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Thread: English/metric measurement error in the Mars Climate Orbiter

  1. #41
    NortonDommi's Avatar
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    Hello Phillip,
    Until we invent time travel I doubt if we will ever know the true 'facts' about ancient history but it is a 'fact' that most of what we do know is theory and therefore subject to change when new discoveries are made. I am not an archaeologist but the author of the article is a very well rounded amateur with over 40 years of research under his belt. He is also in regular contact with others around the world many of them academics employed in universities and museums and he runs his theories by numerous people to find flaws. To date those that refute some of his claims have yet to file any evidence whatsoever to negate his research.
    With that in mind I can say that not only that article but many other things point to a common umbrella system that was used by all with regional variations. It seems every week there is a new discovery made regarding our ancestors. Satellite imaging in particular is identifying precise places to investigate at an astounding rate.
    In this perennial debate about which is best, Imperial or Metric I think it is a good idea to be aware of some history and are reminded of some T.V. programs I have watched where 'scientists' are trying to figure out why something was built a certain way,(measurement wise), and not succeeding because they insist on using Metric.
    Sometimes our reasoning can be too rigid for our own good. If something does not 'look right' it usually isn't. I fix a lot of odd things and some are old and it continually amazes me that people try and use Metric fittings on Imperial machinery and visa versa. The Metric system is not perfect and has many traps for the unwary as does the Imperial system. I think the best we can do is be aware of the fact that there has been and continues to be a number of different systems in use and it is upon us to figure out what is what before diving in.

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  3. #42
    NortonDommi's Avatar
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    Hello Frank,
    It is pretty well known that the architects of the Gothic style were members of the Masonic Order and is is pretty unlikely that they did not use a common measurement system, in fact they would have gone to considerable length to protect their 'Trade Secretes'. I don't know about you but I have occasionally indulged in misrepresentation when annoyed at questioning by someone who is disrupting me while I work.

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    NortonDommi; you won't get any argument out of me in that regards I'll often spew out some completely flippant answer to a question asked me when I'm concentrating on something else. I had a business partner who was notorious for asking me something while I was deeply involved in some critical project. usually I could interrupt my own train of thought long enough to give him some off offhandedly stupid answer that would send him away scratching his head. But one day he interrupted me trying to assemble a hydraulic valve body loaded with a dozen small springs and check balls I was just about to begin buttoning it up when he did in an instant springs balls wafer washers and hundreds of other small bits went in every direction imaginable. I laid my tools down and calmly answered his question then said you need to order a new spare parts kit for this valve because we'll have a better chance in winning the publisher's clearing house than we will of ever finding all of the parts.
    Caterpillar parts are not cheap, he never interrupted me again.
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
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  6. #44
    Carpenter & blacksmith Philip Davies's Avatar
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    Yes, I agree. I am quite slowly going through this article, comparing it with my notes, as it contains much information which is new to me. But the author, Michael Doutre, who styles himself as “Druid Imperior Rhymer”, early on asserts as fact what are dubious theories, anathema to academic archaeologists, who take a scientific approach and do not speculate about prehistory. I accept that it is possible that there may have been a prehistoric civilisation that surveyed the earth and it is well-known that there are a great many measuring systems which are linked by ratios, even when geographically very distant apart. But when I read something like his assertion that an early surveyor, Vyse, forged a cartouche in the Great Pyramid, I recognise the author has an axe to grind, having swallowed the theories of Sitchen (author/conspiracy theorist) . Proper researchers are very diffident when it comes to establishing facts and are careful also to reference their sources. Can you find anything about the author, Lenzen, he cites? I couldn’t!

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    Carpenter & blacksmith Philip Davies's Avatar
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    Yes, Frank, you are not the only one. But what about the wife?

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    Frank S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philip Davies View Post
    Yes, Frank, you are not the only one. But what about the wife?
    after nearly 30 years her drivel of questions are still non stop but she has learned at least that if I am not directly looking at her to keep her yap shut other wise I'm just going to ignore her as if I didn't hear anything, which thankfully due to failing hearing I usually do not. That is one good thing about hearing loss I don't have to have a radio in my truck or if it happens to be switched on I can drive in blissful peace and not hear music she may be playing as long as she keeps it turned down low I can't stand someone trying to carry on a conversation with me or music of any kind while I am driving or working The nice thing about my computer is the off switch for the speakers when I am watching videos that have music.
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
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    Hi Philip,
    As you can see, the link you sent was successful.

    Regarding the book referenced by Martin Doutre.

    It's a very good book, hardcover of 104 pages. I bought it second-hand as it only had one printing ( that I am aware of), and was self published by Donald L. Lenzen, in June 1989. It's Library of Congress Catalog Card number is #89-91279 (not that that probably matters!). Jon Bosak's " The Old Measure" pub PINAX in August 2010 is an excellent look at the history and lineage of the American Customary Measures.

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    Incompetent engineers

    Quote Originally Posted by 12bolts View Post
    As a commercial diver, I dealt with a fair number of engineers during my career. The difficulties they had were just grasping the basics of buoyant force mainly. Tertiary educated people that write things down and think that because it works in principle it must work in practice. A couple of examples that spring to mind are that of a civil job laying a railway track under water. The company freighted in a semi load of sleepers for the track to be laid on. We tried to tell them they wouldnt be able to position them. But the engineer responsible was adamant that because they were "so heavy" they would do the job. The crane lowered them into the water and we released the chains and watched as the waves washed them ashore again. On another job, a pipeline tie-in, the new section of pipe was manufactured, (about 100 metres long x 800mm dia) and capped at each end. This was then fitted with hundreds of 200 lt drums for buoyancy and floated into position. The drums were then selectively removed in a calculated manner to provide a controlled descent into position. After the last drums were cut loose this pipeline was still bobbing on the surface like a cork. Even setting moorings. Everybody thinks concrete is great for a mooring because its "so heavy" A m3 of dry concrete weighs almost 2.5 tonne. Problem is it displaces about 1 tonne of water, And it is massive for its weight so it also provides a huge resistance to water currents further undermining its properties as a mooring. A steel plate of maybe 3-400 kg flat on the bottom is far superior to a huge block of concrete.
    I could list more that I have personally encountered, and there are dozens more I have heard about, but, its just comes back to people in offices unwilling to listen to experience on the ground.
    As your diving operations appear to be in Australia, could it be that you have been inflicted with the new generation of Australian university trained and dummed down students? Plenty of credentials and no common sense.
    I would more put my faith in a trade trained person who has worked his way up in the appropriate industry in conjunction with technical training.

  12. #49
    Andy from Workshopshed Workshopshed's Avatar
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    I can recommend the NASA book "Breaking the mishap chain" which looks at why disasters happen. You should be able to down load it from the NASA site.
    Andy from Workshopshed
    "Making and repairing things in a shed at the bottom of the garden"
    workshopshed.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by tooly View Post
    I would more put my faith in a trade trained person who has worked his way up in the appropriate industry in conjunction with technical training.
    Interesting that in the construction game in Ireland they are once again more interested in a trade background to run building sites. They were using engineers, as someone got it into their head that as these guys were uni trained, they must know better than the tradesman who made their way up the ladder.
    After a lot of major and costly mistakes over several years, the industry had the common sense to go back to the old way.

    Common sense! Not so common these days.


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