Tag Archives: metric system

The Chinese lesson

Delegation at NYS SBDC, March 18, 2013
A couple months back, I was asked to speak to a Chinese delegation from Shenzhen province about these aspects in the United States: “statistics system in government organizations (structure, operation, management, what they do, etc.)” and the “government division responsible for business registration (when the division established, its history, etc.)” and “a brief overview of the business registration file or database establishment (industry categories, quantity, geographical distribution of industries, employees, etc.)”

I dutifully prepared some remarks. Some of the questions were lost in translation, I feared. Others were quite overlapping. On the other hand, I DID discover Continue reading The Chinese lesson

Vacation Day 3: Toronto

After we left Niagara Falls, NY for the last time, we crossed the Rainbow Bridge, paid our $3.25, then had to deal with Canadian customs. After looking at our passports, the fellow asked:
“Where are you going?” Toronto and Peterborough for a total of six days.
“Business or pleasure?” Pleasure.
“Are you carrying any weapons?” No.
“Do you own any weapons?” No.
And that was pretty much it. We did wonder, though: if we owned weapons, but were not carrying them, what would the outcome have been?

We had directions to Toronto, but the signage was very helpful, and we actually just followed the QEW highway signs until we got to the city.
No problems, either, with the metric stuff, either. Continue reading Vacation Day 3: Toronto

I is for International System of Units

I blame Arthur. There’s this blogger/podcaster I’ve been following, AmeriNZ, an American expat now living in New Zealand. At some point in a recent podcast, he asked if anyone in his audience knew what one calls the United States system of measurement involving pounds, quarts and feet, knowing, KNOWING that I would have to look it up; the scoundrel!

Since I could not find the answer anywhere online, I decided to contact the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and not just NIST but its Weights and Measures Division. And do you know what the woman on the phone told me? There IS no standard nomenclature for the collective U.S. weights and measurements!

Meanwhile, the system most people call “the metric system” is actually The International System of Units, Système International d’Unités, or SI for short.
At the heart of the SI is a short list of base units defined in an absolute way without referring to any other units… In all there are seven SI base units Continue reading I is for International System of Units