Sales vs Engineer joke



#2

Alleged discussion at our "sales this week" white board:

Salesman: "Look, this product has sold 10000."


Engineer: "Perhaps the number is written in binary."


Salesman: "If only!"


#3

There are 10 kinds of people in the world. Those who can count in binary and those who can't :)

Chris W


#4

Both funny jokes! There's even a related T-shirt, which so far I have resisted buying:

http://www.thinkgeek.com/tshirts/frustrations/5aa9/

#5

There are 10 kinds of people in the world. Those who can count in ternary, those who wish they could, and those who aren't worried about it.

;-)

Sam H


#6

There are two kinds of people in the world, those who divide people into two kinds and those who do not.

There are three kinds of people in the world, those who can count and those who cannot.


#7

There are two kinds of people in the world: me and others...

;DDD (It was JUST a joke!)

Csaba


#8

This Message was deleted. This empty message preserves the threading when a post with followup(s) is deleted.


#9

(longish):
So, a company sends three sales people and three engineers to a conference in a neighboring town. The travel by train.
As they go through the station, the sales people go to the counter and buy 3 tickets. The engineers buy one.

Sales: "Hey guys,aren't you two going to get tickets?"
Eng: "No."
Sales: "Why not?"
Eng: "You'll see."

So they get on the train, and the engineers immediatelly all crowd into the tiny bathroom. Pretty soon the conductor comes through, and knocks on the door; "Ticket, please".
A hand shoves a ticket out the door.

The sales folks are impressed.

On the way back, the sales people buy 1 ticket, and the engineeers buy none.
Sales: "Aren't you guys getting ANY tickets?"
Eng: "No."
Sales: "Why not?"
Eng: "You'll see."

They all get on the train, and the sales guys crowd into the tiny bathroom.

Pretty soon one of the engineers walks over, knocks on the door and says "Ticket please".
;)


#10

(Sorry for my poor english, but I hope you will understanding...):

A mathematician, a physicist and an engineer travels. They talkin about prime numbers.
The mathematician: 2 prime, 3 prime, 5 prime and so on with mathematical induction...
The physicist: 2 prime, 3 prime, 5 prime, 7 prime, 9 measurement error, 11 prime...
The engineer: 2 prime, 3 prime, 5 prime, 7 prime, 9 prime, 11 prime...

:)

Csaba


#11

And the computer guy: two prime, two prime, two prime, two prime, two prime, two prime, two prime...


#12

(With some loss due to sub-optimal translation)

A biologist, a physicist and a mathematician are witnessing an experiment they should analyze
and later explain to their students.
They are looking at a parked, unoccupied car from some distance,
so some of the details are difficult to perceive.

At t=t0, a couple enters the car.
Some time later (t=t1), a door opens and three persons leave the car.

The biologist says:
They surely were reproducing.
As t1-t0 has not been enough for a full reproduction process,
the woman should have been in an advanced pregnancy state when entering the car.

The physicist says:
As there were no nuclear reactions involved, it seems to me that the experiment is invalid,
because mass conservation was not kept.

The mathematician says:
When the next person enter the car, it will become empty again.

#13

A software engineer, hardware engineer and departmental manager were on their way to a meeting in Switzerland.

They were driving down a steep mountain road when suddenly the brakes failed. The car careened out of control, bouncing off guard rails until it miraculously ground to a scraping halt along the mountainside. The occupants of the car were unhurt, but they had a problem. They were stuck halfway down the mountain in a car with no brakes.

"I know" said the manager. "Let's have a meeting, propose a Vision, formulate a Mission Statement, define some Goals, and through a process of Continuous Improvement, find a solution to the Critical Problems and we'll be on our way."

"No," said the hardware engineer. "I've got my Swiss army knife with me. I can strip down the car's braking system, isolate the fault, fix it, and we'll be on our way."

"Wait," said the software engineer. "Before we do anything, shouldn't we push the car back to the top of the mountain and see if it happens again?"


#14

Joking aside, the engineer should have been able to remind the driver that there's a good reason the emergency brake is called that and not just a "parking brake". The handle or pedal has a direct mechanical linkage to the rear brakes that is not affected by vacuum or hydraulic failures.

Interestingly, there might be a linkage between the driver's education mentality and the math education mentality. The driver's ed says you don't have to know how the car works to be a safe driver. The math ed says the graphing calculator can somehow substitute for a good understanding of the material. That idea definitely won't fly when you try to get your pilot's license though!


#15

Four people - a statistics person, a mathematist, a computer scientist, a psychologist -
set their foot forth on their way to 4th FORTH language conference in the hills of the beautiful Scotland when they suddenly saw a lonely sheep on a far hill.
Statistics person said:
All the lambs in Scotland are black
Mathematist said:
No - at least one sheep is black in Scotland.
The CS person said:
No! One sheep on the side we look at is black.
The psychologist said:
NO! It looks to us like the sheep is black...
[VPN]

#16

2 + 2 = 5 for extremely large values of 2


#17

John Nelson
"2 + 2 = 5 for extremely large values of 2"

You must mean the 2nd 2, because if the 1st 2
also has such a value then the answer is 6...
(VPN)


#18

No, the answer IS 5 for extremely large values of 2. You only get to 6 for humongously large values of 2.

It is harder to figure out the result as 2 approaches zero.

#19

2+2=5 is true for extremely large values of 2, indeed!

It is true for the two 2's, because an extremely large value of 2 will be close to 2.5 . A value higher than 2.5 is not "an extremely large value of 2", but an "extremely small value of 3"

:-)


#20

Yes, you're right.
BUT there seems to be a bug in my calculator
because when I use "lim" at '2->oo' for that '2+2'
it returns 4.99999999998 instead of 5
If I use the RPN sequence << 2 DUP + >> instead of '2+2'
the answer is exactly 5 (which is correct)
(-;
'VPN'

#21

How foolish you ALL ARE!!! Or my more refined English, "Yoahll arh !".

2+2=22

It's obvious and the rest of you are just ignorant! Bop

#22

I had a CompSci professor (known for his rapid approximations) who told the class,
PI = 2

B^)


#23

At least for me (an engineer), usually 3x3=10 (+/- 10%, that is)

#24

If you are really lucky, when doing approximate math in your head (to impress your physics students, who are stunned when you get an answer to better than 10% WITHOUT a calculator!), you have a square root of 10 on the top (or bottom) of an equation, and pi on the bottom (or top). These divide out to very nearly one (certainly as close as you used to get with a slide rule!)


#25

Dave posted,

Quote:
...square root of 10 on the top (or bottom) of an equation, and pi on the bottom (or top). These divide out to very nearly one (certainly as close as you used to get with a slide rule!)

To verify that these values are within 1% of each other, execute delta-percent on several of your favorite HP (or other marque) calc. You'll really appreciate the 11C/15C/32SII when you try this simple problem on a 42S, 48*, or 49G...

Now, here are a few other approximations, mostly familiar and simple, but all accurate to within 1%:

pi ~= 22/7 (actual: 3.14159265358979323846...)

1 international mile ~= 8/5 km (actual: 1.609344 km exactly)

1 statute (US) mile ~= 8/5 km (actual: 1.60934721869 km)

[the above two items courtesy of the HP-28C]

And one "coincidence" from electrical engineering:

120*pi (376.9911185) ~= Z0 (376.73031) Ohms

The first term is the angular speed (in rad/sec) of 60 Hz; the latter is the characteristic impedance of free space (sqrt (mu0 / epsilon0), of which all three constants can be obtained using the HP-33S. (Unfortunately, the 33S does not give the units of these constants; all three are in SI, based on "meter-kilogram-second".)


Edited: 13 July 2004, 1:48 a.m.


#26

Quote: <1 international mile ~= 8/5 km (actual: 1.609344 km exactly)>

Being a physicist, I appreciate the SI system. Living in this real world, I know there is a former British colony still keeping the old imperial measures. To my knowledge, it is the only state still doing this. Well, it seems they want to keep their students busy learning a lot of useless conversion constants -- and some times want to loose a Mars probe because their engineers had troubles with this maze of measures. Must be a rich country ...

So far, I didn't know anything of an "international mile". Please enlighten me! ;))


#27

Walter B posted,

Quote:
So far, I didn't know anything of an "international mile". Please enlighten me! ;))

I suspect that the "international mile" derives from a definition of 1 inch = 2.54 cm exactly. This differs from the US Statute Mile apparently used for legal and surveying purposes. 640 acres = 1 square Statute Mile.

All of the above conversion factors, terms, and units are available on the HP-28C and HP-28S. This, and a dedicated alpha keypad are their two distinctive features among HP calc's.

-- Karl

#28

I'm assuming that 1 international mile = 5280 international feet. (As opposed to 1 mile consisting of 5280 U.S survey feet.

The international foot differs from the U.S survey foot by about 2 parts per million.

1 international foot = 0.3048 meters, exactly.

1 U.S survey foot = 1200/3937 meters

The two units above are defined in various legal codes of the individual states of the U.S, such as the California Public Resources Code.

The small, 2 ppm difference does not really make much difference of course, unless you are working with large distances or working with State Plane coordinates, which typically have units in the millions.

By assuming that 1 international mile = 5280 international feet, then yes, 1 international mile = 1.609344 kilometers (exactly).

By comparison, 1 mile consisting of 5280 U.S. survey feet = 1.6093472186944+ kilometers.

So, 1 international mile is about 3 mm shorter than a "mile" of 5280 U.S. survey feet.

Mark Taylor
California Professional Land Surveyor, LS 6862


#29

Hi Mark,

While I may not need to know this information, it is certainly interesting--and good to be aware of.

And I did a search as as result---and discovered more about (my often used) nautical mile:

http://www.fact-index.com/m/mi/mile.html


(I had always known--and used, the equivalence of minutes of lognitude = nm, but did not know about the geographical mile, and the slight difference in where the circumference was measured.)

It is great how this forum acts as an intersection point for so many different engineering and numerical fields.


Best regards,

Bill


#30

Bill:

Thanks for your comments and for posting that link.

I agree, this a great forum! I'm always learning new things and enjoy the occasional humor.

Mark

#31

This discussion highlights why the metric system is SO much better!

For the latest in high precision global "surveying," take a look at http://lupus.gsfc.nasa.gov . For a quick introduction, click on the "VLBI Brochure." Modern geodesy worries about the last millimeter on intercontinental distances (accuracies and precisions of better than a part per billion). (I help support the NASA VLBI effort - if you have more questions about this, let me know!)


#32

Metric units are indeed better to work and calculate with, but English units are often more convenient in everyday conversation:

e.g.,

"mile" vs. "kilometer"

(Avoirdupois) "ounce" vs. too-small "gram", too-large "kilogram" or non-standard "dekagram"

(fluid) "ounce" vs. too-small "milliliter" or "cubic centimeter", too-large "liter" or non-standard "deciliter"

Degrees Fahrenheit is more convenient than degrees Celsius for ambient temperatures at the Earth's surface. Not only are there 1.8 F degrees per C degree for more precision without fractions or decimals, but numbers are more meaningful at a glance:

Reading           deg F              deg C
T <= -41 frigid frigid
-10 <= T <= -40 bitter cold very cold to bitter cold
-9 <= T = 0 very cold cold
1 <= T <= +9 quite cold cool
+10 <= T <= +32 frosty temperate to warm
+33 <= T <= +60 cool hot
+61 <= T <= +85 temperate to warm impossibly hot
+86 <= T <= +99 hot impossibly hot
T >= +100 very hot impossibly hot

This aspect of everyday practicality, in addition to the enormous cost of converting records and signage, is probably the basis of the US' resistance to adopting SI as the official measurement system.


Edited: 17 July 2004, 2:46 a.m.


#33

All this shows is that you prefer English units because you were brought up with them.


#34

".", whoever you are --

It sure didn't take very much thought, effort, or courage on your part to post that garbage, figuratively firing from the shadows and running away...

For the record, I am quite familiar and comfortable with SI and the metric system, having three Science degrees. SI is the official measurement system for science -- even in the US -- and I wish that it had been adopted universally in the US for engineering as well. It's certainly a more sensible system for calculations and computations.

My point was that, for everyday usage without calculations, English units are often easier to use. Most of the terms are short and monosyllabic -- e.g, inch, foot, yard, mile, pint, quart, pound -- and are usually right-sized for the purpose, which is not always the case with metric units.

For example:

  • A one-ounce shot of liquor is about "30 milliliters"
  • A 12-ounce soda is about "355 milliliters"
  • A 25-mile drive is about "40 kilometers"
  • A 17-inch sheet of paper is about "43 centimeters"

I believe that the English system was designed with these principles in mind, and not for computational ease. That is the fundamental difference.

-- Karl S.


#35

Do I not have a right to privacy? I could have posted a fake name to keep you happy, but that would be dishonest.

I did not meant my previous post as an insult. Sorry if it appeared that way.

# A one-ounce shot of liquor is about "30 milliliters"
# A 12-ounce soda is about "355 milliliters"
# A 25-mile drive is about "40 kilometers"
# A 17-inch sheet of paper is about "43 centimeters"

This proves my point. You were brought up with the english system, and feel more comfortable with it.

# A one-ounce shot of liquor is about "30 milliliters"
# A 12-ounce soda is about "355 milliliters"

Most people in a metric country would not ask for 30 ml or 355 ml of a fluid. We would ask for a 'can of softdrink' for instance.

I could ask for a 2L or 1.25L bottle of coke, and not find that awkward at all. Its just the way you have been brought up.

# A 25-mile drive is about "40 kilometers"

Why is this more dificult to use? 25 and 40 are just numbers. How hard is it to say you drove 40 k's?

# A 17-inch sheet of paper is about "43 centimeters"

17 and 43 are both numbers. Big deal. The same applies for the silly tempreture example posted before.

I can say 30 degrees c is hot, 25 degrees c is nice, 20 degrees c is getting cool, etc. There is nothing special about those numbers vs their equivilent in the english system.


#36

Hi ---


It isn't the "17 vs 43" or the "25 vs 40" that Karl is pointing out---it is the "mile" vs "kilometer" (one syllable vs 4) and "inch" versus "centimeter" (one syllable vs 4).

Mass and force (only some of the many!):
carat
grain
dram
poundal
ounce
pound
stone
slug
hundredweight (cwt)
kip
ton
long ton

Length (pretty comprehensive):
mil
point
line
inch
palm
hand
link
hand span
foot
pace
yard
ell
fathom
rod
chain
bolt
furlong
cable
mile
league

Leaving the Volume, Area etc to you to do...


The oustanding thing about customary units is the enormous variety of them. And with only a few exceptions, they are all:

one syllable,
related to a common physical item,
related in a simple way to some other unit.

Further, they are usually the "right" size for the purpose,
for instance a "bushel" of apples is a reasonable container
for apples. What's the alternative--352 decilters?!


There are good reasons for metric, AND good reasons for customary. It is not a simple matter to say "one is better!".

BTW you all should like the drams-ounces-pounds---as it is hexadecimal!:^)


Best regards,


Bill


#37

What about the usage of two different units?
2 lbs and 4 oz
5 ft 7"
etc...
I wonder why there is not a smaller Fahrenheit unit?
(maybe Farth? :)
Well - one could use 15 and 3/8 Fahrenheit degrees
as the measurements are noted when using inches
:-p
1_VPN

#38

Quote:
What about the usage of two different units?
2 lbs and 4 oz
5 ft 7"

First one: 36 ounces or 2.25 lbs

Second one: 67" or colloquially, the readily-understood "five-seven".

Quote:
I wonder why there is not a smaller Fahrenheit unit?
(maybe Farth? :)
Well - one could use 15 and 3/8 Fahrenheit degrees
as the measurements are noted when using inches

Huh?? Of course, a Fahrenheit degree is already smaller than a Celsius degree. Fractions/decimals are less necessary...

#39

... What this helps to show is that the English units of measurements isn't really an inter-related "system" per se; it's a lengthy "set". Individual units for common specific purposes are often convenient to use, but mixing amd converting units is not convenient.

#40

Bill; you have the Palm on your list but did you realize that 4 Palms equals one Digit and that 4 Digits equals one Amma? This system was invented by someone who lost one finger from each hand "in a bizzare gardening accident".

#41

Quote:
Metric units are indeed better to work and calculate with, but English units are often more convenient in everyday conversation:

I can't see how you came to that conclusion. If you are equally familiar with both units, I don't see how you would prefer English units for "everyday conversation" unless those conversations where with someone who was not familiar with the metric system. For the record, I know that 1 inch = 2.54 CM, 1 KM ~= .62 miles, 1 kg ~= 2.2 lbs (on earth anyway) and one meter is little longer than a yard, so I don't consider myself to be very familiar with the metric system.

Quote:
(Avoirdupois) "ounce" vs. too-small "gram", too-large "kilogram" or non-standard "dekagram"

Too small? For what? When I am comparing the weight of two hand guns, ounces are great. When I am comparing the weight of 2 servos for my 100 gram RC plane, grams are more convenient. When comparing the weight of 2 cars, lbs or kilograms would work just as well.

Quote:
Degrees Fahrenheit is more convenient than degrees Celsius for ambient temperatures at the Earth's surface. Not only are there 1.8 F degrees per C degree for more precision without fractions or decimals, but numbers are more meaningful at a glance:
Reading           deg F              deg C
T <= -41 frigid frigid
-10 <= T <= -40 bitter cold very cold to bitter cold
-9 <= T = 0 very cold cold
1 <= T <= +9 quite cold cool
+10 <= T <= +32 frosty temperate to warm
+33 <= T <= +60 cool hot
+61 <= T <= +85 temperate to warm impossibly hot
+86 <= T <= +99 hot impossibly hot
T >= +100 very hot impossibly hot

The above values and descriptions seem rather arbitrary too me. I can't see how they illustrate your point at all. However I do agree that the finer graduations of the Fahrenheit scale is handy sometimes.

Chris W

#42

Hi Karl,

of course you may measure liquors and other stuff for your everyday (! ;) ) use in any random units you feel comfortable with. You can even order a "big" Coke as long as your counterpart agrees with you about the size of "big". So, the width of the thumb of Henry VIII could be an equivalent basis for a set of units as the meter rod in Paris. The only reason it isn't is the poor consistency of the old English system. Meaning (as said before) you need a lot of strange conversion factors within that system. The previous discussion in this thread has shown this very well.

In my opinion, the traditional American system of metrics consists of a big amount of units people felt comfortable with in certain areas of application in the 16th century. Within each area, this comfort may last until today. But these areas of (different) interest are not connected properly. It needs some effort converting square feet into acres or cubic feet into cubic inches, for example. So it isn't a system really, it is a mess worse than a teenager's room.

The big (and maybe only) advantage of SI is its consistency. For example, you do not need to remember conversion factors going from mm^3 to cm^3 to dm^3. This last unit is known as "liters", so people found easier names than "cubic decimeters" for chatting a the grocers, but consistency is kept! For mass, there is a (metric) "pound" (= half a kg) for grandma's use on the fruit market, but you will agree a conversion factor of 2.00000000000000 is easy to apply even after several ounces of liquor.

Science uses SI worldwide today. Since I belong to this group, I can confirm scientists (try to) use their brains as economical as possible. They try to focus on the real problems avoiding to carry historical ballast. Other people may call this cold or lazy. It is simple economy.

To drop old units you have learned in childhood does not give you warm feelings, certainly. It may seem frosty, but it will make live easier for your children and grandchildren for sure. For the transition period, you may use your traditional units, but (sorry!) these will die with you because of extra complexity without an equivalent benefit. And - since you are the exception - it will become easier for the whole world thereafter. No further need for different sets of nuts and bolts anymore, just to point out one advantage. By the way, I always think it being funny that the first "nation" rising against British rule is the only one sticking to this old mess still.

So, I hope this topic is covered finally. Nevertheless, if you find a better system of metrics than SI, I look forward to your proposal. Closing, I hope I didn't insult anybody by naming facts.


#43

Walt --

That was a reasonably intelligent short essay, that was unfortunately tainted with some gratuituous ad hominem sarcasm. To wit:

Quote:
of course you may measure liquors and other stuff for your everyday (! ;) ) use ...

but you will agree a conversion factor of 2.00000000000000 is easy to apply even after several ounces of liquor.

To drop old units you have learned in childhood does not give you warm feelings, certainly. ... For the transition period, you may use your traditional units, but (sorry!) these will die with you because of extra complexity without an equivalent benefit. And - since you are the exception - it will become easier for the whole world thereafter.

Closing, I hope I didn't insult anybody by naming facts.


Well, it seems that, ostensibly, I am an obstinate, singular relic of a bygone era who drinks booze on a daily basis! ;-)

Seriously, it wasn't the so-called "facts" that bothered me...

Regarding the "liquor", I am sure that there are many consumer products that are sold in the US in portions of one fluid ounce, or several. That was the most commonplace example I could think of, though. I certainly did not imply that I, myself, was a daily user. Enough about that.

Let me now repeat several statements I made in a subsequent post that was available at the time you replied to a previous post of mine on this topic. I don't believe that you read these statements before sending your essay:

-----------------------------------------------

"For the record, I am quite familiar and comfortable with SI and the metric system, having three Science degrees. SI is the official measurement system for science -- even in the US -- and I wish that it had been adopted universally in the US for engineering as well. It's certainly a more sensible system for calculations and computations."

"My point was that, for everyday usage without calculations, English units are often easier to use. Most of the terms are short and monosyllabic -- e.g, inch, foot, yard, mile, pint, quart, pound -- and are usually right-sized for the purpose, which is not always the case with metric units."

--------------------------------------------

What remains attractive to many Americans, I think, is the shortness of the terms and the sensible sizing of the units in the English system. For those specific purposes, that is just as much a convenience in the 21st Century as in the 16th.

In fact, there are very many English units of measurement, all named by a short, one- or two-syllable term, and scaled for a specific practical everyday use. The problem, of course, is remebering the conversion factors and doing the required math! But, when no conversions are required, that's not an issue in those cases.

In my "12 ounce = 355 milliliter beverage" example, "ounce" is easier to say than "milliliter", and 12 of something is easier to visualize than 355 of something. Sure, they're both just numbers, as "Mister Dot" pointed out, but the magnitude of those numbers is also important.

During my two years in Germany, I saw 0.3, 0.4, and 0.5 liters listed on reasturant menus as beverage sizes. I also saw "centiliters" listed on beverage cans, presumably to provide better-scaled numbers. However, centiliter is not an SI unit.

So, for measuring a standard-sized beverage in metric, we have the option of a rather large number, a fractional number, or a "quasi-standard" unit.

There are other non-SI metric units that are sized more conveniently for common use -- centimeter, cubic centimeter (cc), hectare, dekagram (perhaps?)

In closing: Again, I'm not strongly advocating the English system, just pointing out its limited attributes and why, in part, the US is reluctant to simply discard it.

-- Karl S.

Edited: 18 July 2004, 2:12 a.m.


#44

for heavens sake, no-one is out to get you. I didn't interpret the

"of course you may measure liquors and other stuff for your everyday (! ;) ) use ..."

as meaning "you, personally, drink booze daily" for instance. I think you are being oversensitive.

#45

Karl Schneider wrote:
> In my "12 ounce = 355 milliliter beverage" example, "ounce"
> is easier to say than "milliliter", and 12 of something is
> easier to visualize than 355 of something. Sure, they're
> both just numbers, as "Mister Dot" pointed out, but the
> magnitude of those numbers is also important.

visualise this:

try saying, "but I was only going at 66 ft/sec, officer"
with a straight face.

----------------

If you are used to one kind of unit, your brain has created lookup
tables that make its use "obvious". Changing to a different unit,
no matter how convenient or appropriate requires the creation of
new lookup tables and is, hence, painful and likely to be
resisted by the population.


The use of a system of units in everyday life is to a large extent
a cultural factor. Changing it takes at least a generation.

You can argue all you want about how "obvious" and "easy to visualize" a given unit is, but you will not get through to a person using a different unit. Period.

**vp

#46

Karl,

since you were 2 years in Germany, you may know the German word "man". The only way I learned to express it in English is to use "you" in an impersonal way. Please apologize my limited English. Your German may be better.

Once again, I don't bother using fathoms or stones to measure what has to be measured. The SI units m, kg, s and A just build the easiest SYSTEM of units I've seen so far.

And the prefixes do NOT create new units. They are just a convenient way to express powers of 10. E.g. 1 km = 1000 m, 1 dm = 0.1 m, 1 cm = 0.01 m, 1 µm = 0.000001 m. One degree in science or engineering should be sufficient to know this. I've never seen something similar for American units.

Everything clear now? ;)

#47

In my US kitchen in order to cook I need, 1 oz of rum (volume or weight?) that is poured from a 1 liter bottle. 1 quart of milk, 1 pint of cream, 1 gallon of water,a cup of flour, two tablespoons of salt. No consistency.

In the metric system, you use the liter, and its fractions, all consistent.

A building has normally 20 foot bays. When I design a metric building I have 6 meter bays (or 6000 mm bays). However; the US designers always draw a 6,096 mm bay.

The designer asks, how thick should the concrete be, I tell them, like always 6 inches. The designer draws it as 152.4 mm. Why not make it 150mm.

I have not checked the coke cans in Europe, but I would think they are 0.3l not 0.3548l, just like they sell beer. Maybe Coke should change to metric cans (the big bottles are already metric) and sell 0.3000 liters for the price of 0.3548 liters, more profits, less cost for aluminium.


#48

Walter S. wrote:

Quote:
In my US kitchen in order to cook I need, 1 oz of rum (volume or weight?) that is poured from a 1 liter bottle. 1 quart of milk, 1 pint of cream, 1 gallon of water,a cup of flour, two tablespoons of salt. No consistency.

Gee, you Yanks have funny weights and measures. Where I come from, in Scotland, the unit for rum or other liquors used in cooking is the skoosh (as in "just a wee skoosh of rum"), cream comes in dollops, salt is measured in pinches and various other ingredients are measured in smidgens, sprinklings, and so on.

But I will allow as Karl's attachment to those old-world units is more sentimental than sensible. Having lived in Australia for many years, I find weather forecasts in Fahrenheit near-incomprehensible. Centigrade/Celsius is just so much more sensible - at least, to me.

Best,

--- Les [http://www.lesbell.com.au]


#49

Quote:

But I will allow as Karl's attachment to those old-world units is more sentimental than sensible.

I'd like to put this thread to rest, but I couldn't quite let this statement go unchallenged. I suspect that with all the counterpoints (as well as some off-the-mark rebuttals), some clarity has been lost.

I have no "sentimental attachment" to the English system. My earlier posts clearly expressed that I wished that metric/SI had been adopted for engineering, as well as science, in the US. I am quite familiar with both systems, despite what Walter B. seems to imply.

My main point was that English units are usually easier to say, and oftentimes more-appropriately sized for the common, simple, everyday purposes for which it was originally developed/evolved. I prefer Fahrenheit for the specific purpose of surface ambient-air temeperatures (see Jeff's post for a very good explanation). However, I also fully concur that the English system is not very coherent or structured.

-- Karl S.

Edited: 20 July 2004, 11:46 p.m.

#50

The skoosh may have originated in Japan. In Japanese a "skooshie" is a little bit. It may be that youall gave them the word though. I have been told by a Japanese person that tobacco is a Japanese word.

#51

Karl;

I agree with you. In land surveying and civil engineering; feet, tenths and hundredths are used. Us folks that build things like roads, railroads, airports, bridges and such use them too. We can calculate with decimals and percentages but we don't have the disadvantage of using units of the wrong size for the job.

To us; single millimeters are always too small. Centimeters are too coarse for structural steel and finish concrete (where we use hundredths) but too fine for rough grade and dirt work (where we use tenths). Decimeters are always too coarse. Meters are often too big to use as a target for equipment operators because sometimes the lath you mark it on is not sticking up out of the ground far enough to show an even meter.

I've used feet/inches, decimal feet, S.I., and gunters chain/links. I'll take decimal feet for my work any day.


#52

President Ford tried to get the U.S. to convert to metric, and I used to go along with it wholeheartedly, having to explain what I meant to many who refused to be bothered with a system they were not familiar with. But after I got into industry, I realized that even if everyone did want to convert, there would be a very high price to pay in equipment. We have so much machinery and other equipment that's all calibrated in inches, pounds, gallons, etc.. Computers control certain equipment like milling machines more now than back then, making conversion easier if the applicable software were installed; but there's still too much that that does not cover. President Ford got a lot of highway signs changed at a huge expense, but that was hardly the tip of the iceberg. I wish we could change, but now I'm not sure it's possible without a huge initial hit to the economy.

#53

Surveying in the US is done using the US Survey Foot which is not the same as the standard International Foot. Aside from a small difference in length the US Survey Foot HAS no inches by defintion. Also by defintion it is subdivided into 0.01 foot.

International Foot = 0.3048 meters by definition

US Survey Foot = 0.304800609601 meters by defintion

Also, the pound has for some time (since the 1960's) been defined as a unit of mass. When speaking of force it is the pound force or lbf. 1 lbf accelerates a mass of one slug at the rate of 1 ft/s. There is a second unit of force, the poundel which accerlates a mass of one pound at one ft/s.

The metric users are no better. I have technical drawings using the kilogram as a unit of force.

#54

Hi db,

Isn't it true that the US DOT Federal Highway Administration (or whatever it is called) converted to metric units in the 70's under the Carter Administration, and never looked back? I believe that all road design engineering at the Federal level is carried out in metric.


Regards,

Bill


#55

In the 90s I worked for a company that made slip-form cocreate pavers, all of those pavers were designed to pave a certain width roadway in feet, not meters. As I recall interstate highways are supposed to have 12 foot lanes with a 4 foot left shoulder and a 10 foot right shoulder, which is why one of the most common machines was a 38 foot wide paver.

Chris W


#56

Yes, the 12 foot lane is true, except that they don't actually design and document it that way--they say 3658 mm. In other words, go read the actual drawings, and they are all metric--and not merely converted---(yes, some of the sizes originated in the legacy units---but they were translated).

I learned this from a consultant who came in to my shipyard to "teach" us metric when we were founded---as it was a US yard, with US personel, but a German-Norwegian parent company/sister yard.

The consultant worked with the Highway Administration in the past. The one interesting thing I learned from this "metric" class was the concept of "hard" verss "soft" conversions----if I recall, a "hard" conversion was an approximate (depending on roundoff) conversion from one unit system to another---For instance, 12 feet, change the standard to 3.7 meters would be "hard". From then on, you simply use 3.7 meters, or maybe eve n just og to 4 meters, and forget about the 12 feet.

A "soft" conversion, on the other hand, would keep the original true dimensions----or 3.6576 meters. It maintains the original actual size of the 12 foot measure.

This issue is even brought out in another post--Walter S? about "20 foot bays" is buildings being designed as 6 meter bays, and 6096 mm by us (shouldn't this be 6517 mm?) etc...

I may have "hard" and "soft" reversed here.

It is interesting because it happens quite frequently---and I found it to be a good thing that someone else had not only grappled with the problem, but taken the time to codify and systematize it.

The other issue is that if you have a standard that is 12.0 feet (+/-.1 foot), then it makes no sense to translate this to 3657.6 mm--too much precision---it should be 3660 mm +/- 10 mm or such.......Which also shows that, as with discrete numbers in a calculator, where som,etime sthe solution o the inflextion point etc is "in between" the possible numbers in the machine, so it is with units of measure.

regards,

bill


#57

Bill:

Your use of "hard" vs. "soft" conversions is correct. It's just the opposite of which would be which by intuition alone.

A highway lane 12 feet wide is only 3.6 meters wide by a hard conversion per the California Dept. of Transportation Highway Design Manual. You can run into trouble by "hard" converting vertical clearance heights for overpasses, tunnels, etc.

Mark Taylor

#58

Chris; I'm doing a California state highway (freeway) right now. I don't know if it meets interstate spec. Both the shoulders are 3 m except for a couple of quick exceptions that are from 2.4 to 3.6 m and the lanes are 11.81 feet. I guess that is to give an "even" 3.6 meters. Just as you said; the paver on the airport job we just finished opened up to a nominal 40 feet.

#59

Hey Bill, As i understand it; in the seventies the feds said that the states and local municipalities could design and build using any units of measure they wanted (arpents anyone?). However, the feds would only pay matching funds if it was engineered and layed out in metric. Then not. Then again. Now i hear that California is letting out contracts to bid in decimal feet again but i have no word on what this means. I am glad to hear it though. This metric stuff is fine for nuts and bolts, metal thicknesses too. It's just that nothing i do matches even metric units.

I guess all those oddball english standards were usefull to someone at sometime. Only Dios knows what good perches, acres breadths, shaftments, hands breadths, or barlycorns were originally for but i bet they were useful to someone somewhere. BTW: did you know that 10 Gunters chains equals one furlong? Now THATS decimal!

#60

Degrees Fahrenheit is more convenient than degrees Celsius for ambient temperatures at the Earth's surface. Not only are there 1.8 F degrees per C degree for more precision without fractions or decimals, but numbers are more meaningful at a glance:

Reading deg F deg C
T <= -41 frigid frigid
-10 <= T <= -40 bitter cold very cold to bitter cold
-9 <= T = 0 very cold cold
1 <= T <= +9 quite cold cool
+10 <= T <= +32 frosty temperate to warm
+33 <= T <= +60 cool hot
+61 <= T <= +85 temperate to warm impossibly hot
+86 <= T <= +99 hot impossibly hot
T >= +100 very hot impossibly hot
=====================================================
AND the freezing point of water is...?
You just have to admit that Celsius degrees are better!!!
<Kelvin is the SI unit>
(VPN)


#61

VPN

I assume you know that 32 degrees Fahrenheit is the freezing point of water.

OK, how about this for Fahrenheit vs. Celsius: The Fahrenheit scale seems to put 0 degrees and 100 degrees at the extremes that humans typically experience and can more or less tolerate. Zero F is damn cold but can be lived in with proper clothing, 50 F is pretty comfortable, 100 F is damn hot but can be lived in. Celsius puts the 0 and 100 extremes at the freezing and boiling points of water. Who cares how comfortable water is! On the Celsius scale, the "comfort range" for people is -18 C to 38 C. Not nearly as nice as 0 to 100.


(The above is a tongue in cheek analysis, and of course my opinion only. No offense to anyone holding a different view is intended or implied. I readily admit the general superiority of the Metric over English unit system. The "comfort range" also probably shows a mid-north-latitude bias. Metric vs. English is kind of like Science vs. Religion, or HP vs. TI, RPN vs. Algebraic, or Chocolate vs. Vanilla. If you care enough to argue, no amount of argument is likely to change your opinion.)


#62

Jeff wrote:
> On the Celsius scale, the "comfort range" for people is -18 C to 38 C. Not nearly as nice as 0 to 100.

So, say, 1 degree F is within the comfort zone, but 101 degrees F isn't?

Don't be silly.

The extremes were chosen so that you can easily calibrate a thermometer. Both camps arbitrarily chose values that were convenient to them.

Any discussion as to which is "bettter" can only be compared to religious discussions about whose religious beliefs are more believable.

Get real

**vp


#63

Perhaps I should have emphasized it more as the "typical human experience zone" rather than a "comfort zone."

Either way, I was just attempting to provide another perspective. I was not arguing that Fahrenheit is better than Celsius. I also stated that such discussions are not likely to win any converts to the opposing viewpoint.

#64

Metric units really make life easier when using a tape measure to find your age. A tape graduated in centimeters is much easier to use for that than one graduated in inches.

Chris W


#65

Chris W. posted,

Quote:

Metric units really make life easier when using a tape measure to find your age. A tape graduated in centimeters is much easier to use for that than one graduated in inches.

Huh?? :-)

But, while you're commenting (again) on my post from four days ago, I'll revisit a comment from your first reply:

Quote:

The above values and descriptions seem rather arbitrary too me. I can't see how they illustrate your point at all.

To assist you and Mister Dot, who called this a "silly tempreture [sic] example":

The ranges are anything but "arbitrary". I've identified "double-digit negatives", "single-digit negatives", "single-digit positives", and so on, up to "triple digit positives". It is plain how one can quickly identify a "severe" air temperature, simply from the sign and number of digits of a Fahrenheit temperature reading, without really interpreting the digits. Jeff illustrated my point rather well.

As for the descriptions, I think they're certainly reasonable, although "cool" and "temperate to warm" should have been divided into one more range.

Reading           deg F              deg C              
T <= -41 frigid frigid
-10 <= T <= -40 bitter cold very cold to bitter cold
-9 <= T = 0 very cold cold
1 <= T <= +9 quite cold cool
+10 <= T <= +32 frosty temperate to warm
+33 <= T <= +60 cool hot
+61 <= T <= +85 temperate to warm impossibly hot
+86 <= T <= +99 hot impossibly hot
T >= +100 very hot impossibly hot

Edited: 22 July 2004, 1:00 a.m.


#66

Quote:
Huh?? :-)

You can have fun with a tape measure too :)

If you extend a tape measure out to the current year (104, since no tape measure I know of can go to 2004). Then fold it over so the zero mark is inline with the current year. Now look for your year of birth. Directly across from that you will find the age you will be on your birthday of this year. For the current year you will have a 52" long loop if you are using inches. While that is do able with a sturdy tape measure, it is a bit unwieldy. A 52 cm long loop is much more manageable.

When you put your temperature ranges together with your descriptions I still find the ranges pretty arbitrary. From the perspective of someone who grew up in Gunnison, CO and Syracuse, NY and spent 2 summers in Florida, I have significant disagreement with your ranges and descriptions. Here is how I would lay it out in degrees F

Below -15     Cold enough to kill you if your not careful
-14 to 10 Bitterly cold
11 to 29 Very cold
30 to 49 Cold
50 to 68 Cool
69 to 78 Comfortable as long as it's not too humid or too windy
79 to 90 Hot
91 to 105 Very hot
106+ Hot enough to kill you if your not careful

Of course the hot and cold enough to kill you ranges get larger without and with water respectively, and with extended time.


Chris W

#67

22/7 is an OK approximation for pi. 355/113 is much better.

#68

> These divide out to very nearly one (certainly as close as you used to get with a slide rule!)

Aw, come on-- If you can't tell .993 from 1.000 on a slide rule (even a little one), I'd say you needed some new glasses!

It's interesting though that people used to be happy with 3-4 digits and never more than 5 on a slide rule, but now they have an issue with a calculator that doesn't get the 10th digit correct!


#69

Re slide rule accuracy: on my Aristo MultiTrig, I can quite accurately set e.g. cos = 0.9999455 and see that <cos is a teenzy bit less than 0.6 degrees. Which must be close to a calculator result...


#70

Two friends, both engineering students, pass each other on a campus sidewalk. One is riding a bicycle. The other says, "Hey, where did you get that great bike?" The other replies: "It's the strangest thing. Yesterday, I was walking down this very sidewalk, when this pretty girl comes riding up on a bicycle. She stopped, got off the bike, took off all her clothes, and said, "Take what you want!" The other student thinks for a minute, nods, and says, "Good choice. The clothes probably wouldn't have fit."

(Of course, I was a liberal arts major. You know. "Would you like fries with that?)


#71

Engineers?? I think they were architects, and the faggot ones. Not engineers for sure at least brasilians ones. Do the engineers do the bike choice in your country? hahaha?


#72

Sure-- We have a lot of serious cyclists in the U.S. who are engineers. I'm one of them, and one of my first thoughts was that the bike probably would not have fit much better than the clothes. (A $300 bike that's your size may be better than a $5,000 bike made for someone 6" shorter.) Still, most of the engineers would have made a different choice.


#73

My 12-year-old told me this gem: "Never put down another person until you've walked a mile in their shoes. That way, they'll be a mile away when you do it, and, besides, you'll have their shoes."

Let's see. I'm a heterosexual, who enjoys engineering, and I was a bicycle mechanic for over 10 years. (At a real pro shop... top of the line. Nice. A shop that recognized QUALITY of service over a quick buck.) I guess that leaves the bike or the girl. I guess I'd pick the one that looks like it'd fit the best <grin>.

RTN2RPN
Michael


#74

Mike; In girls i think "one size fits all". You're the doctor though and i'll defer to your judgment. <grin too>

Marx; That engineering student would have chosen differently if the former bike owner had been a Brazilena.


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