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Russia and America

Россия (Russia) – World War Ally – Cold War Nemesis – Second World Country – Permanent Member of Security Council.

United States of America is large nation occupying almost ten square megameters with handful of mainland time zones. Russia has about twice as many time zones due not only to close proximity to pole but also due to sheer vastness – largest land area on Earth at seventeen square megameters.

russia-map-on-globe-with-flag

Россия

English is main language in United States. Русский (Russian) is main language in Россия (Russia). Some Americans and some Russians speak wide variety of other languages.

English alphabet – twenty-six uppercase and lowercase Latin-script letters – Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv Ww Xx Yy Zz

Русский алфавит Russian alphabet – thirty-three uppercase and lowercase Cyrillic-script letters – Аа Бб Вв Гг Дд Ее Ёё Жж Зз Ии Йй Кк Лл Мм Нн Оо Пп Рр Сс Тт Уу Фф Хх Цц Чч Шш Щщ Ъъ Ыы Ьь Ээ Юю Яя

Letters abolished in 1917–18 – Іі Ѳѳ Ѣѣ Ѵѵ and letters abolished before 1750 – Ѕѕ Ѯѯ Ѱѱ Ѡѡ Ѫѫ Ѧѧ Ѭѭ Ѩѩ

American Revolution – political upheaval between 1765 and 1783 – colonists in Thirteen American Colonies reject British monarchy / aristocracy and overthrow authority of Great Britain.

1-great-britain

Great Britain

Русская Революция Russian Revolution – pair of revolutions in Russia in 1917 – Russians dismantle Tsarist autocracy – leading to rise of Soviet Union.

2-imperial-standard-1700-1858

Imperial Standard 1700-1858

3-flag-of-russian-empire-1858-1883

Flag of Russian Empire 1858-1883

4-imperial-standard-1858-1917

Imperial Standard 1858-1917

revolution

Revolution

English dictionaries add гласность glasnost and перестройка perestroika in mid-1980s.

russian-president-vladimir-putin-and-chinese-premier-wen-jiabao

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao decide to use Рубль (Ruble) and Yuan – their own national currencies – for bilateral trade instead of US dollar. According to The Diplomat: “The rise of a more politically and militarily assertive Russia and an economically and institutionally ascendant China may be characterized as the two principal forces challenging the United States in global policymaking.

ruble-currency-symbol

Ruble Currency Symbol

One Рубль (Ruble) is worth (at time of writing) about two cents. Рубль is subdivided into 100 копеек. Russia converts to decimal currency under Цар Пётр Вели́кий in 1704 thus making Russian ruble first decimal currency on Earth.

1-ruble-coin

1 Ruble Coin

Thomas Jefferson in 1784 proposed decimal currency system with coins for 10 dollars, 1 dollar, 1/10 dollar, and 1/100 dollar. Euro and US dollar and Australian dollar and Canadian dollar all subdivide into 100 cents.

Копе́йка (Kopeck) coins come in denominations of 10 копеек and 50 копеек – 17.5 mm and 19.5 mm diameter, 1.25 mm and 1.5 mm thick, 1.85 g and 2.75 g

kopecks

kopecks

Рубль (Ruble) coins come in denominations of 1 рубль and 2 рубля and 5 рублей and 10 рублей – 20.5 mm and 23 mm and 25 mm and 22 mm diameter, 1.5 mm and 1.8 mm and 1.8 mm and 2.2 mm thick, 3 g and 5 g and 6 g and 5.63 g

rubles

Coin Rubles

Рубль (Ruble) bank notes (150 x 65 mm) come in denominations of 50 рублей and 100 рублей and 500 рублей.

notes-50-500

Notes 50-500

Рубль (Ruble) bank notes (157 x 69 mm) also come in denominations of 1000 рублей and 5000 рублей.

notes-1000-5000

Notes 1000-5000

50 рублей = €0,78 = $0.82
100 рублей = €1,57 = $1.64
500 рублей = €7,85 = $8.20
1000 рублей = €15,70 = $16.40
5000 рублей = €78,48 = $82

United States of America is union of fifty states (and Washington DC and some territories) having relatively short history. Russia has long history going back many centuries. Russia is union of eighty-five federal subjects: forty-six областей (oblasts or provinces); twenty-two республиках (republics); nine края́ (krais or territories); four автономный округа́ (autonomous okrugs or districts); one автономная область (autonomous oblast – Евре́йская автоно́мная о́бласть Jewish Autonomous Oblast); and three federal cities (Москва́ Moscow, Санкт-Петербу́рг Saint Petersburg and Севасто́поль Sevastopol).

United States of America shares border with Canada (nearly nine megameters) and with Mexico (three megameters). Россия (Russia) shares border with Europe (five megameters) and with her Caucasus neighbors (one megameter) and nearly fourteen megameters with her Asian neighbors: Kazakhstan, Mongolia, China and North Korea. Russian border is nearly twice as long.

Road trip from Salem Oregon to Washington DC is about four and half megameters. Road trip from Москва́ (Moscow) to Владивосток (Vladivostok) is about twice as far – nine megameters.

Governments of both nations struggle to govern large populations, taking advantage of religious inclinations. Both constitutions provide for freedom of speech and press, yet widespread voter suppression in United States (especially South) continues unabated. Arrest, prosecution and detention of members of Pussy Riot is just one example of lack of freedom of speech in Россия.

propaganda

propaganda

United States Republican Party and Еди́ная Росси́я United Russia Party find it much easier to manipulate and create consensus through propaganda by appealing to religious minds and appeasing religious extremists via anti-LGBT sentiment. Ten largest nations by human population:

ten-largest-nations

Ten Largest Nations

Metric System becomes legal in Россия in 1899 and is adopted 1918 with compulsory metric implementation in 1927.

44-rus-russia

Metrication in Russia

Metric System becomes legal in 1866 in United States of America but adoption is still incomplete. Americans are still waiting for compulsory metric implementation.

196-usa-united-states-of-america

Metrication in United States of America

You can join the American effort to kill the inch! Join your fellow Americans and add your name to the Metrication Pledge Flag.

metrication-pledges-per-state-129

Metrication Pledge Flag

Consider publicly showing your attitude by taking the Metrication Pledge right now.

take-the-metrication-pledge

Take The Metrication Pledge

A Divine Flow Chart

 

Clearly, the greatest barrier to United States metrication is irrational objection. Nearly every American scientist embraces SI but a majority of American religionists reject SI. So logically, as more Americans free their minds from religion, more and more of us would naturally want to hop on the Metric Bandwagon.
Does an all-knowing, all-powerful god know the feeling of fear?

A Divine Flow Chart

A Divine Flow Chart

Yes. Then clearly, this god is not all-powerful.
No. Then clearly, this god does not know everything.
Other response. Can you think of a Master Plan for the universe crueler, more insane and more stupid than sending the vast majority of people to a never-ending torment?
Yes. Congratulations! You are crueler, more insane and more stupid than the people who invented the notion of Hell.
No. How in the world can you continue to believe in a god who is so cruel, insane and stupid?
Other response. Come on now! Be fair and focus on the question.

If you are still a religionist and if you have any integrity at all, then you are no doubt feeling the awkward discomfort of Cognitive Dissonance right about now.

Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive Dissonance

Experience the euphoric freedom of thought that accompanies your total riddance of religion from your mind. Throw off the slavery chains of religion. Free your mind to consider any thought. Refuse to limit yourself to the narrow confines of religion. Get rid of your self-imposed religious restriction.

Religion is doing what you are told regardless of what is right. Morality is doing what is right regardless of what you are told.

A god that does not manifest in reality is indistinguishable from a god that does not exist.

Religion is a crime against reality.

Size Matters

Open the paper tray of your printer and look at the available paper sizes. If you think that “Letter” size (8.5 x 11) is what most people use, then think again! Have a look at that A4 paper size. You may have never even noticed it before. Or perhaps you thought it is some weird size that nobody ever uses.

A4 Paper Size

A4 Paper Size

Actually, you might be surprised to learn that A4 Size Paper is the most commonly used paper size on Earth. Your printer paper tray has an adjustment to accommodate A4 which is a little taller and a little narrower than “Letter” size. By 1975 so many countries were using A4 that it is established as an ISO standard, as well as the official United Nations document size.

A4 is official United Nations document size

A4 is official United Nations document size

International Paper Size A4 is the established ISO standard adopted by all countries in the world except the United States and Canada.
Unfortunately, Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, Venezuela, Chile and the Philippines are places where the US “Letter” size is still in common use, despite their official adoption of the ISO standard.
How does A4 have a dimension of 210 mm × 297 mm? Well, A0 (841 mm × 1189 mm) is defined so that it has an area of 1 square meter before rounding. Successive paper sizes in the series (A1, A2, A3, et cetera) are defined by cutting in half the length of the preceding paper size.
Well, if you think this is boring, then you have probably stopped reading by now, but since you are still reading, I guess you might be interested enough to receive ten free sample sheets of A4 Size Paper. There is no catch. Just tell me where to send it via MetricPioneer.com/contact-us/ and be sure to put Free A4 in the subject line.
Click on the image below to see a video on the subject:

You Tube Video: What is the Best Paper Size?

How Britain Hinders Progress

Earth is undoubtedly a metric planet. More than ninety-three percent of us live in a place that has completed the metrication process, making SI compulsory. Sure, anomalies are still out there in a few places, like Guatemala and Honduras reckoning petrol in US gallons and US Letter Format still in common use in Mexico and the Philippines. But eradication of the inch is kind of like a virus that is mostly eradicated, but kept alive in some laboratory.

So where on Earth do people still cling to nonsensical measurements? Where are the fewer than seven percent? A clear pattern emerges here. Colonial imposition (mostly British) has brought the inch, mile, gallon, et cetera into nearly every place now still clinging to these obsolete measures.

The Pacific

Seven places in the Pacific (the Marshall Islands, Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and American Samoa) are incomplete as far as metrication goes. Here is the common theme: Indigenous people arrive to these islands Before the Common Era (BCE). Various colonial powers (Spain, Britain, Netherlands, Germany, Japan and the United States) invade and impose their customs, religion and measurements upon the long-time indigenous inhabitants. Wars erupt. Independence movements lead to throwing the invaders out, but much of the imposed culture remains, including those damn inches.

1 MHL Marshall Islands

6 WSM Samoa

13 MNP Northern Mariana Islands [USA]

14 GUM Guam [USA]

15 FSM Micronesia (Federated States of)

25 PLW Palau

250 ASM American Samoa [USA]

Asia

Hong Kong still has three legal ways to measure: The Chinese units of measurement of the Qing Empire (no longer in widespread use in Mainland China); British Imperial units; and SI.

30 HKG Hong Kong

Macau published Law No. 14/92/M on 24 August 1992 to order that Chinese units of measurement similar to those used in Hong Kong, Imperial units, and United States customary units would be permissible for five years since the effective date of the Law, 1 January 1993. This is on the condition of indicating the corresponding SI values, then for three more years thereafter, Chinese, Imperial, and US units would be permissible as secondary to the SI.

31 MAC Macau

The traditional Burmese units of measurement are still in everyday use in Myanmar. Myanmar is preparing to adopt the International System (SI) as their official system of measurement, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

42 MMR Myanmar

Africa

Liberia is the only place in Africa colonized by America. Slaves freed from the United States in 1822 settle on a coast of West Africa. In 1847, this new country becomes the Republic of Liberia, establishing a government modeled on that of the United States and names its capital city Monrovia after James Monroe, the fifth president of the United States and a prominent supporter of the colonization.

92 LBR Liberia

Caribbean and South Atlantic Ocean

Puerto Rico (United States Commonwealth Territory) and United States Virgin Islands (Insular Area of the United States) and Belize (United Nations Member since 25 Sep 1981) are incomplete as far as metrication goes.

204 PRI Puerto Rico [USA]

206 VIR United States Virgin Islands

226 BLZ Belize

The metric system has been legal since 1864 in a handful of British Overseas Territories; five in the Caribbean (Turks and Caicos Islands, Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla and Montserrat) and one in the South Atlantic Ocean (Falkland Islands / Islas Malvinas). But compulsory metric implementation is rather incomplete in these six places, whose total population amounts to less than that of Poole, a large coastal town and seaport in the county of Dorset, on the south coast of England.

British Caribbean

The government of the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda has adopted a policy of gradual shift to the SI since 1971. Road signs and petrol pumps are metric in Bermuda so we know that it can be done. Where there is a will, there is a way.

198 TCA Turks and Caicos Islands [GBR]

200 CYM Cayman Islands [GBR]

205 VGB British Virgin Islands [GBR]

207 AIA Anguilla [GBR]

213 MSR Montserrat [GBR]

244 FLK Falkland Islands [GBR]

North America

Unfortunately, having the United States at the southern border hinders full metrication in Canada. Ask a Canadian how tall someone is and the answer usually involves feet and inches. When we visited British Columbia, I was unable to purchase a metric-only measuring tape at hardware store. How pathetic! Canada and the United States of America are incomplete as far as metrication goes.

193 CAN Canada

196 USA United States of America

British islands on London time

England leaving the European Union would no doubt be the straw that breaks the proverbial camel’s back. Scotland and Ireland wish to remain in the European Union. The so-called United Kingdom might very well break apart into its distinct components.

British Islands

It is pretty obvious how GBR (Great Britain) is a Non-FIFA Country Code. Great Britain is not a nation in the context of matches between nationalistic rivals. Men are instinctively warlike. Sport is a substitute for war. Scotland, England and Wales are distinct nationalities with distinct individual histories. Ireland has an unfortunate political border that should go away according to a majority of the people of Ireland. The Isle of Man (self-governing crown dependency) Guernsey (Crown Dependency) Jersey (Crown Dependency) and Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha (British Overseas Territory) are four insular areas still clinging to Imperial measures to some degree.

182 SCO Scotland

183 ENG England

184 WAL Wales

185 IRL Ireland

186 IMN Isle of Man

187 GGY Guernsey

188 JEY Jersey

189 SHN Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha [GBR]

“The sun never sets on the British Empire” was once the proud boast, but alas, the British learned too late that subjects of the Crown could not be held under an oppressive thumb forever. Independence movements whittled the farcical monarchy down to the few remaining scraps we see today.

It is a tremendous hindrance to progress that these few remaining scraps stubbornly cling to Imperial measures.

Gain a Basic Understanding

Scaling Earth down to globe size (1 m in circumference) what length represents the distance between Moon and Earth?
1 m
10 m
100 m
1 km

Earth and Moon Globes

Earth and Moon Globes

Visit Kill the Inch and Complete US Metrication to find the answer; now take this trivia survey and gain a wealth of knowledge about the magnitude of your planet:

SI Trivia Survey

Farcical Aquatic Ceremony

If you believe in a deity or in some divine authority, then stop reading, because this is probably not your cup of tea. You may be interested though if you are atheist. Be counted at AtheistCensus.com because numbers matter.
1 Monty-Python-and-The-Holy-Grail-monty-python-16524878-845-468Two centuries ago, thirteen British colonies rebel against royal tyrannical repression in a Freedom quest and France wisely overthrows a repressive monarchy during the French Revolution as science, rather than religion, inspires people to measure wisely. Britain, on the other hand, still clings to an outdated royalty scheme of downgrading people to lowly subjects to the Great British Crown, supposedly operating under divine guidance. This scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail reveals just how silly such a farcical monarchy is in the Modern Era:
ARTHUR: I am your king!
WOMAN: Well, I didn’t vote for you.
ARTHUR: You don’t vote for kings.
WOMAN: Well, how did you become king then?
ARTHUR: The Lady of the Lake, [angels sing] her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water signifying by Divine Providence that I, Arthur was to carry Excalibur. [singing stops] That is why I am your king!
DENNIS: Listen. Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.
ARTHUR: Be quiet!
DENNIS: Well you can’t expect to wield supreme executive power just ‘cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!
ARTHUR: Shut up!
DENNIS: I mean, if I went around sayin’ I was an emperor just because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me they’d put me away!
ARTHUR: Shut up! Will you shut up!
DENNIS: Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system.
ARTHUR: Shut up!
DENNIS: Oh! Come and see the violence inherent in the system! HELP! HELP! I’m being repressed!
ARTHUR: Bloody peasant!
Queen Elizabeth II leads the procession through Westminster Abbey’s nave after her coronation. Her maids of honor follow behind, carrying the trainSo you see, once a government employs mendacity as a foundation to maintain a façade of power, it must build lie upon lie in order to maintain the façade. But farces eventually fade. People start acknowledging that the Emperor wears no clothes. The Church of England is that mendacious foundation. The British government must perpetuate a farcical claim that the mile, inch, gallon, pound et cetera are measurements divinely passed down to subjects of the realm through a Great British monarchy. The truth is that there is nothing divine about those silly, obsolete measures, but the British government, intoxicated with the liquor of complacent mendacity, cannot now backtrack on historic farcical claims for fear of losing face.
3 StatisticsNow the house of cards tumbles down all of a sudden. Brexit may very well result in Northern Ireland and Scotland and Gibraltar breaking away from the United Kingdom, which is not so united anymore.

GreatEngland would be left all alone; no more United Kingdom, just an obsolete little kingdom with nothing to unite.
4 RemainThe Obsolete Mile, inch, gallon, pound et cetera can either die a slow, painful death by systematic organ failure or by a swift, happy, user-assisted suicide. One person at a time; start with yourself right now and kill the inch in your mind. Measure wisely, my friends. Join our effort to reveal the centuries of mendacity thrust upon the British people by the convoluted church / state façade of British royalty.
America should remove In God We Trust from the dollar and Britain should remove the bloody queen from the British Pound and abolish monarchy altogether. Both currencies are decimalised. Let us take the next evolutionary step and remove the façade of religion from all government-related affairs. We can kill the inch and fully embrace the International System. Both America and England have come a long way towards metrication; we are actually already about half way there. Let us not leave the job half done. Let us finish the job. If Australia and India can do it, then so can we!
5 BreakupConsider joining a few of these Facebook groups:
1960 Flag US 50 HawaiiKill the Inch and Complete US Metrication
Adopt the Metric System
Call for the United States to Convert to the Metric System
Metricate Hopkins!
U.S. Metric Association, Inc.
Americans for Metric-Only Labeling
Americans for a Metric Revolution
&*^# IT! I’M SWITCHING TO THE METRIC SYSTEM, WHO’S WITH ME?
Consanguinity for the Metrication of the United States
Go Metric!
Go Metric Now
The Metric Alliance
Foreign-Born for Measurement Reform
ca-lgflagTurn Canada Fully Metric Now
Foreign-Born for Measurement Reform
ee-lgflagProgressive Europeans – The purpose of this Facebook group is to promote a progressive agenda in Europe; promote the European Convention on Human Rights; promote a global embrace of the SI (International System); and continue our efforts to keep Europe at peace.
union_scotlandGo Metric Scotland!
Scotland – Remain in European Union
ei-lgflagGo Metric Northern Ireland!
Northern Ireland – Remain in European Union
gi-lgflagGibraltar – Remain in European Union
union_englandTurn The UK Fully Metric Now
Britain should complete metrication as soon as possible!
I Want Metric Road Signs in Britain
UK Metric Association
England and the European Union
Foreign-Born for Measurement Reform

Cognitive Dissonance in American Culture

Muhammad Ali – Greatest of All Time! The Legend! Come on. Give me a break. How is punching a guy in the face over and over a great thing? That sort of behavior is a felony outside the boxing ring. O! But Muhammad Ali embraced a great religion! Get a clue. Religion is not a great thing. In fact, religion is stupid and dangerous. Nonviolence is the most touted claim about the most fundamental principal of Islam, yet every time we see a suicide bombing, we know right away that the bomber kills in the name of Islam. Religion is a crime against reality and is actually the greatest form of cognitive dissonance and self-deception.
1 Cognitive DissonanceAmericans like to think of themselves as the greatest. Ethnocentrism is a powerful force; so is mendacity. Advocates of American Exceptionalism seem to take much pride in willful ignorance as though it is somehow a virtue. Willfully ignorant are we? How so?
Sure! We can clearly see (if we would only open our eyes of reason) very strong economic and scientific reasons for the United States to fully embrace the International System of Units, formerly known as the metric system. We know full well (if we would only do the math) that the cost of not using the International System is increasing with the trend toward globalization. It is abundantly obvious that failing to adopt the International System could result in the United States losing its competitive edge in science and technology and in continuing to create bilateral trade impediments with other countries.
At this point some of you may offer the excuse that going metric would cost too much or that it is too hard. Nations smaller than the United States (like Japan and Australia) have undergone metrication. Was it easy? No. Was it impossible? No. But the United States is too big to go metric, you might say. China and India are much bigger, yet they went metric in the face of much bigger obstacles. Are you saying that the United States is inferior to nations that have successfully undergone metrication? I hope not.
2 DenialWe feel psychologically uncomfortable every time a bout of cognitive dissonance pushes us to bury our heads in the sand when confronted with the reality that the dominance of United States companies is being challenged in the competitive atmosphere of globalization. Please consider the obvious economic benefits of global interoperability.
We complain about our sad lack of jobs, but we ignore an obvious remedy: Adopting the International System would likely result in the creation of many jobs and better prepare the current and future workforce of the United States to work in the international marketplace.
Cognitive dissonance is the mental stress or discomfort an individual experiences by simultaneously embracing two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values. Cognitive dissonance happens when performing an action that is contradictory to one or more beliefs, ideas, or values. We feel stress when confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values.
3 Socialized Medicine and MedicareLeon Festinger has a theory of cognitive dissonance that focuses on how humans strive for internal consistency. An individual who experiences inconsistency (dissonance) tends to become psychologically uncomfortable, and is motivated to try to reduce this dissonance, as well as actively avoid situations and information likely to increase it. For example, the engine of your car starts to make an unusual noise, but rather than take it in to the mechanic, you just turn the music up so you cannot hear the evidence.
Grow up America! Swallow your pride, take it to professionals and crank down the façade of American Exceptionalism.4 Do no be a Dunce

Iceland – A Century of Metric-Only Measurement

Many moons ago, Icelanders used an Old Norse calendar, streamlining a year down to just Winter and Summer. Icelanders reckon Sumardagurinn Fyrsti (First Day of Summer) a public holiday celebrated on the first Thursday after 18 April, so I specifically plan our trip to coincide. I find metric-only instructional signage very refreshing at a spectacular Geysir Area and at Kerið Volcanic Crater and at Gullfoss Waterfall:2016 04 21 D 29 Golden Circle Bus Tour Gullfoss Waterfall
Instructional Signage at Spectacular Geysir Area: 2016 04 21 D 79 Instructional Signage Golden Circle Bus Tour Spectacular Geysir Area 2016 04 21 D 77 Instructional Signage Golden Circle Bus Tour Spectacular Geysir Area 2016 04 21 D 76 Instructional Signage Golden Circle Bus Tour Spectacular Geysir Area 2016 04 21 D 78 Instructional Signage Golden Circle Bus Tour Spectacular Geysir Area
Instructional Signage at Kerið Volcanic Crater:2016 04 21 D 95 Golden Circle Bus Tour Volcanic Crater Kerið Instructional Signage2016 04 21 D 96 Golden Circle Bus Tour Volcanic Crater Kerið Instructional Signage2016 04 21 D 97 Golden Circle Bus Tour Volcanic Crater Kerið Instructional Signage2016 04 21 D 98 Golden Circle Bus Tour Volcanic Crater Kerið Instructional Signage
Instructional Signage at Gullfoss Waterfall:2016 04 21 D 27 Golden Circle Bus Tour Gullfoss Waterfall
Iceland has a very low level of pollution, thanks to an overwhelming reliance on cleaner geothermal energy, a low population density, and a high level of environmental consciousness among citizens. The amount of toxic material in the atmosphere is far lower than any other industrialized country measured. We found (through AIRBNB) a nice place to stay (Hraunteigur 28) in Reykjavík. Here is the room where we showered with hot sulfur-smelling water straight out of the ground:2016 04 17 D 163 Water Closet Art at Hraunteigur 28
One must add cold water (otherwise you cook like a lobster). Hot water running through a radiator is how homes are heated too. Renewable sources – geothermal and hydropower – provide effectively all of Iceland’s electricity and around 85% of the nation’s total primary energy consumption. Iceland is one of the few countries that have filling stations dispensing hydrogen fuel for cars powered by fuel cells. It is also one of a few countries currently capable of producing hydrogen in adequate quantities at a reasonable cost, because of Iceland’s plentiful renewable sources of energy.

The government of Iceland is in talks with the government of United Kingdom about the possibility of constructing a high-voltage direct-current connector for transmission of electricity. Iceland has considerable renewable energy resources, especially geothermal energy and hydropower resources, and most of the potential has not been developed, partly because there is not enough demand for additional electricity within Iceland. But the United Kingdom is interested in importing cheaper electricity from renewable energy sources.

HOW WAS GULLFOSS FORMED? The Gullfoss gorge was formed by flash flood waters that forced their way through cracks in the basalt lava layers. The average water flow in Gullfoss is 109 cubic meters per second (m3sec), but at times it can reach 2,000 m3sec. This flow is enough to fill 60 transportation containers with water in one second. In some instances, flash flood waters in Hvitá have been so great that the gorge below the waterfall has overflowed:2016 04 21 D 31 Golden Circle Bus Tour Gullfoss Waterfall
Would an American tourist have any idea how hot this 80-100° C water is based on instructional signage at the Geysir Area?2016 04 21 D 67 Instructional Signage 80-100° C Golden Circle Bus Tour Spectacular Geysir Area
Would American tourists have any idea how much of a hike this 5 km Lighthouse Circle in Seltjarnarnes is?2016 04 19 D 70 Lighthouse Circle 5 km in Seltjarnarnes
“Hmmm – 38° C – Is that hot or cold? I wonder,” thought the American. I took this photo at the Reykjavík Hot Springs across the street from where we stayed:2016 04 18 D 48 Sign at a Reykjavík Hot Springs (across the street from where we stayed)
“Hmmm – Maximum Height 120 cm – Is that tall or short?” thought the American:2016 04 18 D 49 Maximum Height 120 cm
What about this 6° C display in Reykjavík? Surely, restricting one’s knowledge of temperature only to the F Word (Fahrenheit) is a considerable disability when traveling around on Earth. (Advocates of American Exceptionalism seem to take much pride in willful ignorance as though it is somehow a good thing).2016 04 19 D 1 Reykjavík Temperature 6° C
If you want letter size paper (8.5 x 11) you are out of luck in Iceland – Plenty of A4 though:2016 04 17 D 38 If you want letter size paper (8.5 x 11) you are out of luck in Iceland - Plenty of A4 though 2016 04 17 D 72 If you want letter size paper (8.5 x 11) you are out of luck in Iceland - Plenty of A4 though 2016 04 17 D 36 If you want letter size paper (8.5 x 11) you are out of luck in Iceland - Plenty of A4 though
And A5:2016 04 17 D 77 If you want letter size paper (8.5 x 11) you are out of luck in Iceland - Plenty of A5 though
And A3:2016 04 17 D 78 If you want letter size paper (8.5 x 11) you are out of luck in Iceland - Plenty of A3 though
This sign conveys that one is leaving a 30 km/h (kilometers per hour) zone:2016 04 20 D 10 Leaving 30 kilometers per hour zone
Of course petrol is sold by the liter in Iceland, like most everywhere else on Earth:2016 04 16 D 13 Petrol Icelandic Króna per Liter
I find grocery shopping in Iceland a refreshing change from shopping back home where product labels are cluttered with dual measurements. Bananas are 425 Icelandic Króna (Kr) per Kilogram:2016 04 17 D 30 Bananas 425 Icelandic Króna per Kilogram
No one cares about ounces in Iceland:2016 04 17 D 28 No One Cares About Ounces in Iceland
In a Reykjavík Grocery Store is the first time I had ever seen an electronic price tag:2016 04 17 D 138 Electronic Price Tag in Reykjavík Grocery Store
While in Iceland, the exchange rate was around 123 Kr to the US dollar.
Apparently most Icelandic robbers are shorter than 190 cm:2016 04 16 D 15 Apparently most Icelandic robbers are shorter than 190 cm
While testing my ability to fill out an electronic crossword puzzle on our Delta flight, I had no trouble answering 49 Across. SI, of course:2016 04 16 D 1 Electronic Crossword Puzzle on Delta Flight SI
Our Delta aircraft reached a maximum altitude of 11,548 m according to the flight data displayed to each passenger:2016 04 23 D 10 Altitude 11,548 m
I just cannot get metric-only folding rulers here in the United States, so I just had to check Brynja out:2016 04 17 D 116 Brynja
I acquire a bunch of folding rulers there, which you can see at my Metric Pioneer Shop:MP18001 Folding Rule 59 - 1 MeterMP18002 Folding Rule GE59 - 2 Meters
I ask the lady behind the counter at the entrance to the National Museum of Iceland (just for my own amusement) if she knew when Iceland adopted the metric system. “Iceland has always been metric!” is her enthusiastic though inaccurate response. I know the answer; I just wanted to know if she knew. So many generations of Icelanders have exclusively measured with the International System that no living memory of metrication remains on this wonderful island nation whose enchanting city Reykjavík is the northern-most national capital on Earth.2016 04 21 D 48 Golden Circle Bus Tour Gullfoss Waterfall

Indonesia and China View Atheists from Opposite Perspectives

Flag of the Qing Dynasty (1889-1912)Leaders of large nations wield tremendous control, but they run the risk of losing control unless they gain the respect of the citizenry (or alternatively force their will through dictatorship). The larger the nation, the greater the challenge.

China encourages atheism and discourages religion.

Indonesia pretends that atheism does not exist and forces citizens to pick a religion.

We can learn something of value by examining the strategies of these two large nations.
20 CHN ChinaChina, a nation with the largest human population on Earth, governs through its officially atheist 中国共产党 Communist Party of China and officially recognizes five religions: Buddhism (18.2%), Taoism, Catholicism, Protestantism and Islam (1.8%). A 2015 poll conducted by Gallup International found that “A convinced atheist” is the response given by 61% of the Chinese people.

The Communist Party of China prohibits its nearly ninety million party members from holding religious beliefs and it has demanded the expulsion of party members who belong to religious organizations. Officials have said that Party membership and religious beliefs are incompatible, and they discourage the family of Party members from publicly participating in religious ceremonies.
Resident Identity Card ChinaEvery Chinese citizen 16 years and older shall have a Resident Identity Card. People must carry identification in public at all times. The identity card is the only acceptable legal document to obtain resident permit, obtain employment, open bank accounts, obtain passport, obtain driver license, apply for tertiary education and technical colleges, pass security checkpoints in domestic terminals of Chinese airports and check-in at hotels.

China does not display a person’s religion right on the face of a Resident Identity Card, but China stores information in a biometric ID card database such as work history, educational background, religion, ethnicity, police record, et cetera.
34 IDN IndonesiaIndonesia, the largest Muslim-majority nation, governs through a unitary presidential constitutional republic and officially recognizes six religions: Islam (87%), Protestantism (7%), Catholicism (2.9%), Hinduism (1.7%), Buddhism (<1%) and Confucianism (<1%). Indonesia has the fourth largest human population on Earth, after China, India and the United States. More Muslims live in Indonesia than any in any other nation.
Resident Identity Card IndonesiaIndonesia issues a Resident Identity Card to citizens reaching the age of 17 or at marriage. Indonesian citizens must renew the card every five years.

Indonesia forces its citizens to pick a religion from a short list. Picking no religion is not an option.

Finding a unifying factor is essential for national success. Both Indonesia and China use religion to unify, but in opposite ways. Another unifying factor essential for national success is the establishment of a national measurement standard. No nation would be able to carry out even the most basic functions unless all citizens agree on the same measuring stick. Pragmatism demands it. Can you imagine each village using different units of measure? It would be chaos.

On a broader scale, and now that we have crossed the threshold into the Modern Era, any nation still clinging to legacy units of measure is comparable to villages chaotically using different units of measure; it does not work within a nation, and it does not work on a planet.

See how France and Brasil and Germany and Turkey and China and Japan and India and Australia found their paths to national metrication and find out how the Untied States can too by clicking on those nations.

Spelling Variations of International System Unit Names

Measurement harmony on Earth has obvious advantages. Governments all around the world have standardized units of measure in our era of globalization and international trade. The International System (SI) of units makes use of standardized symbols for length, volume, and mass. These symbols transcend language. In other words, these symbols are the same in every language.

Unit Symbols

It would be wonderful if every language could share a standardized spelling of international units, but not every language uses a Latin-based script. Chinese does not even use an alphabet. A meter is spelled metro in Italian, Spanish and Basque. A meter is spelled metar in Croatian and mita in Igbo. The spelling variation list goes on and on. So you see, employing unit symbols for product labeling transcends language differences.

The Human mind is keen on finding patterns in Nature, so it is no surprise that some people insist that the spelling of metre / meter and litre / liter be standardized in English. That’s not gonna happen. American English has evolved many variations across a wide ocean. We are lucky enough on the rare occasion that an American even uses the word meter. By the way, Americans and Brits spell many words differently. Here is a short list: theater / theatre — color / colour — flavor / flavour — center / centre — maneuver / manoeuvre. For heaven’s sake, we cannot even standardize / standardise the word standardize / standardise!

The primary SI unit is spelled meter in at least ten non-English languages. Those languages are:
Spelling Language
The primary SI unit is spelled metre in only three non-English languages: Catalan, Turkish and French. So it can be argued that Earthlings tend to prefer the spelling meter over the metre.

Then there is the argument that the word meter already has a meaning, so we must spell metre the British way in order to avoid potential confusion. Well that argument falls short too. In this sentence — They were too close to the door to close it — the word close has two different meanings, yet it is spelled the same way. Languages are loaded with heteronyms, so the fact that the word meter can have different meanings is not a big deal. Do not desert me here in the desert! Do you know what a buck does to does? I did not object to the object. We must polish the Polish furniture. He thought it was time to present the present. OK. You don’t need more examples. You get the idea.

Please stop arguing about how meter / metre and liter / litre are spelled. This spelling issue serves only to distract us from our goal of measurement harmony on Earth.

Women on Currency Notes in the United States

Harriet Tubman might appear on the $20 bill by 2020. She would not be the first woman featured on a US bank note though:
Harriet Tubman
Almost a full century after gaining independence from the Imperial Crown, Americans first issue their one-dollar bill in 1862 as a Legal Tender Note (United States Note) with a portrait of Salmon P. Chase, the Secretary of the Treasury under President Abraham Lincoln:
US-$1-LT-1862-Fr-16c
Americans issue the first $5 bill in 1861 as a Demand Note with a small portrait of Alexander Hamilton on the right and an allegorical female statue representing freedom on the left side of the obverse. Americans issue the first $5 United States Note in 1862 with a face design similar to the previous Demand Note and a completely revised reverse:
US-$5-LT-1862-Fr-61a
American currency notes mostly feature portraits of named men for the first quarter century. Only unnamed allegorical women occasionally appear during this period:
US-$20-LT-1863-Fr-126b
US-$100-LT-1863-Fr-167
US-NBN-MA-Lowell-986-Orig-500-206-A
US-$1000-IBN-1863-Fr-201_(Proof)
US-$1000-IBN-1863-Fr-206_(Proof)
US-$5000-IBN-1863-Fr-202_(Proof)
US-$5000-IBN-1865-Fr-212h_(Proof)
US-$500-LT-1869-Fr-184
This 1875 specimen actually shows a nipple. Woo Hoo!
US-$500-LT-1875-Fr-185b
Americans redesign the $1 United States Note in 1869 with a portrait of George Washington in the center and a vignette of Christopher Columbus sighting land to the left. Here is an 1880 specimen:
US-$1-LT-1880-Fr-29
More unnamed allegorical women appear in 1880:
US-$5-LT-1880-Fr-72
US-$20-LT-1880-Fr-145
US-$50-LT-1880-Fr.164
US-$100-LT-1880-Fr-181
US-$500-LT-1880-Fr-185l
It was twenty years after passing the Metric Act that Americans first feature a woman, Martha Washington, on United States currency on the $1 silver certificate in 1886:
US-$1-SC-1886-Fr-217
Here is a beautiful unnamed allegorical woman representing Liberty appearing in 1891:
US-$1000-SC-1891-Fr-346e
Americans issue the famous Educational Series Silver Certificate in 1896. Americans cover the entire obverse with artwork of allegorical figures representing History Instructing Youth in front of Washington District of Columbia on the $1 bill. Americans feature portraits of George and Martha Washington surrounded by an ornate design on the reverse. The Educational Series include the $2 and $5 bills as well:
US-$1-SC-1896-Fr-224-(3923429)
US-$2-SC-1896-Fr.247
US-$5-SC-1896-Fr.270
Americans issue a new $5 silver certificate with a portrait of Running Antelope in 1899 deviating from the monotony of featuring only pale face:
US-$5-SC-1899-Fr.271
Americans issue a $10 bill with Lewis and Clark, three women and a buffalo at the turn of the century:
US-$10-LT-1901-Fr.114
Americans continue issuing unnamed allegorical women when 1914 rolls around as you can see on the $50 and $100 bill:
US-$50-FRN-1914-Fr-1053
US-$100-FRN-1914-Fr-1074a
Look at the pose of those three women on the hundred-dollar bill. Do you think the scene seems strikingly similar on the BIPM seal?
BIPM Logo 7 cm
American women have only had the right to vote since 1920 thanks to the Nineteenth Amendment. It is fitting that we commemorate this Centennial by featuring a woman on the twenty-dollar bill by 2020.