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by Ian Whitelaw

Free eBook A Measure of All Things: The Story of Man and Measurement download ISBN: 0312370261
Author: Ian Whitelaw
Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1st edition (August 7, 2007)
Language: English
Pages: 192
Category: Engineering & Transportation
Subcategory: Engineering
Size MP3: 1653 mb
Size FLAC: 1623 mb
Rating: 4.4
Format: lrf docx lrf txt


I have mixed feeling about "A Measure of All Things" by Ian Whitelaw, and I think Whitelaw does also. In the Epilogue he is rather apologetic for the limited depth of the book.

I have mixed feeling about "A Measure of All Things" by Ian Whitelaw, and I think Whitelaw does also. Over 300 interesting and widely different measurements are covered (good), but the coverage is inconsistent in quality (not so good). In some cases the writer mentions interesting facts, but gives no explanation. For example, thickness gauges often measure decreasing thickness as the gauge number increases, the opposite of what one might expect.

A Measure of All Things book. Great overview of some history of units and measurements and also relationships between systems of measurement. My biggest conclusion, however, is that the Imperial system is very, very, very stupid. Aug 14, 2017 Ian Wells rated it it was amazing. Great, easy to digest book that gives an insight into the haptic origins of measurements. Nov 23, 2017 Kim Zinkowski rated it liked it.

When I first leafed through this book, I got the impression that it was simply a listing of various units used in the measurement of various quantities. However, upon closer examination, I realized that it was much more that. For each of the various units that are discussed, the author gives its historical origin, its evolution and its current standing. In eleven chapters, the author covers everything from length, area and volume to energy, radioactivity and lasers

As a measure of all things,Man is a reference and things are kind of adjusted so that they can fit Man - it's a very humanistic conception,which means Man is in the centre of the universe and is a great creature with endless possibilities.

As a measure of all things,Man is a reference and things are kind of adjusted so that they can fit Man - it's a very humanistic conception,which means Man is in the centre of the universe and is a great creature with endless possibilities. The world is the place where he can explore those possibilities and that very same world opens to him so he can do that.

A Measure of All Things covers the origins of the various units of measurement, the ways in which they .

A Measure of All Things covers the origins of the various units of measurement, the ways in which they developed and changed over time, and the many connections between them. His work ranges from the very serious to the not-so-serious, including Habitus Disgustus: The Encyclopedia of Annoying, Rude and Unpleasant Behavior (Plume, 2006) and various writings on environmental topics for Greenpeace. He lives in Vancouver Island, Canada. A Measure of All Things: The Story of Man and Measurement.

A measure of all things. the story of man and measurement. Published 2007 by David & Charles in Cincinnati, OH, Newton Abbot, Devon. Internet Archive Wishlist, Metric system, Weights and measures, Measurement, History.

Manufacturer: St. Martin's Press Release date: 7 August 2007 ISBN-10 : 0312370261 ISBN-13: 9780312370268.

Find sources: "Unit of length" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (October 2012) (Learn how and when to remove this template . Whitelaw, Ian (2007).

Find sources: "Unit of length" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (October 2012) (Learn how and when to remove this template message). A ruler, depicting two customary units of length, the centimetre and the inch. A unit of length refers to any arbitrarily chosen and accepted reference standard for measurement of length. The most common units in modern use are . customary units in the United States and metric units elsewhere. British Imperial units are still used for some purposes in the United Kingdom and some other countries.

Of all things the measure is man, of the things that are, that they are, and of things that are not, that [or . The measure of hotness or coldness is fairly obviously the individual person

Of all things the measure is man, of the things that are, that they are, and of things that are not, that they are no. The precise meaning of this statement, like that of any short extract taken out of context, is far from obvious, although the long discussion of it in Plato's Theaetetus gives us some sense of how ancient Greek audiences interpreted i. The measure of hotness or coldness is fairly obviously the individual person. One cannot legitimately tell Ms. X she does not feel hot - she is the only person who can accurately report her own perceptions or sensations. In this case, it is indeed impossible to contradict as Protagoras is held to have said (DK80a19.

This is one of more than 300 units of measurement covered in Ian Whitelaw’s whistle-stop tour of the history of measurement, a history that traces the evolution of human understanding. From the very limits of what is measurable, such as the Planck time (10-43 seconds) to the confusing way of measuring shotgun barrels so that a 20-gauge gun is smaller than a 12-gauge one, this i. ontinue reading.

Every wonder how long a cubit really is? How much is in a hogshead and what it refers to? Or the difference between a light year, a parsec and a Planck length? How many pings there are in an acre and who uses which term in what context? Every wonder where all these terms and formats came from and how they are used? Well, wonder no more! In the tradition of Schott's Miscellany, A Measure of All Things is a well-researched page-turning, illustrated look at the way things concrete and theoretical are and have been measured. It ranges from the history of measurement systems (from the earliest times to the present) to the different classes of measurements (length, area, volume, mass, time, temparature, speed, power, energy, pressure and everyday, unscientific measurements). A Measure of All Things covers the origins of the various units of measurement, the ways in which they developed and changed over time, and the many connections between them.
User reviews
Camper
I have mixed feeling about "A Measure of All Things" by Ian Whitelaw, and I think Whitelaw does also. In the Epilogue he is rather apologetic for the limited depth of the book. Over 300 interesting and widely different measurements are covered (good), but the coverage is inconsistent in quality (not so good).

In some cases the writer mentions interesting facts, but gives no explanation. For example, thickness gauges often measure decreasing thickness as the gauge number increases, the opposite of what one might expect. He mentions one possible explanation in passing, but why not find out the real reason and tell us? He also lists model railway scales as "O", "OO", "N", "T" and so on, but does not explain how those designations came about.

In another place he describes the names for wine bottles - magnum, jeroboam etc, but says nothing about who chose such names and when.

Similarly, the story of how prefixes like "yotta" and "zepto" got their names is interesting, but you won't find the story in this book.

These examples aptly illustrate the shallowness of the book. A myriad of interesting topics are presented in convenient "bites" so that readers can graze, rather than actually read the book.

Some readers may prefer that approach. But I think most readers want more than just snippets of raw information in a book of this nature. We want information that has been analysed and put into perspective, with comparisons made and conclusions drawn.

Then information becomes knowledge, something more than just the sum of individual facts. It is also what separates good writers from clerks trawling through Google .

I was also surprised that Whitelaw did not mention the most spectacular recent example illustrating the need to get units of measurement right. NASA officials found that the $125 million Mars Polar Orbiter launched some years ago burned up on impact with the thin Martian atmosphere because two navigation teams and their computers had confused English and metric units.

There are errors on page 115. Whitelaw says that a body in free fall under the influence of gravity experiences no forces. That is incorrect. A body in free fall accelerates due to the force of gravity. He then gives a wrong explanation for the "vomit comet" used by NASA to simulate weightlessness. Weightlessness occurs at the top of a carefully flown arc, not as the plane accelerates downwards as Whitelaw says.

The book is only 160 pages, much of it diagrams, so there was plenty of scope for more explanatory material to be included. In fact, if you took out the diagrams, there are probably only 60 or so pages of text, making it more of a pamphlett than a book. The paper is thick, presumably to add bulk and fool the buyer into thinking he has received value for money.

The use of diagrams and graphical flourishes is grossly overdone, probably to pad out the book to an almost-respectable size. An acre is described at length in the text on the measurement of area, so there is hardly any need for a large diagram of a bare rectangle to show the proportions of an acre.

The colour for the text has been poorly chosen. Instead of the usual black print one is accustomed to see, the publishers have chosen a dark bluish-grey font. It is readable (but uncomfortable) in good daylight, but difficult to read in anything but the brightest artificial light.

The font and the graphic design with all its diagrams look good, but aesthetic factors seem to have triumphed over content.

The bottom line: Broad in scope but shallow in depth. Barely worth the money.
Mushicage
I read one chapter but it didn't hold my interest. Some day I will return to it when I've run out of things I want to read.
Tto
The font and faded color of the text makes this book pratically illegible. Depending upon the material and presentation (Column or full page) I read between 900 and 1200 words per minute (WPM). For this book my reading speed is probably below 300 WPM, which is about the speed I am able to read from a conputer monitor. Will probably donate the book unread to the next charity book drive.
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When I first leafed through this book, I got the impression that it was simply a listing of various units used in the measurement of various quantities. However, upon closer examination, I realized that it was much more that. For each of the various units that are discussed, the author gives its historical origin, its evolution and its current standing. In eleven chapters, the author covers everything from length, area and volume to energy, radioactivity and lasers. The last chapter covers miscellaneous topics such as the perceived hotness of chili peppers, the hardness of various materials and ring sizes. The writing style is very clear, authoritative and friendly. Although anyone would be fascinated by this book, it would likely be most enjoyed by science buffs - especially those with a passion for the physical sciences.
Tehn
I got this book at a library first, but I liked it so much that I bought it.

If you are at all interested in how things are measured or where they got the idea for such and such way to measure something than I recommend you simply buy this fun book.

I keep it in my classroom for my students to read when they get done early. They like it too. Nicely illustrated, easy to access.