You live in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA now, dudes


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You live in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA now, dudes

Postby Daisy » Thu Dec 29, 2005 10:03 am

I'm starting this thread since I don't want to pollute tafnut's good quiz thread.
http://www.trackandfieldnews.com/discus ... hp?t=16950
bad hammy wrote:
tafnut wrote:Dear Daisy and Mark,
You live in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA now, dudes - deal with it!! :roll:

Yeah, you Brits got us going on the inch/foot/mile thing in the first place. Then you capitulate to your European peers and go metric. Then you move over here and complain when we hold to the time-honored tradition. Sheesh!! :P


In our defense, all we are asking for is a bracket with the metric equivalent. Since everything in T&F is measured and reported in metric, it does not seem too much to ask to have the metric version retained. It's not trash to all of us.

tandfman wrote:
bad hammy wrote:Hey, it was the feet and inch crowd that got us to the moon, Mars and beyond.

Do you think those guys work in feet and inches when they're designing space vehicles? I really don't know, but I somehow doubt it.


tandfman is correct. U.S. scientists all use metric. That is another reason why, despite living in the U.S., I am still surrounded by metric. It's a classic case of the ivory tower syndrome. Back to NASA, you have to feel sorry for them. The reason the mars probe crashed was because their contractors were using imperial, whereas NASA was using metric. Somewhere along the line there was an incorrect conversion and the whole project failed. It may exercise the brain to make all these conversions but inevitably errors slip in along the way.

http://www.cnn.com/TECH/space/9909/30/mars.metric.02/
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Postby bad hammy » Thu Dec 29, 2005 11:37 am

Daisy wrote:tandfman is correct. U.S. scientists all use metric.

Just so we are all clear on one thing: my part of this discussion was all said with tongue firmly planted in cheek (and don’t let your dirty minds go south on me here!)

Now I never really thought much one way or the other about whether the space program was using the metric system or not. My point (and train of thought) was that these rocket scientist NASA guys were mostly Americans who grew up on the Imperial system, which requires more brain power to figure out than the metric system. It could be inferred (admittedly by stretching quite a bit) that using that brain power at an early age to keep up with the feet and inches and miles helped develop the brain power required to get to the moon and back.

In the real world this is all moot. The US tried to get on board with the metric system back in the late 70s and it failed miserably. All we have to show for it are 750 milliliter bottles of booze and 400 meter tracks. (And there is little doubt that the use of the metric system in T&F certainly does not help the popularity of the sport in the US.) No politician is going to waste any capital on this one again. Land of the free and home of the mile . . .
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Postby Daisy » Thu Dec 29, 2005 11:54 am

bad hammy wrote:
Daisy wrote:tandfman is correct. U.S. scientists all use metric.

Just so we are all clear on one thing: my part of this discussion was all said with tongue firmly planted in cheek (and don’t let your dirty minds go south on me here!)

I saw that tongue!
bad hammy wrote:No politician is going to waste any capital on this one again. Land of the free and home of the mile . . .

Ironically, Thomas Jefferson proposed a decimal-based measurement system as far back as 1790 well ahead of the rest of the world. This explains why the $$ is decimal. Even more amazing was that the U.S. was one of the orignal 17 signatories at the Metric Convention in 1875. What happened?
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Postby tandfman » Thu Dec 29, 2005 12:12 pm

bad hammy wrote:In the real world this is all moot. The US tried to get on board with the metric system back in the late 70s and it failed miserably. All we have to show for it are 750 milliliter bottles of booze and 400 meter tracks. (And there is little doubt that the use of the metric system in T&F certainly does not help the popularity of the sport in the US.) No politician is going to waste any capital on this one again. Land of the free and home of the mile . . .

I sometimes wonder whether, with all of the immigration we've had in recent years, particularly in some of the more populous states, it might not be possible to generate some political momentum for a change. But I think you're right--it's not going to happen any time soon. The red state mentality, which seems to be the prevailing mentality in the US government today, is decidedly anti-internationalist. (I first wrote "xenophobic" and then erased that because I think it's more disdain and disrespect than fear.) As rational as it may seem to you and me, we are in a minority on this point. I suppose a majority of college professors would support the adoption of the metric system, but if that isn't a political kiss of death, what is? It will someday happen, but I don't expect to see it in my lifetime.

And yes, having our sport out of synch with the prevailing system of measure is something of a negative for us. But because our sport is so international, it is understandable that we are where we are.
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MMconverted=

Postby wineturtle » Thu Dec 29, 2005 12:45 pm

All I can say is 92-61-92 lacks panache. :lol:
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Re: MMconverted=

Postby Daisy » Thu Dec 29, 2005 12:47 pm

wineturtle wrote:All I can say is 92-61-92 lacks panache. :lol:

But think how much your weight will improve.
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Postby maggot » Thu Dec 29, 2005 2:21 pm

It is also an easy way for the U.S. to ignore global warming by reporting temperatures using the Celsius scale.
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Postby donley2 » Thu Dec 29, 2005 3:51 pm

As an aside, I thought the whole metric side discussion was silly since, the questions tafnut asked could all easily have been just fill in number X on the US all-time list. Calling out an actual distance criteria really had no relevance except to double check your answers somewhere.
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Postby marknhj » Thu Dec 29, 2005 3:58 pm

maggot wrote:It is also an easy way for the U.S. to ignore global warming by reporting temperatures using the Celsius scale.


LOL - Why can't we all just get along? Putting the metric distance in brackets (whoops, parenthesis :D ), as T&FN does, is perfect - plus it helps educate us US-based Euro's (oh, and every other country in the world too!)
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