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    Re: Comments on the units
    From: Clyde Nickerson
    Date: 2006 Apr 7, 18:08 -0300

    For Alex,
    Yes there is something similar in the West....Canadian Gunners use the mil.
    17.7 mils to the degree , if my memory of Arty training 50 years ago is
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Alexandre E Eremenko" 
    Sent: Friday, April 07, 2006 3:07 PM
    Subject: Comments on the units
    > Perhaps this does not fit exactly in
    > the list scope but I will comment a bit about this funny subject
    > of the units.
    > On Fri, 7 Apr 2006, George Huxtable wrote:
    > > | We think of the metric system being firmly established in the world,
    > > | only a part of it -- measurement of distance and temperature -- is
    > > | universal.
    > I am surprised with this statement.
    > If you subtract the US, from the rest of the world,
    > the metric system if firmly established in EVERYTHING
    > except time/angular measures.
    > Of course there is nothing good or natural about base 10 at all.
    > Bases 8 and 12 are much more convenient for many purposes.
    > I know of one attempt of transfer to base 8
    > (Charles XII of Sweden tried to introduce it as a general standard.
    > But he died young (and defeated)).
    > > Grads (100, not 90, to the right-angle) still appear on some French
    > In Soviet artillery, at least when I served for a brief period in 1975,
    > the angle measurement unit was called simply "one division".
    > There were 6000 divisions in the full circle.
    > The reason for this was that 6 is a reasonable approximation to 2pi.
    > Thus an object of size 1 meter is seen at the distance of 1 kilometer
    > under the angle of 1 division, approximately.
    > So if you see a tank whose height is 3 meters under the angle
    > of 2 divisions, the distance is (3/2) times 1000=1500 meters,
    > very simple for quick calculation in your head:-)
    > But the precision instruments were also graded in "divisions"
    > to avoid confusion.
    > Confusion however occured in the interaction with
    > our aviation where the angles were naturally measured in degrees...
    > or with the navy where the distances were measured in cables
    > and miles but the angles still in degrees:-)
    > Grades were also used somewhere in the military but I don't remember
    > where:-)
    > But speaking seriously, probably one reason why the system based
    > on 60 still holds is that 6 is close to 2pi. Closer than 10 anyway:-)
    > Is there anything similar to the Soviet "division" in the West?
    > Alex.

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