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    Re: The mil as a unit of angle.
    From: Trevor Kenchington
    Date: 2003 Mar 14, 10:33 -0400

    You wrote:
    >>300 mils would be North North East one-half North. There is no such
    >>thing as North East by North, which would be a full point northward from
    >>North East and so identical to North by East (i.e. 200 mil).
    > Right.  N by E (200), I see that now, and halfway to NNE
    > (400) from there is NNE 1/2 N (300) because it is an odd
    > hundred mil number.  You mean I got the others right?  :-)
    > But would not 600 mils be NE by N since 800 mils is NE?
    See my delayed correction to my own ramblings.
    6400 mils to the circle of 32 points means that 200 mils equals one
    point and 50 mils equals a quarter point. After that, it is just a
    matter of getting the naming of the points and quarter points right --
    without dropping some of the words as I managed to do.
        0  N
       50  N 1/4 E
      100  N 1/2 E
      150  N 3/4 E
      200  N by E
      250  NNE 3/4 N
      300  NNE 1/2 N
      400  NNE
      500  NNE 1/2 E
      600  NE by N
      700  NE 1/2 N
      800  NE
    The "by" points are named from the cardinal and ordinal points (e.g. N
    or NE) not from the ones between (e.g. NNE). The quarter and half points
    are named from all of those (e.g. N, NE or NNE) but not from the "by"
    points -- or so they have been on the few compasses I have examined
    which have shown quarter points.
    And that replaces another blunder on my part, in which I wrote:
    >>odd-numbered points are always named from the nearest cardinal or
    >>ordinal point (e.g. North or North East), not from the intermediate
    >>("inter-ordinal"?) ones like North North East.
    That confused the rule for naming "by" points with the rule for naming
    quarter and half points. (I was obviously not having a good day yesterday!)
    > So Hitchcock's "North by North West" is a valid designation
    > of the direction ... (looking for some paper) ... 5800 mils?
    > Or perhaps 326-1/4 degrees?
    "North by North West" isn't a compass point. The "by" points are only
    named as "by" one of the cardinal points (North, South, East or West).
    Think of the "by" meaning "a point in the direction of" -- N by E is
    almost North but a point towards the right. There is no need to specify
    whether it is towards the NNE, NE or E. All are in the same direction
    and economy of wording (plus concentration on the bigger thing) means
    that just "East" is used.
    I make NW to be 5600 mil (6400-800, where the 800 is 200 per point and
    there are four points to 45 degrees), so 5800 mil would be NW by N.
    [Maybe that was what Hitchcock wrote. I'm not familiar with that
    reference to his work.]
    >>(Not to compare with the
    >>complexity of lunars as a way of telling the time anyway!)
    > Umm...  Where could I find something that explained the
    > lunar system?
    Having (inadvertently) demonstrated that the points system was beyond my
    abilities, when I had attempted to show the reverse, I was trying to add
    a bit of levity. The "lunars" are the lunar observations that get so
    much time on this list (as they should), not a different unit of time.
    I guess there is a moon-based time unit in the lunar month. It is still
    the basis of the Islamic calendar, which is still very much in regular
    use in much of the world. [When I was based in Bangladesh, the
    English-language newspapers had three dates on the masthead: Western,
    Islamic and Bengali. Following the Mongol conquest of India, the new
    Islamic rulers discovered that their lunar calendar didn't work very
    well in an area where rice planting had to be timed to the solar year
    and its monsoon cycle. Hence the invention of a similar but different
    Bengali calendar. Now the country seems to run on three different
    calendars for religious, secular and business/international purposes
    Trevor Kenchington
    Trevor J. Kenchington PhD                         Gadus@iStar.ca
    Gadus Associates,                                 Office(902) 889-9250
    R.R.#1, Musquodoboit Harbour,                     Fax   (902) 889-9251
    Nova Scotia  B0J 2L0, CANADA                      Home  (902) 889-3555
                         Science Serving the Fisheries

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