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Part of the G-8/G-20 Summit talks revolved around a new standard for timekeeping, to bring us closer in line with new standards already adopted in Europe and Asia. By October, 2012, North America will have to adopt METRIC time standards and discontinue the old english system. That's right, soon we will have 10 hours in a day, 100 minutes in an hour, and so on and so forth. What this means for us woodworkers is that we can tool up for a new clock face design, with one- o'clock thru 10- o'clock on the dial. This is going to be the hottest new woodworking product, which for now the conversion is being kept secret in anticipation of HUGE public resistance. All twelve-hour faces manufactured in the last 400 years will be obsolete. This is only phase one; a metric calendar with 10 months/year (and 10 days/week) is also in the works…There will be severe penalties under the law for violators, and anyone displaying the old 24-hour timepieces will be subject to criminal prosecution. I'm bringing this up only as a heads-up for woodworkers like myself looking for new product lines….those metric battery-operated crystal quartz clock guts are already available through the usual outlets…who again will be subject to heavy fines if they are caught selling the old-style mechanisms.
 

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I know this is all met to be a joke and I appreciate that. However, I would like to make a comment on the metric system versus the imperial system.

Whenever I need to convert something from imperial to metric I need to do a calculation or reference a table or chart. It does not come naturally to me. I think this is true of most Americans.

I've traveled quite a bit in countries that use the metric system (that would be all of them except the US) and I have observed contributions on this board from people from other countries. I am continually impressed by people who can convert from metric to imperial so quickly and easily.

Last night I was watching the Late Show with David Letterman. He talked with a tall person in the audience who was visiting the US from Australia. David Letterman asked him how tall he was and he immediately said, without hesitation, "6 feet 5 inches". If I were in a metric country and someone asked me how tall I was I could not give my height in metric terms.

This is another example of how people from other countries know us and our language and our conventions better than we know theirs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, Rich!
whatever system we use, it's the one we're most comfortable with. It's only the conversions that are difficult. If elementary schools focused more on the USE of the metric system, and avoided confusing our young minds with those complicated conversion formulas, we would have taken to it like water. I like using gauges, scales, rulers that are marked in both units of measure. That way, when the weather forecaster predicts -02 C degrees in the morning, I can open the fridge and see that -02 Celsius is 29 degrees Fahrenheit on the thermometer. Ta-da… no nasty calculation involved. And.. get a beer while I'm at it.
 

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I have to admit that after growing up around both of them, I don't convert so much as just have them both memorised and they make equal sense to me. If I have to convert something weird, it takes a little bit of effort. I think this is the case for many people who convert on a regular basis.
 

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This is total BS of course and I don't mean band saw. Good for a laugh anyway. I do like the metric system a lot though as it's easier. I can understand though why it is a problem in England and the States. All those tools and fasteners for just one little example.
 

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If I could start my life over and decide which measurement system I wanted to use, it would be metric. I've traveled enough that I know centigrade temperature measurements well (set the room temperature at 21 in your hotel room) but I struggle with lengths, volumes, and weight.

Also - In the US we measure car/gas efficiency in miles per gallon and high is good. In other countries they measure liters per kilometer and low is good. Gets very confusing.
 

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Its all in which you grew up with. Look at kids today that can't tell time without a digital watch, to them 11:45 is 15 minutes to, for me its quarter till 12. While for me Imperial measurements have flair and metric seems flat or generic. I will have to admit though there are those times when both measurements come into play in my life that you just have to deal with it.
 

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The real problem is that faced with metric we try to convert rather than just working with metric. Sure we have to learn new names but then its just multiables often just like money AND no fractions ever.
 
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