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God Bless America!


Pompey Monkey
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1 hour ago, Carbon Brush said:

@Louis D  Torches have actual flames coming out of the end.  I have no idea what Brits call the latter.

The device with flames is called a blowlamp.

You have reminded of an encounter with US airport security some years ago.
I had persented my belongings for security check. Among them was a small pocket torch (or flashlight).

The security person picked it out of the tray and looked at it, turned it around, looked further, turned it again....
I said 'its a torch' and was ignored.
The turning over, around, and puzzled expression continued.
I repeated 'its a torch' and was still ignored.

So I took the torch from the puzzled persons hand, flicked the switch and demonstrated it.
'Ah flashlight!' was the security response and it was accepted as good to carry.

 

You're lucky it wasn't confiscated the moment you said it was a torch.  They're prohibited on flights because you could start a fire in the cabin with them.

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5 hours ago, ollypenrice said:

Living in France, I once asked our local builder's merchants if they might carry imperial allen keys. I should've known better.  The owner stifled a grunt, which became a guffaw and ended in side slapping laughter and tears. The entire staff gathered round to hear what the Englishman had asked for. Soon they and half a dozen customers were variously roaring, slapping their sides and weeping with mirth. When one of them recovered the power of speech he just muttered, 'Mars lander,' and they were off again. 

So you went on Amazon and ordered them and had them the next day with Prime delivery.  A few years later, the local hardware store closed up.  Who's laughing now.

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8 minutes ago, michael8554 said:

I have a torch and it doesn't flash, so why do they call it a flashlight ?

Michael

Back in the day, some torches had a press button, as well as a sliding on-off switch.  The idea was that this could be used to send morse code, by flashing the light on and off.  Perhaps that's where the name came from?

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7 minutes ago, michael8554 said:

I have a torch and it doesn't flash, so why do they call it a flashlight ?

Michael

Buy a new torch then 😀 I have torches for night time (Red only) they flash as well, and the same but white light. Showed my brother and he said they're flash torches.

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51 minutes ago, Louis D said:

Back in the 70s, we were pitched decimeters as the natural replacement for feet.  Apparently, it never caught on anywhere.  I always hear people's height described as centimeters in SI units.

The centimetre isn't an SI unit. Millimetres and Kilometres are SI as they are multiples of 10^3.

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It struck me that we are no better in being consistent with units. Why do we often give aperture of our scopes in inches while we would never consider giving the focal length in inches. This does not help when you rapidly want to calculate the focal length of 6" scope from the f-ratio, or vice versa....

Cheers, Göran

Skärmavbild 2021-11-06 kl. 16.02.52.png

Edited by gorann
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12 minutes ago, gorann said:

It struck me that we are no better in being consistent with units. Why do we often give aperture of our scopes in inches while we would never consider giving the focal length in inches. This does not help when you rapidly want to calculate the focal length of 6" scope from the f-ratio, or vice versa....

Cheers, Göran

That same inconsitancy is applied to eyepieces too. 1.25 and 2 inch adaptors, but measured as 32mm, 25mm, etc in focal length.

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14 minutes ago, gorann said:

It struck me that we are no better in being consistent with units. Why do we often give aperture of our scopes in inches while we would never consider giving the focal length in inches. This does not help when you rapidly want to calculate the focal length of 6" scope from the f-ratio, or vice versa....

Cheers, Göran

 

I don't give 'scope aperture in inches, ever, and had to make an effort to check out what my 102 and 80mm refractors were in imperial when reading a US website to see if their info. applied to me.  Celestron is US company so that explains their use of inches, which probably plays well to the locals,  even if the kit is made in China .

 

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@Tiny Clanger What really worries me about your account isn't the 'two countries divided by one language' thing, but that someone in the US employed a security person apparently unfamiliar with the concept of switches

Hi Heather don't worry. This was a trivial 'fail to meet standard' compared to some I have encountered. Off topic, but perhaps of interest.

Not too long after Lockerbie I was travelling UK to USA. An 'American Airlines' flight.
It was an urgently arranged trip to repair some equipment in time for a trade show.
Saturday evening book flight. Out of bed early Sunday, drive to Manchester. Sunday evening in the exhibition hall. Monday AM show opens.
In the USA I had a connection with the same airline,  Chicago to New Orleans.
 
At Manchester, in addition to the usual security checks that we all expect in the UK, there was someone from the airline giving everyone in the check in queue a serious grilling. Really serious.
Did you pack the bags yourself? Are you carrying anything for anyone else? Have the bags been out of your sight? Do you have electronic items in your luggage. Do you have anything in your luggage that can be used as a weapon? etc. etc.
Well I was carrying (in hold luggage of course) various pointy tools to stab people, sharp blades to slash and wire to strangle people and some electronics. My usual electronics tool kit.
As I had the sense not to carry these in in my pockets or cabin bag, I was allowed on the flight.

All seemed to be going well until the Chicago to New Orleans leg.
Part way through the flight, a cabin announcement asked me to make myself known to the cabin staff.
Strange - they should know my seat number?🤔
Anyway, I pushed the call button. They explained that one item of luggage had not been put onto the flight.
It was lost/delayed in Chicago. If I enquired at New Orleans, they would have further information.
Guess what. It was the parts I needed for the repair!

On arrival at New Orleans I made the lost item enquiry and was told no problem, it can be sent the next day!
This was the point where I stamped my foot and stcuk out the bottom lip.
Next day turned into 'OK next flight in two hours'.

I then went to baggage reclaim to collect my other item and wondered how to get a message to the person (from the UK) meeting me at the airport.
In the UK, leave the carousel area and there is no going back - unless you fly again🤣.
At that time the US mobile network wanted little to do with the rest of the world so I could not call anyone.🥴
While waiting for my remaining case to navigate the carousel, I heard a familiar voice behind me.
The person I was meeting had walked off the street into baggage reclaim without any challenge, checks, etc!
We left to grab some food and returned (again unchallenged) a couple of hours later to retrieve the remaining item.

For my flight home, someone from our USA customer drove me to the airport.
I suggested he might want to see me check in for some amusement. My luggage always raises lots of questions.
The check in desk said ticket all OK. Your luggage will be handled at Chicago and you will pick it up in Manchester.
Have a nice flight. Not a single security question!

Draw what conclusions you wish.
 

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The decimal system in the USA.

In 1789, the first Congress took to the task of establishing a standard system of weights and measures.   Since the metric system did not come to a practical realization until 1799 during the French Revolution, Thomas Jefferson the first Secretary of State submitted a report proposing a decimal-based system that had a mixture of familiar and unfamiliar names for the units.  It was actually very similar to the metric system in many ways except that instead of prefixes, Jefferson had a long list of names for each unit.   Jefferson's basic unit of distance was the foot which was divided into 10 inches.  Each inch was divided into 10 lines and each line into 10 points.   10 feet was a decade, 100 feet was a rood, and 1000 feet was a furlong.   Jefferson's mile was 10,000 feet about twice that of what we call a mile today.   A bushel was a cubic foot and a bushel of water weighed 1000 ounces.   Unfortunately, Congress provided little support for Jefferson's decimal system and instead chose to stick with the traditional English weights and measure system.
 

E4E259AD-CE26-469E-97C0-1C606E23D59D.jpeg

Edited by johninderby
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7 hours ago, Tiny Clanger said:

I don't give 'scope aperture in inches, ever, and had to make an effort to check out what my 102 and 80mm refractors were in imperial when reading a US website to see if their info. applied to me.  Celestron is US company so that explains their use of inches, which probably plays well to the locals,  even if the kit is made in China .

 

I picked that example because it is from the net site of a UK firm: FLO.

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14 minutes ago, gorann said:

I picked that example because it is from the net site of a UK firm: FLO.

Who use the information given them by the manufacturer. Telescop-Express in Germany use the same , brand provided information:

https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/language/de/info/p7037_Celestron-NexStar-Evolution-6---portable-6--Schmidt-Cassegrain-GoTo-Telescope.html

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Where accuracy isn't absolutely required and because I find it awkward to use fractions of an inch smaller than quarters, I occasionally find it convenient to combine metric and imperial at the same time.  So I might measure something as "sixty-eight inches and four millimetres" for example.  I'm quite comfortable with this, possibly as a result of being taught only metric at school whilst having parents who habitually used imperial.  I don't know if my dad used metric at work (he worked in engineering at the time), but at home his lathe was imperial so that's what I was exposed to.  Even now I have my own (metric) lathe, I'm not sure what the modern equivalent of "taking another ten thou off" is.

James

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6 hours ago, JamesF said:

Where accuracy isn't absolutely required and because I find it awkward to use fractions of an inch smaller than quarters, I occasionally find it convenient to combine metric and imperial at the same time.  So I might measure something as "sixty-eight inches and four millimetres" for example.  I'm quite comfortable with this, possibly as a result of being taught only metric at school whilst having parents who habitually used imperial.  I don't know if my dad used metric at work (he worked in engineering at the time), but at home his lathe was imperial so that's what I was exposed to.  Even now I have my own (metric) lathe, I'm not sure what the modern equivalent of "taking another ten thou off" is.

James

I do the same although these days I cheat and often print out a drilling/cutting template and stick it to the work piece which is far more accurate for me if I am drilling some equipment face plate for example.

Alan 

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Another offshoot of decimal confusion arises when natural disasters or wars kill off almost everyone at the scene. The population is said to be 'decimated' whereas, historically, the term meant to execute one person in ten. (The idea was that it would focus the minds of the survivors...)

Olly

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19 minutes ago, ollypenrice said:

Another offshoot of decimal confusion arises when natural disasters or wars kill off almost everyone at the scene. The population is said to be 'decimated' whereas, historically, the term meant to execute one person in ten. (The idea was that it would focus the minds of the survivors...)

Olly

Interestingly, decimation manages to be both at the same time , decimal  ( based on 10 ) and imperial (being I believe a way to 'encourage' the legionaries of Imperial Rome ) 🙂

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It just gets worse! Re built the mower engine using metric tools on Imperial fixings. Had to give the head bolts my best guess as to torque by watching a guy on YouTube do it till he grunted!!! In American!

I have a torque wrench (just realised we call them torque wrench, not torque spanner) but all the info for the motor is foot/pounds. This is what I have, a confusing mix which if used on anything other than a mower could cause untold harm on a large scale.

Seems the head and associated fittings are Imperial but the torque settings are metric. I feel very uncomfortable and have decided to never fly again, never drive anywhere and stop cutting the grass.

Marv

AAE4A905-1DD2-4A85-B9FE-8B1C53B593F2.jpeg

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