Paul Makepeace ;-)

July 8, 2005

Lucky 7/7

Posted in: Drivel

September 11th for Americans is written as 9/11 - the month goes first. In more other places than not it's written 11/9. So, given that they happened, isn't it fortunate for all the London bombings to have happened on 7/7?

This stuff ain't a joke; mix-ups of international measuring standards have taken part in spaceships blowing up,

[...] engineers who built the Mars Climate Orbiter had provided a data table in "pound-force" rather than newtons, the metric measure of force (about equivalent to the downward weight of an apple in your hand). NASA flight controllers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., had used the faulty table for their navigation calculations [...]

Posted by Paul Makepeace at July 8, 2005 21:39 | TrackBack

Glad to hear you're ok...

Posted by: Francesca at July 9, 2005 02:07

Unlike the rest of the States, the U.S. military used to write out numerical dates in day/month/year order -- January 5, 1945 would be written as 5/1/45. To avoid potential confusion, the U.S. military eventually standardized on writing out the month using the first three letters of the month -- January 5, 1945 would be written as 05 Jan 45.

The American scientific establishment has shifted over to SI units, but American industry still often uses traditional weights and measures. Something got lost in the communication between NASA scientists and Lockheed Martin engineers.

Posted by: Vulcan at July 9, 2005 21:08

The Scandinavians write dates in year/month/day order. Apparently this is far more efficient because you can continue with hours/minutes/seconds and so on... very useful in IT apparently.

I once taught English to a bunch of people at a French bank and they told me that an unfortunate gent had once sent $800k from one country to another. Because of confusion with the way the date was written on the transfer documents, he was unable to receive the money and it is still floating around the international banking system...

Posted by: Dom at July 15, 2005 13:52
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