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#1
12-15-2019, 11:48 AM
 Guest Join Date: Sep 2008 Posts: 10,186

## There are 2 different versions of the foot (12 inches)

but soon the US will use the version everyone else does which probably doesn't matter since almost everyone else uses the metric system

https://www.wral.com/us-finally-givi...ment/18832708/
#2
12-15-2019, 01:47 PM
 Charter Member Join Date: Mar 1999 Location: Somewhere in the Potomac Posts: 35,590
Would be nice if that article mentioned what a U.S. Survey Foot is: 12.12 inches.

Last edited by Skywatcher; 12-15-2019 at 01:48 PM.
#3
12-15-2019, 01:52 PM
 Guest Join Date: Sep 2008 Posts: 1,197
Right?
#4
12-15-2019, 02:20 PM
 Member Join Date: Oct 2000 Posts: 6,970
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Skywatcher Would be nice if that article mentioned what a U.S. Survey Foot is: 12.12 inches.
That's not what that article says. It says that 5280 survey feet is longer than 5280 standard feet by 0.12 inches. A survey foot is about 1.000002 standard feet (if I've gotten it right)
#5
12-15-2019, 02:25 PM
 Guest Join Date: Feb 2015 Location: unknown; Speed: exactly 0 Posts: 3,008
The article in the OP does give the definition of the survey foot: 1200 meters divided by 3937. Which is, as Andy L says, 1.000002 international feet, or 12.000024 inches.
#6
12-15-2019, 02:30 PM
 Guest Join Date: May 2016 Posts: 4,308
Historically, there were loads of different feet; there was no universal standard and they were not necessarily reproducibly defined.

So no big surprise that some people are still using different ones, especially if they have to deal with historical survey documents that predate the metric system. (Or just a bit outdated; reminds me of the time I mixed up a British and an American screw)
#7
12-15-2019, 11:46 PM
 Guest Join Date: Sep 2011 Location: Sunny California Posts: 15,321
While we're at it, note that there are two versions of "mile": The statute mile of 5280 feet, and the nautical mile of approx. 6076.1155 feet. The nautical mile is much easier to work with, in particular for quick mental calculations where it can be rounded to 6000 feet.

Example: A certain model of glider can glide 36 feet for every foot of altitude it loses. How many miles can it glide for every 1000 feet of altitude it loses (vertical distances being conveniently measured in increments of 1000 feet)? Calculations like this can be done easily mentally, as long as we're using nautical miles and "approximate" (but close) answers are good enough. That would be hard to do with statute miles.
SPOILER:
Six nautical miles.

So, you're at 5000 feet above ground level and you suddenly realize you're 20 miles from the nearest airport. You need to be at 1000 feet when you arrive at the airport in order to fly a proper landing pattern. Assuming calm air (both horizontally and vertically), can you make it back?
SPOILER:
Yes. But assuming calm air it typically a bit over-optimistic, so in reality you might be sweating a bit.
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#8
12-16-2019, 12:20 AM
 Guest Join Date: Nov 2009 Posts: 5,589
As I recall, it didn't matter until WWII. As part of the whole international war effort, the British and the Americans tried to harmonize measurements, but realized that the American inch was just different to the British inch. Rather than try to convert while in the middle of a war, they just recognised the difference and allowed for it.
#9
12-16-2019, 12:57 AM
 Charter Member Join Date: Nov 2001 Location: Edmonton, Alberta Posts: 2,846
The metric system is the tool of the devil! My car gets 40 rods to the hogshead and that's the way I likes it!
#10
12-16-2019, 09:51 AM
 Member Join Date: Jul 2003 Location: North of Boston Posts: 11,304
The city of Philadelphia uses it's own foot for surveying too, the Philadelphia District Measure. It generally adds 3 inches to every 100 ft. When my dad was a surveyor, they had to check the deeds to see if they specified standard feet or PDM feet, and use the appropriate tape measure.
#11
12-16-2019, 09:59 AM
 Guest Join Date: Sep 2008 Posts: 10,186
I remember in the early 70s the push to make the US go metric. We had a few road signs that added km along with miles to the next town. I guess if it hasn't happened by now not sure it will ever happen. BTW I know there are many US scientists who use the metric system. I mean use by the general public.

Last edited by Bijou Drains; 12-16-2019 at 09:59 AM.
#12
12-16-2019, 10:08 AM
 Charter Member Join Date: Apr 2000 Location: Missoula, Montana, USA Posts: 21,423
Quote:
 Originally Posted by DPRK (Or just a bit outdated; reminds me of the time I mixed up a British and an American screw)
"Lie back and think of... damn, which side of the Atlantic am I on again?"
#13
12-16-2019, 10:08 AM
 Member Join Date: Jul 2003 Location: North of Boston Posts: 11,304
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Bijou Drains I remember in the early 70s the push to make the US go metric. We had a few road signs that added km along with miles to the next town. I guess if it hasn't happened by now not sure it will ever happen. BTW I know there are many US scientists who use the metric system. I mean use by the general public.
Every scientist uses metric. You can't publish if you've used anything else.

And BTW, the electricity coming into your house? That you're paying for by the kilowatt-hour? That's metric - 1 Watt = 1 kg⋅m2⋅s−3
#14
12-16-2019, 10:12 AM
 Charter Member Join Date: Mar 1999 Location: Somewhere in the Potomac Posts: 35,590
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Skywatcher Would be nice if that article mentioned what a U.S. Survey Foot is: 12.12 inches.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Andy L That's not what that article says. It says that 5280 survey feet is longer than 5280 standard feet by 0.12 inches. A survey foot is about 1.000002 standard feet (if I've gotten it right)
Now I see where I went wrong; I was looking at the NIST's difference for a mile. Still would have been nice if the article mentioned the measurement in inches rather than requiring the readers to work it out for themselves.
#15
12-16-2019, 11:02 AM
 Guest Join Date: Aug 2001 Location: on your last raw nerve Posts: 23,114
They can take my feet when they pry them from my cold, dead hands!
#16
12-16-2019, 11:33 AM
 Guest Join Date: Jul 2005 Location: N of Denver & S of Sanity Posts: 13,773
Quote:
 Originally Posted by K364 The metric system is the tool of the devil! My car gets 40 rods to the hogshead and that's the way I likes it!
Which hogshead? May not matter because any of them would mean your car only gets about 0.02 mpg. My car gets about 242,000 rods per barrel.

Last edited by Saint Cad; 12-16-2019 at 11:34 AM.
#17
12-16-2019, 12:34 PM
 Guest Join Date: Mar 2002 Posts: 12,373
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Bijou Drains I mean use by the general public.
I believe it's now hard to impossible to buy a vehicle - whether made in the US or elsewhere - that uses non-metric fasteners.

Certainly every serious US mechanic now has metric tools (which he probably uses far more often than his Imperial set).
#18
12-16-2019, 12:57 PM
 Guest Join Date: Feb 2015 Location: unknown; Speed: exactly 0 Posts: 3,008
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Saint Cad Which hogshead? May not matter because any of them would mean your car only gets about 0.02 mpg. My car gets about 242,000 rods per barrel.
Well, my car gets about 15,000 inverse square inches.

(Distance per volume = area-1.)
#19
12-16-2019, 01:59 PM
 Guest Join Date: Apr 2002 Location: NE AZ Posts: 3,459
I have a difference between my left foot and my right foot!

~VOW
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#20
12-16-2019, 04:57 PM
 Guest Join Date: Sep 2008 Posts: 10,186
Ford, GM and Chrysler are all metric now for bolts and nuts? I had not heard that. For a long time any decent socket set has both US and metric sockets .
#21
12-17-2019, 09:36 PM
 Guest Join Date: Mar 2013 Location: Western Colorado Posts: 877
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Xema I believe it's now hard to impossible to buy a vehicle - whether made in the US or elsewhere - that uses non-metric fasteners. Certainly every serious US mechanic now has metric tools (which he probably uses far more often than his Imperial set).

Now in my mind an "Imperial set" would be either British Standard, or Whitworth. Which most US mechanics do not have.

I must be a very "serious US mechanic" as I have both metric and American (SAE), as well as both British standard and Whitworth tools.

While most folks think that British Standard & Witworth are the same, when the British Standard first came out it was different by one size. IIRC, A 5/8ths BS would equate to a 9/16 W. In any case I have at least one set of each of them.

I buy old rigs, so most of them are all American, or all new BS/Whitworth. Yet the Subarus & the VWs are all metric.
#22
12-17-2019, 09:45 PM
 Guest Join Date: Dec 2010 Posts: 8,282
Quote:
 Originally Posted by muldoonthief And BTW, the electricity coming into your house? That you're paying for by the kilowatt-hour? That's metric - 1 Watt = 1 kg⋅m2⋅s−3
The hour isn't a metric unit (though it is a "non-SI unit accepted for use with SI"). If it were SI, it would be priced in megajoules (3.6 MJ == 1 kWh).
#23
12-17-2019, 10:05 PM
 Charter Member Join Date: Dec 2002 Location: Very east of Foggybog, WI Posts: 5,510
Quote:
 Originally Posted by markn+ Well, my car gets about 15,000 inverse square inches. (Distance per volume = area-1.)
I recall when one boring day we converted various cars' miles per gallon into inverse acres.
#24
12-18-2019, 12:04 AM
 Guest Join Date: Dec 2010 Posts: 8,282
Quote:
 Originally Posted by OldGuy I recall when one boring day we converted various cars' miles per gallon into inverse acres.
Electric cars have a similarly amusing unit equivalence. EV efficiency is typically measured in watt-hours/mile, which as it happens is a unit of force. So the pound is also a unit of efficiency. My Model 3 gets about 240 Wh/mi, which translates into 121 pounds. If you hung me from a rope and pulley system that pulled on the car, I could keep it going at >65 mph.
#25
12-18-2019, 09:52 AM
 Member Join Date: Jul 2003 Location: North of Boston Posts: 11,304
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Dr. Strangelove The hour isn't a metric unit (though it is a "non-SI unit accepted for use with SI"). If it were SI, it would be priced in megajoules (3.6 MJ == 1 kWh).
Do you have a cite that the second isn't SI? Because the NIST certainly thinks it is.
#26
12-18-2019, 10:30 AM
 Guest Join Date: Sep 2008 Posts: 10,186
there are also 2 different pounds , Troy and avoirdupois which is 21% heavier. Troy is mainly used now for precious metals like gold.
#27
12-18-2019, 10:44 AM
 Guest Join Date: Feb 2015 Location: unknown; Speed: exactly 0 Posts: 3,008
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Bijou Drains there are also 2 different pounds , Troy and avoirdupois which is 21% heavier. Troy is mainly used now for precious metals like gold.
Right. I think a lot of people don't realize when they hear that the price of gold is so many dollars per ounce, that that's a different ounce than the one they're familiar with.
#28
12-18-2019, 03:59 PM
 Guest Join Date: Dec 2010 Posts: 8,282
Quote:
 Originally Posted by muldoonthief Do you have a cite that the second isn't SI? Because the NIST certainly thinks it is.
The second is SI. The hour is not.
#29
12-18-2019, 04:42 PM
 Suspended Join Date: Sep 2019 Location: beyond cell service Posts: 1,377
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Bijou Drains there are also 2 different pounds , Troy and avoirdupois which is 21% heavier. Troy is mainly used now for precious metals like gold.
The Troy ounce is the weight of a baggie of cannabis sold you by a dealer named Troy.

I recently received a new knee. My feet remain the same but my legs are off by 15mm. I've not measured my feet's linear or areal differences lately because they change with whatever I've dropped on them.

Is a foot-pound the measure of what you can pound with your feet?
#30
12-20-2019, 12:39 PM
 Guest Join Date: Mar 2003 Location: Virginia Posts: 13,081
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Bijou Drains Ford, GM and Chrysler are all metric now for bolts and nuts? I had not heard that. For a long time any decent socket set has both US and metric sockets .
From what I read about the Focus and Mustang at least, they are all metric now, probably because of all the Ford vehicles sold/designed/produced in Canada/Europe/Australia/Mexico/etc. There are some sizes like 19mm that a 3/4" socket will fit on, which probably adds a little confusion.

But hardware in aftermarket parts can often be imperial.

Last edited by control-z; 12-20-2019 at 12:39 PM.
#31
12-20-2019, 01:33 PM
 Guest Join Date: Oct 2000 Posts: 12,008
A few years back, I went to a technical conference in Toronto. I started talking with an associate (He was Canadian) about a problem I was having my product. He asked for the measurement of my product. I gave him the particulars, in English measurements, (inches, weight). He (politely) ranted about us Americans and our English measurement system. That everyone else in the World is using the Metric system and why Americans refuse to convert

After a long afternoon of brainstorming, We decided to table our technical talk to dinner but he continued to complain about the English Measurement system. We had a couple of cocktails and ordered some appetizers and he ordered Rib-eye. A 20 oz Rib-eye steak. After the waiter left, I asked if what he ordered.

He said yea, a Rib-eye steak.

"20 Ounce".

I chided him for not ordering a 567 gram steak?
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Last edited by notfrommensa; 12-20-2019 at 01:35 PM.
#32
12-20-2019, 02:54 PM
 Charter Member Join Date: Jan 2000 Location: My own private Nogero Posts: 7,424
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Saint Cad Which hogshead? May not matter because any of them would mean your car only gets about 0.02 mpg. My car gets about 242,000 rods per barrel.
Which barrel? There's about a dozen of them, maybe more. Which one is used mostly depends on what you're measuring but sometimes where you're doing the measuring.

OK, you're probably using the oil barrel for that, unless your car runs on alcohol, in which case you may be using the beer barrel.
#33
12-20-2019, 03:08 PM
 Guest Join Date: May 2016 Posts: 4,308
Quote:
 Originally Posted by notfrommensa He said yea, a Rib-eye steak. "How Big" I asked. "20 Ounce". I chided him for not ordering a 567 gram steak?
Fake precision. A European restaurant menu would have featured a 300-gram steak, a 500-gram steak, etc. (Etc meaning smaller cuts, but not bigger, as how many people even order a 500g steak?)

Maybe your gung-ho associate was simply reluctant to start his argument with the chef cooking his food.

Last edited by DPRK; 12-20-2019 at 03:10 PM.
#34
12-20-2019, 03:46 PM
 Guest Join Date: Oct 2000 Posts: 12,008
Quote:
 Originally Posted by DPRK Fake precision. A European restaurant menu would have featured a 300-gram steak, a 500-gram steak, etc. (Etc meaning smaller cuts, but not bigger, as how many people even order a 500g steak?) Maybe your gung-ho associate was simply reluctant to start his argument with the chef cooking his food.
This was in Toronto, not Europe.
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#35
12-20-2019, 04:45 PM
 Guest Join Date: May 2016 Posts: 4,308
I get all that. I meant, a 567 g steak has no place on a restaurant menu any more than one would be listed as 17.64 oz, as the extra digits give a false sense of precision.

As for why a kitchen in Toronto would prefer to use U.S. measurements, no idea, but I wouldn't start an argument with them about it! In the US there are other idiosyncratic cooking practices like measuring liquids by volume instead of by weight, but, again, either I would assume the chef is a professional who knows what he or she is doing, or, if I had reason to doubt it, I would simply avoid eating there.
#36
12-20-2019, 07:01 PM
 Guest Join Date: Oct 2000 Posts: 12,008
You are completely missing the point of the anecdote. My associate was complaining that, other than the USA, the rest of the world was using the metric system, yet minutes later he ordered a 20 oz steak in Toronto.

I only converted the 20 oz into grams to get the 567 grams

A steak weighed in ounces, not grams
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#37
12-20-2019, 11:29 PM
 Guest Join Date: Oct 2003 Location: Taiwan Posts: 10,646
Quote:
 Originally Posted by DPRK I get all that. I meant, a 567 g steak has no place on a restaurant menu any more than one would be listed as 17.64 oz, as the extra digits give a false sense of precision.
I sold US products in Japan and would have to deal with false precision all the f*cking time! There were products with ranges of 300' which would be converted to 91.44 m when the actual range varied by up to 50', perhaps more.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by notfrommensa You are completely missing the point of the anecdote. My associate was complaining that, other than the USA, the rest of the world was using the metric system, yet minutes later he ordered a 20 oz steak in Toronto. I only converted the 20 oz into grams to get the 567 grams A steak weighed in ounces, not grams
You are also missing DPRK point about false precision. Had the steak been sold in metric units, it wouldn't be converted the precisely.
#38
12-21-2019, 11:04 AM
 Voodoo Adult (Slight Return) Charter Member Join Date: Jul 2000 Location: Charlotte, NC, USA Posts: 26,806
Quote:
 Originally Posted by DPRK (Or just a bit outdated; reminds me of the time I mixed up a British and an American screw)
The difference hinges upon one's definition of the word fanny.
#39
12-22-2019, 02:10 AM
 Guest Join Date: Aug 2008 Location: "Hicksville", Ark. Posts: 37,013
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Dr. Strangelove The second is SI. The hour is not.
It would be nice to link sources:

https://physics.nist.gov/cuu/Units/outside.html
#40
12-22-2019, 08:33 PM
 Guest Join Date: Aug 2001 Location: on your last raw nerve Posts: 23,114
I've been telling women that 9" is a foot for years.

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