From: Savageduck on
On 2009-11-14 19:20:26 -0800, "Bill Graham" <weg9(a)comcast.net> said:

>
> "Savageduck" <savageduck1@{REMOVESPAM}me.com> wrote in message
> news:2009111418332743658-savageduck1(a)REMOVESPAMmecom...
>> On 2009-11-14 17:01:38 -0800, "Wilba" <usenet(a)CUTTHISimago.com.au> said:
>>
>>> Savageduck wrote:
>>>> Wilba said:
>>>>> Savageduck wrote:
>>>>>> Savageduck said:
>>>>>>> Wilba said:
>>>>>>>> Savageduck wrote:
>>>>>>>>> Wilba said:
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> Years ago I read that left-hand drive is safer overall, because when
>>>>>>>>>> a
>>>>>>>>>> person is startled they tend to raise their non-dominant hand to
>>>>>>>>>> protect
>>>>>>>>>> their head. If at the time they are steering a car on the left of
>>>>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>>>>> road, 9 out of 10 will therefore sverve into oncoming traffic.
>>>>>>>>>> Apparently the effect is statistically significant.
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> It seems we left our history far behind. Have you ever noticed where
>>>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>>>> good old Wells Fargo stage coach driver sat, ...on the right, shotgun
>>>>>>>>> on
>>>>>>>>> the left.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Don't see many of them 'round these here parts. :- )
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Note the driver on the left.
>>>>>>> http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/41/Concord_stagecoach_1869.png
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Sorry, that was the right, the shot gun was on the left.
>>>>>> Now I don't know my left from my right!
>>>>>
>>>>> I worked that out. :- )
>>>>>
>>>>> I wonder why they did it that way, since the driver is on the ejector
>>>>> side...? Maybe the convention pre-dates the widespread use of repeating
>>>>> rifles.
>>>>
>>>> I think it was a case of right handed shotgun shooters out numbering left
>>>> handed shooters. That way they wouldn't have to replace a driver every
>>>> time a left handed guard blew the driver away. Maybe a qualification for
>>>> shotgun guards was to be right handed.
>>>>
>>>> Maybe there was a rule of the road that stagecoach robbers had a "rob from
>>>> left side" only sense of etiquette. ;-)
>>>
>>> As so many things do, I bet if you dug deep enough you could trace it back
>>> to ancient Rome, and chariots. :- )
>>
>> Probably even further back to Persian charioteers, driver and archer teams.
>>
> Yes. A right handed archer's right elbow might be interfered with if he
> sat to the chariot driver's left, so this might have something to do
> with his sitting on the right.

I'm not quite sure that works for right hand drive chariots. This might
be the argument for left hand drive.
A right handed archer will draw the arrow with his strong right hand,
not his weak left. He would have held the bow in his left hand. The
more dexterous right hand would also be able to pull arrows from the
quiver without fumbling.
This would mean he would be better off standing (charioteers stood) to
the driver's right, leaving his right elbow free and clear.
I don't think there was a brake issue with chariots.

--
Regards,

Savageduck

From: Neil Harrington on

"R. Mark Clayton" <nospamclayton(a)btinternet.com> wrote in message
news:kPmdnXnTNZashmLXnZ2dnUVZ8iGdnZ2d(a)bt.com...
>
> "Neil Harrington" <secret(a)illumnati.net> wrote in message
> news:XZKdnZ-1C6ToAWDXnZ2dnUVZ_smdnZ2d(a)giganews.com...
>>
>> "R. Mark Clayton" <nospamclayton(a)btinternet.com> wrote in message
>> news:6tKdnRMdR5dl4GDXnZ2dnUVZ8qydnZ2d(a)bt.com...
>>>
>
> SNIP
>
>>>
>>> Er because they mixed up the metric and imperial (well US) units and it
>>> dodn't decelerate enough resulting in burn up...
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> did you follow the link given?
>>>
>>> http://www.google.co.uk/url?q=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Climate_Orbiter%23The_metric.2Fimperial_mix-up&usg=AFQjCNHBbstCpB4S2gxZe2bJ9jJJGEClxw&ei=WH39SrDYMoWNjAeqmKWUCw&sa=X&oi=section_link&resnum=2&ct=legacy&ved=0CAwQygQ
>>>
>>>
>>> "The metric/imperial mix-up
>>> The metric/imperial mix-up that destroyed the craft was caused by a
>>> software error back on Earth. The thrusters on the spacecraft, which
>>> were intended to control its rate of rotation, were controlled by a
>>> computer that underestimated the effect of the thrusters by a factor of
>>> 4.45. This is the ratio between a pound force - the standard unit of
>>> force in the imperial system - and a newton, the standard unit in the
>>> metric system. The software was working in pounds force, while the
>>> spacecraft expected figures in newtons; 1 pound force equals
>>> approximately 4.45 newtons.
>>>
>>> The software had been adapted from use on the earlier Mars Climate
>>> Orbiter, and was not adequately tested before launch. The navigation
>>> data provided by this software was also not cross-checked while in
>>> flight. The Mars Climate Orbiter thus drifted off course during its
>>> voyage and entered a much lower orbit than planned, and was destroyed by
>>> atmospheric friction.
>>>
>>> "
>>
>> I understand, and I repeat the question: What does that have to do with
>> English vs. metric? (In terms of one being preferable to the other.)
>>
>> The problem was that they mixed up two different measurement systems, not
>> that one of them was better than the other. So you can say that it was
>> just as much the fault of using the metric system as of anything else.
>>
>
> Generally speaking the metric system generates a system of units that have
> a simple or unitary relationship with one another. Very basic things like
> the sizes of sheets of paper are sorted in the metric ISO system, but a
> incoherent in the USA.

Not at all. We have two standard sizes for sheets of paper -- the ordinary
letter size, which is 8.5 x 11 inches, and legal size, 8.5 x 14 inches.
There are larger paper sizes for wide-carriage printers of course, but few
people use those for ordinary purposes. Other types such as note paper have
no standard sizes and can be anything you like, as far as I know. There is
no problem. For ordinary printer use (or typewriters, if anyone still uses
those) everyone uses 8.5 x 11" paper. Where and how is that "incoherent"?

>
> It is bit like comparing English and Japanese.
>
> In English (which apart from some spelling and vocabulary the Yanks and
> Brits almost agree on)

There are some punctuation differences too. We always (or always properly)
put commas and periods inside the closing quotating marks -- Brits don't.
And of course we generally use double quotes where the Brits use single, and
vice versa.


[ . . . ]
>
> US units are a shambolic mess, inconsistent with each other and almost
> completely irrational for dealing with the real world.

All of that exists only in your imagination. Our system works fine, presents
no problems whatever, and will probably be eternal. When the sun is in the
process of becoming a red giant and is about to swallow up the earth, you
metric fanatics will still be complaining about our not having adopted your
silly system.

We use metric where it's useful or better and we don't where it isn't.
Simple as that.


From: Neil Harrington on

"Bill Graham" <weg9(a)comcast.net> wrote in message
news:cZOdnaicze1S7GLXnZ2dnUVZ_u-dnZ2d(a)giganews.com...
>
> "Wilba" <usenet(a)CUTTHISimago.com.au> wrote in message
> news:0088e021$0$26848$c3e8da3(a)news.astraweb.com...
>> R. Mark Clayton wrote:
>>>
>>> Japanese by contrast has an immensely complex verbal structure,
>>
>> Hmm, "immensely complex verbal structure" is the exact opposite of my
>> experience with Japanese. I can explain everything you need to know about
>> Japanese pronounciation in 5 minutes. As long as we're not talking about
>> kanji, if you can see a word written you can pronounce it well, and if
>> you hear a word clearly you can write it correctly, because of the simple
>> phonemic structure.
>>
>>> ... three scripts and numerous other convolutions that mean Japanese
>>> children do well to be fully conversant by the time they leave school
>>> and foreigners have negligible chance of becoming conversant even
>>> after living a year in the country.
>>
>> I guess you're talking about kanji, plus having three other mutually
>> exclusive ways of writing, but the spoken language itself is very simple
>> compared to English.
>>
> When I was in the Navy, I bought a book titled, "Japanese in 40 lessons".
> I went through 20 of the lessons before we got to Japan, and I was able to
> converse with the natives reasonably well during the three cruises we made
> to Japan in three years. It had a very simple grammatical structure, where
> the two letter endings on each word identified their grammatical place in
> the sentence.....Endings like, "wa", and "go" tacked onto the ends of each
> word. The pronunciation was very simple, and the Japanese had no trouble
> understanding me.

How does it compare with Chinese (either form), do you know? Chinese is a
language I'm thinking of learning a little, because I think that's where
most of the world's economic growth is going to be for the remainder of this
century.


From: Neil Harrington on

"Bill Graham" <weg9(a)comcast.net> wrote in message
news:qrKdnVfcUtJk02LXnZ2dnUVZ_h6dnZ2d(a)giganews.com...
>
> "Savageduck" <savageduck1@{REMOVESPAM}me.com> wrote in message
> news:2009111406385244303-savageduck1(a)REMOVESPAMmecom...
>> On 2009-11-14 04:27:19 -0800, "Wilba" <usenet(a)CUTTHISimago.com.au> said:
>>
>>> Savageduck wrote:
>>>> Savageduck said:
>>>>> Wilba said:
>>>>>> Savageduck wrote:
>>>>>>> Wilba said:
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Years ago I read that left-hand drive is safer overall, because
>>>>>>>> when a
>>>>>>>> person is startled they tend to raise their non-dominant hand to
>>>>>>>> protect
>>>>>>>> their head. If at the time they are steering a car on the left of
>>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>>> road, 9 out of 10 will therefore sverve into oncoming traffic.
>>>>>>>> Apparently the effect is statistically significant.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> It seems we left our history far behind. Have you ever noticed where
>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>> good old Wells Fargo stage coach driver sat, ...on the right,
>>>>>>> shotgun
>>>>>>> on
>>>>>>> the left.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Don't see many of them 'round these here parts. :- )
>>>>>
>>>>> Note the driver on the left.
>>>>> http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/41/Concord_stagecoach_1869.png
>>>>
>>>> Sorry, that was the right, the shot gun was on the left.
>>>> Now I don't know my left from my right!
>>>
>>> I worked that out. :- )
>>>
>>> I wonder why they did it that way, since the driver is on the ejector
>>> side...? Maybe the convention pre-dates the widespread use of repeating
>>> rifles.
>>
>> I think it was a case of right handed shotgun shooters out numbering left
>> handed shooters. That way they wouldn't have to replace a driver every
>> time a left handed guard blew the driver away. Maybe a qualification for
>> shotgun guards was to be right handed.
>>
>> Maybe there was a rule of the road that stagecoach robbers had a "rob
>> from left side" only sense of etiquette. ;-)
>>
>>
>> --
>> Regards,
>>
>> Savageduck
>>
> Maybe it had something to do with which side the shells were ejected from
> when the rifle action was worked....It would be very annoying to the
> driver if the hot shell casings were ejected into his face while he was
> trying to get away from the bad guys.....

I think most Winchester lever actions eject more or less straight up.
Marlins I believe have always ejected to the right, but most of the rifles
in stagecoach days were surely Winchesters.


From: Neil Harrington on

"Bill Graham" <weg9(a)comcast.net> wrote in message
news:Y6KdnWq5l6Rqy2LXnZ2dnUVZ_toAAAAA(a)giganews.com...
>
> "Wilba" <usenet(a)CUTTHISimago.com.au> wrote in message
> news:0088d7a5$0$26867$c3e8da3(a)news.astraweb.com...
>> Bill Graham wrote:
>>> Savageduck wrote:
>>>> Wilba said:


>>>>>
>>>>> I wonder why they did it that way, since the driver is on the ejector
>>>>> side...? Maybe the convention pre-dates the widespread use of
>>>>> repeating
>>>>> rifles.
>>>>
>>>> I think it was a case of right handed shotgun shooters out numbering
>>>> left handed shooters. That way they wouldn't have to replace a driver
>>>> every time a left handed guard blew the driver away. Maybe a
>>>> qualification for shotgun guards was to be right handed.
>>>>
>>>> Maybe there was a rule of the road that stagecoach robbers had a "rob
>>>> from left side" only sense of etiquette. ;-)
>>>
>>> Maybe it had something to do with which side the shells were ejected
>>> from when the rifle action was worked....It would be very annoying to
>>> the driver if the hot shell casings were ejected into his face while he
>>> was trying to get away from the bad guys.....
>>
>> But in that photo the driver is on the ejector side.
>>
> I don't know how you can tell....different rifles eject the shells to
> different sides.....As I remember, the M1 (used by US soldiers in WW-II,
> ejected the shells to the right,

Correct. Empties were ejected to the right, and the finished clip was
ejected straight up so it could bounce off your helmet.

> but I have seen other guns that ejected them to the left side....

Pistols too. Most automatics eject to the right, the P.38 and some other
Walthers eject to the left, Lugers and broomhandle Mausers eject straight
up. The beloved old Colt .45 auto ejected in whichever direction it happened
to feel like at the moment, mostly to the right but sometimes to the left,
sometimes straight up and sometimes back in your face. (This has been pretty
much corrected in newer versions of the .45 auto which use a longer ejector,
punching the empties out smartly to the right.)