Tag Archive for Modernize

Let’s go Metric

I’ve never understood why the US still uses the Imperial system for measurements. It’s not like metric is a fad or something only third world countries use,. Heck, it’s been around since 1795 (France being the official first adopters) and it took another 29 years until a second country made it official (Portugal), but it’s here to stay.

From my limited research (thanks wikipedia!) it looks like there are only three countries left not using metric (and I one of them is in the process of converting). In this case it does make sense to do it because everyone else is (it’s not like we’d be jumping off a bridge or anything).

All the cool physics and chemistry equations use metric (other sciences may as well, but I am unfamiliar with them). So for students to understand when they drop a 50 lb anvil on one side of the lever from 20 ft up they first have to convert Imperial to metric, do all the equations, then convert the result back to understand how high the ball on the other side will fly up into the are.

Similarly, understanding the factors is much easier (it’s base ten, like the number of fingers most of us have) especially as everything uses the base unit type in its name – e.g. meter vs. inch, foot, mile; or liter vs. teaspoon, ounce, cup, gallon; etc. I’ll admit, I always had a difficult time remembering the prefixes, but that was because outside of class I didn’t use them (and I didn’t study much in grade school). Until you took physics or chemistry in high school when did you ever use nano, micro, milli, centi, kilo, mega, giga, etc.? I’ll tell you… never (in the late ’80s and early ’90s).

Plus, this could actually spur the economy, too. Speed limit signs, cook books, blueprints, clothing tags, thermometers, ovens, the beloved wooden measuring sticks, among other things would all have to be redone (no one would be forced to buy everything new, that’s not the point or practical).

I’m not saying we need to start driving on the left side of the road, that’s just plain stupid. But going metric would make the world a slightly easier place to live. I know a bunch of [phone] apps might lose out on this conversion, but it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.

Take away: When I said ‘I didn’t study much in grade school’ what I meant was ‘I didn’t study much in school.’

Thanksgiving Travel Pains

As I watched the news last night there was the normal discussion of traffic due to the holiday. But it’s not just from the number of vehicles – cars or aircraft – but also because of ice cold rain or snow. I’ve come up with two possible solutions to ease Thanksgiving traffic.

The first is by far the easiest: change the month of Thanksgiving to a warmer month, perhaps August when there isn’t anything else really going on. The same amount of people will be on the road or in the air, but no ice rain or snow. Bonus: as most kids are out of school families can travel across multiple days vs. a mad dash on Wednesdays. This leads to a second bonus of slightly lower airfares!

The second solution is a bit more complex and takes the spirit away… Each state is assigned a particular week in November for Thanksgiving. This leads to less traffic per week and possibly cheaper airfares, however, if your families live in states whose Thanksgivings don’t match up then planning would not be fun.

Take away: when trying to sell one solution, give a second more convoluted solution and people will flock to the first.

Online Dating

A coworker recently said, with some reservation, that he is doing online dating. Five or so years ago when I asked my best friend how he met his girlfriend at the time, he was hesitant to admit it was via online dating.

Some odd years ago people thought it was odd if you met your significant other at a bar or a club, but why not? It’s no different than meeting them at church or the gym. That is, you’re both [likely] participating in an activity you enjoy. If anything, I find it odd if you met your sigificant other just walking down the street or standing in line at the coffee shop.

Internet dating opens up the dating pool to someone who could be perfect for you and lives two minutes away (and you never bump into each other or do but don’t talk) or on the other side of town or, for the really adventurous, another city or state. Online dating increases the chances you’ll meet someone with the same interests and views as you but your lives just wouldn’t ‘naturally’ intersect.

Granted, this means your match would have to be on the same dating site as you, which is no different than going to the same church, the same bars/clubs (on the same night), the same gym (at the same time), etc.

I understand the stigma around online dating, but I don’t see why my best friend was nervous to tell me that. Not only do I see nothing wrong with online dating, I think it’s the greatest thing to happen to dating since… ever. If I weren’t married I guarantee you I would try online dating.

I would even try speed dating at least once, but I don’t think it lends itself well to my high-functioning¬†aspergers[1]. It’s the multiple 3-5 minute conversations with someone new.

Take away: it doesn’t matter how or where you meet your better half, just that you meet your better half.

[1] As diagnosed by my wife (she has a BSN).