The customer said "I need 500 metric inches, that's what I measured."

The associate was at a loss for words. He thought it was a practical joke, so I jumped in and asked if he meant centimeters. "No, my tape measure says 'metric inches'" I asked to look at his tape measure. It actually read "metric" on top and "Inches" on the bottom. It seemed to be a no-name dollar store that suffered a language barrier. I asked him if he used the top or bottom to measure, and he said the top. I told him, "Sir, just to let you know, those are centimeters," to which he said, "Don't give me that, I know how to use the mectric (that's how he pronounced it) system." So we gave him 17 feet of wire. I told him, "Since we measure in american feet, I have to give you 519 metric inches." He was upset about the whole ordeal, but the associate and I shrugged it off. As soon as he turned the corner, we were laughing so hard that I forgot about the pain in my foot.

I wonder how many metric amps you can put through #12 american wire. It's also good that my store has a no liabilty policy. If someone doesn't know how to use a system of measuring, I'd hate to know what they're wiring up that's three phase.

Eidted for disclaimer: Not knocking the metric system, as I am fluent in both. Just making fun of the customer with the "metric amps" part.

[This message has been edited by PEdoubleNIZZLE (edited 08-14-2006).]

[This message has been edited by PEdoubleNIZZLE (edited 08-14-2006).]

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#68700 - 08/14/06 12:28 PM Re: Metric Inches
SolarPowered Offline
Member

Registered: 07/05/04
Posts: 615
Loc: Palo Alto, CA, USA
Just to add a bit of trivia, the ampere is a metric unit, as are the volt, ohm, farad, etc., etc. Also, the inch has been officially defined to be 25.4 millimeters since sometime in the 1800's, so the inch is also pretty much a metric unit. As are the foot, yard, furlong, and mile.

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#68701 - 08/14/06 12:58 PM Re: Metric Inches
trobb Offline
Member

Registered: 06/08/06
Posts: 111
Loc: Iowa City, IA
I know there are engineers on the forums that know this already, but here's another oddity. The pound is a force measurement, actual weight is a 'slug'. Divide pounds by 32.2 to get slugs. (Acceleration due to gravity). Looks like we don't even have to leave the 'American' system to get strange quirks.

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#68702 - 08/14/06 01:20 PM Re: Metric Inches
SolarPowered Offline
Member

Registered: 07/05/04
Posts: 615
Loc: Palo Alto, CA, USA
We actually play with pounds force, pounds weight, and pounds weight. That's how you end up with the bizarre oddity that the specific impulse of a rocket engine is measured in "seconds" in English units, because it's "pound(force)-seconds/pound(mass)", where they cancel out the pounds to get "seconds". Whereas in metric it's "kilonewton-seconds/kilogram", which is also sometimes expressed in the reduced form "meters/second", a much more intuitive unit.

[This message has been edited by SolarPowered (edited 08-14-2006).]

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#68703 - 08/14/06 02:43 PM Re: Metric Inches
Alan Belson Offline
Member

Registered: 03/23/05
Posts: 1801
Loc: Mayenne N. France
The metric faradiddle started here in La Belle France 200-odd years ago. The French Revolutionaries wanted to get rid of everything associated with l'ancien regime, so they changed everything possible, just to make sure it all couldn't come back!
They cut off the heads of the Royal family, the aristos, the landowners and anyone else vaguely bourgeoise they could catch, just to make sure.

They invented the guillotine for 'humanitarian reasons', [ although the increase in 'production' also came in handy, as it happens ].

Now don't start feeling sorry for the 'old regime'. They were as vindictive, cruel and blood-thirsty bunch as one could ever imagine. Nobody but the poor paid taxes.

Sébastien Paturel was one victim from my village. A farm laborer aged 19, in 1746 he walked to Mayenne for an evening out with 4 mates and was arrested as a 'salt -smuggler' under a new law designed to stamp out the practice. [ The tax on a £3 box of salt was £58! ]. Sentenced, though plainly innocent, to 5 years in the slave-galleys at Marseilles, he was welded into 28lbs of iron manacles and neck-weights and force marched 400-odd miles, but not before he had 'GAL' [galley-slave] burned into his forehead with a branding iron. He must have been one tough kid, because he survived. 5 years later he was cut out of his irons, had 'liberté' re-branded over the top of 'GAL' [!] and walked home. He married soon after. He died in 1790 aged 63. His descendants still live here.

So, where were we? Oh yes, they changed to cm, kg, metres and kilometers, litres and hectares.
At one point, they even decreed 10 hour clocks. 10 hour days each of 100 minutes each of 100 seconds. They invented the 'metric calendar'. 12 months of 30 days each divided into 3 decades per month, [ ie. 10-day 'weeks' ] with 5 or six additional days tacked on the year-end [ because they couldn't slow the earth down! ]. Year '1' was 1792 [First Republic], but Napolean abandoned it all 14 years later.

They bumped off a few of the brains too, like Lavoisier.

Then they all killed each other, just to make doubley sure!

Which was handy for Napolean Bonaparte.
Who, by the way had Scottish ancestors.

Actually, they did'nt change everything, not quite.
Since pipe-threads were already standardised and all the plumbers had imperial threading tools, they kept the sizes the same but changed the nomenclature.
So, 1/2" BSP = 15mm x 21 and all metric pipe threads will fit imperial ones.

The pouce[inch], pied[foot], and livre[pound and also a £ sterling ] live on in common use by country folk. Heck the old boys round here still talk in ancien Francs and they've been gone 40 odd years!


Alan
_________________________
Wood work but can't!

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#68704 - 08/14/06 07:17 PM Re: Metric Inches
SteveFehr Offline
Member

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 1192
Loc: Chesapeake, VA
 Quote:
I know there are engineers on the forums that know this already, but here's another oddity. The pound is a force measurement, actual weight is a 'slug'. Divide pounds by 32.2 to get slugs. (Acceleration due to gravity). Looks like we don't even have to leave the 'American' system to get strange quirks.
Ah, I think you mean "mass"

Quick! Can someone convert the temperature from Rankine into Celsius for me??

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#68705 - 08/14/06 07:48 PM Re: Metric Inches
togol Offline
Member

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 426
Loc: NW In. USA
Alan,
you always manage, with a grin, to teach history .......
 Quote:
....At one point, they even decreed 10 hour clocks. 10 hour days each of 100 minutes each of 100 seconds.



Thank you
_________________________
Tom

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#68706 - 08/14/06 07:50 PM Re: Metric Inches
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9045
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
Well it's about 85 f here right now, that's 29.4 c or 544.7 r
_________________________
Greg Fretwell

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#68707 - 08/14/06 07:55 PM Re: Metric Inches
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9045
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
Rankine is the Fahrenheit equivilent to kelvin in celsius. 0 is "absolute zero"
_________________________
Greg Fretwell

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#68708 - 08/15/06 06:05 AM Re: Metric Inches
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Should we even get into the difference between the U.S. pint/quart/gallon and the Imperial pint/quart/gallon?

I like the "metric inch" concept though. Next time some branch of our dictatorial government insists that information has to be supplied in metric units I'll just measure in good old feet, inches, pounds or ounces and just tell 'em it's the "British metric system."


[This message has been edited by pauluk (edited 08-15-2006).]

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