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    Re: The mil as a unit of angle.
    From: Richard M Pisko
    Date: 2003 Mar 18, 05:59 -0700

    Back before the dawn of time (on Fri, 14 Mar 2003 10:33:14
    -0400, to be exact), "Trevor J. Kenchington"
    >    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.
    Thank you.  I believe it makes sense now (again?).
    >> 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 misremembered and misinterpreted, so was mixing up "By"
    with "close by"; as in: "The desired direction is North of,
    but close by NW".  Probably influenced by my stronger and
    more accurate memory of the movie.
    >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.]
    A Google search on "North by Northwest" gives 1120 hits, if
    I add Hitchcock I get 278, all that I saw were of the film
    from 1959.  I wonder how common the expression was before
    the movie?
    Further searches: "Northwest by North" gives 337, with a lot
    of mentions of compasses, add Hitchcock to get 9 hits ...
    but no actual phrase "Northwest by North" in any of the
    movie director Alfred Hitchcock references.  One had Henry
    Hudson's 1609 discovery of Green County, in an 1884 account
    by Beers:
    "Then they sailed northwest a "league and a half," then
    northeast by north five miles, then northwest by north six
    miles, which brought them to the neighborhood of what is now
    Cornwall Landing. Here they found the shores high and
    mountainous, the water varying in depth from five to
    fourteen fathoms, and the river full of fish."
    > The "lunars" are the lunar observations that get so
    >much time on this list (as they should), not a different unit of time.
    My pocket Ephemeris gives common stars and the sun for 2003,
    but not the moon.  It's more for land surveying, azimuths
    from the sun particularly, using a theodolite and stop
    watch.  My sextants are not nearly accurate enough, although
    I did try reflections in a pan of water a couple of times
    around local noon for a latitude check.
    >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
    Interesting.  I wonder if Bangladesh uses a calculated
    observation of the new crescent, or an observed one?  And
    what does Pakistan use?
    >Trevor Kenchington
    Take care,
    Richard ... in Lethbridge, Alberta.

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