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From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: An amazing AC unit
Date: Sun, 22 Jun 2008 09:01:32 -0400
Message-ID: <>

On Fri, 20 Jun 2008 08:54:48 -0500, Morris Dovey <> wrote:

>Eeyore wrote:
>> In that case it's a totally stupid measure since it mixes Imperial
>> and metric units. 'Only in the USA' could these things happen. It
>> gives a totally false concept of real efficiency. Not allowed in the
>> rest of the world.
>Well said - but what would you expect? We've been a refuge for the
>"stupid" and the "unallowed" for a long time. It may take us a bit
>longer to get this all sorted out...

Actually, it's not well said.  Small whole numbers are easy for people to
remember.  It doesn't really matter what the units of EER are as long as 11 is
better than 10 and that 10 is about average.  Consider another measurement,
COP.  Is 2.8 or 3.0 or 3.2 or... about average?  I can recall which it is
about every other day and this isn't one of 'em.

>It's reassuring to know that the rest of the world has so effectively
>rid itself of stupidity and has adopted universal standards for all
>things energy-related.

And yet we still lead the world.  It must indicate the superior intellect of
the US citizen, since we move so effortlessly between metric and conventional
units.  To listen to the foreign howls of pain, merely contemplating a foot or
BTU or PSI is a problem, the difficulty of which is on par with a man giving

I really liked the metric system when it was MKS.  But the SI system is the
bastard stepchild that resulted when the french and academia fornicated.  And
like everything the French touch, the SI system is totally, well, french.  Who
but the french could come up with units where the typical measurement requires
mega or giga in front to specify common everyday values?  How many gigapascals
does your car tire use?  Or is it megapascals or kilopascals?  32 PSI is
pretty easy to remember.  And what IS a Pascal, the force exerted by a flea
fart?  At least I know what "pounds per square inch" is from the very name.

And who but the french would choose a unit of radioactivity (the becquerel) so
small that even barely detectable amounts of activity have to be specified
with a mega prefix and working amounts with giga or tera?  A unit so small
that a single unit can't be measured except, maybe, by NIST and then only in a
cave far underground.  (OK, so I exaggerate.  But only a femtometer's worth.)

The Curie is a handy unit of radioactivity.  Conveniently, the number of
disintegrations per second of 1.0 gram of Radium.  Megacurie indicated a very
large amount while microcurie indicated a very small amount.  Mega big, micro
small.  Even Ogg understand.  Is a megabecquerel a large or small amount?  Can
you tell by the prefix? (It's a very tiny amount.)

Or consider the case of the Sievert and Gray, where they gratuitously moved
the decimal point two places.  Nothing else changed.  WTF?  I couldn't imagine
a worse cluster-fsck if someone had planned it that way.  Which the french
probably did.

Then there's the SI unit of water purity, the Semen.  Oops, I mean the Siemen.
They were probably self-producing the first when they came up with the second
spelling. At least the conventional unit, the mho, reminds me that it is the
reciprocal ohm.

>> The sooner you drop BTUs the better.
>What was it, exactly, that the 'B' stood for? ;->

Funny, that....


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