[FPSPACE] Timezones + metric vs. imperial units

Allen Thomson thomsona at flash.net
Fri Oct 8 09:12:09 EDT 2004

> Metric vs. imperial units:

FWIW, Google now has a units conversion feature. Just put "47.38 acres in 
hectares" in the search window and it tells you "47.38 acres = 19.1740057 
hectares" . Of spacy relevance, you can also do things like "450 pounds 
force = 2 001.69973 Newtons",  "450 pounds = 204.116567 kilograms". 
Actually, it's clever enough to recognize context and will resolve "pounds" 
into pounds force or pounds mass depending on the conversion requested.  It 
isn't clever enough, alas, to avoid generating spurious precision via 
gratuitous decimal places, as these examples show.

It also has moderate entertainment value:

 3 Parsecs = 2.02472457 × 10^17 cubits
1 * (square league) = 3.43465459 × 10^-10 square light-seconds

> Sorry, I prefer metric with simle decadic structure of units

Me too.  Definitions of derived quantities are also easier to figure out: 
see the ever-popular flame wars about the proper units of specific impulse. 

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