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Author Topic:   How Scientifically Literate Are You?
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 400 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 105 of 134 (697998)
05-02-2013 11:54 AM
Reply to: Message 101 by Pressie
05-02-2013 7:59 AM


Re: To Frac
I've never heard of a word called 'frac', previously, though. Maybe it's an American word not used anywhere else? But, you've added to my vocab. As long as you learn the word 'braai' when you do barbeques on our extracted, fracked shale gas here!!
Lekker!

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 400 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


(4)
Message 106 of 134 (698000)
05-02-2013 12:07 PM
Reply to: Message 81 by dwise1
05-01-2013 2:47 PM


Re: No Fracking Problem
The metric system is so easy, it boggles the mind that Americans are so afraid of it. Kind of like in the late 1960's when the UK adopted decimal money, stores hired many "Decimal Dollies", girls whose job was to explain the new money system to the perplexed British shoppers.
And the old system was so simple. Four farthings made a penny, four pennies were a groat. Six pennies were a tanner. A shilling was twelve pennies, hence two tanners or three groats. A florin was two shillings, half a crown was two shillings and sixpence, a crown was five shillings, and a pound was twenty shillings, i.e. ten florins or four crowns. A four-shilling piece was colloquially known as a "barmaid's ruin". A guinea was twenty-one shillings, and was the standard basis for assessment of professional fees such as would be paid to doctors and lawyers; pounds and shillings would be used by tradesmen.
The British long resisted the change to decimal currency on the grounds that it would be too complicated.
Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 400 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 110 of 134 (698027)
05-02-2013 3:25 PM
Reply to: Message 109 by dwise1
05-02-2013 3:07 PM


Re: Metric System groupies and scientific literacy
A similar thing --- this isn't really on-topic, but I'll get it off my chest --- goes on with exchange rates. People argue whether the U.S. is better than Canada or the E.U. or vice-versa with regard to the question of whether the Canadian dollar is worth more than the U.S. dollar or the Euro is worth more than the U.S. dollar. They don't realize that one U.S. dollar is worth 1.01 Canadian dollars which is worth one U.S. dollar, dammit.

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 400 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 111 of 134 (698028)
05-02-2013 3:31 PM
Reply to: Message 89 by ringo
05-01-2013 3:23 PM


Re: Metric System groupies and scientific literacy
The other side of that coin is that it's easier to make mistakes lke dividing by a hundred instead of ten.
Well unless you're innumerate, it's easier to divide by a hundred and get the right answer than it is to divide by 5280 and get the right answer. And if you are innumerate, it's still easier to divide by a hundred and get the right answer than it is to divide by 5280 and get the right answer.
I teach kids on weekends, and it is in fact easier to learn how to move the decimal point than to learn to divide by an arbitrary four-digit number. You're far more likely to screw up doing the latter. Or to forget which arbitrary four-digit number you're meant to be dividing by.
Simpler isn't necessarily better. Every year before Christmas and Father's Day, you see those commercials for supertools that can replace a whole toolbox full of conventional tools. The trouble is that a tool that can be used for everything is seldom really good at any of them.
Arguing by analogy is like using a giraffe as a can-opener.
Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.
Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.

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