Re: [LEAPSECS] pedagogically barren?

From: Peter Bunclark <psb_at_AST.CAM.AC.UK>
Date: Wed, 4 Jun 2003 16:29:46 +0100 (BST)

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
> kilograms.
> 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.

Received on Wed Jun 04 2003 - 08:30:16 PDT

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