Metric Views

Subscribe to Metric Views feed
Commentary on the measurement muddle in the UK 2015-04-10T10:32:31Z
Updated: 19 hours 55 min ago

Celsiheit is back – but help is at hand

Fri, 04/10/2015 - 00:28
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 … Continue reading → 0

A problem with symbols

Thu, 04/02/2015 - 00:39
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. In Britain, there are many activities where the use of symbols is taken for granted. … Continue reading → 4

Break of railway gauge proposed

Wed, 04/01/2015 - 00:08
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”). Following controversy earlier this year … Continue reading → 7

A skirmish across the Pond

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 00:37
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. From 3 March 1969, it became illegal in … Continue reading → 0

Signs of the times

Fri, 03/20/2015 - 00:32
We compare the Government’s different approaches to two separate proposals for new road signs. Readers of Metric Views may remember the Government’s rejection of proposals to phase out imperial-only height and width restriction traffic signs.: It was estimated that this … Continue reading → 1

Whitworth’s forgotten legacy

Fri, 03/13/2015 - 00:24
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 … Continue reading → 0

A Biblical specification and a problem solved (almost)

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 00:33
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 … Continue reading → 0

Imperial in 2015

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 00:24
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. … Continue reading → 0

Inside the Commons

Fri, 02/13/2015 - 00:26
Have you been watching this series on BBC2 on Tuesdays at 9.00 pm? Two programmes have already been broadcast, with one to go. They show the workings of the House of Commons and there are a few surprises, or perhaps … Continue reading → 0

Decimal currency, metric measures and the vanished link

Fri, 02/06/2015 - 00:13
For over a century, the introduction of metric measures in the UK was linked to that of decimal currency. But then, after we had said farewell to £sd in 1971, the situation changed. We follow the story and draw an … Continue reading → 1

Has SI delivered?

Fri, 01/30/2015 - 00:20
The fuss about measurement units at the start of this century has overshadowed progress thirty years earlier in education, science and engineering. We look at the benefits that were predicted at the start of the transition to SI and ask … Continue reading → 0

Measurement muddle – a customary feature of Britain

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 00:06
Ronnie Cohen looks at the measurement muddle in the British Isles during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. As our nearest neighbours on the Continent might say, ‘Plus ca change, toujours la meme chose’. Imperial units such as the acre, stone, … Continue reading → 0

Measurement units – a daily dilemma for the media

Fri, 01/16/2015 - 00:07
We take a look at a uniquely British problem faced by our media and in particular the BBC, namely which system of measurement units to use. On 23 December 2014, this headline and story appeared in the London Evening Standard: … Continue reading → 0

Vietnam and Cambodia – metric measures taken for granted

Fri, 01/09/2015 - 10:50
John Frewen-Lord follows his article reflecting on his visit to Hong-Kong with another about two of the countries that once formed French Indo-China. I recently spent a total of 18 days on an extensive tour of these two countries. In … Continue reading → 1