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Comment: Re:Not so bad to have different systems. (Score 1) 2288

by Onnimikki (#35905800) Attached to: Why Does the US Cling To Imperial Measurements?
I've been buying ceramic cups from Starbucks for years... those cute "city" ones that they sell all over the world. They're all different sizes! There's no standard size for everyday cups. And even if there was some mythic standard cup, no manufacturer pays attention to it, so when it comes time to cooking in the kitchen the thing that any decent cook reaches for is... a "measuring cup". You know... the one that has "cups" and "milliliters" written on either side. That's what real people use to actually measure volume in the kitchen.

Comment: Re:Not so bad to have different systems. (Score 1) 2288

by Onnimikki (#35905218) Attached to: Why Does the US Cling To Imperial Measurements?
I actually started with spoon size, not two-by-fours. What's a standard spoon size? I've got five or six different sized "table" or "soup" spoons in my kitchen, from different manufacturers. They all hold different amounts of liquid. It's arbitrary. As for two-by-fours, one of the reasons people in North America continue to stick to the Imperial System is because of the construction business. I constantly hear that we can't switch completely to metric in Canada because houses are built to the Imperial standard... i.e. because we use 2x4s and things like that. However, even the construction measurements are inconsistent. BTW, Kelvin and Celcius map one-to-one. There's no issue there.

Comment: Re:Not so bad to have different systems. (Score 1) 2288

by Onnimikki (#35896182) Attached to: Why Does the US Cling To Imperial Measurements?
Except that there is no such thing as a "standard" cup or spoon. My current favorite is "two by four" pieces of wood. You'd think that the cross-section would be two inches by four inches. Wrong. It's 1.5 inches by 3.5 inches. Why? The lumber industry makes more money by selling you less wood and relies on you making centre-to-centre measurements. The problem with the Imperial system is that it is arbitrary and inconsistent. The metric system, on the other hand, is consistent and logical. It's also inherently multi-disciplinary. It's just easier. On top of all that I wasn't aware that degrees and seconds were not metric. Speed is measured in m/s. Angles are often in degrees.

Comment: Re:Anybody still using the Motorola 68HC11? (Score 1) 224

by Onnimikki (#35183572) Attached to: Why the Arduino Won and Why It's Here To Stay
We were teaching with the hc11 until last year. Then we switched to the 9s12 (the update to the hc11) because Freescale lists the hc11 as "not recommended for new design". Luckily Technological Arts produces a 9s12-based board called the Esduino.... ( hardware compatible with Arduino shields but let's us use HC11/9s12 teaching resources. Best of both worlds for teaching EE students.

+ - Invasive pat-downs at Logan Int. Airport->

Submitted by Onnimikki
Onnimikki writes: Airport security staff at Logan International Airport in Boston are resorting to invasive pat-downs in a bid to force people to full-body x-ray scanning. Having recently gone through Logan and seen this myself, this is not a good thing. More coverage here in the Daily Mail and the Atlantic.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:The problem (Score 1) 68

by Onnimikki (#33551592) Attached to: Boeing Hummingbird Drone Crashes In Belize
Subaru sells a number of engines that aren't used in their cars. We used a four-stroke Robin Subaru V2 EH65 on the University of Alberta's "Polar Bear" robot ( & ). Their "industrial" engine line can be found here:

Comment: Robotics links (Score 3, Informative) 85

by Onnimikki (#32964466) Attached to: Massive EU Program To Study Three-legged Dogs
Hi, The Locomorph Group ( ) is made up of science and engineering partners. The science partners (University of Antwerp and the University of Jena, where the dogs are being researched) are guiding the robotics research on shape-changing robots at Ryerson University (the only non-EU partner, located in Canada), the University of Zurich, the Ecole Polytechnique de Lausanne and the University of Southern Denmark. More stories on the project can be found here: (in German) (in English), (in French), (in German) There are also some informal photos from our meeting last week: Other photos can be found here:

Fear is the greatest salesman. -- Robert Klein