Fox Host Thinks the Metric System Explains Airplane Loss

It turns out that the B team for the Fox and Friends morning show may actually be dumber than the A team. I know, it’s hard to believe that they could possibly find a more stupid team than Steve Doocy, Elizabeth Hasselbeck and Brian Kilmeade, but Anna Kooiman is making a grab for the brass ring.

During breaking coverage of missing Flight QZ8501, Kooiman asked former FAA spokesperson Scott Brenner if the “real reason” the plane had disappeared was because of the “different way other countries train their pilots.”

“Even when we think about temperature, it’s Fahrenheit or Celsius,” she pointed out. “It’s kilometers or miles. You know, everything about their training could be similar, but different.”

Brenner, however, said that the major difference between international pilots and U.S. pilots was the reliance on automatic pilot.

“And a lot of that… is because a lot of crashes are due to pilot error,” he explained. “So, if you try and eliminate any potential risk, you try and eliminate the pilot’s ability to make incorrect inputs into the aircraft.”

“It’s not just a difference in the way that we measure things?” Kooiman replied. “Is it not as safe in that part of the world? Because our viewers may be thinking, ‘International travel, is it safe? Is it not safe?’”

*headpalmfacedesk* Could we get an IQ test for these people, please?

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • John Pieret

    Could we get an IQ test for these people, please?

    What would a score of “0” tell you anyway?

  • Childermass

    Just think how many problems could be solved if everyone was fluent in English and nothing else. 😉

    Seriously, would this not be an argument to get with the program and get everyone properly trained in the units that most every country in the world, the scientific establishment, many American industries, etc. knows and loves?

  • davefitz

    “Because our viewers may be thinking, ‘International travel, is it safe? Is it not safe?’””

    Like Fox viewers have any interest in traveling outside America, God’s greatest country.

  • tfkreference

    But the American system makes so much more sense. It’s obvious that there are 5,280 feet in a mile, and 12 inches in a foot, and that zero degrees is the coldest you could get liquid water in Dr. Fahrenheit’s lab, and there are 32 ounces in a quart and four quarts in a gallon (though Hobbes – the stuffed tiger, not the philosopher – says that a peck is a quick smooch, so I guess it breaks down there).

  • D. C. Sessions

    She may be onto something. After all, one reason that American science is so superior to that in other countries is because we do our physics, chemistry, etc. in the English system of measurement.

  • http://howlandbolton.com richardelguru

    We need to trumpet the truth: that the metric system was devised in post-french-revolutionary France solely for the purpose of keeping the peasants in a state of total docility, mindlessly counting on their fingers, while the Revolutionary Council employed that other characteristic invention of the times, Madame La Guillotine, to similar effect on the intelligentsia. And that since that time conniving and cynical governments everywhere have tried to sweep away ancient customary units; units hallowed by centuries of the fact that they were actually useful quantities that performed some function in peoples lives: have tried to replace them with the metric system, largely, I suspect, on the grounds that it is cheaper than electorate-wide frontal lobotomy. Use it or loose it they say, and if you compare the mental gymnastics required to ascertain the number of fluid ounces in a gallon (especially for Americans in Britain) or how far it is to Babylon in miles, furlongs, yards, feet and inches, with the mental couch-potatodom of counting repetitively in units that bear a striking resemblance to the Standard Received Number of fingers you can guess what metrication atrophies.

    http://howlandbolton.com/essays/read_more.php?sid=299

  • basementmatt

    Isn’t wanting to be on Fox enough of a test for you?

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Back when I was a boy, I was taught that there were 16 bushels in a fluid ounce and 5,280 cubic feet in an acre, and that’s the way it should have stayed!

  • http://www.decrepitoldfool.com georgewiman

    Well to be fair, adoption of the metric system was a factor in the near-loss of Air Canada flight 143, a Boeing 767 that ran out of fuel at altitude. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gimli_Glider

    And to be fair back in the other direction, lack of consistent use of the metric system was a factor in the loss of the Mars Climate Orbiter. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Climate_Orbiter

    All right, that’s enough fairness; FOX hosts are still idiots, film at 11.

  • matty1

    Is no one prepared to stand up for Biblical measurements? No one ever lost a plane measuring in cubits.

  • blf

    Actually, there have been aeroplane crashes caused by units confusion. One example is the 1999 Korean Air flight 6316 from Shanghai (China) to Seoul (Korea), which crashed shortly after takeoff. An instruction to fly at 1500 metres was interperted to mean 1500 feet. Apparently, “aircraft altitudes are in feet throughout the world, except for China, Mongolia, and the CIS (former Soviet states), which use meters.

  • anubisprime

    Pssst,…Okay I will whisper this only once and very quietly, for fuck sake do not let the cretin hear anything about the Mars Climate Orbiter…it will only vindicate her pernicious inanity !

    here

  • grasshopper

    I’ts not unheard of!

    “NASA lost a $125 million Mars orbiter because a Lockheed Martin engineering team used English units of measurement while the agency’s team used the more conventional metric system for a key spacecraft operation”

    http://edition.cnn.com/TECH/space/9909/30/mars.metric.02/

  • anubisprime

    georgewiman @ 9

    @ 12

    Ahh…seems you have already highlighted the embarrassment georgewiman…note to self…read the thread before commenting.

  • chilidog99

    zero degrees is the coldest you could get liquid water in Dr. Fahrenheit’s lab,

    Ahem. I think that would be 32 degrees

  • erichoug

    Can we all please use our powers of reason and critical thinking for good and collectively pester our elected representatives to begin the process of converting us to the metric system already?

    I will be sad to loose the quarterpounder but I think we will all be better in the long run.

  • http://drx.typepad.com Dr X

    Can we get an IQ test for these people, please?

    Standard or metric test?

  • D. C. Sessions

    No, chilidog99, it was zero — because the Good Doctor used salt as well.

  • tfkreference

    @chilidog99: I should have written “zero degrees is the coldest you could get liquid water in Dr. Fahrenheit’s lab by adding salt.

  • tfkreference

    Thanks, D.C., I didn’t notice your comment before I replied.

  • dingojack

    In a phrase: “Gimli Glider”. (Not that it is typical… )

    Dingo

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Back when I was a boy, I was taught that there were 16 bushels in a fluid ounce and 5,280 cubic feet in an acre, and that’s the way it should have stayed!

    Yeah, that’s how many cubic feet of snow we had to walk through to get to school every day. And we liked it that way!

  • lorn

    Translation:

    ‘Things I don’t understand are scary and potentially dangerous.’

  • LightningRose

    Ed missed the best quote in the article:

    “It’s incredibly safe,” Brenner pointed out. “It’s the safest mode of travel you can have. But just on training, I believe our U.S. pilots are very well trained… They also actually fly the aircraft when they’re in the cockpit versus, a lot of times as soon as those wheels are up, a lot of times folks are required, foreign pilots are required to hit that autopilot almost until wheels come back down again.”

    Co-host Charles Payne added that many of the recent international incidents could have occurred because foreign pilots did not have a “cowboy attitude” like American pilots.

  • Augustus Carp

    The last thing I’d want is any pilot to have a “cowboy attitude”

  • sugarfrosted

    @Chilidog it’s the freezing point of brine, which is important in some applications, including naval and road clearing. The dirty secret is that 100C is a stupid basis point. Boiling at 1 atmosphere is a stupid basis point for 100C, because I lived in a place where 95C was boiling and had friends where it was even lower.

  • sugarfrosted

    @16 The “quarterpounder” would likely stay. Apothecary measurements and other industry specific measures are still in use. (Stone is a notable example in the UK, used in fashion design for the weight of people) Additionally the Germans still use the word “meilenweit” in spite of not having used miles in decades. Quite a few people think we’d switch idioms with the introduction of metric as well, this doesn’t appear to be the case.

  • sugarfrosted

    @26 To copy the strawman: “100C is the boiling point in some Frenchman’s lab.”

  • Francisco Bacopa

    Interestingly, The Bible seems to endorse the metric system, at least for measures of volume. Here it is in Exodus 16:36

    Now an omer is the tenth part of an ephah.

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+16%3A36&version=KJV

  • ehmm

    @26, @28

    The heavy brine solution was used because it was possible to be off a little in the proportions and be accurate to the established scale. although, this solution will still react the same way as pure water in terms of changes in ambient pressure. Take that solution to altitude and it’ll boil at a lower temperature. Fahrenheit also defines “100 degrees” as core human body temperature, which is not only stupid but wrong.

    As far as these fox news clowns, I have news for them: any car in the last decade (domestic or import) or airplane manufactured and designed anywhere in the world is designed in metric. you might still have oddities like inch wheel rim diameters or SAE fasteners in certain places, but those wheel rim prints will be in mm and the clearance hole for that fastener will be metric. So, have fun driving home.

    As far as the pilots are concerned, I don’t know what international convention the use for measuring distance, but I’m pretty sure any pilot anywhere in the world could convert common metric and imperial units as easily as your average Canadian. This is not magic.

  • gearloose

    What metric system? Domestic and international air travel employ non-SI measures for altitude (feet), distance (nautical miles), and velocity (knots).

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    gearloose yes, but the planes are in American. They have half a bathroom, one plane, two pilots, three stewardesses, four engines, and they all left Terminal Five’s Gate Six seven minutes before you got there. Now try quickly translating that in to Metric. You can’t!

  • tfkreference

    …and if you eight on the plane it cost you nine more dollars

    (A cheap pun, I know, but against a wit like Modus’s, conventional humor is useless.)

  • lpetrich

    Here’s what I’d like to see.

    Some big company sues the US for creating a trade barrier by not adopting the metric system. That might be possible under some free-trade treaty.

    I’d enjoy watching the right-wingers argue about which side is the right side in this issue. The nationalistic side or the side of their financiers.

  • caseloweraz

    Agustus Carp: The last thing I’d want is any pilot to have a “cowboy attitude”.

    Indeed. It’s like the old saying: There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old bold pilots.

  • Mobius

    Well, ya know, that there metric system is SO confusing.

    1000 millimeters to a meter and 1000 meters to a kilometer? Who could ever make heads or tails of that?

    But 12 inches to a foot, 3 feet to a yard and 1760 yards to a mile. That makes perfect sense.

  • corwyn

    Fahrenheit also defines “100 degrees” as core human body temperature, which is not only stupid but wrong.

    How can the definition of a unit be *wrong*? Your thermometer might be miscalibrated to definition, (or the definition might have changed), but the definition can’t be wrong.

    And why is it stupid?

  • sugarfrosted

    @30

    Fahrenheit also defines “100 degrees” as core human body temperature, which is not only stupid but wrong.

    Just like your claim. It initially defined body temperature as 3 times freezing, but this wasn’t quite accurate. It was actually closer to around 98.6 (this may actually be due to the fact that they messed with fahrenheit a bit to ease conversion with Celsius.)

    @36, when in your daily life have you ever converted feet to miles though? or meters to Km? Conceptually I don’t think I person can really understand this jump in magnitude easily, usually we make due with having a concept of how long it takes to travel that distance.

    Also a side note: I like being able to evenly divide units by 2 and 3. I mean a third of a meter is an infinite repeating decimal.

    (I mean the thing to keep in mind is that every measurement system is going to be arbitrary, so in the end there isn’t a good solution.)

  • http://howlandbolton.com richardelguru

    sugar

    “Also a side note: I like being able to evenly divide units by 2 and 3. I mean a third of a meter is an infinite repeating decimal”

    Yeah any god worth its salt would have given us 12 fingers! (Though a computer god would have given us 2, 8, 16, 32 or 64 and counting…)