Re: [LEAPSECS] pedagogically barren?

From: William Thompson <thompson_at_ORPHEUS.NASCOM.NASA.GOV>
Date: Thu, 05 Jun 2003 10:12:59 -0400

Peter Bunclark wrote:
> On Wed, 4 Jun 2003, William Thompson wrote:
>>Markus Kuhn wrote:
>> (stuff deleted)
>>>While the international inch is indeed linked to the meter by a
>>>reasonably round factor, and even shows up indirectly in a number of ISO
>>>standards (e.g., inch-based threads and pipes), this can clearly not be
>>>said for the US pound and the US gallon and units derived from these,
>>>which are still required by US federal law to be present on consumer
>>>packages. As long as it remains legal and even required in the US to
>>>price goods per gallon or pound (units completely unrelated to the inch!),
>> (rest deleted)
>>According to the NIST website, a gallon is defined as exactly 231 cubic inches.
>> I would say that was a long way from being completely unrelated to the inch.
>>While the pound is unrelated to the inch, it is defined as exactly 0.45359237
>>Neither is a nice round number, but there is a definite relationship.
>>William Thompson
> Well would you Americans consider stopping calling them English Units?
> It makes me cringe every time the Mars Climate Observer crash is blamed on
> `English Units'. We call the British equivalent Imperial Units, implying
> a definite historical context. And teach our kids SI units.
> Pete.

You didn't hear me calling them English Units. I'm surrounding by too many
Brits to do that anymore. Actually, the phrase I like is Flintstone Units,
which I think I first heard on this mailing list. :-)

William Thompson
Received on Thu Jun 05 2003 - 07:13:09 PDT

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