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# Metric System

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## The mystifying meter

October 4, 1999
Here is an excerpt of an editorial from the San Francisco Examiner, which was published Friday.STRUGGLING MATH students warned us the metric system would never fly in this country, and it looks like they were right.It turns out that the recent disintegration of the Mars Climate Orbiter is being blamed on a mix-up about measurements.One team working on the spacecraft used familiar-as-old-shoes feet and inches. The other team's calculations were based on the metric system.The never-ending competition between meters and feet added up to a \$125 million mistake.
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NEWS

## It's time we forget about feet and furlongs and go metric

| September 7, 2008
Now that we have our presidential candidates and their respective running mates, it is time to get down to business and stop beating the tired, old horses of ageism, sexism and racism, and start whipping the old goat of serious issues. Yes, it is time our candidates addressed one of the more pressing concerns facing our nation: Why are we not using the metric system, already? For crying out loud! When I was in grade school, back in the day when lunch boxes actually were metal boxes and the bologna sandwich inside was not a thing to be ashamed of, I learned about the English measurement system.
NEWS

## It's time we forget about feet and furlongs and go metric

| September 7, 2008
Now that we have our presidential candidates and their respective running mates, it is time to get down to business and stop beating the tired, old horses of ageism, sexism and racism, and start whipping the old goat of serious issues. Yes, it is time our candidates addressed one of the more pressing concerns facing our nation: Why are we not using the metric system, already? For crying out loud! When I was in grade school, back in the day when lunch boxes actually were metal boxes and the bologna sandwich inside was not a thing to be ashamed of, I learned about the English measurement system.
NEWS

## School plan is poorly conceived

February 13, 2000
School plan is poorly conceived; shortchanges all I am writing in response to your glowing editorial congratulating the Carroll County Board of Education on its vision and forethought on the proposed redistricting (Redrawing school lines, Feb. 2). Have you actually reviewed this plan? As it stands, my children, who live 2.5 miles from Liberty High School and 3.2 miles from Oklahoma Middle School in Sykesville (where we live by the way), will be bused over 12 miles to Westminster High School and almost 15 miles to West Middle School in Westminster.
NEWS

## Money in Meters

September 1, 1991
The world market is growing at a much faster rate than the American domestic market, but the United States continues to handicap itself by measuring the world in yards rather than meters. Unless American businesses produce more exports using the accepted international metric standard, the U.S. could dull its competitive edge.The U.S. stands as one of only three countries (Myanmar and Liberia are the others) resisting the switch. Had American businesses adhered closely to international trade standards, they could have increased export revenue last year by \$40 billion.
NEWS

## Mile wide and a newton short \$125 million goof: U.S. failure to adopt worldwide metric standard costs NASA a Mars mission.

October 7, 1999
WHAT A way to celebrate National Metric Week: The nation's space agency loses a \$125 million spacecraft on a mission to Mars because some engineers -- like too many other Americans -- cling to old-fashioned measurements abandoned by the rest of the world.The United States and its citizens refuse to turn yards into meters and pounds of thrust into newtons -- a metric measurement used by NASA scientists but not, it turns out, by engineers building the satellite at Lockheed Martin Corp.So when NASA fired up the rockets on its Mars Climate Orbiter, the satellite soared too far, going 60 miles off course.
FEATURES

## Brits give ground on the pound

| September 29, 1995
LONDON -- Come Sunday, the inch dies. So does the foot and the yard. And the pound and ounce go on life support.After more than 20 years of re-education and assimilation, the British are dumping some of the final vestiges of their old imperial measuring system and going nearly all-metric. And not everybody is thrilled.Shoppers are griping about buying packaged British bacon by the kilo and gram, instead of the pound and ounce. Store owners are grumbling about spending millions on pamphlets to educate the public.
NEWS

## Memorable metric moments

| April 26, 1994
LAST WEEK, my daughter Deborah called from Paris to inform my wife and me that she had delivered our first grandchild, a boy."And how much did he weigh?" I asked with no little excitement."Four kilograms," came the reply."Wow," I reflected, trying to buy a little time to convert the metric number into pounds and ounces. "And his length?""About 53 centimeters," was the proud response.To be sure, I researched the matter afterward, finding out that Lance Alexander Galletti was a heavyweight at eight pounds, eight ounces and measured about 21 inches.
NEWS

## James V. Stout Sr., 83, known as 'Mr. Metric'

| May 31, 1993
James Victor Stout Sr., whose jobs over the years ranged from delivery man to college instructor and who had an evangelic fascination with the metric system, died Thursday at Good Samaritan Hospital of complications following a stroke. He was 83.Mr. Stout was considered by many who knew him to be a jack-of-all-trades, having also worked over the years as a produce salesman, plumber, painter-decorator, furniture repairman and refinisher, banjo player, radio repairman, ship's radio operator, electronics teacher, broadcast engineer, locksmith, welder and organist.
NEWS

## Math winner boosted by a few prayers

| March 26, 1992
To do well in a math contest, you've got to be quick-witted and have a calculator-like mind, according to 7-year-old John Hodges. But to win it, saying a few prayers won't hurt either, his mother says.John is a third-grader at Matthew A. Henson Elementary School in West Baltimore. He displayed his nimble mind yesterday at Roland Park Elementary School when he won the citywide mathematics contest.Is it easy to win an elementary school math contest?Well, it's no problem if you're up on metric conversions or a have fancy for compound division and multiplication.
NEWS

## Just inching along

January 23, 2000
This is an edited excerpt of a Boston Globe editorial, which was published on Jan. 11. ONE of the first challenges globalization will impose on Americans is conversion to -- or at least fluency in -- the metric system. With the turn of the 2000 calendar, Britain became one of the last countries to complete its official shift to metrics. This sensible policy was mandated by the trade requirements of the European Union. The United States is now lumped with two other world powers -- Liberia and Burma -- as holdouts from the metric world.
NEWS

## Mile wide and a newton short \$125 million goof: U.S. failure to adopt worldwide metric standard costs NASA a Mars mission.

October 7, 1999
WHAT A way to celebrate National Metric Week: The nation's space agency loses a \$125 million spacecraft on a mission to Mars because some engineers -- like too many other Americans -- cling to old-fashioned measurements abandoned by the rest of the world.The United States and its citizens refuse to turn yards into meters and pounds of thrust into newtons -- a metric measurement used by NASA scientists but not, it turns out, by engineers building the satellite at Lockheed Martin Corp.So when NASA fired up the rockets on its Mars Climate Orbiter, the satellite soared too far, going 60 miles off course.
NEWS

## The mystifying meter

October 4, 1999
Here is an excerpt of an editorial from the San Francisco Examiner, which was published Friday.STRUGGLING MATH students warned us the metric system would never fly in this country, and it looks like they were right.It turns out that the recent disintegration of the Mars Climate Orbiter is being blamed on a mix-up about measurements.One team working on the spacecraft used familiar-as-old-shoes feet and inches. The other team's calculations were based on the metric system.The never-ending competition between meters and feet added up to a \$125 million mistake.
FEATURES

## Brits give ground on the pound

| September 29, 1995
LONDON -- Come Sunday, the inch dies. So does the foot and the yard. And the pound and ounce go on life support.After more than 20 years of re-education and assimilation, the British are dumping some of the final vestiges of their old imperial measuring system and going nearly all-metric. And not everybody is thrilled.Shoppers are griping about buying packaged British bacon by the kilo and gram, instead of the pound and ounce. Store owners are grumbling about spending millions on pamphlets to educate the public.
NEWS

## Memorable metric moments

| April 26, 1994
LAST WEEK, my daughter Deborah called from Paris to inform my wife and me that she had delivered our first grandchild, a boy."And how much did he weigh?" I asked with no little excitement."Four kilograms," came the reply."Wow," I reflected, trying to buy a little time to convert the metric number into pounds and ounces. "And his length?""About 53 centimeters," was the proud response.To be sure, I researched the matter afterward, finding out that Lance Alexander Galletti was a heavyweight at eight pounds, eight ounces and measured about 21 inches.
NEWS

August 29, 1993
Grads Will Know Ninth-Grade WorkI am wondering if this state functional testing program is really a "feel good" exercise and shows little about the real capabilities of students (July 25, The Sun, "Students perform better in 1992-1993, but blacks lag").Supposedly this test is based on material learned in the sixth grade. So we have everyone take the test in the ninth grade and clasp our hands with glee when we get almost 98 percent passing the reading test. How about a few examples of the questions on this indicator of achievement?
NEWS

## Just inching along

January 23, 2000
This is an edited excerpt of a Boston Globe editorial, which was published on Jan. 11. ONE of the first challenges globalization will impose on Americans is conversion to -- or at least fluency in -- the metric system. With the turn of the 2000 calendar, Britain became one of the last countries to complete its official shift to metrics. This sensible policy was mandated by the trade requirements of the European Union. The United States is now lumped with two other world powers -- Liberia and Burma -- as holdouts from the metric world.
NEWS

## Going Bananas Going Too Far Going Metric

| August 31, 1992
Washington -- The other night, driving back to Washington from Baltimore, where the Orioles' center fielder Mike Devereaux had hit a 115.82-meter home run . . .''Damnit, Will, speak American. How far did Devereaux hit it?'' you ask, irritably. Read on. There is much irritation in your future unless you reach for the musket over the mantel and head for Concord bridge, vowing that some tyrannies and indignities justify revolution.Back to the other night. We were driving the 38 miles (we can still say ''miles,'' for a while; someday a Commerce Department Gestapo will punish such talk)
NEWS

## James V. Stout Sr., 83, known as 'Mr. Metric'

| May 31, 1993
James Victor Stout Sr., whose jobs over the years ranged from delivery man to college instructor and who had an evangelic fascination with the metric system, died Thursday at Good Samaritan Hospital of complications following a stroke. He was 83.Mr. Stout was considered by many who knew him to be a jack-of-all-trades, having also worked over the years as a produce salesman, plumber, painter-decorator, furniture repairman and refinisher, banjo player, radio repairman, ship's radio operator, electronics teacher, broadcast engineer, locksmith, welder and organist.
NEWS