Log in

No account? Create an account
lonesomepolecat's Journal
[Most Recent Entries] [Calendar View] [Friends]

Below are the 16 most recent journal entries recorded in lonesomepolecat's LiveJournal:

Monday, October 12th, 2009
8:53 pm
Monday, July 13th, 2009
8:41 am
Bay Area Metric Meeting
The first SF Bay Area USMA meeting will be held at Genentech on July 16 at 16:00 Pacific thanks to James Scott Hudnall
This aims to be a bi-weekly meeting of those interested in progressing metrication at Genentech and in the USA as a whole. Anyone who can make it in person is welcome to attend and for those who can't it will be available via WebEx as well as phone conference. We will also post a recording of the meeting at gometric.us for those who are unable to make the meeting at all.

Those planning to attend in person on the Genentech campus will need to contact Scott Hudnall via e-mail (metricnut AT mac com) in advance in order to make arrangements with campus security.

The agenda will be posted once we've got it solidified, but for now here's the details so you can add it to your calendar:

* Topic: USMA - Genentech Chapter
* Date: Every Thursday, from Thursday, July 16, 2009 to no end date
* Time: 4:00 pm, Pacific Daylight Time (GMT -07:00, San Francisco)
* Meeting number: 595 742 597
* Meeting password: metricusa

Please click the link below to see more information, or to join the meeting.



Participant Passcode: 331819

Dial-In Numbers
* Toll free: 1-888-442-7245
* Toll: 1-719-955-1372

For technical support call: 888-542-5112 or 719-867-1291.

Alternatively, during a teleconference using Premiere Conferencing, press *0 to be connected to an operator.

To update this meeting to your calendar program (for example, Microsoft Outlook or Lotus Notes), do the following:

* For all calendar programs (except Lotus Notes), click the following link, or copy the link and paste it into your Web browser:

*For Lotus Notes, follow these steps:
1. Right-click the attached iCalendar format (*.ics) file, and then choose View.
2. Click Import All. A new broadcast email message is added to your Inbox.
3. Open the new message.
4. Click Respond button. A menu appears.
5. Click Accept.

The playback of UCF (Universal Communications Format) rich media files requires appropriate players. To view this type of rich media files in the meeting, please check whether you have the players installed on your computer by going to https://genentech.webex.com/genentech/systemdiagnosis.php

Current Mood: hopeful
Friday, June 19th, 2009
11:05 am
Metric on the Open Government Dialogue Site
Please take a few minutes to vote and add to the discussion:
Saturday, May 30th, 2009
6:59 pm
NASA Puts Astronauts At Unnecessary Risk With Measurement Policy Bungle
Dear NASA,
in case you'd missed it, President Obama's slogan for the last election was "Change we need" not "Going back to the dark ages". The last time measurement was mentioned in terms of NASA, it was when you were explaining to congress why you'd just blown $327.6 million of public funds and who knows how much in lost research and opportunity cost by crashing the Mars orbiter into the side of said planet.

In case you've forgotten, this was caused by a measurement mixup. One subcontractor (Lockheed Martin) used our customary system of measurements instead of SI like they were told (and everyone else did). Now, you're proposing codifying this insanity because the subcontractor who did this last time told you they didn't want to change (otherwise known as over quoting for metric because they don't like it). Maybe it's time to get a new contractor?

The rest of the world uses metric and so does the majority of our industry (they have to, otherwise they wouldn't be able to trade internationally) so you're guaranteed to be using two systems of measurement and we all know this is both expensive and error prone. In case you haven't noticed (probably because it's hidden in internal processes and people who just shrug and say "that's the way it is"), common failure points and costs for using two systems of measurement are:
* Conversion errors.
* Interoperability errors.
* Time wasted due to the time it takes to do conversions.
* Extra checks needed to make sure that all conversions are correct.
* Extra tooling as you need one for each measurement system.
* More complex design work as some parts are SI and some are Customary so design engineers need to work in both (which slows them down) and design tools need to operate in both simultaneously (which makes them more complex).
* Extra training as all staff need to be familiar with both systems (and any staff visiting from the rest of the world need to be trained in our complex and confusing customary system).

While your documentation says it should be primarily Customary you're going to end up making use of the exceptions listed in the proposed standard a lot as all international parts are SI and many locally produced ones only come in SI as well. You say English in the document, but lets hope you don't mean that otherwise there's going to be confusion when someone uses a British gallon and another uses a US gallon which means you'll have three systems of measurement not just two.

Last time you did this it was just a few hundred million dollars, this time you're proposing putting human lives at risk by defining the Constellation Program in terms of a measurement system only used in the USA instead of the internationally accepted standard (SI). Please, for the sake of our space program and the people who's lives you'll be putting at risk by having a shuttle that uses multiple measurement systems, don't do this. NASA should be all metric, not metric for the moon and mixed for shuttles.


For those of you reading this who are appalled as I am that NASA is proposing putting our astronauts lives in unnecessary danger by building the shuttle replacement using mixed units instead of all SI,
contact your federal representatives, brian.k.muirhead@nasa.gov and public-inquiries@hq.nasa.gov to stop the insanity and unnecessary risk to the lives of our astronauts (not to mention the wasted time and money while people struggle with conversions and other issues dealing with multiple measurement systems).

Current Mood: angry
Thursday, March 26th, 2009
12:38 am
White House Open For Questions

Obviously, I'd love to see the metric questions ranked up (just search for metric in the box), but there are lots of interesting points here (although a bad overall signal to noise ratio).
Friday, February 13th, 2009
12:44 am
Stimulus Package Reconciliation
Currently, the stimulus package is being reconciled by a committee appointed
from the House and Senate.

This committee is made up of 10 members and in order to get metric into the
package we need to contact them before the bill is reintroduced into the house.

The best way to do this is a personal phone call followed by a fax or email.
Please do this as soon as you can and pass this note on to your friends and

Here's the contact details:


NamePhoneFaxWeb Form
David Obey (D-WI)+1 (202) 225-3365 http://www.obey.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=637&Itemid=187
Charles Rangel (D-NY)+1 (202) 225-4365+1 (202) 225-0816* http://www.house.gov/rangel/contact.shtml
Henry Waxman (D-CA)+1 (202) 225-3976+1 (202) 225-4099* http://www.henrywaxman.house.gov/contact.htm
Dave Camp (R-MI)+1 (202) 225-3561+1 (202) 225-9679* http://camp.house.gov/WriteRep.aspx
Jerry Lewis (R-CA)+1 (202) 225-5861+1 (202) 225-6498http://www.house.gov/jerrylewis/IMA/WritetoRepresentativeLewis.htm

NamePhoneFaxWeb Form
Harry Reid (D-NV)+1 (202) 224-3542+1 (202) 224-7327http://reid.senate.gov/contact/index.cfm
Max Baucus (D-MT)+1 (202) 224-2651+1 (202) 224-9412http://baucus.senate.gov/contact/emailForm.cfm?subj=issue
Daniel Inouye (D-HI)+1 (202) 224-3934+1 (202) 224-6747http://inouye.senate.gov/abtform.html
Thad Cochran (R-MS)+1 (202) 224-5054 http://cochran.senate.gov/contact.htm
Chuck Grassley (R-IA)+1 (202) 224-3744 http://grassley.senate.gov/contact.cfm

A * indicates email is only accepted if you live in the district

Talking points:

  • Moving to metric would provide a solid stimulus for the economy and get rid of the dual measurement drag for the future.

  • We can improve exports if we use the measurement system everyone else expects (and there are many countries, of which the number is increasing, that forbid non-metric measurements for labeling and sometimes entirely).

  • Education has enough issues without having to deal with multiple measurement systems.

  • We can no longer afford to waste money just to be different. Examples include $360 million on a mars probe which crashed because of a measurement mix up, $25,000 on carbon credits for congress because they attempted to purchase in customary tons instead of the global market standard of metric tonnes.


  • Require that new infrastructure built with the stimulus package is done exclusively using metric measures

  • An joint industry/government board be setup to oversee the conversion to metric

  • That we have a solid plan by the end of the year that specifies how we will be 95% metric within 5 years and 100% metric in 10 years.

  • Government departments that have had a plan to fo metric in the past implement that plan within 2 years if they have not done so already. Departments that have flipped between the two systems must be fully metric by the end of 2010.

  • Education requirements be changed to teach metric exclusively. Get rid of the requirement to teach customary units.

Calls for metrication in the news:
Monday, February 9th, 2009
11:21 am
Economic Stimulus Package
The economic stimulus package is still being debated.

This is an excellent opportunity for us to finally make the switch over to the metric system. We're about to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on infrastructure improvements and we could use that opportunity to do the improvements in metric and make other concrete steps towards getting onto the international system of units. This will not only provide stimulus to the economy now, it'll help us in the future as we'll finally be on a single system of measurement and we'll be building in the same measurement system as everyone else so our exports will be more attractive.

What can you do to help make this a reality?

Call your federal and state representatives today and let them know you want metrication in the stimulus bill!

The US Capitol switchboard number is +1 (202) 224-3121

Don't know who your representatives are?

Enter your ZIP here:

This will take you to congress.org which has additional ways you can contact your representatives (and direct links to their mailboxes if you want to email/snail mail them). If you can, please call instead of emailing them. It's fare more effective (but don't despair if you don't like the phone, your voice will still be heard if you mail them). Snail mail is apparently the most effective, but it's a bit slow at this point (unless you overnight it).

Current Mood: hopeful
Monday, February 2nd, 2009
9:22 pm
Economic Stimulus Package
There's house parties running this weekend to learn about and discuss the economic stimulus plan.

Along with this, is the opportunity to ask questions and have them answered by the administration.

Please take a few minutes to post a question asking how metrication is built into the plan.

For reference, here's mine:

Please discuss how the plan involves metrication. Or, if it does not involve metrication, why not and when we can expect a metrication plan.

This is a golden opportunity for us to finish moving to exclusively metric measures. Such a move will provide significant stimulus now and help us in in the future by improving the attractiveness of our exports and getting rid of the dual measurement drag on our economy.
Wednesday, January 14th, 2009
10:07 pm
The Citizens Briefing Book
For a while, Change.GOV has had various ways of providing feedback to the Obama administration (this site, unlike all the others, is actually run by the Obama administration so your feedback goes direct to the administration).

Now, they have a way of submitting ideas and allowing others to vote on them.

I encourage you all to go to The Citizens Briefing Book and vote. This is the perfect opportunity for us to finally finish metrication and we should show the Obama administration that they have our support in doing so.

Other ways to let the incoming administration know that metrication should be a high priority are listed on Go Metric the Change campaign site

Current Mood: hopeful
Sunday, January 4th, 2009
10:49 pm
The National Academies have a survey asking what matters most in science, technology and engineering.

Please take a few moments to fill in their survey and add metrication in the "suggest other topics" box.

And yes, thanks to [info]yellowpigs , I've seen the xkcd and I like it (apart from a few niggling errors).
8:37 pm
Video competition extended.
For those who didn't have time but were interested in doing a video for the metric submission on change.org, we've extended the deadline until Tuesday night.

Happy video making.


Current Mood: hopeful
Saturday, January 3rd, 2009
10:13 pm
72 (yes, extended) Hour Why We Need Metric Video Competition
The next round of voting on Change.ORG starts on Monday.

For this, we can add a link to a video that highlights why we need metric, so we're running a competition for it.

Simply create a video of 30-90 seconds and upload it to YouTube and then link to it here, as a response to the video below or in the Facebook group.

The competition is open for 24 hours until 22:00 US Eastern Time (19:00 US Pacific Time) on Tuesday 2009-01-06 (yes, we extended it two days).

So, put on your creative hats, pull out the video cameras and let's see what you can do!

Current Mood: hopeful
Tuesday, December 30th, 2008
3:42 pm
For those who haven't been following, change.org site is taking votes on what should be the top priorities of the Obama administration. The top three in each category are going to go into a final round and then the top of that list will be forwarded to the Obama administration.

Below is my list. As you might notice, Metric is at the top here and this is a perfect opportunity for us to finally make the change over to metric measures and get rid of this awful system that's been plaguing us for so long.

If you do nothing else, please vote for the metric change on both change.org and ideas.obamacto.org. Our economy needs it.

As mentioned above, there's another site that's aimed particularly at ideas for the new CTO position and there's a move towards metric there as well.
Saturday, April 7th, 2007
3:37 pm
Tell Me Something I Didn't Know

You Are 92% Burned Out

You are extremely burned out.

You work too hard, and you're not getting the results you deserve.

It's time for a life change, as soon as you can manage it.

You're giving away most of your energy to something you don't even enjoy.

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007
10:12 pm
Ancient by Internet standards, but Free Hugs is inspirational....
Sunday, February 25th, 2007
3:20 am
Finally got gometric.us off the ground
Finally, I got http://gometric.us off the ground.

Hopefully we'll be able to make some progress in making metrication something politicians care about again.
My Website   About LiveJournal.com