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    Re: Why is a sextant like it is?
    From: Jared Sherman
    Date: 2004 Nov 18, 13:45 -0500

    
    
    Ergh, because a mile is a minute? Or it converts nicely to radians for
    spherical trig? Or, as Tonto said to the Lone Ranger, when they were
    surrounded by Indians and about to be massacred "What's this 'we', white
    man?"
    
    Seriously, there is an ISO spec to use degress, just degrees, out to five
    decimal places. Navigators stick to tradition mainly for tradition, because
    it is already a common language (preventing mars lander type conversion
    errors), and because sometimes, like "mile a minute" it can be more useful
    than translating from the decimal degrees.
    
    You certainly could get any good machine shop to replace the engravings on
    your sextant, or even overlay them with stable mylar scales printed on a
    laser printer. No big deal.
    
    Similarly, any good machinist, even a hobbyist, could set you up with legs
    on the busy side, or a handle that was easier to hold upside down.
    
    As the Bard said,  "Get thee to a machinist!" 
    
    
    

       
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