Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Think different!

Ok, thought I should get that little Apple reference in there...:p

While Canada is not totally a foreign country, there are some differences that we will have to adjust to. On the small end of the scale, brand familiarity will be something to adjust to. I know that there are American brands there, but there will be new brands to try, and that will be a little hard to adjust, but I think it could be great fun as well. A little trial and error, but nothing too drastic, I don't think. And in the end, all for the better, hey? ;P

Metric, on the other hand, is going to be a lot harder for me to get a grasp on, I think. Chas, growing up in England for some years off and on, has a better grasp and familiarity of metric than I do. Did you know that the US is 1 of only 3 countries in the world NOT using metric? I didn't, but I found that out through wiki tonight. Anyway, it will be a slow process, and I hope to be able to digest it in small bits. So far, I have found an easy way to convert Celsius to Fahrenheit (and back again) in a few easy steps (there is a much harder formula to figure out than this is). Now if I can just *remember* this. :P

1. Take the Celsius measurement and multiply by 1.8. *
2. Subtract 32 from that result.
3. The result is Fahrenhiet now.

*or 2 for easier math but slightly less accurate results

The reverse is true for converting Fahrenheit to Celsius, only you do the steps in reverse.

1. Subtract 32 from the Fahrenheit temperature.
2. Divide the result by 1.8.*
3. The result will be Celsius.

*or 2 for easier math but slightly less accurate results

This theory in application...

Current temperature in Victoria s 11C which is 52F (per Yahoo!).

C to F...

11 x 1.8 = 19.8 + 32 = 52.8 or 11 x 2 = 22 + 32 = 54

F to C

52 - 32 = 20 / 1.8 = 11.1111 or 52 - 32 = 20 / 2= 10

So using 1.8 gives you a more accurate result, but rounding up to 2 makes it easier to convert in your head without a calculator...but seriously, the actual cold factor of 52.8 or 54/11.111 to 10 is negligible in my book, so I will probably stick to rounding up to 2, with the knowledge that the results will be slightly skewed and less than 100% accurate...more of a ballpark figure I guess you could say.

I think the 2 areas where I will see greater difficulty will be cooking and driving/distance conversions. Math has always been my weak point. I hope to be able to find easy to remember steps like that above, rather than formulas that I will never be able to do in my head.

To an extent, driving will be somewhat easy, as the spedometer on the car dash has both mph and kph, though the latter is less visible on cars intended for use in the US, and so long as I pay attention to the signs, I ought to be ok. This is as long as we are driving, of course, which is to say that we will probably switch to public transit once we settle in there because it is cheaper, cleaner, and fairly efficent by contrast to here. While I am greatful that we even have a public transit system here locally, it lacks a lot in contrast to what I have experienced in other cities in the US and out, I'm sorry to say. Additionally, I am more accustomed to saying things like, "It is just a few miles up the road on your right" and with kilometers, I am not sure how to equate that just yet. In time, with a little research and practice, I am sure I will be able to feel comfortable with both mph and kph.

With the cooking aspect of going metric, I will have some help to an extent. If I use Canadian recipes, shopping for meats and so forth should be easier than using US recipes where I will have to figure out how much a pound of ground beef or chicken breasts will be. It might be easier to do that than to try worrying about the conversions, although I'm sure that there will still be an adjustment period. In either case, measuring dry and liquid ingredients should be ok, as most measuring cups and such have metric and imperial. I will just have to train myself to look at the metric parts more.

That said, I do plan on reading up more on the conversions, because I am sure that at some point it will be handy. I have found a few sites that look promising, including Think Metric!. I guess that is all for my ramblings for now. ;)