Celsiheit is back – but help is at hand

Just when we thought we had seen the last of Fahrenheit temperatures, a tabloid headline warns us against complacency and reminds us of those awkward conversions. Awkward no more, we are pleased to say, as Metric Views has learnt of a simple formula.

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Posted in Consumer affairs, Education, General, Science, Views from abroad | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

A problem with symbols

A quest by one of our readers for a new washing machine has prompted a look at Britain’s confused approach to the use of symbols.

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Posted in Consumer affairs, Education, General, Road signs | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

Break of railway gauge proposed

The UK Department for Transport is proposing that a break in railway gauge should be introduced at the UK-French border. Britain’s main line railways will adopt the Irish track gauge of 1600 mm (5’– 3”).

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Posted in General, Transport | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

A skirmish across the Pond

Readers may be interested in a recent exchange of views between Clay Rogers, a journalist with a newspaper in Iowa, and Paul Trusten, Vice President of UKMA’s sister organisation in the USA.

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Posted in Consumer affairs, General, History, Science, Views from abroad | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Signs of the times

We compare the Government’s different approaches to two separate proposals for new road signs.

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Posted in Road signs, Transport | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Whitworth’s forgotten legacy

Whitworth is famous for the eponymous screw thread, and for his promotion of standard measures and interchangeability that brought about an engineering revolution. Less well known are his enthusiasm for decimal measurement and his opposition to the introduction of the metric system in Britain.

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Posted in Education, General, History, Science, Technical | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Biblical specification and a problem solved (almost)

We are justifiably proud in England of the legal principles laid down in Magna Carta in 1215, but less supportive of its command, “Let there be one measure …”. However, weights and measures laws are as old as civilisation. In this article, Ronnie Cohen looks at a unit of length from 3000 years ago, and makes a comparison with today.

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Posted in General, History, Technical | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Imperial in 2015

It is almost 50 years since the announcement in Parliament that the UK would be ‘going metric’, and 15 years since significant progress last occurred. Although most Imperial units have passed into history, a few have survived in common use. Here, we offer a Guide to those surviving units for readers familiar only with metric. And for Americans, who may feel at home with Imperial measures, we provide some warnings.

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Posted in Uncategorized | 20 Comments

Inside the Commons

Have you been watching this series on BBC2 on Tuesdays at 9.00 pm? Three programmes have already been broadcast, with the final on due on 24 February. They show the workings of the House of Commons and there are a few surprises, or perhaps not.

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Posted in General, History, Law | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Decimal currency, metric measures and the vanished link

For over a century, the introduction of metric measures in the UK was linked to that of decimal currency. But then, while we were saying farewell to £sd, the situation changed. We follow the story and draw an unsurprising conclusion.

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Posted in Consumer affairs, Education, General, History, Law | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments