The Digital Shutterbug (aryx) wrote,
The Digital Shutterbug

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I am starting to get so irritated that most Americans don't have a clue about the metric system, and what a 24 hour clock is.
When Jimmy Carter was President, he started a program to begin switching us to the metric system, so quite a few road signs post both miles and kilometers to a particular destination. The speedometer in most of our cars shows us the mph and kph. So why can't people figure out that if you're travelling 90kph and your destination is 90 kilometers away, that you will be there in an hour?
Problem number one: People think that they need to translate from one system to another.
It goes farther than that. When people ask me how tall I am, I always say 2 meters (200 cm). So people smile and ask what that is in feet and inches. What difference does it make? I'm tall enough that even if I do say it in feet and inches, it will be hard for them to grasp the concept. So, why can't they just accept that when I say that I am 2 meters, that the length of 2 meters is the same as my height, and that one meter is half of my height.
Some things are in the metric system, but I think that the majority of people are too stupid to realize that it's happening. It started out with 2 liter bottles of soda. The bottling companies didn't say anything like, "this is about 1/2 gallon..." They just wrote on there, 2 liters. So, when someone says now, "go get a 2 liter bottle of coke," everyone knows what it looks like. They now have 1 liter bottles of soda, and once again, the bottling companies didn't write anything like, "about a quart," they just wrote "1 liter." So many of you are beginning to see what a liter looks like.
Or are you? Maybe it hasn't been out long enough. Maybe I just haven't given it time for it to sink in most peoples' heads. If you don't know which one I'm talking about, it's the bottle that looks like it can hold about 3 cans worth of soda... a bigger bottle, but only half as big as the 2 liter bottle (well, duh).
If you do know which bottles I'm talking about, let me ask one thing? Are you translating that to Imperial? Probably not.
Other items that are evidence that we know more about the metric system, but don't realize it...
film: 35mm, 8mm, 16mm
lenses: 50mm, 200mm
guns: 9mm bullets
ice skating: 100 meter, 500 meter, 1k
packages of illegal drugs are reported in kilos,
legal drugs (prescription) are measured out in milligrams.
You watch your food intake... "how many grams of fat...?"

Everyone is so excited about going digital. Digital watches, digital cameras, CDs, DVDs... I'll bet most Americans don't even know that most of the rest of the world uses a 24 hour clock. If you tell an American that the time is 1530, they won't have a clue. Unless that person works in the medical field or was/is in the military. But I'm talking about Average Joe. And that one is an easy one to translate... anything above 12 (after noon) all one has to do is subtract 12... thus, 1530 becomes 330... or, 3:30. Translating the other way? If it's after noon, add 12 to the hour. 7:15pm becomes 1915. And you don't have to worry about writing A.M. or P.M. Some people still want to write the midnite hour as 24, though. 12:30 in the morning is not 2430, but rather, 0030. Still have to slap some heads about that.

Okay, is there anything else that I can bitch about while I feel like shit today?

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