# Who cares how many feet are in a mile?

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And why can't the US switch over to the metric system already??

MUS seems to keep stressing all these dumb English system things. No one needs to know how many pints are in a gallon, or how many feet (or even yards) are in a mile. If for some crazy reason you did need to know, you could look it up!

Memorizing is hard for my two dds who use MUS, and I am just not going to make them memorize feet in a mile!

vent over!

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Oh, I hear your pain! My DD is currently working through Singapore 3B U.S. Edition and she's constantly complaining about the imperial system of measurement. My mom told her that when she was DD's age back in the early 60's, she was told in school that the U.S. would be using the metric system within a decade. :lol:

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I remember them saying that when I was a child in the 1970s. Guess now it will never happen.

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I totally agree, but have taught these to my kids anyway. Except the feet in a mile -- we haven't gotten to that one yet.

Here is a fun way to help kids learn about volume measures -- Gallon Guy and Gallon Girl. It was fun to do, and the kids still harken back to it (when prompted) to help them remember volume measures.

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If you do a lot of cooking, or if you really love looking at old recipes, like I do... I frequently find myself needing to know things like how many pints are in a gallon. Or how many cups=a half quart of flour. DH's grandma had to explain that one to me. It turned out it was really simple. You get a quart jar and fill it half full of flour LOL

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If you do a lot of cooking, or if you really love looking at old recipes, like I do... I frequently find myself needing to know things like how many pints are in a gallon. Or how many cups=a half quart of flour. DH's grandma had to explain that one to me. It turned out it was really simple. You get a quart jar and fill it half full of flour LOL

I agree - I know how many teaspoons are in a tablespoon, because I frequently use the "wrong" measuring spoon and estimate. And I do know how many cups are in a pint, quart, and gallon. If someone finds themselves cooking a lot, they'll learn these. Otherwise they seem just like useless facts to memorize. But, honestly, I have NEVER needed to know how many feet were in a mile. Maybe if I were a surveyor or something? :D

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I used to know how many feet were in a nautical mile--it was important for things like targeting radar. It never made sense to me why nautical miles were different from land miles, though. :tongue_smilie:

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I also find that I never need to know how many feet are in a mile, but I do need to know about gallons, quarts, pints, teaspoons, tablespoons, etc.

I think I would expect my children to memorize the cooking-related facts while cooking. We frequently scale recipes, so being able to figure out in your head how much chili powder we need if we're making 4x a recipe that calls for 3 teaspoons is actually very helpful. (3 tsp x 4 = 12 tsp. 12 tsp/3 = 4 tablespoons. 4 tablespoons = 1/4 cup)

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If you do a lot of cooking, or if you really love looking at old recipes, like I do... I frequently find myself needing to know things like how many pints are in a gallon.

I've used the 3 tsp = 1 Tbsp a lot since we learned it in MUS. I do a lot of freezer cooking and when you're multiplying things by 3 or 6, this one comes in really handy!

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Too cute! Watch us do THIS one....!!

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I used to know how many feet were in a nautical mile--it was important for things like targeting radar. It never made sense to me why nautical miles were different from land miles, though. :tongue_smilie:

See, I've never had the opportunity to target radar... :lol:

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:)I'm laughing with you, not at you and totally hear you while you vent.

I agree with those who gave cooking examples. I have a couple of others for you: a few weeks ago, needed to mix oil and gas for the leaf blower (dh was out of town!). I had to GO LOOK UP conversion info for how many ounces were in a gallon, so I could mix the oil and gas! Ugh! I just wanted to get to my work and be done!

I've taught my kids how many feet are in a mile like this:

5,280 are in a mile. "At 5 he 2 8(ate) 0's" (like 0-cereal) get it? My kids have never forgotten it!

When we're approaching construciton, there are often signs that say "construction 1000 ft." I know that this is less than 1/4 mile because I know how many feet are in a mile.

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:)

When we're approaching construciton, there are often signs that say "construction 1000 ft." I know that this is less than 1/4 mile because I know how many feet are in a mile.

See, and I just go, "Construction coming up pretty quick." :lol:

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My mom told her that when she was DD's age back in the early 60's, she was told in school that the U.S. would be using the metric system within a decade. :lol:

I remember them saying that when I was a child in the 1970s.

Haha! I was told the same thing in school in the 80's and 90's.

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Let's all contact Obama and tell him we want him to do something REALLY important and get the US on the metric system!!!!!!!!

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:iagree: totally!! Dd had a question about how many ounces were in a ton! Go figure.....I really use that in my daily activities. I also don't like the conversion between systems. How many ounces in 6 pints then how many of those in a liter.

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I had to GO LOOK UP conversion info for how many ounces were in a gallon, so I could mix the oil and gas!

"A pint's a pound the world around." That's what my mom taught me ;). And I go back to it every time :tongue_smilie: - along with knowing 16 ounces to the pound, and the cup/pint/quart/gallon conversions, I'm all set :).

Another good cooking conversion I use *all the time*: 16T in 1 cup. Very useful when halving/thirding recipes. (And when you want to minimize the amount of dishes ;)).

I must say, though, that my engineer dad considers knowing 5280ft in a mile (and 1760 yd in a mile) to be like basic literacy :lol:.

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We live near Denver the "mile high" city. We have a magazine called 5280 and a lot other 5280 stuff. I guess its easy here.

Lara

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We live near Denver the "mile high" city. We have a magazine called 5280 and a lot other 5280 stuff. I guess its easy here.

Lara

Yes, that would probably make it easier!

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Haha! I was told the same thing in school in the 80's and 90's.

80's and 90"s!!!!

Boy I feel old!

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If the US went metric, all the cookbooks would have to be revised to metric. All the farmland would have to be re-surveyed and roads rebuilt based on the km rather than the mile. A section is one square miles = 640 acres. You farm a quarter section or 1/8 section. The roads are a grid going between all of the sections, so from one intersection to the next is one mile.

They tried teaching metric only when I was in school, but it didn't work in converting the US over to metric. All you got was a bunch of adults who don't know the US system like they should.

Science in the US may be metric, but construction, farming, cooking, all sorts of things aren't. And changing all of that over is not something that can be done by waving a magic wand.

So teach those kids the US system - they'll thank you for it someday.

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I totally agree, but have taught these to my kids anyway. Except the feet in a mile -- we haven't gotten to that one yet.

Here is a fun way to help kids learn about volume measures -- Gallon Guy and Gallon Girl. It was fun to do, and the kids still harken back to it (when prompted) to help them remember volume measures.

Super cute! Thank You for posting. We are just finishing our measurement unit in Math Mammoth. It teaches both U.S. and Metric. This will be a perfect craft to do next week.

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I'm probably little help, as I even have my kids learn pre-decimal British currency.

And why can't the US switch over to the metric system already??
About 5000, 5250 if you need more precise estimate. :)

MUS seems to keep stressing all these dumb English system things. No one needs to know how many pints are in a gallon, or how many feet (or even yards) are in a mile. If for some crazy reason you did need to know, you could look it up!
We emphasis the ones most likely to be encountered in daily life.

There are 4 quarts in a gallon (quart <===> quarter). Useful when comparing prices at the store.

There are 4 cups in a quart. Useful when making a shopping list for a special recipe.

Pints aren't as useful, but it's not hard to remember they're half a quart.

Memorizing is hard for my two dds who use MUS, and I am just not going to make them memorize feet in a mile!
Why not give them a cheat sheet? They'll probably remember the ones that they meet most often. I never penalize for not remembering unit conversions.
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I have to admit to learning something this week in my son's 3-grade math. That fluid ounces are a volume measurement and ounces are weight. :blush: I must have been absent that day in school. That has cleared up some confusion for me! So, yeah I agree teach them the U.S. system!! :glare:

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If the US went metric, all the cookbooks would have to be revised to metric. All the farmland would have to be re-surveyed and roads rebuilt based on the km rather than the mile. A section is one square miles = 640 acres. You farm a quarter section or 1/8 section. The roads are a grid going between all of the sections, so from one intersection to the next is one mile.

They tried teaching metric only when I was in school, but it didn't work in converting the US over to metric. All you got was a bunch of adults who don't know the US system like they should.

Science in the US may be metric, but construction, farming, cooking, all sorts of things aren't. And changing all of that over is not something that can be done by waving a magic wand.

So teach those kids the US system - they'll thank you for it someday.

Yep...sounds like a great job creation device! :)

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If the US went metric, all the cookbooks would have to be revised to metric. All the farmland would have to be re-surveyed and roads rebuilt based on the km rather than the mile. A section is one square miles = 640 acres. You farm a quarter section or 1/8 section. The roads are a grid going between all of the sections, so from one intersection to the next is one mile.

I don't think so. I don't think all the cookbooks would have to be redone. There could be a transition period, and people could be "bilingual." I have a cookbook from New Zealand that has both. Not to mention, no one is going to suddenly reprint old, boring cookbooks just to put them in metric. This isn't 1984!

There's no reason a road would have to be "rebuilt" based on a km. They could just be....converted to km measurement. (There are signs in the US that give distances in km, anyway.) Neither would children have to be "reborn" so we could collect their masses in kg. I wouldn't have to regrow to get my height in cm.

It's not a matter of outlawing imperial measurement; it's a question of making things easier.

To quote a woman who works at a local hardware store -- "I don't know why they put that metric stuff on the package. No one uses it anyway."

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I totally agree, but have taught these to my kids anyway. Except the feet in a mile -- we haven't gotten to that one yet.

Here is a fun way to help kids learn about volume measures -- Gallon Guy and Gallon Girl. It was fun to do, and the kids still harken back to it (when prompted) to help them remember volume measures.

Oh, I love this! We may have to make one of these.

Lisa

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I don't care at all. The only time I've ever used it is when watching bike racing. Most rides are in Europe, so I have to convert to get a feel for the distance; even so, if you're watching the right channel, they convert for you now.

So, nope...I don't care!

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But it's so easy!

George the Third said with a smile,

"Seventeen-Sixty yards in a mile!"

Then just do a quick multiplication by 3 in your head. :D A double mnemonic that gets you the length of a mile, and King George III's year of accession to the throne.

We use an older textbook series for arithmetic (as opp. to "math"), which expects you to learn bushels, pecks, and rods as well. I don't quiz heavily on those.

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But it's so easy!

George the Third said with a smile,

"Seventeen-Sixty yards in a mile!"

Then just do a quick multiplication by 3 in your head. :D A double mnemonic that gets you the length of a mile, and King George III's year of accession to the throne.

We use an older textbook series for arithmetic (as opp. to "math"), which expects you to learn bushels, pecks, and rods as well. I don't quiz heavily on those.

Never heard that before! However, these dc could not just do a quick multiplication by 3 in their heads.

*I* know it. *I* don't think it's hard. But my children aren't me, and I can't see requiring something so useless. I'd rather they be able to remember things like, oh, I don't know, multiplication facts... :D

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Forty-Two said

"A pint's a pound the world around." That's what my mom taught me

I know how to pound a pint. Does that count?

heehee

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George the Third said with a smile,

"Seventeen-Sixty yards in a mile!"

Then just do a quick multiplication by 3 in your head. :D A double mnemonic that gets you the length of a mile, and King George III's year of accession to the throne.

I love this! :D

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So don't memorize the feet in a mile. Memorize the yards in a mile (1760) and they can derive the feet any time they want. 1760 is such an interesting number, it's not hard to remember. You could make a nice chant sentence for it if the auditory input would help.

Guess I should have read before I posted. That George thing is pretty nifty! :)

BTW, I find myself using it a lot, so it IS worth knowing. It comes up in traveling when you're thinking of mountains, elevation, etc. It gives you a way to relate things and get the scale.

Edited by OhElizabeth
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Feet in a mile? No. Pints in a gallon, yes, if you're making a yummy punch and you need to know how many pints of *this* to buy to make *that* many gallons. :)

Most measurements became real to me after I was grown up and I was cooking and sewing for my family. I'm glad I learned them all when I was in school, because I didn't have to exert my brain when I needed to know.

Metrics? Don't need it.:)

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While I agree that the metric system is easier for doing calculations on paper, it is not as useful as the US (or, likewise, Imperial) system--that's why we have clung so stubbornly to it (makes me kinda proud, actually). Our .gov has been trying so hard for decades now to push the metric system on us through the public school system; it has failed every time b/c it just isn't as practical.

Teaching our children the metric system should be, IMO, like acquainting them with a foreign language--because that's what it is. It just isn't part of our culture and heritage. Scrapping the US system for metrication would cause a break with our roots...our classical roots :D

"Last, but not least, traditional units are part of our language. They are built into our historic buildings and live in our literature. If we abandon them, we lose a valuable heritage, handed down over centuries. Conservationists should oppose cultural vandalism. It is too late to value something when it has gone." -The British Weights and Measurements Association

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And I guess I'm the opposite. I have this mental block when it comes to metric. I just never ever need to use it. I know it is a base 10 system but that is about as far as I get. In one ear and out the other.

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While I agree that the metric system is easier for doing calculations on paper, it is not as useful as the US (or, likewise, Imperial) system--that's why we have clung so stubbornly to it (makes me kinda proud, actually). Our .gov has been trying so hard for decades now to push the metric system on us through the public school system; it has failed every time b/c it just isn't as practical.

Teaching our children the metric system should be, IMO, like acquainting them with a foreign language--because that's what it is. It just isn't part of our culture and heritage. Scrapping the US system for metrication would cause a break with our roots...our classical roots :D

"Last, but not least, traditional units are part of our language. They are built into our historic buildings and live in our literature. If we abandon them, we lose a valuable heritage, handed down over centuries. Conservationists should oppose cultural vandalism. It is too late to value something when it has gone." -The British Weights and Measurements Association

I don't think it's less useful; I think we are just too set in our ways to change over to a different system. There's a much better computer keyboard but we cling to QWERTY because we don't want to have to learn it. I don't see anything culturally significant about it. That strikes me as kind of funny.

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Teaching our children the metric system should be, IMO, like acquainting them with a foreign language--because that's what it is. It just isn't part of our culture and heritage. Scrapping the US system for metrication would cause a break with our roots...our classical roots :D
It's not like a foreign language; it is a standard. The whole rest of the world and the scientific community use the SI system.

Well, not quite the whole world. The US is in the company of Myanmar and Liberia.

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Here, just about everything is listed in both imperial and metric.

My pet peeve is using American curriculum that *tries* to teach metric. They keep asking silly questions like "How many centimeters are in 5 dekameters?"

In day-to-day life, everyone I know uses centimeters, meters and kilometers. Maybe millimeters the odd time. But hectometers? Decimeters? Not likely.

Love it.

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My pet peeve is using American curriculum that *tries* to teach metric. They keep asking silly questions like "How many centimeters are in 5 dekameters?"
No kidding. I'm Canadian (LOL... I suppose you are too :D), and we converted when I was in Gr. 2... maybe 1974. Other than on a worksheet, I've never used anything other than nano, micro, milli, centi, deca (rarely, and only with litres), kilo, giga, tera.

Bit of trivia... I just consulted the official chart which tops out a yotta (Y) (1000^8). There's catch phrase potential there... yotta, yotta, yotta.

Edited by nmoira
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It was fun when reading Dick Francis's mysteries and see how the British conversion to metric took place.

I'm trying to get my son to think in the metric system and not in the US system. I continue to hope that we'll make the change in this country. One of my son's doctors measures his weight in kg.

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"A pint's a pound the world around."

When Ben and Jerry's ice cream was first sold in Britain the company got into trouble for labelling the tubs as one pint.

Laura

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I don't think so. I don't think all the cookbooks would have to be redone. There could be a transition period, and people could be "bilingual."

I can work in both. And British road signs were never changed. Pretty much everything else is in metric.

Laura

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I can work in both. And British road signs were never changed. Pretty much everything else is in metric.

Laura

My grandma and aunt are like this, too -- they can do both. I can do liquid measurements really well because of chemistry class, but distances, ugh!

That being said, I love cookbooks that have cups, ounces, and grams. That's the best.

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While I agree that the metric system is easier for doing calculations on paper, it is not as useful as the US (or, likewise, Imperial) system--that's why we have clung so stubbornly to it (makes me kinda proud, actually). Our .gov has been trying so hard for decades now to push the metric system on us through the public school system; it has failed every time b/c it just isn't as practical.

Teaching our children the metric system should be, IMO, like acquainting them with a foreign language--because that's what it is. It just isn't part of our culture and heritage. Scrapping the US system for metrication would cause a break with our roots...our classical roots :D

"Last, but not least, traditional units are part of our language. They are built into our historic buildings and live in our literature. If we abandon them, we lose a valuable heritage, handed down over centuries. Conservationists should oppose cultural vandalism. It is too late to value something when it has gone." -The British Weights and Measurements Association

It isn't practical because the country hasn't switched. Choose a year, switch, and people will have to learn it and adapt! It's not a foreign language, it is a way of measuring, and it's a darn sight easier! "Cultural vandalism"?? Change, and it will become part of our culture and heritage. Should we still be speaking Middle English just because it's a part of our culture and heritage? Canada seems to be doing just fine on the metric system. This is another issue that makes it harder for Americans in a global sense.

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True, the metric system is a system of measurement, and not literally a foreign language, but it is not OUR system of measurement. It is foreign to US. It is also a contrived system of measurement--artificial, not organic (unlike English, which grows out of what came before it).

I like that we have our own way of doing things; I think it makes for a richer, more diverse understanding of the world. I love the Italian language b/c it's completely phonetic and is easy to both read and spell, but I couldn't justify abandoning my mother tongue for it. What a loss to all the world should we snuff out English in favor of a more "rational" language. Same for the metric system.

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True, the metric system is a system of measurement, and not literally a foreign language, but it is not OUR system of measurement. It is foreign to US. It is also a contrived system of measurement--artificial, not organic (unlike English, which grows out of what came before it).

I like that we have our own way of doing things; I think it makes for a richer, more diverse understanding of the world. I love the Italian language b/c it's completely phonetic and is easy to both read and spell, but I couldn't justify abandoning my mother tongue for it. What a loss to all the world should we snuff out English in favor of a more "rational" language. Same for the metric system.

I don't think that's a good comparison because language and measurement are very different things. It's also much easier to learn the metric system and convert between systems than it is to learn a new language and switch between languages. There are many things we could hold onto because they are our "cultural heritage" that wouldn't be in our best interest.

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Ok, I give up. (((raising a white flag)))

I just think what we have is great, and that we shouldn't change it for the world (even if it makes math homework simpler). But I s'pose on this I'm just outnumbered...LOL

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True, the metric system is a system of measurement, and not literally a foreign language, but it is not OUR system of measurement. It is foreign to US. It is also a contrived system of measurement--artificial, not organic (unlike English, which grows out of what came before it).

I like that we have our own way of doing things; I think it makes for a richer, more diverse understanding of the world. I love the Italian language b/c it's completely phonetic and is easy to both read and spell, but I couldn't justify abandoning my mother tongue for it. What a loss to all the world should we snuff out English in favor of a more "rational" language. Same for the metric system.

IMO it's foreign to the US because we've been bullheaded in not switching. :001_smile: And there is no totally rational language - that was tried with Esperanto and it didn't catch on. But I see you raised the white flag, so I'll stop. I'm glad there is somebody who is happy with this crazy system! :lol:

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