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Can we please talk kilometres, litres, Celsius, right-side driving, etc.?

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
I don't get it: Why don't we have common measurements? While the rest of the world is talking unified units, some places they measure all things outside the metric system.

Can't these countries please start measuring things in proper units (metric system), drive on the right side of the road, and respect the majority of the sane world?

This creates a lot of problems: how far is it from one village to the next, how much water do you need, how hot is it? I do not understand these measures, and I am in the vast majority of the world population. And still I have to translate our logical metric system to those who have no clue.

F.ex. Water freezes at 0 Celsius; 32 F. What is 32?

30F sounds hot to me. But it is 2 below the freezing point of water, so a little chilly... Snow in the air...

One km. is 1000 metres. 1 step is almost 1 metre. What could be difficult with that?
And how long is a foot? what is an inch? 2.54 cm. What does it MEAN? It is certainly within the metric system... What is an Oz???

In most countries, only drunk drivers drive on the left side of the road. In f.ex. England, I need a few pints before I can drive safely.

An expensive satellite was lost in a cooperation between USA and Europe because US course calculations were done in inches (!?) sic) instead of proper centrimetres, and the next course calculation done by the US went pretty wrong...

We have 10 fingers. 10 toes. the basics of the metric system. Please join us.

Please get it right, leftists...;)
 
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KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
I don't get it: Why don't we have common measurements? While the rest of the world is talking unified units, some places they measure all things outside the metric system.

Can't these countries please start measuring things in proper units (metric system), drive on the right side of the road, and respect the majority of the sane world?

This creates a lot of problems: how far is it from one village to the next, how much water do you need, how hot is it? I do not understand these measures, and I am in the vast majority of the world population. And still I have to translate our logical metric system to those who have no clue.

F.ex. Water freezes at 0 Celsius; 32 F. What is 32? One km. is 1000 metres. 1 step is almost 1 metre. What could be difficult with that?
And how long is a foot? what is an inch? 2.54 cm. What does it MEAN? It is certainly within the metric system... What is an Oz???

In most countries, only drunk drivers drive on the left side of the road. In f.ex. England, I need a few pints before I can drive safely.

An expensive satellite was lost in a cooperation between USA and Europe because US course calculations were done in inches (!?) sic) instead of proper centrimetres, and the next course calculation done by the US went pretty wrong...

We have 10 fingers. 10 toes. the basics of the metric system. Please join us.

Please get it right, leftists...;)
AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, brilliant :D
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
We are a metric country, when people talk to me in miles, stones, and ounces I have to get my calculator out.
Metric makes sense.
BUT - we drive on the left hand side of the road. I nearly get run over in Spain, with their driving on the wrong side..!
The fact I haven't been knocked over yet is good luck not good management.
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
Ah Alex, you know full well that the distances between two points on this poor benighted planet remain the same no matter how we measure them, even in degrees, minutes & seconds. Though speed will remain a Knot(ty) problem.

And while I plough my acres tomorrow I will give, brief, consideration as to whether I should start on the left or the right. And remember that in the part of England I was raised in we just drove down the middle o_O
 

Waka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Some but not all, and other routes too.
Us Britishers are right it's the rest of the world that's wrong. :p We're so clever we use both the metric and the imperial system and conversions are worked out in the head.o_O
Also it would be very difficult to drive on the right hand side of the road because that's the side of the steering wheel.:mad:
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Ah Alex, you know full well that the distances between two points on this poor benighted planet remain the same no matter how we measure them, even in degrees, minutes & seconds. Though speed will remain a Knot(ty) problem.

And while I plough my acres tomorrow I will give, brief, consideration as to whether I should start on the left or the right. And remember that in the part of England I was raised in we just drove down the middle o_O
He, he. In Marocco they have 3 lanes; right, left, and one for you.

Acres is a Norwegian measure: The size of a field you could plow in one day by horse. There are ca. 5.000 more words in the English "language" which stem from Norwegian. The rest are from Spanish, Greek and Latin, mainly. :) Please adopt.:)

And yes; the distance is the same, so we are back to the questionof how to measure a distance... In a unified way, hopefully. And unified is not determined by the minority...
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Us Britishers are right it's the rest of the world that's wrong. :p We're so clever we use both the metric and the imperial system and conversions are worked out in the head.o_O
Use each one measuring as you like, at your own risk :)

Also it would be very difficult to drive on the right hand side of the road because that's the side of the steering wheel.:mad:
Most cars produced in the world have the steering wheel on the left side, for right side driving... Literally.
 
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gerardcarey

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF x2, CPL
Blimey Cobber. In NZ we only changed officially to the metric system in 1976.
It's just that a few of us are a bit slow in learning and we ain't up to speed yet. It takes a while you know.
An inch/foot/yard/mile doesn't cease to exist just because some twat says it does.
Further to this, in some places the left-hand side of the road is the right side. In others the right-hand side is the right side.
It's all very confusing.
I wish some smart galoot would straighten this out for us.
And a little consideration in understanding how long the assimilation of this new knowledge takes wouldn't go astray either.
Regards
Gerard.
 

tomnorth

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); February/March (2020)
I come from the States. I wish we’d have gone metric when we had a head of steam moving that direction in the seventies. I have to admit though that I much prefer Fahrenheit to Celsius. 90 degrees Fahrenheit just sounds hot. A funny thing happened to me when I walked the CF in 2015. By about halfway I was thinking in kilometers, not miles. I quit doing the conversions in my head. I’m slowly getting used to kilos and grams, although I still do conversions in my head for those.

As an aside, is Celsius really metric? Just because freezing is set for zero doesn’t necessarily mean it’s metric does it? Come to think of it, does metric even apply to temperature? Other things I’ve wondered about is why don’t we have a metric time system? If you’ve ever had to do time-based math you’ll know how frustrating it can be. Why is the globe divided up into 360 degrees? These are things I wonder about.
 

Raggy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
The nice thing about standards is that you have so many to choose from. (Andrew S. Tanenbaum).
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
On the outside grows the furside, on the inside grows the skinside;
So the furside is on the outside and the skinside is on the inside.

As the furside is on the outside and the skinside is on the inside
One side likes the skinside inside and the furside outside,
Others like the skinside outside and the furside inside;
As the skinside is the hard side and the furside is the soft side.

If you turn the skinside outside, thinking you will side with that side,
Then the softside furside's inside, which some argue is the wrong side.

If you turn the furside outside,as you say it grows on that side
Then the hard side's next your own side, which for comfort's not the right side
As the hard side is the cold side, and your skin side's not your warm side;
And two cold sides coming side by side, are not the right sides, one side decides.

If you decide to side with this side, turn the outside furside inside;
Then the hard side, cold side, skin side, beyond all question's inside outside ....
And it does not matter a particle what you do with the bally thing, someone's
sure to tell you its outside inside.


with ever so grateful thanks to Herbert George Ponting. He who, thankfully, got along with Norwegians far better than his Captain: Scott.
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
In NZ we only changed officially to the metric system in 1976.
About the same in Canada. I am happy to be bilingual in that way. In 1975 I started engineering school. We did everything in metric and when a problem was assigned in Imperial units, we all groaned. The professors thought it was funny because every year in the past, the students groaned when a metric problem was assigned.

Now, over 40 years later, we still have a mixture. We use feet and pounds to measure our bodies, km on the road, Celsius for the weather, a mix for various other items. The conversion is slow but steady. It required a major government commitment.
 

Raggy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
As an aside, is Celsius really metric? Just because freezing is set for zero doesn’t necessarily mean it’s metric does it?
I suppose that dividing the scale into 100 units from freezing point to boiling point is what made it "metric."
But, actually, the definition of the Celsius scale changed in 1954. Read and weep:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celsius
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
I come from the States. I wish we’d have gone metric when we had a head of steam moving that direction in the seventies. I have to admit though that I much prefer Fahrenheit to Celsius. 90 degrees Fahrenheit just sounds hot. A funny thing happened to me when I walked the CF in 2015. By about halfway I was thinking in kilometers, not miles. I quit doing the conversions in my head. I’m slowly getting used to kilos and grams, although I still do conversions in my head for those.

As an aside, is Celsius really metric?
0 C is melting/freezing point. 100 is vapor point. Pretty metric.

because freezing is set for zero doesn’t necessarily mean it’s metric does it? Come to think of it, does metric even apply to temperature? Other things I’ve wondered about is why don’t we have a metric time system? If you’ve ever had to do time-based math you’ll know how frustrating it can be. Why is the globe divided up into 360 degrees? These are things I wonder about.[/QUOTE]
 

tomnorth

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); February/March (2020)
0 C is melting/freezing point. 100 is vapor point. Pretty metric.

because freezing is set for zero doesn’t necessarily mean it’s metric does it? Come to think of it, does metric even apply to temperature? Other things I’ve wondered about is why don’t we have a metric time system? If you’ve ever had to do time-based math you’ll know how frustrating it can be. Why is the globe divided up into 360 degrees? These are things I wonder about.
[/QUOTE]
Okay, I did not know that. I was wondering what the 100 point meant. Now I know.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
I come from the States. I wish we’d have gone metric when we had a head of steam moving that direction in the seventies.
I agree. I remember spending a lot of time learning the metric system in 8th grade, because we were told that the switch was imminent.
I have to admit though that I much prefer Fahrenheit to Celsius. 90 degrees Fahrenheit just sounds hot.
Agreed. Likewise 100 degrees sounds a lot hotter than 38 degrees.
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
We measure distances in miles. Petrol/Diesel in Litres. Do that in your head when the car lot salesman is talking mpg (miles per gallon).

We drink our beer in pints though we buy our Malt in Tonnes and our Hops in Kilos and brew using Bushels and Quarts.

We buy our 4/4 (4 inch by 4 inch) timber in metre length and our suiting fabric by the yard.

We weigh ourselves in Stones and Pounds, assess our rucksack capacity in Litres and get out the pocket conversion tables to work out 10% of overload.

I've never found any of this confusing.

And, as anyone who has consumed 10% more good English beer than they should have will know, it may be a mile to the pub but its a mile-and-a-half back ;)
 

Raggy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
Other things I’ve wondered about is why don’t we have a metric time system? If you’ve ever had to do time-based math you’ll know how frustrating it can be. Why is the globe divided up into 360 degrees? These are things I wonder about.
Apparently it all started with the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians who used the segments of their fingers to count ... leading to a predilection for 12s and 60s
I'm curious to know if this influenced the Chinese, who also had 12 hours and 12 months. Chinese astrology, for example, has a sixty year cycle (12 animal signs X 5 elements).
https://www.scienceabc.com/eyeopeners/why-are-there-24-hours-in-a-day-and-60-minutes-in-an-hour.html
There was an attempt to introduce decimal time, following the French Revolution. It didn't stick:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decimal_time
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
Milk in a UK supermarket is labelled in litres but milk delivered to your doorstep is bottled in pints. Draught beer in a pub is sold by the pint but bottled beers are marked in ml. Isn't that the obvious way to do it? ;)
Thankfully Scotch is still measured in Drams. So, I think I'll pour myself a wee one and to bed...

Blessings on this company
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
with ever so grateful thanks to Herbert George Ponting. He who, thankfully, got along with Norwegians far better than his Captain: Scott.
Yeah we beat him to the South Pole in 1911. But that is another story. Maybe Metric...
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-18
Count your blessings. My engineering class had to do calculations in furlongs per fortnight. "Stone" is a unit not used in the US.
An inch was three barleycorns. A yard was the length of an arm. A rod was the length from fingertip to fingertip. (All very natural units.) Mile comes from Roman usage. Did you know there were two different kinds of ounces?
The metric system is a gift from the French, who also tried to impose a metric week (the day off coming once every ten days rather than every seven). Fortunately that innovation failed to take hold.
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Your remarks are all a standing ovation to the METRIC SYSTEM! :):):):cool:
 

Camino Chris

One step forward...
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
We measure distances in miles. Petrol/Diesel in Litres. Do that in your head when the car lot salesman is talking mpg (miles per gallon).

We drink our beer in pints though we buy our Malt in Tonnes and our Hops in Kilos and brew using Bushels and Quarts.

We buy our 4/4 (4 inch by 4 inch) timber in metre length and our suiting fabric by the yard.

We weigh ourselves in Stones and Pounds, assess our rucksack capacity in Litres and get out the pocket conversion tables to o_Oo_Owork out 10% of overload.

I've never found any of this confusing.

And, as anyone who has consumed 10% more good English beer than they should have will know, it may be a mile to the pub but its a mile-and-a-half back ;)
This thread is making my head spin, and you're not helping any!o_O....It's all worse than I ever thought!:eek:
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
'Portuguese,Frances,Norte,Salvador/primitivo,Le puy, Inglés, CDM, Invierno, Fin/Mux, VDLP spring19
For all of us who have successfully sailed through both eras. Australia adopted metric (or then it was labelled decimal currency on 14 Feb 1966).
We can still comprehend easily the old and the ‘new’ (sort of, lol). Height is measured metric here too but I still think or picture in my mind feet and inches .

My point is : I’m sure it is taken on board as naturally as (you) understand a few different languages? I’m pretty sure you’re multi lingual?

Good thread though. Very interesting stuff coming through. I hadn’t realised Canada used kilometres! It must be confusing crossing the border to USA. ?

Buen Camino
Annie
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
"Stone" is a unit not used in the US.
An inch was three barleycorns. A yard was the length of an arm. A rod was the length from fingertip to fingertip. (All very natural units.) Mile comes from Roman usage. Did you know there were two different kinds of ounces?
The metric system is a gift from the French, who also tried to impose a metric week (the day off coming once every ten days rather than every seven). Fortunately that innovation failed to take hold.
Maybe, but I see a lot of "mix and match" going on!
Let's go metric, please. Forget about yards, inches, miles, pounds, stones, and all other irrelevant and stoneage measures. Go metric.! I am so pleased you all (most non-fossils) agree!
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
What's a stone? What's a foot? What's an inch? A mile? How long is a foot? Idiotic measures...
 

Raggy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
My engineering class had to do calculations in furlongs per fortnight.
Hehe. My mathematics teacher did that too ...
What travels at 1.8026 megafurlongs per microfortnight?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
We have 10 fingers. 10 toes.
I have two feet. Not 0.6096 meters, not even one full meter when, besides thermo meters, I have three actual meters at home: gas, water and electric.

Once had to help a fellow from China find a house meter. First I had to realize that was what I call a bathroom scale.

Now, let's complain some more. Why are we communicating in English about a Spanish saint who never spoke either language?

Complaining finished for now.

;)
 

Raggy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
Art form and quaintness
Well, I think of the USC and Imperial measurement systems as science rather than art, but I agree that people's emotional connection with the old units is a major reason for the difficulty in moving to the metric system. Especially in this populist era, people get really wound up over news stories that some foreign entity will require them to use unfamiliar units.

In Japan, where the metric system is legally enforced for most things, houses are still listed with measurements in "Jo" (which corresponds to the size of a tatami mat) and sake is still sold in "go" (which corresponds to 180ml). Other historical units like shaku and koku pop up in traditional contexts.

When it comes to driving on the left vs. right, I think the UK government costed it and decided that the cost of changing road layouts, signage, etc. was prohibitive. Perhaps we'll soon be travelling in autonomous vehicles and the issue will be moot.
 
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Raggy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
What's a stone? What's a foot? What's an inch? A mile? How long is a foot? Idiotic measures...
What do you think of the nautical mile? Not metric, but the NM corresponds to 1 minute of arc on any meridian, which is handy when you're in charge of a boat or a plane.
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
What do you think of the nautical mile? Not metric, but the NM corresponds to 1 minute of arc on any meridian, which is handy when you're in charge of a boat or a plane.
I could write for an hour or more about that subject. It is quite fascinating, and our forefathers had many things correct, much more than so in the today's world. Impressible.

FYI: I am a certified sea captain, with emphasis on survival in the Arctic oceans and mountains. The concept of sea miles, latitudes etc. is a completely historical ballgame. Nothing to do with anything else. Trust me as a captain.

The background of NM, distances etc. is longer than I can write here, and is a distortion of what this post is about: Stupid measure units by a minoritiy of the world's population. True fact. :):):cool:
 
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marylynn

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2011-12-14-15-16-17-18-(19) CF
2013 Arles/Aragones
2015 & 2017 HærvejenDK
[QUOTE="OzAnnie, post: I hadn’t realised Canada used kilometres! It must be confusing crossing the border to USA. ?

My (Canadian) speedometer shows kilometres in large numbers and miles-per-hour in small numbers, so I can keep track of my speed without much problem when I travel in the U.S. One kilometre is a little more than a half-mile so judging distances isn’t bad. My GPS keeps me on track, speed- and distance-wise. Just don’t ask me how many kilometres per litre my car gets!!??!!
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Apparently it all started with the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians who used the segments of their fingers to count ... leading to a predilection for 12s and 60s
I'm curious to know if this influenced the Chinese, who also had 12 hours and 12 months. Chinese astrology, for example, has a sixty year cycle (12 animal signs X 5 elements).
https://www.scienceabc.com/eyeopeners/why-are-there-24-hours-in-a-day-and-60-minutes-in-an-hour.html
There was an attempt to introduce decimal time, following the French Revolution. It didn't stick:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decimal_time
Measurements based on 12 have the advantage of being evenly divisible by 2, 3, and 4. Those based on 60 are evenly divisible by 2, 3, 4, and 5.
 

Peter Fransiscus

Do good and good will come to you.
Camino(s) past & future
All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
I don't get it: Why don't we have common measurements? While the rest of the world is talking unified units, some places they measure all things outside the metric system.

Can't these countries please start measuring things in proper units (metric system), drive on the right side of the road, and respect the majority of the sane world?

This creates a lot of problems: how far is it from one village to the next, how much water do you need, how hot is it? I do not understand these measures, and I am in the vast majority of the world population. And still I have to translate our logical metric system to those who have no clue.

F.ex. Water freezes at 0 Celsius; 32 F. What is 32?

30F sounds hot to me. But it is 2 below the freezing point of water, so a little chilly... Snow in the air...

One km. is 1000 metres. 1 step is almost 1 metre. What could be difficult with that?
And how long is a foot? what is an inch? 2.54 cm. What does it MEAN? It is certainly within the metric system... What is an Oz???

In most countries, only drunk drivers drive on the left side of the road. In f.ex. England, I need a few pints before I can drive safely.

An expensive satellite was lost in a cooperation between USA and Europe because US course calculations were done in inches (!?) sic) instead of proper centrimetres, and the next course calculation done by the US went pretty wrong...

We have 10 fingers. 10 toes. the basics of the metric system. Please join us.

Please get it right, leftists...;)
Brilliant 🤣🤣🤣, I'am with you in this .👍
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
In Canada, having a mixed and inconsistent system of weights and measures is convenient for various businesses, in particular the grocery stores, where many things are sold in both imperial and metric measurements. Large signs with imperial measures and prices and tiny metric prices are posted in the fresh produce section. But if you remember the posted price and are sure that the price at the till is wrong, it is very difficult to be sure, or to prove your point, as the price per unit at the till is always in metric only. So I end up going back to the produce section to check the price per kilo posted in tiny letters and then checking my weekly advertising circular for the advertised price. Usually, I am right, but it is quite a fuss to prove it. I saved myself the bother yesterday by deciding that I had never paid $6.99/lb for strawberries in my life (that was the sale price!) and I am not about to start now. I am sure that most shoppers are paying higher prices often because they do not follow the system of measure and how prices are posted twice.
 

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF: (2001, 2002, 2004, 2014). Hospitalera: 2002, Ponferrada. 2004, Rabanal del Camino.
Let's go metric, please. Forget about yards, inches, miles, pounds, stones, and all other irrelevant and stoneage measures. Go metric.! I am so pleased you all (most non-fossils) agree!
Ahem.

Americans can not go metric.

If we Americans go metric we will also explode. For instance: 150 pounds becomes 68 kilograms. A visual weight lose of great proportion. Bring on the snacks and more and more until gosh darn it I’m back to original weight:150?

I’m keeping my pounds while losing those grams.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
Ahem.

Americans can not go metric.

If we Americans go metric we will also explode. For instance: 150 pounds becomes 68 kilograms. A visual weight lose of great proportion. Bring on the snacks and more and more until gosh darn it I’m back to original weight:150?

I’m keeping my pounds while losing those grams.
But if we go metric everyone can get their kicks by driving at 100 kph.
 
Camino(s) past & future
I intend to leave the UK the day Before Brexit and walkMarch -April 2019 Camino Frances
Count your blessings. My engineering class had to do calculations in furlongs per fortnight. "Stone" is a unit not used in the US.
An inch was three barleycorns. A yard was the length of an arm. A rod was the length from fingertip to fingertip. (All very natural units.) Mile comes from Roman usage. Did you know there were two different kinds of ounces?
The metric system is a gift from the French, who also tried to impose a metric week (the day off coming once every ten days rather than every seven). Fortunately that innovation failed to take hold.
I don't want to meet the person who has an arm span of 5 and half yards. A rod pole and perch is 5.5 yds or 1/4 of a chain, as everyone knows a cricket wicket is 22 yds longs or a chain, which is 1 tenth 0f a furlong. There you have it decimal amounts in the imperial system. There are 20 hundredweight in a ton obviously a hundredweight is not 100 of anything but actually 112 Pound or 8 stone. This means a UK ton is 2240lbs where as a metric tonne is 100Kg or 2204 lbs the US ton is only 2000 lbs. That seems like an easy number so they tend to use 40 000 lbs 8nstead of 20.tons. odd. Don't get me started on using cups for cooking. How can you use a volume measurement for some thing like cheese. The recipe called for 1 cup of cheddar grated. Does that I measure the cheese in a solid block is 300g and then grate it or do I grate some cheese to fill the cup about 50 g. Why are US pints only 80% of a normal pint. 8 pints in a gallon a gallon of water weighs 10 lbs therefore a pint weighs 1.25 lbs or 20 OZ.
 

pelerine

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte, Primitivo, Plata, Salvador Torres
I don't want to meet the person who has an arm span of 5 and half yards. A rod pole and perch is 5.5 yds or 1/4 of a chain, as everyone knows a cricket wicket is 22 yds longs or a chain, which is 1 tenth 0f a furlong. There you have it decimal amounts in the imperial system. There are 20 hundredweight in a ton obviously a hundredweight is not 100 of anything but actually 112 Pound or 8 stone. This means a UK ton is 2240lbs where as a metric tonne is 100Kg or 2204 lbs the US ton is only 2000 lbs. That seems like an easy number so they tend to use 40 000 lbs 8nstead of 20.tons. odd. Don't get me started on using cups for cooking. How can you use a volume measurement for some thing like cheese. The recipe called for 1 cup of cheddar grated. Does that I measure the cheese in a solid block is 300g and then grate it or do I grate some cheese to fill the cup about 50 g. Why are US pints only 80% of a normal pint. 8 pints in a gallon a gallon of water weighs 10 lbs therefore a pint weighs 1.25 lbs or 20 OZ.

What is “normal” or “proper” anyway? Apart from the UK, South Africa and Australia, there surely are other countries where you drive on the “wrong” side of the road. Sweden changed sides - can’t remember which year. Any Swedes on this forum who can tell us how difficult that was?

Another thing, I remember when the UK changed currency to decimal from pounds shillings and pence to pounds and pennies - how people groaned when paying in the shops that decimal was so difficult to calculate! Easy at last for me, coming from Europe (what used to be called “the continent”).
 

alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
April 2019-Camino de Invierno
I find it easy to just think in metric when in Europe. Drive on whatever side they require. I think in English units and drive right in my home country of the USA.
My husband uses only metric at work (scientist) and can convert in his head on the fly.
It’s not a big deal, unless you make it one, IMO.
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
A Swedish friend of mine was a schoolgirl when Sweden changed to driving on the other side. School children were sent out with flags to guide the traffic to the correct side.
Isn't a Swedish mile the same as 4 English miles?

I remember when we changed to decimal currency in UK. We were sent on a day course to assist us poor airline workers.

Writing instructions for Patchwork books to be sold in both Europe and USA I had to work out measurements in both imperial and metric. With quick cutting / piecing methods commonly in use you couldn't just do a straight conversion. This meant writing two sets of instructions and not mixing the two.

I live in England and France so frequently have to chop and change measurement and weight calculations.


One brilliant question on "Who wants to be a millionaire" the other week on TV.
" how far is 20km in miles?"
Oh that was so easy for me and would have been the same for many camino walkers from UK and other countries where miles are still in use.😊

I still love to use an ancient and quick method to measure lengths of fabric.
Hold fabric in right hand finger tips and measure it from there (the length of your arm) to your nose, looking straight ahead = 1 yard.
Turn the head to the left , extend fabric = 1 metre.

I once bought fabric in a Portuguese market and was delighted to see measured this way.

The old ways are the best!😉😊
 
Last edited:

Waka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Some but not all, and other routes too.
Before I start I will apologise to out friends from Southern Ireland.

When we joined the EU there was talk about SI changing the the side of the road they drove on to fit in with the rest of the EU. It was announced that on the week of the change cars wold change sides on the Friday with lorries changing on there Saturday. I'm not sure why but this change never happened.
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
I was concerned when the channel tunnel was constructed, How was traffic going to change sides mid way?
Fortunately it doesn't work that way as vehicles travel in pods /carriages .
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
In the past everybody rode their horses on the left because it was easier to hit the other side with the right hand in case of conflict.
In rural Galicia we still use the Ferrado as a surface measure In Cantabria have the Carro and there are more in Spain.But always square meters in official documents.
 

Glenshiro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy - Burgos, Camino Frances (2012 - 2018)
Why are US pints only 80% of a normal pint
This puzzled me on my first trip to the US until I realised that a US pint weighs 16 ounces, or one Imperial pound. Why an Imperial pint weighs 20 ounces is a mystery to me, but doubtless someone on this forum knows the answer!
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Via Tolosana
We measure distances in miles. Petrol/Diesel in Litres. Do that in your head when the car lot salesman is talking mpg (miles per gallon).

We drink our beer in pints though we buy our Malt in Tonnes and our Hops in Kilos and brew using Bushels and Quarts.

We buy our 4/4 (4 inch by 4 inch) timber in metre length and our suiting fabric by the yard.

We weigh ourselves in Stones and Pounds, assess our rucksack capacity in Litres and get out the pocket conversion tables to work out 10% of overload.

I've never found any of this confusing.

And, as anyone who has consumed 10% more good English beer than they should have will know, it may be a mile to the pub but its a mile-and-a-half back ;)
And allotments are measured in rods :oops::D
 

mai

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 18/4 Pamplona-S
CF 19/4-5 SJPP-S
This is an interesting thread reminding me a problem on the camino.

Spain has the right side driving. I saw some pilgrims walking on the right side and some on the left side. Then the driver on the left side facing us waved and shouted to us pilgrims to walk all at one side - the left side. It seems walkers on both sides frightened the Spanish drivers.

My question: Is it right that walkers should walk on the left side in Spain?
This is a question about safety for pilgrims.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
My question: Is it right that walkers should walk on the left side in Spain?
This is a question about safety for pilgrims.
Yes - most of the time. You should normally walk on the left so that you are facing approaching traffic. Sometimes sharp bends in the road make it safer to cross over briefly to the other side for better visibility but you should then return to the left when it is safe to do so.
 

mai

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 18/4 Pamplona-S
CF 19/4-5 SJPP-S
@Bradypus, thank you for clarification. Maybe different countries have different walking rules. Pilgrims from all over the world walk based on their home country customs which results a mess on the camino.
 

Bristle boy

Here,There and Everywhere..Nowhere in particular.
Camino(s) past & future
2019
Before I start I will apologise to out friends from Southern Ireland.

When we joined the EU there was talk about SI changing the the side of the road they drove on to fit in with the rest of the EU. It was announced that on the week of the change cars wold change sides on the Friday with lorries changing on there Saturday. I'm not sure why but this change never happened.
Hi waka...think of the capital cost. All traffic lights and road signs would have to be changed almost immediately or swapped.
I live close to an airport where travellers hire cars...I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve met a vehicle travelling the wrong way after picking up a hire car!
I’m on the cusp of many things and am more used to imperial than metric! I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with metric...it is a visualisation thing! I can visualise a mile, I can’t a kilometre. That’s just me!
And I can still calculate money using the “Roman” method (pounds shillings and pence)
And as for decimalisation...instant inflation!!
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
I live close to an airport where travellers hire cars...I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve met a vehicle travelling the wrong way after picking up a hire car!
I worked for a few months in a hotel in Scotland whose main customers were golfers from the USA. Part of their package deal was a hire car from Prestwick airport. Surprise number 1 was that the steering wheel was on the wrong side. Number 2 was that it had manual gears and a clutch which few of the guests had ever used. Then they had to leave the airport on the wrong side of the road. Where they met a roundabout - quite rare in the USA apparently - and had to work out whether to circle it clockwise or anti-clockwise. They did not always make the right choice. After a while the hotel staff learned to recognise from the bruises which guests had found adjusting to driving in the UK too difficult.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
We have 10 fingers. 10 toes. the basics of the metric system. Please join us.
The logic of using SI units based on fundamental measures is fairly clear, but I am not sure why you would want people to continue to use anything as antiquated as the decimal system. Binary systems have become ubiquitous and pervasive across the world, largely because their power can be so easily harnessed by computers.

As a simple example, using one hand as a binary counter one can count from zero to 31, with two hands, to 1023. and with all one's fingers and toes to over one million. Why would you want to limit people to counting to five, 10 and 20?

No doubt decimal systems will hang on in much the same way as we still have relics of earlier, and often more convenient, number bases such as 12, 24, 60 and even 360.
 

Camino Chris

One step forward...
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Measurements based on 12 have the advantage of being evenly divisible by 2, 3, and 4. Those based on 60 are evenly divisible by 2, 3, 4, and 5.
You must be a math whiz to have that little tidbit come to your mind!
 

Bristle boy

Here,There and Everywhere..Nowhere in particular.
Camino(s) past & future
2019
Too many posts here to read them all carefully.. But let's face it..there are only two non-metric countries in the world, and seeing who they are and their attitude to the rest of us, clearly the rest of us are all either wrong or uncivilised.
Who dem???
 

Paladina

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Cycled caminos francés, Finisterre, primitivo & del norte (2017); VdlP/Sanabres, ingles et al (2018)
The distance between villages, whether given in kilometers or miles, is no indication of the actual time of arrival. There are too many variables (terrain, weather, fitness, tiredness, etc.) to make an authoritative pronouncement. Perhaps the pied-de-roi measurement that was abolished during the French Revolution could be reintroduced as pied-de-saint for the guidance of weary pilgrims. In the meantime I’ll continue to measure my progress by time not distance, and measurements of time have not gone metric. The observation made by @David Tallan may indicate why.
 

IngridF

Intrepid Peregrina
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2015 ,2017, 2019
About the same in Canada. I am happy to be bilingual in that way. In 1975 I started engineering school. We did everything in metric and when a problem was assigned in Imperial units, we all groaned. The professors thought it was funny because every year in the past, the students groaned when a metric problem was assigned.

Now, over 40 years later, we still have a mixture. We use feet and pounds to measure our bodies, km on the road, Celsius for the weather, a mix for various other items. The conversion is slow but steady. It required a major government commitment.
Yup I grew up with the metric system and arrived in Canada in 1973. All my cookbooks were a challenge. I quickly attapted and stopped converting. My head was a jumble of 3 languages so why add more to it. Numbers is a language too. And then I go and marry a guy who loves to quote temperature in Kelvin. 🙃😉
 

Colette Z

Happy Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
CF-Finisterra-Muxia 2017; SK Camino Kosiče-Levoča 2017; Norte Mar’18; Ingles Nov’18; VDLP Mar’19
I don't get it: Why don't we have common measurements? While the rest of the world is talking unified units, some places they measure all things outside the metric system.

Can't these countries please start measuring things in proper units (metric system), drive on the right side of the road, and respect the majority of the sane world?

This creates a lot of problems: how far is it from one village to the next, how much water do you need, how hot is it? I do not understand these measures, and I am in the vast majority of the world population. And still I have to translate our logical metric system to those who have no clue.

F.ex. Water freezes at 0 Celsius; 32 F. What is 32?

30F sounds hot to me. But it is 2 below the freezing point of water, so a little chilly... Snow in the air...

One km. is 1000 metres. 1 step is almost 1 metre. What could be difficult with that?
And how long is a foot? what is an inch? 2.54 cm. What does it MEAN? It is certainly within the metric system... What is an Oz???

In most countries, only drunk drivers drive on the left side of the road. In f.ex. England, I need a few pints before I can drive safely.

An expensive satellite was lost in a cooperation between USA and Europe because US course calculations were done in inches (!?) sic) instead of proper centrimetres, and the next course calculation done by the US went pretty wrong...

We have 10 fingers. 10 toes. the basics of the metric system. Please join us.

Please get it right, leftists...;)
I love it and AGREE 100%. Canada established the metric system officially in 1971. It created a lot of issues with manufacturing machinery and tools for the US customers. I don’t know what 72F even feels like but this morning when I saw that it was -33C in Ottawa I knew my dog walk would be very short.
 

Bristle boy

Here,There and Everywhere..Nowhere in particular.
Camino(s) past & future
2019
I love it and AGREE 100%. Canada established the metric system officially in 1971. It created a lot of issues with manufacturing machinery and tools for the US customers. I don’t know what 72F even feels like but this morning when I saw that it was -33C in Ottawa I knew my dog walk would be very short.
Minus 33...wow!
 

Colette Z

Happy Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
CF-Finisterra-Muxia 2017; SK Camino Kosiče-Levoča 2017; Norte Mar’18; Ingles Nov’18; VDLP Mar’19
Minus 33...wow!
Ottawa is apparently the coldest “capital” city in the world (only the 3rd or 4th coldest city on earth) .....hence why i only visit a Ottawa for short periods. BTW Ottawa people skate on the 9 km long Rideau Canal in this weather 🙄
 

Camino Chris

One step forward...
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
And lets not even talk about Subway ripping us off with their 'foot long' ..which isn't, or their '6 inch'.. which also isn't! Taking advantage of the metric generations?! 🌯 🤣
Or how about how Subway is mostly about vegetarian, whether you want it or not! You have to ask for lots of the veggies to your sandwich, as they are real cheapskates when it comes to adding the meat...maybe just a piddly ounce😅, or would that be grams, or kilometers, or whatever!😩😉
 

Camino Chris

One step forward...
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
if you can't beat them...
View attachment 50981View attachment 50982
I did read the first 40 attentively. Then I saw there were 75. If I post this before someone else posts, that will be 95. OP, you picked a winner.
I know, Kirkie! This is becoming almost as much fun as the "Not Serious" thread...the serious and the UNserious all blended together here!😃
 

Camino Chris

One step forward...
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Ottawa is apparently the coldest “capital” city in the world (only the 3rd or 4th coldest city on earth) .....hence why i only visit a Ottawa for short periods. BTW Ottawa people skate on the 9 km long Rideau Canal in this weather 🙄
That might be considered cheating on an icy winter camino...no wonder we get so many crazy pilgrims claiming they love starting in January! In order to get their compostela, they have to prove they have not hidden ice skates in their backpacks!...or maybe not, as there is no one volunteering in the pilgrim office anyway so a stack is left on the counter and you just write in what you want...I wrote in 500 MILES on mine! Oops, I mean 799 kilometers!😂
 

Camino Chris

One step forward...
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I worked for a few months in a hotel in Scotland whose main customers were golfers from the USA. Part of their package deal was a hire car from Prestwick airport. Surprise number 1 was that the steering wheel was on the wrong side. Number 2 was that it had manual gears and a clutch which few of the guests had ever used. Then they had to leave the airport on the wrong side of the road. Where they met a roundabout - quite rare in the USA apparently - and had to work out whether to circle it clockwise or anti-clockwise. They did not always make the right choice. After a while the hotel staff learned to recognise from the bruises which guests had found adjusting to driving in the UK too difficult.
My brother-in-law was part of that group and he's from Chicago. He told me he golfed the worst game of his life in Scotland because although he's a right handed guy, they forced him to play left handed and his final score was a measly 13!
 

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