(As an Australian, the main place I’ve ever seen fractions of inches is old tools like spanners from before the adoption of the metric system, and that’s all fractions with powers-of-two denominators. But maybe Americans use decimal fractions of inches? I suppose I have seen laptop screens described in that way, e.g. 13.1″, 15.4″ and 15.6″, though people typically truncate to the inch.)
Just look at the standard wrench sizes (https://www.cnm.edu/programs-of-study/programs-a-z/automotiv...):
* Standard Combination Wrenches: 1/4, 5/16, 11/32, 3/8, 7/16, 1/2, 9/16, 5/8, 11/16, 3/4, 13/16, 7/8, 15/16, 1.
* Metric Combination Wrenches: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19. Measured in millimeters.
The standard system excels when doing actual work. If you have a rod with 1" diameter and you need to take it down to 13/16", you can use a lathe to make 3/32" cut. Or if you need to divide up 13/16 into 4 parts, for example, 13/64.
The metric system's strength is teaching in elementary schools where skills with fractions are not as strong.
So here is the joke: The electronics industry is moving towards the metric system, one mill at a time. At least CAD programs have a button to switch between the two instantly.
You're saying that Americans preferentially use base-2 fractions (nearly) everywhere except on computers; on computers you preferentially use base-10, even though said computers are going to store the values as base-2?
That's the funniest thing I've heard all week.
I don't understand this comment at all. Most people are not computer programmers and therefore have no insight into how computers represent numbers. They just populate text fields in Excel, or whatever, with numbers. It's easier to use decimal points to do that than fractions.
When I'm not using computers or calculators, I do prefer American-style fractions over decimal point representations. Fractions are a lot easier for me to manipulate in my head. If I'm out in my garage, upside down, underneath a car, and trying to decide which drill bit to use, I don't have convenient access to the calculator on my cell phone or a pencil and paper, and reliable mental math is important. The fractions are easier, so that's what I want.
What's 3/16" in 64ths, while under your car?
(Imperial numbers copied from a website selling a set, metric from my memory of my 10-bit set. I doubt these sets are similar.)
12. You just double it, twice.
I'm British, and generally partial to metric units, but power-of-two fractions actually seem quite nice to me.
Thirds don’t fit neatly into binary nor do they fit neatly into decimal. This is what the comment refers to.
This must mean something!
I now have a strong urge to keep peace on the continent and rough-ride over a company under an antitrust investigation.
The outcome of history indicates the US won that war. Technically it was considered a stalemate. The US lost no territory, repelled a malevolent empire again, kept its economy & trade fully intact, and won numerous major battles throughout the war. In the following decades the US became an economic juggernaut, while the British Empire began to fade into the history books.
A supposedly mighty empire failed twice in less than 40 years to bring a small nation to its knees. Quite humiliating.
- "In 1813, the US won the Battle of Lake Erie, gaining control of the lake, and they defeated Tecumseh's Confederacy at the Battle of the Thames, defeating Britain's largest Native American ally, a primary war goal."
- "In 1814, the British burned Washington, but the US later repulsed British attempts to invade New York and Maryland, ending invasions from Canada into the northern and mid-Atlantic states."
- "Attempts to smother American maritime trade failed, however, and soon both sides began to desire peace."
- "In early 1815, after a peace treaty had been signed, but before this news had reached the Americas, the US defeated the British Army near New Orleans, Louisiana."
- "Peace negotiations began in August 1814, and the Treaty of Ghent was signed on December 24, 1814. News of the peace finally reached America in February 1815 about the same time as news of the victory at New Orleans. The Americans triumphantly celebrated the restoration of their national honor, leading to the collapse of anti-war sentiment and the beginning of the Era of Good Feelings, a period of national unity. The treaty was unanimously ratified by the US Senate on February 17, 1815, ending the war with no boundary changes"
That's just straight up wrong. The US started the war when they invaded Canada. The British Empire did not want to fight the war. To them, the United States was just a sideshow of the much larger and much more important Napoleonic Wars.
If anything, it was the British and Canada that repelled a malevolent United States, who had had eyes on annexing Canada since independence.
> In the following decades the US became an economic juggernaut, while the British Empire began to fade into the history books.
Uh, what. The 19th century was the golden age of the British Empire, whilst the US remained a small player on the world stage. You must be confusing the War of 1812 to the first or second world wars.
I know its the Fourth of July for you yanks, but this comment is just straight up propaganda.
And quoting Wikipedia to prove that it was a victory for the US is ironic given that Wikipedia states that the war resulted in stalemate and status quo ante bellum. The only real losers were the Native Americans.
"This is the reward for perfidy and cruelty"
(Cups are particularly annoying: there's British, US, US Legal, and metric. The best recipe-following advice is that it's never going to matter. But it's annoying.)
Just checked this with a quick search on Amazon -- most results are in the $15-20 range, with some available for $10 or less.
(I dare say there are probably very cheap measuring cups available, and for a scale you’ll have to fork out occasionally for batteries, if you want to split hairs.)
Measuring ingredients by weight has a long history on Britain. The old, Victorian cookbooks use weights.
The ability to zero the count as you add each ingredient to a single bowl is very useful.
It also has no "tamping" problem e.g. volumetric measurement of flour can differ in the amount of actual flour by a factor of 2+ if the floor is tamped versus aerated. Volumetric measurements are supposed to use aerated aka first make flour fly everywhere then try to coerce it into your cup.
One is 15mL and the other is 20mL.
That's a fair difference, but doesn't seem to matter a whole lot.
A recipe given in ounces and pints might be using Imperial or US ounces and pints, but a recipe in cups is American.
(It can matter when something is in another unit, like "4 eggs".)
But if you buy a 'cups' measure it ~never says which of the four it is, and it may well be there old Imperial size. (I have one. Was a popular one on Amazon, nothing obscure.)
Hence international inches, not metric inches.
I wonder if any manufacturers let you specify which one you mean, or if it’s like drives, where they always pick the smaller one to make a few extra pennies.
The standards boards should step in to avoid confusion.
Congressman: "I'm glad to support the expansion of freedom to all realms. Thankfully, it is now safe for us to do this that we can defend ourselves against the dangerous 'cypherpunks'. Thank you to everyone who has helped make this possible"
Back when screens were small it sort of worked, I knew what 13", 15", 17" and 20" screens looked like. Since most monitors fell in that range (yeah, I'm showing my age) that was good enough. Anything bigger than that was "damn huge", anything smaller was "damn small".
But now monitors and especially TVs are immense. I see TVs with diagonals of 30", 55", 65"... That means absolutely nothing to me. I have to convert into centimeters for it to make sense. Fortunately some resellers do put the metric measurement next to the inches, but not everybody does it.
I'm writing this on a 42" display, it was sold as a "TV" but it's just a dumb display as far as I'm concerned, so cheap 1080p monitor really.
Everything bigger than 42" is, in my mind, just unnecessarily big as you have to sit progressively further away from the display to comfortably watch motion pictures.
So, from my perspective, huge displays are what you need for unnecessarily huge houses.
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<div class="usa-stripes-horizontal" style="height:250;width:475;"></div>
It’s a fun project and I like the colors, but let’s not pretend that the flag and the idea of ‘patriotism’ are anything other than distractions from the work that needs to be done.
That's a huge difference with the constitution, a fundamental one I'd say. And, most of the time, the people I see treating the constitution as gospel denies this very important mutability. The founding fathers were right and will always be right. The constitution must not be ammended, it is already perfect.
Seeing as the constitution defines the United States, I think you get a lot closer to the truth when reflecting on it than you do when worshiping the flag or the military or whatever else it is that July 4th is supposed to be about.
It is also important to remember that the constitution is a living document, meant to grow and evolve over time. If there are problems - and there are - it is up to us to change it.
The Declaration of Independence; an aspirational document saying why the constitution was needed, and also a big F-you to Britain and tyranny around the world.
So citation needeed, I guess.
2) The actual markets is what you should look at, since you are talking about business, trade, etc. The EU is bigger than the US.
3) You wrote "most websites", not just HN. That is just incredibly wrong. Even if you had written "most English-speaking websites", you would still be wrong for the most popular sites.
There’s plenty of options out there in the wild black yonder of space. Just try to avoid Europa. Bit of a dispute over land rights with that one.
Will web developers and rocket scientists ever learn?
Please don't post like this to HN again.
I understand perfectly.
Everyone, stop measuring weights in stone -- England has been declared confused!
From searching "baby weight NHS", it looks like all the advice uses grams, so I assume that's current practise.
I wonder what base we would use if we (somehow) had a prime number of fingers. 2, 6, 30, 60?
Depends how they use their fingers and whether they use other body parts. There is evidence for human cultures having ranged from 4 to 10, 12, 16, and 20 (technically there are higher ones but they usually have sub-bases in that range).
You can count to 12 on a single hand (24 on two hands) by pointing phalanges with the thumb for instance. Some native cultures had base 8 using the space between the fingers rather than the fingers themselves.
2, 6, 12, 60, etc
Number of fingers doesn't matter, although you can shoehorn almost any base into them. For example, base 6 lets you count to 5 on one hand and use your other to coujt multiples of 6. This lets you count to 35 on two hands.
More info here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superior_highly_composite_nu...
every base is is base 10...from a certain perspective
60 seconds, 60 minutes, 24 hours.
They’ll be converting to imperial units and base 10 any day now.
Converting the flying saucers to coal will take a bit longer.
"It was a great thing to achieve American Independence when we numbered three millions, but it was a greater thing to save this country from dismemberment and ruin when it numbered thirty millions."
~ Frederick Douglass, 1881.
May the United States of America acknowledge what is bad, celebrate what is good, and go on to do greater things in the future.
"As I have said, this southern threat lost many votes, but it gained more than would cover the lost. It frightened the timid, but stimulated the brave; and the result was—the triumphant election of Abraham Lincoln."
Prior to independence both SC and Virginia actually requested to pause or slow down the slave trade. They had to make this request to England and it was refused. The Declaration of Independence laid the groundwork for the eventual end of slavery that culminated in the Civil War.
After US independence, Britain began to wash their hands of slavery eventually in 1834. It’s also worth keeping in mind because during the War of 1812 the British attempted to arm both slaves and native Americans to help their war effort...while still practicing slavery themselves. You can imagine the effect such an action had on local relations as well.
America’s independence should be celebrated by everyone. Selective history should not.
Are we perfect? Not even. But we're a pretty nice place to live.
The topic was how our still deeply racist country is built upon slavery and similar horrifying abuses against people, right from the very start.
What we have now is so much improved over what it was like just 40 or 50 years ago that anyone younger just can't appreciate the difference. I advise you to turn off your internet for a few days, go drink a beer & chat with your neighbors and maybe shoot some fireworks off. The internet amplifies biases - don't let it.
 The moral panic was .. impressive. The local TV station decided to broadcast that there was a riot at the high school (there wasn't) and all these angry parents showed up to pull their kids out of school. Meanwhile, the kids were like: "Steve, your mom looks really freaked out."
> I advise you to turn off your internet for a few days, go drink a beer & chat with your neighbors and maybe shoot some fireworks off. The internet amplifies biases - don't let it.
You may disagree with me, but there's really no need to be patronizing about it. I will conduct my private life as I see fit, thank you.
Edit: Removed all sentiment to my profile, leaving a beautifully rational shell of a comment.
125/127 is as much of a fraction as 1/2.
I'm not even going to get started with all the problems I see with "God bless America", which would be long, tedious, probably inflammatory, and fairly off-topic.
I also don't like "God save the Queen" by the way, or "God be with us" (short for "If God is with us, who shall be against us?" from Romans) we have on the Dutch Euro coins :-)
It's difficult to sort through the negative sentiments to get to real point. Be more clear with your hostility and anger next time, would'ya?
But I haven't even thrown out 'true', 'devoted', or 'zealot' yet!