wood burning stoves*
The moose likes Meaningless Drivel and the fly likes Speed camera craziness Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login
JavaRanch » Java Forums » Other » Meaningless Drivel
Bookmark "Speed camera craziness" Watch "Speed camera craziness" New topic
Author

Speed camera craziness

Joe King
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 02, 2003
Posts: 820
On the news this morning there was another debate about speed cameras. The reason for this is that a large number of people have been complaining about speed cameras, saying that the police are using them just to raise money and that motorists are being ripped off because of cameras being placed in areas where there is little danger of accidents being caused by speeding.

This is very strange. These drivers are convinced that it is unfair that they should be fined for driving faster than the legal limit. They complain that the police simply want to make money from them. For me there is a simple answer: If you don't break the law, you won't get fined.

There is no other area of the law in which so many people feel that the have the right to break the law if its only a little bit illegal. The average driver sees a 40mph sign and thinks "Well, I'll it doesn't matter if I do 50. Its only a little bit more.". This kind of "logic" could never apply to other areas of law. We wouldn't think its ok to mug someone and say to them "You've got �50 in your wallet, so I'll just take �10". We wouldn't consider a major fraud justified if the fraudster only took �1million when there was �50million in the bank.

The problem is that these drivers are complaining about the application of the law, not that actual law itself. They are not saying that the speed limit is too low, but just that they should not get fined for breaking this limit. This is a problem because it leads to a inconsistency in law - some laws are to be implemented and some are to be ignored. This to me undermines the entire point of having a flexible legal system. If some laws are to be ignored, then the policy guide lines for the police become more of a legal frame work than the law itself.

A better approach by the complaining drivers would be to campaign not for the cameras to be removed, but for the speed limit in some areas to be changed. If a driver thinks that a certain 40mph zone is safe at 50mph, than they should campaign for the limit to be re-evaluated. This is a far more sensible approach. If cameras are simply removed, then all drivers who speed are not punished. While the driver doing 45mph in the 40 zone gets away with it, so does the driver doing 90mph (which many agree is unacceptable). An evaluation of the correct speed for a given road would lead to a conclusion that, hopefully, many people could agree on. There is an argument that many speed limits where set decades ago when cars were less able to react to a danger. There is also a counter argument that on roads where speed cameras have been introduced there has been a 40% decrease in deaths in the last three years. The merits of these two arguments should be weighed up and compared. If at the end of this process a neutral, scientific body, comes to the conclusion that increasing the speed limit from 40mph would lead to more people dying, then surely the drivers could have no complaint.
[ August 03, 2004: Message edited by: Joe King ]
Peter den Haan
author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 20, 2000
Posts: 3252
+1

- Peter

PS. And yes, I have been nailed by a camera, and yes, I did deserve it, regardless of whether I thought it was "safe" or not.
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
The problem is not so much with the existence of speed cameras but the way they are (ab)used.
The claim is that they're placed in places where accidents are common to get people to slow down.

Why then place them in places where there are never any accidents and hide them in bushes under camouflage netting?
Or paint them a shade of grey that makes them nearly invisible next to the bridge pillar they're hidden behind?

And why place 5 of them on a 2km stretch of road and none at all on the other 250km length of the same highway which just happens to be less inviting to speeding because of the narrow lanes and dangerous curves?

Why create a temporary reduction in the speed limit running for just a few hundred meter on a straight road and place a hidden camera at the end?

And why factor the income from the cameras into the national budget and give police agencies a quota for the minimum number of speeding fines they MUST write out each year or get their budgets slashed?
That should convince the most trusting person that the true purpose is not at all to reduce accidents but purely to generate income.


42
Peter den Haan
author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 20, 2000
Posts: 3252
Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:
[...] That should convince the most trusting person that the true purpose is not at all to reduce accidents but purely to generate income.
If that person is so trusting as to believe the myths peddled by the anti-camera lobby. Myths that have been thoroughly debunked time and time again, but this never makes it to the tabloid press - I guess it doesn't sell, unlike anti-camera rants, sex scandals and naked boobs.

- Peter
[ August 03, 2004: Message edited by: Peter den Haan ]
Joe King
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 02, 2003
Posts: 820
Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:
The problem is not so much with the existence of speed cameras but the way they are (ab)used.
The claim is that they're placed in places where accidents are common to get people to slow down.

Why then place them in places where there are never any accidents and hide them in bushes under camouflage netting?
Or paint them a shade of grey that makes them nearly invisible next to the bridge pillar they're hidden behind?

And why place 5 of them on a 2km stretch of road and none at all on the other 250km length of the same highway which just happens to be less inviting to speeding because of the narrow lanes and dangerous curves?


Surely all the drivers on the road understand that the speed limit is the law, and that they run the risk of being punished if they break that law. It doesn't matter if the cameras are camouflaged or not - if you don't speed, you won't get fined.



Why create a temporary reduction in the speed limit running for just a few hundred meter on a straight road and place a hidden camera at the end?


I think in some cases it helps to move traffic a bit more efficiently if the speed is decreased for a short part of the road, especially in congested areas. I seem to remember doing something about this in my maths A-level, but given the amount of that time that I was technically asleep, I cant remember it that clearly.....
Vijayendra V Rao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 04, 2004
Posts: 195
Patience! Patience! Patience! This is all it takes from drivers and riders on roads to make things a lot better!


Vijayendra <br /> <br />"The harder you train in peace, the lesser you bleed in war"
Peter den Haan
author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 20, 2000
Posts: 3252
The English drive ridiculously fast and routinely flout the law. What is happening right now is that motorists slam the brakes when they see a camera box -- as the anti-camera lobby rightly points out, this can lead to dangerous situations in itself. What is needed is a general reduction in driving at dangerous speed in built-up areas. To deny that this is a problem, or that this will save lives, is a simple case of wishful thinking with the right hand foot. It's basic physics, KE = (1/2)(mass)(speed)^2.

One way to achieve this is to break with current policy and have lots of unobtrusive cameras in unexpected places. At the same time, there could be a reconsideration of speed limits in places where the present limit doesn't seem to make sense, and a reduction of fines to a level where they just cover costs so that no-one can argue that it is a income generating exercise. Whoever persists in general speeding will find the result in points on their license and eventually lose the right to drive.

It is paradoxical how people can think of themselves as "law-abiding citizens" and at the same time be part of a propaganda campaign in favour of routine law breaking.

- Peter
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11155
    
  16

My complaint about the cameras is not that they exist, but that they don't prove WHO was speeding. sure, they show the car and the speed the car was travelling, but not who was driving. There is no evidence it was ME driving the car - it could have been my wife, my father, my neighbor, some kid joyriding in my car without my permission who then thoughtfully returned it to the garage...

Don't these camera's kind of skip that whole "innocent until proven guilty" concept? they just ASSUME it was the person to whom the car is registered, without any actual evidence of such.


There are only two hard things in computer science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
In Germany cameras shoot through the windshield to get a full facial of the driver for that very purpose.

In the Netherlands the law was changed to specifically exclude traffic violations from the concept of "innocent until proven guilty" to now read "suspicion is guilt".

As I've said I've nothing against speed cameras in places with many accidents.
In such places they DO work.
There's a road near where I live where there were around 25 fatalities a year. Until they placed a speedcam that is. That alone dropped the number of fatalities by 50%. Other measures taken (ban on overtaking, raised barrier between lanes, wider shoulders) have reduced the number of fatalities to zero.
By now the camera is no longer needed and the burnt out casing is a reminder of things that were (someone set fire to it a few years ago after a radiostation called for a campaign of destruction against them, the station was later sued and had to pay for all damages caused to cameras in the period since it aired the message).


I think in some cases it helps to move traffic a bit more efficiently if the speed is decreased for a short part of the road, especially in congested areas. I seem to remember doing something about this in my maths A-level, but given the amount of that time that I was technically asleep, I cant remember it that clearly.....


Yes, it can work under specific conditions.
What I'm talking about is a multilane highway (2x3 lanes) where suddenly there is a PERMANENT reduction in the speedlimit over a distance of a few hundred meters.
No reason apparent except the speed cam at the end.
No steep curves, no entrance/exit ramps, no noise sensitive areas next to the road.

Surely all the drivers on the road understand that the speed limit is the law, and that they run the risk of being punished if they break that law. It doesn't matter if the cameras are camouflaged or not - if you don't speed, you won't get fined.

Sure. If the limits made sense they'd be obeyed by most people but on many roads they're deliberately lowered so people will break them...
Joe King
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 02, 2003
Posts: 820
Originally posted by fred rosenberger:
My complaint about the cameras is not that they exist, but that they don't prove WHO was speeding. sure, they show the car and the speed the car was travelling, but not who was driving. There is no evidence it was ME driving the car - it could have been my wife, my father, my neighbor, some kid joyriding in my car without my permission who then thoughtfully returned it to the garage...

Don't these camera's kind of skip that whole "innocent until proven guilty" concept? they just ASSUME it was the person to whom the car is registered, without any actual evidence of such.


I suppose this could be seen as circumstantial evidence or some such thing. What would the alternative be though? Only prosecute people in cars with a retracted roof? If you're confident that a photo isn't evidence enough you could always try speeding and then demand a court case when they present you with a photo as evidence
[ August 03, 2004: Message edited by: Joe King ]
Joe King
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 02, 2003
Posts: 820
Originally posted by Peter den Haan:
Whoever persists in general speeding will find the result in points on their license and eventually lose the right to drive.


This may well be the best solution - have lower fines, but more points. Most drivers would probably fear points more than a fine, especially if they have an insurance policy that goes up with points.
Marilyn de Queiroz
Sheriff

Joined: Jul 22, 2000
Posts: 9044
    
  10
In Boulder, Colorado, the picture includes the face of the driver and the license plate as well as a chance to "fight" the ticket in court if you were not the guilty party.

As to the placement of the cameras, a couple are in intersections where motorists routinely run red lights. The camera snaps about 2 seconds after the light turns red. Another is one block away from a school. Another is in a residential neighborhood.

Don't people also complain about how unfair it is when they pass a police car with a policeman inside who stops them for speeding?

It seems that speeding is so common that people don't even think about breaking the law when they do it. Witness the forms (like job applications) that ask if you've ever been guilty of breaking any law other than speeding tickets.


JavaBeginnersFaq
"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift; that's why they call it the present." Eleanor Roosevelt
Rachel Swailes
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 18, 2004
Posts: 434
In South Africa we have the exact same problem. The general consensus here is that the traffic police use the cameras as a money making scheme instead of actually making us safer on the roads.

When I'm driving on the road, I'm more likely to drive slower if I see police presence than watching for speed cameras. But the fact that they put up cameras shows that they aren't interested in making us feel safer.

So to this end there are something like R470 million worth in outstanding fines. So to curb this, police have started putting up road blocks where you are forced to pay your outstanding fines on the spot or get a free ride to a night in prison.
Dan Maples
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 21, 2004
Posts: 153
Originally posted by Joe King:

The average driver sees a 40mph sign and thinks "Well, I'll it doesn't matter if I do 50. Its only a little bit more.". This kind of "logic" could never apply to other areas of law. We wouldn't think its ok to mug someone and say to them "You've got �50 in your wallet, so I'll just take �10". We wouldn't consider a major fraud justified if the fraudster only took �1million when there was �50million in the bank.

I don't know of any countries that use mph and �. If you don't mind me asking: were do you live?

P.S. In my town (Cupertino, CA, USA) we used to have redlight running cameras, but they were taken down because people would challenge them on the basis that there was no officer that issued the ticket. You have the right to face your acuser in a court of law. Because there wasn't an officer's name on the ticket, the people were inadvertantly denigned their right to face their acuser and the tickets were dropped.
(thats my 2 cents)
P.S. I guess if they brought the cammeras into court they could start using them again.


-Dan
Jamie Robertson
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 09, 2001
Posts: 1879

I agree witht the speed cams. I see some problems with the above implementation though. I've seen it some places where there are camera holders at regular intervals, but only cameras in about 10% of the holders. These cameras are rotated on a regular basis so that the fear of a ticket is present at each point, but the cost of maintaining the cameras is a lot less. I thought this was a better implementation that focuses on prevention of speeding rather that money gathering interests

Jamie
Mark Fletcher
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 08, 2001
Posts: 897
Originally posted by Dan Maples:

I don't know of any countries that use mph and �. If you don't mind me asking: were do you live?




Mark Fletcher - http://www.markfletcher.org/blog
I had some Java certs, but they're too old now...
Dan Maples
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 21, 2004
Posts: 153
the uk doesnt use kilometers per hour?
Alan Wanwierd
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 30, 2004
Posts: 624
Originally posted by Dan Maples:
the uk doesnt use kilometers per hour?


No - the UK lives in a strange limbo worlds where measurements are half modernised and half stuck in the outdated imperial world:

speed: mph
temperature: Celcius
liquid volume: pint (for beer or milk) litre (for petrol!)
weight: st/lb/oz (people or food) or kg (anything else)
car engines: HorsePower (really? cmon whats wrong with KiloWatts?)
altitude: feet or meters.

I guess eventually the old guard will all die out and more people will use standard measures and then it will only be the Americans who insist on being different to everyone else on the planet! - but its hard to imagine not having miles & pints - they're too ingrained in the culture (half-litre of beer isnt nearly as inviting as a nice pint! ).

Whatever happened to other ancient measures?

groat: (4p)
quart: (perculiarly 2pts???!)
flaggon: (?? decent nights drinking but I have no idea how much!)
Jeff Langr
author
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 14, 2003
Posts: 762
Originally posted by Joe King:
If at the end of this process a neutral, scientific body, comes to the conclusion that increasing the speed limit from 40mph would lead to more people dying, then surely the drivers could have no complaint.


Why not make the speed limit real-time based on current traffic information? It's silly to impose a 55mph limit on a straightaway 4-lane-highway road at 3am, while at 7pm (or when dusk kicks in), or during a rainstorm, even 55 is too high.

You could even alter it a few MPH downward when some blood is spilled; put a hemoglobin sensor in the asphalt.



-J-


Books: Agile Java, Modern C++ Programming with TDD, Essential Java Style, Agile in a Flash. Contributor, Clean Code.
Richard Hawkes
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 28, 2003
Posts: 1340
Originally posted by Jeff Langr:
Why not make the speed limit real-time based on current traffic information? It's silly to impose a 55mph limit on a straightaway 4-lane-highway road at 3am, while at 7pm (or when dusk kicks in), or during a rainstorm, even 55 is too high.

That would be the ideal solution although I think that would require drivers to pay MORE attention to what is going on (is that likely?) and to have speed signs/screens erected at very frequent intervals.

The only other way it would work would be to take acceleration, braking and steering out of the equation for drivers and have those aspects controlled by satellite aided computer. People would be able to travel at faster speeds more safely if everything was managed by computer, as obstacles, traffic density, etc, could all be processed in relation to everything else on the roads, and alot faster than drivers could do it. The more extra info drivers have to deal with (gps maps, traffic announcements, variable speeds, watching for traps, traffic calming methods), the more they will be distracted. However even though it might be technologically possible the expense of creating a system nationally would be prohibitave, plus the act of driving itself is seen as (or has been manipulated into) an expression of freedom(?!) and people will fight for the right to use their cars recklessly.
Richard Hawkes
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 28, 2003
Posts: 1340
As for speed cameras, frankly I've only ever noticed them in places that seemed appropriate, though I'm sure there are some dodgy placements.

I only ever got flashed once, simply because I wasn't paying attention like we all do sometimes. I bitched about it, paid the fine and haven't been done since (fingers crossed). The only way speed cameras will go is if everyone obeys the speed limit. That way no fines will be collected and the cameras will be too expensive to operate. Try advocating that as a strategy to the anti-camera lobby though!
Joe King
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 02, 2003
Posts: 820
Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:

Sure. If the limits made sense they'd be obeyed by most people but on many roads they're deliberately lowered so people will break them...


...but if the speed is clearly displayed then what excuse have drivers got for breaking the speed limit?

Despite all of what I've said, I have speeded when driving from time to time. (OK, most of the time) The thing is that I except that its illegal and that I'm taking a risk of being fined whenever I speed. Its a kind of cost-benefit analysis. The benefit is getting to my destination quicker and the cost is the risk of being caught and punished. In the words of Heinlein "There Aint No Such Thing As A Free Lunch", and if drivers break the law then they need to understand that there is a cost - they cant do it for free all of the time.
Joe King
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 02, 2003
Posts: 820
Originally posted by Richard Hawkes:

The only other way it would work would be to take acceleration, braking and steering out of the equation for drivers and have those aspects controlled by satellite aided computer. People would be able to travel at faster speeds more safely if everything was managed by computer, as obstacles, traffic density, etc, could all be processed in relation to everything else on the roads, and alot faster than drivers could do it. The more extra info drivers have to deal with (gps maps, traffic announcements, variable speeds, watching for traps, traffic calming methods), the more they will be distracted. However even though it might be technologically possible the expense of creating a system nationally would be prohibitave, plus the act of driving itself is seen as (or has been manipulated into) an expression of freedom(?!) and


While potentially a good idea, would you trust a computer programme to be bug free enough not to crash you? How many programmers do you know who are competent enough to programme a system capable of driving a car without ever endangering the passengers?!

Perhaps this would be a good one Java 101 classes:
--
Programme a car control system in java while at the same time explaining if java is pass-by-value or pass-by-reference.
--

people will fight for the right to use their cars recklessly.

Unfortunately very true, especially people with those stupid bull-bar things on the front of their immense 4x4s.
Joe King
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 02, 2003
Posts: 820
Originally posted by Adrian Wallace:

temperature: Celcius

A fact that has unfortunately failed to reach most journalists. When I went to school I was taught temperatures in Celsius/centigrade and I don't have a clue about Fahrenheit. I know that 30something is 0, but that's it. The problem is that, while most of the country is happy using Celsius, newspapers insist on reporting stories in Fahrenheit. They have headlines like "Temperature soars to 98F", which could be just about anything to me.

weight: st/lb/oz (people or food) or kg (anything else)


This is another strange one. Food must now legally be sold using metric weights (although markets often ignore this), but 90% of cookbooks use Imperial weights. That's my excuse for not being able to cook anyway.


I guess eventually the old guard will all die out and more people will use standard measures and then it will only be the Americans who insist on being different to everyone else on the planet!

This is something I've often wondered about. Why is it that a country that prides itself on being technologically advanced refused to convert over to the metric system? Why is it so unpopular?
- but its hard to imagine not having miles & pints - they're too ingrained in the culture (half-litre of beer isnt nearly as inviting as a nice pint! ).


Indeed. Much as I am a fan of the metric system, I think we should keep the pint. Like you said, it just wouldn't be right walking into a pub and asking for a half-litre of Fullers.
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
Originally posted by Joe King:


I suppose this could be seen as circumstantial evidence or some such thing. What would the alternative be though? Only prosecute people in cars with a retracted roof? If you're confident that a photo isn't evidence enough you could always try speeding and then demand a court case when they present you with a photo as evidence


Happens regularly here. Quite often the plaintiff wins too.
There are strict rules for the placement of cameras to ensure they're accurate, often the operators don't follow those rules leading to incorrect readings.
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
Originally posted by Richard Hawkes:
Originally posted by Jeff Langr:
[qb]Why not make the speed limit real-time based on current traffic information? It's silly to impose a 55mph limit on a straightaway 4-lane-highway road at 3am, while at 7pm (or when dusk kicks in), or during a rainstorm, even 55 is too high.

That would be the ideal solution although I think that would require drivers to pay MORE attention to what is going on (is that likely?) and to have speed signs/screens erected at very frequent intervals.[/QB]


I'd say that having people pay more attention to the road is a good thing...
As it is the equipment is in place in many places in Europe in the form of electronic signs over each lane which can be used to display temporary speed limits or lane closures.
It won't be long before every highway here has them.
All that remains is the fitting of equipment to determine the best speed limit and control the signs (at the moment they're centrally controlled by human input from a control room somewhere).
As it is at least in the Netherlands speed limits on these signs are usually ignored.
This is OK, a court decided they aren't mandatory because they don't have a red rim (our traffic law states explicitly that a speedlimit sign MUST be round with a red rim, anything else is automatically an advisory speed only). Signs are currently being updated with a red rim as a result but the going is slow.

Now if people had trust in those signs being more than random they'd work too (at the moment it's just not reliable enough, sometimes they just pop to 50kmh when there's nothing going on for kilometers, at other times they don't show anything even when you're standing still in a traffic jam after a major pileup ahead).
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
This is another strange one. Food must now legally be sold using metric weights (although markets often ignore this), but 90% of cookbooks use Imperial weights. That's my excuse for not being able to cook anyway.

which is why UK manufacturers sell food in 452 gram packages instead of 500 gram like they do in the rest of Europe
Joe King
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 02, 2003
Posts: 820
Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:

This is OK, a court decided they aren't mandatory because they don't have a red rim (our traffic law states explicitly that a speedlimit sign MUST be round with a red rim, anything else is automatically an advisory speed only). Signs are currently being updated with a red rim as a result but the going is slow.


That is fantastic! I can just imagine someone in court for speeding, turning to the judge and saying "The sign didn't have a red border" and then the prosecution looking a bit embarrassed.

In the UK are electronic signs that just say "Warning: congestion" at the start of some traffic jams. The cars then dutifully slow down and cue for a few miles. After a while there is then a sign saying "End of congestion" and everyone speeds up and whizzes off. Very strange.
Joe King
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 02, 2003
Posts: 820
Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:

which is why UK manufacturers sell food in 452 gram packages instead of 500 gram like they do in the rest of Europe


It gets even more confusing when the odd American weight slips into the cookbooks e.g. "Add a cup of sugar". A cup? What kind of cup? I've got some big ones for coffee and some small ones for tea. It took me ages to realise that a cup must be a standard measurement - before that I wondered why so many American recipes were so vague with their measurements.

On a similar note, a while back somebody tried to sue McDonalds for selling "1/4 pounders", saying that it should be renamed as a metric weight. McDonalds won because it turned out that they registered "1/4 pounder" as a trademark product name. Its surprising that more companies haven't done a similar thing to carry on selling products with Imperial measurements e.g. "15 Pound Sugar" or whatever.

It is a bit odd that the government is so keen on getting shops to sell stuff in metric, but at the same time we have miles on every road sign. I'd be happy to convert to kilometres, although it may be a bit hard at first. The biggest problem would probably be that all the speedometers in UK cars have mph in big letters and kph in tiny unreadable letters.
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
nah, the biggest problem is that changing all the roadsigns costs the government money while changing the law so that stores must sell metric doesn't cost them a thing (in fact it might bring some money in temporarilly higher salestax on store displays etc.).
Helen Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 1759
I get by with this guide :

1 square metre = 4 ft 8 in by 2 ft.

Helps with working out carpet measurements, or turf quantities, curtains.
Since I'm a foot taller it also helps with cloth measurements for clothes made by a great tailor near me.

The guide's not much help with speed cameras, I am afraid, unless it's working out the force needed to hit them.
[ August 05, 2004: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]

Le Cafe Mouse - Helen's musings on the web - Java Skills and Thrills
"God who creates and is nature is very difficult to understand, but he is not arbitrary or malicious." OR "God does not play dice." - Einstein
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11155
    
  16

Since I'm a foot taller...


You're 3 feet tall???


[ August 05, 2004: Message edited by: fred rosenberger ]
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
In NY, the law is that the person who owns the car is responsible but the ticket does not count as points on your license. So if your brother was driving, you can get the money from him.


In the US we use all the English meansurements.

3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoons
2 tablespoon = 1 ounce
8 ounces = 1 cup
2 cups = 1 pint
2 pints = 1 quart
4 quarts = 1 gallon

Although these are liquid measurements, they work for the dry ingredients used in cookbooks. Real dry measurements are different than liquid but no one uses them.

For weight, 16 ounces = 1 pound.

There are other measurements like firkins and bushels but people don't use them much and most people don't even know what they are. Although next time you are in a pub, instead of a pint, ask for 4 gills of bitter.
[ August 06, 2004: Message edited by: Thomas Paul ]

Associate Instructor - Hofstra University
Amazon Top 750 reviewer - Blog - Unresolved References - Book Review Blog
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11155
    
  16

1 tablespoon = 2 ounces


Ummm... remind me not to eat what you cook.

there are actually 16 tablespoons in a cup. could you have meant

2 tablespoons = 1 ounce???
Helen Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 1759
Originally posted by fred rosenberger:


You're 3 feet tall???





No! That would be 2 feet wide or rather, round.
Actually 3 1/4 feet. Blast!
[ August 06, 2004: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by fred rosenberger:
Ummm... remind me not to eat what you cook.

there are actually 16 tablespoons in a cup. could you have meant

2 tablespoons = 1 ounce???


Misprint alert!!! I fixed my original post.
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Joe King:
fact that has unfortunately failed to reach most journalists. When I went to school I was taught temperatures in Celsius/centigrade and I don't have a clue about Fahrenheit. I know that 30something is 0, but that's it. The problem is that, while most of the country is happy using Celsius, newspapers insist on reporting stories in Fahrenheit. They have headlines like "Temperature soars to 98F", which could be just about anything to me.


From my time spent living in England, let me help you out a bit...

75F - The point at which men in England begin taking off their shirts to fight the heat.

85F - The point at which Brits begin passing out left and right from heat exhaustion.

Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Joe King:
This is something I've often wondered about. Why is it that a country that prides itself on being technologically advanced refused to convert over to the metric system? Why is it so unpopular?


Why should we convert? The English system works perfectly well for us.
Helen Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 1759
Originally posted by Jason Menard:


Why should we convert? The English system works perfectly well for us.


Not always it appears. A British trillion was until recently held to be a million million million, while a billion was a million million. But this has been replaced by the US definition of a trillion as a million million and a billion as a thousand million.
[ August 10, 2004: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
Jim Yingst
Wanderer
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 30, 2000
Posts: 18671
[HST]: Not always it appears.

No, in Jason's comment "us" is clearly the USA. You're talking about a problem the UK had. Also, this has remarkably little to do with the previous discussion topic of weights and measures. It's an unrelated linguistic difference between the US and UK.

<preemtive rant>

For those who want to gripe about US use of metric, the traditional example used (for the last five years anyway) is NASA's Mars Orbiter loss. Yeah, we heard about it. Problem is, this isn't so much an English/Metric problem as it is a problem of poor testing and failure to check units, whatever they may be. They could have had the same sort of problem if one party used millimeters and another used centimeters. Less likely, maybe, but still very possible. For any physical measurement, you need to know the units used in order to get meaningful results. And simply saying "use metric" is not a sufficient substitute for checking the units carefully.

</preemtive rant>


"I'm not back." - Bill Harding, Twister
 
permaculture playing cards
 
subject: Speed camera craziness
 
Similar Threads
Rules or exceptions?
This road could make you a CRIMINAL 50%
moussaoui attempts guilty plea
Does the UK want a "Tony Martin" law?
Speeding ticket in California :(