Friends Of Australia Friday 29 April 2022

It’s once again an Australia Time Friday! It’s FRIDAY!!!!

Though I’m posting this one late due to scheduling issues on my end.

The Tucker

A relatively simple meal. Shoulder chops, fried in Olive Oil, about 5 minutes on a side. Side of Bush’s Baked Beans. Desert was Chocolate Truffle Ice Cream.

The Wine

Well, there wasn’t any. I’d been on the boat earlier in the week and just was a bit too tired to guzzle a bottle… But there’s always another day…

The News

Once Again, Australia has not been leading the news. I know, I ought to dig into it more, but… well…. fishing… and a boat…

So for news we’ll need to have updates in the comments.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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20 Responses to Friends Of Australia Friday 29 April 2022

  1. philjourdan says:

    Were Oz and NZ ever on the Mile/Yard/Feet measuring system? Wife was watching a movie out of NZ and they were talking about a 5/8″ wrench. I guess that was before my time.

  2. Tony Hansen says:

    Phil, Australia went metric in 1973, maybe ’72

  3. another ian says:

    Phil, we can still get measuring tapes in centipedes and meaningful units

  4. E.M.Smith says:

    I’ve never seen a good reason to force everyone to use any given units of measure. They all work. Some better in some uses, some better in others. Land originally divided by rods and feet end up bizzare sizes in cm or meters. Measuring chemicals in a chem lab in tons (either ton) is daft. I found doing chem thermo more precise in Rankine and no easier in Kelvin. Both work the same.

    Molding work is best done with gages and rulers pre-adjusted for shrinkage on cooling, so neither cm nor inches as properly defined. So it goes…

    I’m from a generation when US Chem & Physics used both metric and traditional units, learned both, and found both just fine. Let folks use whatever works for them and “Let it go…”

    BTW, drug dealers know they get 36 oz bags to the key… while it is actually 35.274, there’s an automatic vigorish built in ;-) So some folks even like mixed unit systems. As a kilo of butter is really too big, many places call 500 gm “a pound” just so it is a familiar thing of a single unit…

    Folks are going to use what is comfortable. Let them.

  5. another ian says:

    ““We have potholes where we can see the f_ck_ng core of the Earth!”. Classic! I’m stealing it.”

    In comments at

  6. H.R. says:

    Close tolerance machining is best done in decimal inches. Millimeters are just too coarse and decimal millimeters get too fine too fast.

    We measured, cut and bent heavy hydraulic tubes in millimeters. A tube would be called out at 6,028mm and the tolerance was something like +/- 2mm. A metric tape measure is good enough for that. Thousandths of inches would be useless.

    My boss started out as the manufacturing engineer for what was then a startup company making hydraulic tubes for Deere-Hitachi excavators. He designed several machines in feet, inches, and fractional inches. U.S. fasteners come in fractional sizes, such as 3/8″ or 1/4″ bolts. It’s much easier to lay out bolt patterns if you use fractional inches.

    So my last 12 years working were spent working with all three measures, depending on where I was standing at the moment and what machine or part I was looking at.

    In the U.S., highway signs are in miles, so few U.S. people have that gut feel for a kilometer such as they do for miles. If I lived for a while in a country that used kilometers, I’m sure I’d start getting that gut feeling for them.

  7. philjourdan says:

    @Tony – thanks for the information. Do you still sell Inch devices (as in wrenches and stuff). Even though the USA is backwards, half the stuff comes in metric, so virtually all tool kits have both inches and millimeter sitzes

  8. philjourdan says:

    @Another Ian – centipedes and millipedes? ;-)

    Just do not show me a Kilopede!

  9. E.M.Smith says:


    As I’ve use km for a fair amount of stuff, I got used to thinking of them as 2/3 mile…

    Really 0.62137… so 60% of a mile is closer, yet for gut feel, 2/3 is fine. Someone says 150 km then it’s about 100 miles. Or if it’s 100 km, then 62 miles but 66 is close for feel… Or think of 100 km/hr as “going 60″ish….

  10. philjourdan says:

    Like EM ,I really do not care which system, just so long as we are consistent.

    But there is one area that Inches/Feet far exceeds Metrics. And that is in the height of the human. What is a tall human? In Feet, those over 6 feet! So what does that translate into metric? 1.8? Give me a break! Who cares about 1.8. 6 is a nice round number. 1.8 is a tolerance error! ;-)

    Ok, you may now commence to flame me!

  11. philjourdan says:

    I have seen 2/3rds, and 5/8ths used for the conversion. I prefer the latter and use it to do rough approximations.

  12. E.M.Smith says:

    5/8 at 0.625 is very close, off only by 4 in the 1/1000 place, but a bit harder to compute in your head for a lot of folks. I’d use it for anything needing accuracy. But for the “feel” of about how long a 2 or 3 km walk might be, just thinking 1 1/3 miles or 2 miles is fast and close enough…

    BTW, metric is easiest with decimal math and calculators, but traditional and British units are much easier with fraction math (lots of common factors). Designed that way even…

  13. Terry Jackson says:

    RE: KM vs Miles. Also Liters vs Gallons. These matter if you travel Canada, as in our previous trips to and from Alaska. Speed Limit in Canada is often 100KM, or 62MPH. Any other posted limit, a quick Limit X .6 will get you in the acceptable speed range. Ditto distances.

    For fuel, 3.8 liters the gallon. Fuel at $1.50/ liter, that is $5.70/gallon.

    Regarding map appreciation, a fellow from the UK was assigned to Cleveland in the mid 80’s, Came a 3 day weekend, he said they were going to go the the Grand Canyon for the weekend. The map of the UK and the US are about the same scale, same size, right? It was pointed out that it was a 4 or 5 day journey each way. Trip cancelled.

  14. Tony Hansen says:

    Phil, tool kits come with both metric and imperial. Tape measures have both as well.

  15. philjourdan says:

    @Terry Jackson – Re: Driving through Canada.

    I have a faster method of conversion – I just look at the lower numbers on the speedometer as they are KM/hr :-)

  16. philjourdan says:

    Here as well, but I figured that was because of all the Japanese and German cars that are sold. So good to know that the rest of the world has not forgotten the Roman measurements! :-)

  17. another ian says:

    On food – for thought

    “Is Australia a sovereign nation or just a state of Pfizerland?

    Don’t mention the Australian vaccine: The TGA bans Aussie Professor from talking about his work”

  18. another ian says:

    Adding some “cultcha” to that

    “Guest Post: Wally Dali goes to the Archibalds, 2022”

  19. YMMV says:

    So Australia had an election. Those that know can elaborate. From what I have seen it looks like a case of “none of the above” and the incumbent being punished for the punishing lockdowns.
    Now (after it’s over) they declare it all about the climate and the race to the bottom.
    “Today we wake up to find out it was a climate election. Who knew?”

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