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    Re: Why is a sextant like it is?
    From: George Huxtable
    Date: 2004 Nov 19, 01:25 +0000

    Alex asked- Why do we still use this terrible Babylonian hexadecimal system
    for measuring angles?
    I agree, that it's terrible.
    The French had a go at decimalising it at the time of the Revolution, but
    they bodged it.
    They proposed that a right-angle would be 100 grads, therefore 400 grads
    for a complete rotation. I think that was misguided. A complete turn brings
    you back to the starting point again, so that should have been the natural
    basis for the standard unit, the Turn, to be divided into 1000 milliTurns.
    There was also a Revolutionary proposal to decimalise time measurement in
    terms of the Day, but it failed, presumably because it would have made
    every clock and watch obsolete. If it had succeeded, then the mean Sun
    would make a Turn in 1 Day, and a milliTurn in a milliDay. And wouldn't
    navigational calculations have been a lot simpler?
    contact George Huxtable by email at george@huxtable.u-net.com, by phone at
    01865 820222 (from outside UK, +44 1865 820222), or by mail at 1 Sandy
    Lane, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5HX, UK.

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