1643: "Degrees"

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Mon Feb 15, 2016 7:03 pm UTC

Story wrote:
Mighty Jalapeno wrote:People still use Fahrenheit? Is this like when I go to the States and suddenly I have to drive half as fast?


As illustrated in the comic, Fahrenheit is a lot more useful for describing everyday weather.

... how?
"It's in the 90's!" is a lot less helpful and precise than "34".

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby Rysto » Mon Feb 15, 2016 7:10 pm UTC

Story wrote:As illustrated in the comic, Fahrenheit is a lot more useful for describing everyday weather.

You only say that because you're familiar with Fahrenheit and not Celsius. I feel the opposite, because I'm more familiar with Celsius. But they're both arbitrary scales.

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby John W Kennedy » Mon Feb 15, 2016 7:18 pm UTC

Arrggghhhh!

Not bloody “Imperial”. The Imperial System, which wasn’t even devised until 1824, has never been used in the US except, occasionally, by confused Canadian tourists. The US uses US Customary units.

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby thevicente » Mon Feb 15, 2016 7:19 pm UTC

What the hell is a Fahrenheit?

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Mon Feb 15, 2016 7:23 pm UTC

John W Kennedy wrote:Arrggghhhh!

Not bloody “Imperial”. The Imperial System, which wasn’t even devised until 1824, has never been used in the US except, occasionally, by confused Canadian tourists. The US uses US Customary units.

Huh! Interesting...

And yet our official corporate project management documentation specifies whether all final materials will be Metric or Imperial.

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby Pfhorrest » Mon Feb 15, 2016 7:37 pm UTC

airdrik wrote:On the subject of temperature measurements, I've considered the idea of instead of measuring temperature which is roughly a measure of entropy where absolute zero, at least according to my (mis)understanding, is virtually impossible to attain/requires an infinite amount of something, I'm not entirely sure what; we measure the inverse of the entropy using absolute zero as positive infinity, and using either 0 or negative infinity for maximal entropy. I never really thought much through it, though it did seem like with the bounds so far away from every-day temperatures that the curve through every-day-usage temperatures might be flat enough to be usable.

That is a thing already, called thermodynamic beta, and it is considered the more fundamental property than temperature in physics. (That's also why things like negative absolute temperatures are possible even though zero isn't, and why negative temperatures are actually HOTTER than positive ones; there's an asymptote in there because temperature is just the reciprocal of the real quantity, thermodynamic beta).
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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby Rombobjörn » Mon Feb 15, 2016 7:38 pm UTC

CharlieP wrote:"When I told the people of Northern Ireland that I was an atheist, a woman in the audience stood up and said, 'Yes, but is it the God of the Catholics or the God of the Protestants in whom you don't believe?"

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Well that's a problem we don't have in Sweden. We know perfectly well which god we don't believe in.

People will ask you whether you believe in God, or they may tell you that they don't believe in God. No one asks "Do you believe in gods?" or "Do you believe in any god?". Not believing in God is very common and perfectly normal and accepted, but it's always taken for granted that it's God that you don't believe in.

ilduri wrote:Can I take this oppurtunity to gripe about partial metrication? Canada, like some other countries, got stuck half way through switching over, and now you pretty much need to know both systems just to get by here.

That reminds me of the wholly unique Swedish calendar.

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby finestgreen » Mon Feb 15, 2016 7:43 pm UTC

Story wrote:
Mighty Jalapeno wrote:People still use Fahrenheit? Is this like when I go to the States and suddenly I have to drive half as fast?


As illustrated in the comic, Fahrenheit is a lot more useful for describing everyday weather.


I think you mean to say "As asserted in the comic". You can do exactly the same thing with tens of Celsius.

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby Story » Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:00 pm UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:
Story wrote:
Mighty Jalapeno wrote:People still use Fahrenheit? Is this like when I go to the States and suddenly I have to drive half as fast?


As illustrated in the comic, Fahrenheit is a lot more useful for describing everyday weather.

... how?
"It's in the 90's!" is a lot less helpful and precise than "34".


You could give an exact number of degrees Fahrenheit too, you know. The equivalent of 34C would be 93F. But for any given number of digits, Fahrenheit is more precise over the common range of temperatures. Plus you don't need the minus sign as often.

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby ManaUser » Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:09 pm UTC

To be fair, I've heard it argued that round numbers in metric are pretty good ballpark figures for how humans perceive temperatures too:

0 = freezing
10 = cold
20 = comfortable
30 = hot
40 = way too hot

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby cellocgw » Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:09 pm UTC

Archgeek wrote:Remember kids, like my HS physics teacher always said: if no unit is listed, it's always radians.


Unless it's in inverse radians.
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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby Rombobjörn » Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:17 pm UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:
John W Kennedy wrote:Arrggghhhh!

Not bloody “Imperial”. The Imperial System, which wasn’t even devised until 1824, has never been used in the US except, occasionally, by confused Canadian tourists. The US uses US Customary units.

Huh! Interesting...

And yet our official corporate project management documentation specifies whether all final materials will be Metric or Imperial.

Presumably USians who say "imperial" refer to the mighty US Empire, not that historic British Empire that is wholly irrelevant today. :P

Story wrote:Plus you don't need the minus sign as often.

People in central Sweden (geographically, not politically central) don't bother with minus signs in the winter. If you tell them it's ten degrees out they'll understand that you mean cold degrees. They don't expect +10 °C in the winter.

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby freezeblade » Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:25 pm UTC

ManaUser wrote:To be fair, I've heard it argued that round numbers in metric are pretty good ballpark figures for how humans perceive temperatures too:

0 = freezing
10 = cold
20 = comfortable
30 = hot
40 = way too hot


Perhaps, however degrees F can be more nuanced.
Perspective from a northern Californian:
<32 = freezing. Cover the sensitive plants in your yard. wear a heavy coat and scarf
40s = cold: jacket, maybe a light scarf
50s = chilly: sweater or hoodie
60s = comfortable: light flannel in lower 60s, t-shirt weather in mid-high 60s
70s = warm: t-shirt weather
80s = hot: shorts weather if you're inclined, stay in the shade
90s = fuck that shit: nobody has AC, so go to the pub and have a cold beer.
100s = why are you in southern California? go back home.
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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby da Doctah » Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:43 pm UTC

In an alternate universe, he's trying to decide whether to answer in Réaumur or Rømer.

(Current outdoor temperature here is gas mark -7.4).

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby Caffeine » Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:50 pm UTC

ManaUser wrote:To be fair, I've heard it argued that round numbers in metric are pretty good ballpark figures for how humans perceive temperatures too:

0 = freezing
10 = cold
20 = comfortable
30 = hot
40 = way too hot


Translated for Australians:

0 = nope
10 = too cold, too warm for beer
20 = a bit chilly
30 = pleasant
40 = getting warm

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby CatCube » Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:53 pm UTC

It's not surprising that a traditional unit would be slightly more useful over human-scale measurements. After all, they generally evolved prior to a deep understanding of how units might be interrelated, so the pressure was for them to be useful for practical problems. Compared to the metric system, whose major advantages are: 1) standardized, so it can avoid confusion--which is a major one 2) strictly base 10 (though this is somewhat less useful now that we don't use slide rules). The rest of the advantages are mostly propeller-headed nonsense that doesn't matter to practical users of the system.

It's intriguing that tau vs pi came up here, since the advantages of tau are again, mostly propeller-headed nonsense that makes absolutely no difference to day-to-day users.

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:55 pm UTC

But even that rounding scale varies widely even by region in my part of Canada.

Where I lived 4 years ago:

0 Celcius = The world is probably ending
10 Celcius = Brisk!
20 Celcius = Woo, time to wear Crocs again.
30 Celcius = Awww yeah.
40 Celcius = Beach time!

Where I live now:

0 Celcius = Woo, time to wear Crocs again.
10 Celcius = What coat?
20 Celcius = Backyard barbecue time.
30 Celcius = Whoo! That's hot! I need to lie down...
40 Celcius = The world is literally ending.

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby armandoalvarez » Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:59 pm UTC

CatCube wrote:It's intriguing that tau vs pi came up here, since the advantages of tau are again, mostly propeller-headed nonsense that makes absolutely no difference to day-to-day users.

I don't know, when I was learning trigonometry and before I had ever heard of tau, I kept thinking "Why do I keep putting 2 pi into the equation and then taking it out again? Why don't we just have some unit that means '2 pi'? Hmm, that would be the relationship of the radius to the circumference. That makes a bit more sense, doesn't it?"
Granted, I don't do trig every day, but I also don't use pi for much of anything.

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Mon Feb 15, 2016 9:05 pm UTC

All these arbitrary temperature measurements are silly. We should switch over to Planc temperature.
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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby jgh » Mon Feb 15, 2016 9:39 pm UTC

Minus ten reaumur?

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby Archgeek » Mon Feb 15, 2016 9:42 pm UTC

freezeblade wrote:
ManaUser wrote:To be fair, I've heard it argued that round numbers in metric are pretty good ballpark figures for how humans perceive temperatures too:

0 = freezing
10 = cold
20 = comfortable
30 = hot
40 = way too hot


Perhaps, however degrees F can be more nuanced.
Perspective from a northern Californian:
<32 = freezing. Cover the sensitive plants in your yard. wear a heavy coat and scarf
40s = cold: jacket, maybe a light scarf
50s = chilly: sweater or hoodie
60s = comfortable: light flannel in lower 60s, t-shirt weather in mid-high 60s
70s = warm: t-shirt weather
80s = hot: shorts weather if you're inclined, stay in the shade
90s = fuck that shit: nobody has AC, so go to the pub and have a cold beer.
100s = why are you in southern California? go back home.


Here in the Dread Depths of Oklahoma it runs a bit more like:
<0 = physically painful outside: weather stripping is not enough, duct tape the doors
10s = really freaking cold: Wind hurts, but safe to get mail
20s = annoyingly cold: full winter gear, curse the wind if it's from the north
30s = freezing: water may or may not be liquid, heavy winter gear may be too much, light winter gear may be not enough
40s = cold: probably need a jacket, something to keep the wind off the ears
50s = chill: sweater or flannel or something, shorts are dumb
60s = not quite warm: shorts are dumb, a t-shirt might work out if you're not in the shade
70s = nice and warm: t-shirt weather
80s = really warm: shorts time, office buildings cursed for being too cold for appropriate outdoor dress
90s = hot: carshades needed, ice cream is friend
100s = really hot: AC might be struggling, water balloon fights, frozen beverages good coolant sources
110s = annoyingly hot: avoid boiling water, running lights, plasma screens, or making computers work too hard, AC failures spur purchases of bags of ice by repair guys
120s = The Searing: streets deserted, crows and grackles seen huddling in shade, mouths agape, cursing their black plumage, plate tectonics writ small as street sections expand beyond their built-in gaps and buckle upward where they collide
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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby Zassounotsukushi » Mon Feb 15, 2016 10:12 pm UTC

What about natural units? In the contest to be more scientifically pure, you can't ignore this option.

The obvious interpretation is to measure everything in fractions of the Planck temperature. Although at 1.417×10^32 K, this wins the award for being the worst unit for rounding of all units. Categorically, 1 Planck Temperature will never be reached.

If you started from the definition of temperature, I suspect you could even put it in informational terms. Like, some derivative unit of bytes. "I hate this weather we've been having lately, way too few microstates outside"

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby Pfhorrest » Mon Feb 15, 2016 10:16 pm UTC

Rombobjörn wrote:
Mighty Jalapeno wrote:
John W Kennedy wrote:Arrggghhhh!

Not bloody “Imperial”. The Imperial System, which wasn’t even devised until 1824, has never been used in the US except, occasionally, by confused Canadian tourists. The US uses US Customary units.

Huh! Interesting...

And yet our official corporate project management documentation specifies whether all final materials will be Metric or Imperial.

Presumably USians who say "imperial" refer to the mighty US Empire, not that historic British Empire that is wholly irrelevant today. :P

I expect the "Metric vs Imperial" terminology comes from Britain, where there would actually have been a period of frequently needing to specify what system is meant as the country transitioned from one to the other, and that terminology spread to the US and got applied to its very similar units that probably most common folk didn't even realize were different system what with having the same names for the units and all.

If you started from the definition of temperature, I suspect you could even put it in informational terms. Like, some derivative unit of bytes

Bits per joule.
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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby ilduri » Mon Feb 15, 2016 10:29 pm UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:But even that rounding scale varies widely even by region in my part of Canada.

When I lived in northern Alberta we'd routinely get winter lows in the -40s, occasionally dipping below -50. Meanwhile, in the southern bit they occasionally get summer highs in the +40s. A single province and we have a 90º range of tempertaures that are considered normal. (Or should that be a τ/4 range?)

CatCube wrote:It's intriguing that tau vs pi came up here, since the advantages of tau are again, mostly propeller-headed nonsense that makes absolutely no difference to day-to-day users.

τ vs π makes little difference in everyday life, but for some it makes a big difference in how easy the math is to learn. Personally I had a very poor grasp of trigonometry and even how to use radians until I learned about τ and started using it. Now I find those concepts pretty intuitive.
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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Feb 15, 2016 11:56 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:...Britain, where there would actually have been a period of frequently needing to specify what system is meant as the country transitioned from one to the other...

Transitions. Present tense. ;)

Pints of beer (hopefully the good stuff, that doesn't actually need chilling because otherwise it's indistinguishable from horse-piss), and cider, in the local pub, but in millilitres when in cans (with or without foaming 'widgit').
Milk still in pints on the doorstep or an allowable whole-number unit from supermarket cooled-shelves, but always with the less-rounded equivalent millilitre values. Or just in litres (or simple fractions thereofe).
Petrol(eum) (ie, Gas(oline), thus not confusable with gaseous fuel gas, and never (that I know of!) confused with petroleum jelly) is sold in litres, but some people still like to work in miles/gallon. (Noting that this is the British Gallon, not the US one.) Regardless, it's comparatively expensive1 due to taxes.

Yes, we still drive in miles (and measure our forward motion in miles-per-hour2), but metres and higher/lower order factors of the metre tend to rule (NPI) in non-road distances, albeit often with a parallel indication of the yards, feet or inches (i.e. both scale-values supplied), especially of products where the imperial measure is the 'rounder number' for that distance for historic reasons.
(Also, being ruled by Johnson and his heirs rather than Webster &co, distances are "(prefix?)metres", whilst measuring devices (of flow, usually) are "(use?)meters". Near identical pronunciation, if not exactly alike, but usefully distinguished in writing, assuming context does not already divert any confusion.)
I more precisely know my own height in feet and inches than in metres, although the 'milestone' [sic] when I was at primary school, was when each of us passed the "1 metre" height mark on the classroom's measure, rather than the three-feet/yard one that it might well have been a few years beforehand.

Acres and hectares tend to dominate in common usage when discussing agricultural land (or large gardens), but square metres seems to dominate 'floor space' of offices (rarely houses, unless the house is exceptional!) or actual/potential construction sites in business parks, although the sq/ft measure still isn't unknown. (The latter may have to be accompanied by the converted-to-metric equivalent, because of legislation, in advertising situations.)

Weights can be given in grammes(/grams), kilogrammes(/kilograms) or tonnes(/metric tons), according to the magnitude needed, but remnants (or parallel listings) of ounces, pounds, stones or tons (long tons, i.e. 2,200lbs or slightly over a metric tonne, rather than the US short ton of 2,000lbs that is slightly under the tonne) are still used. While kg are used (especially in body-mass-index), we still commonly talk of bodyweight in "stones" (each stone being 14lbs, "12 stone" being 168lbs, but that latter figure means nothing useful to me, without back-converting), "stones-a-fraction" (e.g. "12 and a half stone") or "stones and pounds" ("12 stone, 8 pounds", which for the US would apparently be 176lbs - and also notie that this exact figure would probably be 'conveniently' described in terms of "12 and a half" or just "12" stones, when some form or other of self-denial kicks in).

Foot-pounds and the like still exist in some places, although newton-metres are probably the better use in modern engineering calculations.

People of an older age will still prefer (and understand) Fahrenheit temperatures over Celsius, as per above discussions.

People of an older age may still bemoan the lack of LSD (i.e. Libra Solidus Denarius, the Latin versions of Pounds (->being 20 of->) Shillings (->being 12 of->) Pence, i.e. pre-decimalisation currency) although we actually did away with that back in 1971, when the shilling (=12 old pennies) was converted to 5 new pence (GB£0.05) so we were now handily decimalised away from "240 pennies in a pound" without at least changing the concept of the pound (beyond the inflationary pressures of the time, etc, of course). But the "guinea" (one pound and one shilling, as was) is still retained as a concept in the worlds of horse racing and livestock (again including horses) auctions. (Tradition has it that the 'guinea price' was paid by the purchaser, to an auctioneer, and then the same number of pounds was then passed onto the seller; the difference being retained as the auctioneering fees. Not sure if that still holds, though wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't in some places.)
However, some nicknames for old coinage (e.g. 'bob's and 'crowns' for shillings and five-shillings) may still occur to describe their modern equivalent (five and twenty-five 'new pences', respectively; two-bob being GBP0.10 (10p), although half-a-crown (12.5p) has been largely obsolete since we no longer used one-half-new-penny coins).

(Incidentally, because of both/either of inches-in-feet or pennies-in-shillings, as was, when I grew up it was traditional to learn the times-tables up to 12 - or possibly just up-to-ten-plus-twelve, missing out the eleven-times one. I do not recall having to learn the 14-times-table because of lbs-in-st. or any of the larger ones. There are new calls, currently, to reintroduce the requirement of rote-learning of tables up to the 12s - apparently something that has been dropped at some point in the last three or four decades - but I haven't heard anyone trying to argue it down to top our merely with the 10s or add onto it the 16s (useful for future hexadecimal fun in a code-driven world!), either or both these amendments seeming to me to have sufficient logic to pursue in the modern world.)

I'm sure there's other bits to our schizophrenic nature, w.r.t. weights and measures, that I forget. But the point is that we've somehow got to the point of being part-switched to metric.


1 For useful reference, current prices for both petrol and diesel are a tad below £1/litre (usually 99.9GBpence, but I think I've seen 97.9 for one or the other, recently), which is about $5.45/US Gallon, on current exchange rates It has been >120p/litre, or $6.59/US Gallon. Compared even with somewhere I'd guess would normally have higher fuel prices than the rest of the US, from the logistics alone.

2 With our most rapid legal road-speed being 70MPH, although many people seem to treat that as a "lower limit", on the major roads where it applies.

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby Story » Tue Feb 16, 2016 12:01 am UTC

CatCube wrote:It's intriguing that tau vs pi came up here, since the advantages of tau are again, mostly propeller-headed nonsense that makes absolutely no difference to day-to-day users.


I'm having trouble imagining a "day-to-day user" that it doesn't make a big difference for. Every time you write a formula involving pi, it comes up. Even when it comes to calculations, basically all physics code I've ever written has a TWOPI constant defined somewhere and uses fractions of that for all calculations.

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby sonar1313 » Tue Feb 16, 2016 12:13 am UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:
Story wrote:
Mighty Jalapeno wrote:People still use Fahrenheit? Is this like when I go to the States and suddenly I have to drive half as fast?


As illustrated in the comic, Fahrenheit is a lot more useful for describing everyday weather.

... how?
"It's in the 90's!" is a lot less helpful and precise than "34".

Yeah, but "it's in the 20s" is useful only in one system. And there's a pretty big comfort difference with just a couple degrees of Celsius, so if you're off by just those couple degrees, it matters to people.

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Feb 16, 2016 12:52 am UTC

sonar1313 wrote:Yeah, but "it's in the 20s" is useful only in one system.

Works for me, in what I presume is 'the other' system. "In the 20s" generally summarises as "Getting too warm for me", in the Celsius scale. I'd probably be eschewing the unshaded outdoors, throughout the range, and only tolerate buildings heated much beyond the lower bound (because I appreciate that some people are somewhat nesh...).

It can be refined to the equivalent 'Fahrenheit decades' of degrees by adding a qualifier, though, if you want to narrow it down. "In the low 20s" would meaning "It's ok, and obviously sunny, but I'd rather be indoors"; Stating "In the mid 20s" might well mean "I don't like this", as far as I'm concerned; When the higher-precision phrase in weather forecasts is "In the upper 20s", I translate that into internal thoughts of "I'm not going outside if I can help it". You can probably work out that, as far as I'm concerned, you can shove the upper 30s where the sun doesn't shine; except that's probably where I am, already, keeping myself away from the awful glare of the sun in what might well be "drought conditions" weather, for the UK, if it lasts for more than half a working week.

(Note that I realise that I'm an outlier. The current temperature of this room is 16.6degC - by a digital display that claims that precision, although I can't actually guarantee it has the corresponding accuracy - and that's at the top end of what I tend to heat the house to when it's frosty outside, like it is right now, and I've just turned the heating off again to let it cool back down to a comfortable level overnight. I tend to be happy with a "low-to-mid 10s" temperature inside (I especially love it when I get to work in server rooms!) and when I'm outside (and active) I don't tend to add a third layer to jacket-and-(T-)shirt, outside, until it actually dips below freezing. Though I probably will think to zip/button the jacket up as it gets close to that, I'll admit.)

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby Flumble » Tue Feb 16, 2016 1:52 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
airdrik wrote:On the subject of temperature measurements, I've considered the idea of instead of measuring temperature which is roughly a measure of entropy where absolute zero, at least according to my (mis)understanding, is virtually impossible to attain/requires an infinite amount of something, I'm not entirely sure what; we measure the inverse of the entropy using absolute zero as positive infinity, and using either 0 or negative infinity for maximal entropy. I never really thought much through it, though it did seem like with the bounds so far away from every-day temperatures that the curve through every-day-usage temperatures might be flat enough to be usable.

That is a thing already, called thermodynamic beta, and it is considered the more fundamental property than temperature in physics. (That's also why things like negative absolute temperatures are possible even though zero isn't, and why negative temperatures are actually HOTTER than positive ones; there's an asymptote in there because temperature is just the reciprocal of the real quantity, thermodynamic beta).

Can we get used to a scale that decreases with a rise in temperature? Oops, that came out like a question. Of course we can.

Exabetas (stylized бβ*) are nearly usable as a temperature scale. Only people in Siberia and other weird places experience temperatures above 300Eβ (-31°C, -25°F); it starts to freeze above 265Eβ; temperatures below 250Eβ (16°C, 60°F) are comfortable for most "northeners" and very cold for those in the tropics, below 240Eβ (29°C) it gets too hot for us northeners but southeners start to like it. So for most people the temperature will stay within a 30Eβ window (or is it -30Eβ?) throughout the year, a similar granularity to Celsius'.

Saunas to down to 200Eβ (90°C) tops bottoms, water cooks at 194Eβ at STP (as arbitrary as 212°F), pre-heat the oven at anything from 160Eβ (180°C) to 135Eβ (260°C), jet fuel burns at least at 55Eβ while steel beams melt at about 40Eβ, the Sun is about 12.5Eβ at the surface and it's about 0.0046Eβ at the core.

Well, the hyperbolity of the unit becomes pretty clear when we leave the realm of weather temperatures and enter steel mills and cosmology. Which brings up a question: how do the initial temperatures of two bodies relate to their equilibrium temperature? Is it the average of the temperatures or the average or the average of their beta? (I assume the former, but I also learned long ago how adding/averaging velocities doesn't work with addition in general (relativity))


*Get it? The cyrillic Bee (or Beta if you're beta greek) looks like a six, the root of exa- (namely ἕξ), so they are two Bees/Betas.

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Feb 16, 2016 2:11 am UTC

Flumble wrote:Can we get used to a scale that decreases with a rise in temperature? Oops, that came out like a question. Of course we can.

Well, I already mentioned one scale that does that.

And, for a year or three after its creation, the 'Centigrade' measure developed by Anders Celsius was based upon the "{0=boiling; 100=freezing} point of water" system.

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby Lazy Tommy » Tue Feb 16, 2016 3:44 am UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:As an engineer in Canada, I can tell you it won't catch on. Dimensional lumber products will continue to be produced in Imperial sizes just because it would be prohibitively expensive and difficult to suddenly stop making 2x4's and start making 38x89's, to say nothing of the standardized 2438mm lengths. Steelwork is a little different, since Canadian mills do produce metric steel, but all metric steel has an Imperial equivalent so the two are largely interchangeable. Hell, we export to dozens of metric-using countries but we export Imperial dimensional lumber.


Standardized sizes will stick around for the sake of compatibility, if nothing else, but that doesn't have to be an obstacle to adopting SI units elsewhere. Example: in the Netherlands, people use SI units for pretty much everything, but the sizes of bicycle tires are given in inches. So, when I have to replace a tire, I write down the numbers from the old one, say, 28 x 1¾ x 1¼, and ask for that size in the bike shop. I never even give any thought to what those numbers would be in centimeters or millimeters; all that matters is that the numbers on the new tire match those on the one it has to replace. :D

In reply to those who are saying that the granularity of the Fahrenheit scale is such a good fit for ambient temperatures: in the temperate climates that I'm used to, temperatures are rarely higher than 35 °C and rarely lower than -15 °C. The degree Celsius covers 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, but even with this greater coarseness, I never feel the need to resort to half-degrees when telling someone what the temperature is like outside, or when deciding what to set the thermostat to. 15 °C is cool, 12 °C is chilly, 18 °C is pleasant, etc.

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby Jorpho » Tue Feb 16, 2016 4:38 am UTC

Envelope Generator wrote:When you °C it, you'll shit °B.
Degrees Brix! Yes, let's talk about the weather in terms of how freakin' sweet it feels outside.

Aw, nuts, that's ºBx. Oh well.

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby NotAllThere » Tue Feb 16, 2016 6:34 am UTC

The Moomin wrote:If you keep complicating matters like this, you'll get the third degree.

The one on the right?
Image
ManaUser wrote:To be fair, I've heard it argued that round numbers in metric are pretty good ballpark figures for how humans perceive temperatures too:

0 = freezing
10 = cold
20 = comfortable
30 = hot
40 = way too hot


I'm on my ski holiday at the moment. -10C (14F) is just about perfect,
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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby teelo » Tue Feb 16, 2016 6:57 am UTC

Celcius vs Fahrenheit.

Crap, gotta pick something.

Uh... 240 Kelvin!

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Re: "1643 Degrees of Kevin Bacon"

Postby Eternal Density » Tue Feb 16, 2016 7:44 am UTC

Caffeine wrote:
ManaUser wrote:To be fair, I've heard it argued that round numbers in metric are pretty good ballpark figures for how humans perceive temperatures too:

0 = freezing
10 = cold
20 = comfortable
30 = hot
40 = way too hot


Translated for Australians:

0 = nope
10 = too cold, too warm for beer
20 = a bit chilly
30 = pleasant
40 = getting warm
Nothern Australians, sure, but 30 is plenty hot enough for this Australian! 35 is decidedly uncomfortable and 40 is 'a rare hot day in the middle of summer, time to pour water on myself and laze in front of a fan'.
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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Tue Feb 16, 2016 7:51 am UTC

Lazy Tommy wrote:Example: in the Netherlands, people use SI units for pretty much everything, but the sizes of bicycle tires are given in inches. So, when I have to replace a tire, I write down the numbers from the old one, say, 28 x 1¾ x 1¼, and ask for that size in the bike shop. I never even give any thought to what those numbers would be in centimeters or millimeters; all that matters is that the numbers on the new tire match those on the one it has to replace. :D

For all but the most standard sizes inch tire sizes really suck though. Order a 20" recumberent tire and you'll get one of 3 ERTO sizes. Only one of those tires will fit of course. Also sizes will often be rounded to the nearest 2n, causing a 27" tire to be sold as 28" (which won't fit).
This is caused because with inch sizes the major dimension was approximately the outer size of the complete, mounted and pressurized tire. The rim diameter results from that and the diameter (one of the other numbers). Orginally this caused a million different rim sizes, although it has been standardized over time to just a few. Noe you just have a race 26", a city 26" and a mountainbike 26" (which are different rim sizes). Assuming you don't try to put a mountainbike tire on a city bike this works quite well. But it isn't all that neat.
Also for non-standard tires (16", 20", 22", 24") the standardization didn't work that well and there the mess is quite apparent.
ERTO size consists of <approximately pressurized tube diameter>-<exact bead diameter (fixed size difference from the rim diameter)>. If I have a 40-622 tire (normal 28") and I want some more comfort I can order a 47-622 (fatter 28") and it'll fit on the rim. I just need to check the clearance (because the tire size is bigger).
Also, the webshop where I order most of my spare parts only uses ERTO sizes (probably because they know this mess).
Having said that, I wouldn't be able to give you the ERTO sizes of my bike tires but the inch sizes are easy (Pub bike: 2x28", spare bike: 2x26", Quest: 2x20" and 1x26"). If I order bikes I always order by the ERTO size. I simply check on the tire that is on there now.
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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby scarletmanuka » Tue Feb 16, 2016 8:46 am UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:Dimensional lumber products will continue to be produced in Imperial sizes just because it would be prohibitively expensive and difficult to suddenly stop making 2x4's and start making 38x89's, to say nothing of the standardized 2438mm lengths.

What exactly would be difficult about it? You don't have to change what you're producing, just what you call it.

Hell, we export to dozens of metric-using countries but we export Imperial dimensional lumber.

Did you think those metric-using countries coped with it in some strange unfathomable way that would be impossible for Canada to copy?

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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby CharlieP » Tue Feb 16, 2016 8:49 am UTC

rmsgrey wrote:But next time someone reinvents the calendar, they really should include a year 0.


Only if they include a month 0 and a year 0 too, or do away with them completely.
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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby CharlieP » Tue Feb 16, 2016 8:53 am UTC

SAI Peregrinus wrote:Really we ought to be using inverse temperature (aka coldness or thermodynamic beta).

http://www.umsl.edu/~fraundorfp/ifzx/zbpercal.html

It's naturally measured in zetabytes per kilocalorie


Why not zetabyes per kilojoule?
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Re: 1643: "Degrees"

Postby CharlieP » Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:00 am UTC

ilduri wrote:The ridiculous thing is that this was just due to petty politics. The Liberal government started the metrication process in 1971, planning to slowly roll out the metric system over the course of the next two decades. Then the Conservatives got elected in 1983, after making a campaign promise to go back to the old system. Once in power they found it too impractical to revert the changes the Libs had made, so instead they just stalled things where they were (which is like pretty much the definition of conservatism, so kudos to them for sticking to their values I guess). The Tories remained in power for ten years, during which time everyone just got used to using both systems, it became the new status quo and the impetus for change was lost.


You think that's bad? We (UK) nearly got the ball rolling in 1863, but a bill that had passed its first two readings was shot down, and ever since then things have been done in a muddled, piecemeal fashion.
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