Monthly Archives: December 2008

From our school correspondent

Our school correspondent, has written in with the following comment on the Andronov Temperature scale. If you want to see the previous articles on the subject they are here: Let me take your temperature on this and Temperature rising.

A little learning is a dangerous thing or so it is said. So as a pedant I would first like to point out that temperatures are measured in degree fahrenheit, degree celsius and kelvin noting that the names are started with a lower case letter to avoid confusion with the surnames of the scientists. Also a redefinition of the triple point of water means that the boiling point of water is no longer 373.15 K!And so to a useful “scale” or rather a more practical conversion between celsius (the unit I use in my capacity as a teacher) and fahrenheit (my preferred unit in relation to the weather). I claim no originality for this rather state what I heard and then make a further observation. Instead of playing around with ±32 and 5/9 or 9/5 a reasonably accurate, and hence perfectly acceptable, formula is “take thirty from the fahrenheit temperature and divide the answer by two” as shown in the table below:

t / °C

t / °F

t / °

error

-20

-4.0

-17.0

-3.0

-18

-0.4

-15.2

-2.8

-16

3.2

-13.4

-2.6

-14

6.8

-11.6

-2.4

-12

10.4

-9.8

-2.2

-10

14.0

-8.0

-2.0

-8

17.6

-6.2

-1.8

-6

21.2

-4.4

-1.6

-4

24.8

-2.6

-1.4

-2

28.4

-0.8

-1.2

0

32.0

1.0

-1.0

2

35.6

2.8

-0.8

4

39.2

4.6

-0.6

6

42.8

6.4

-0.4

8

46.4

8.2

-0.2

10

50.0

10.0

0.0

12

53.6

11.8

0.2

14

57.2

13.6

0.4

16

60.8

15.4

0.6

18

64.4

17.2

0.8

20

68.0

19.0

1.0

22

71.6

20.8

1.2

24

75.2

22.6

1.4

26

78.8

24.4

1.6

28

82.4

26.2

1.8

30

86.0

28.0

2.0

32

89.6

29.8

2.2

34

93.2

31.6

2.4

36

96.8

33.4

2.6

38

100.4

35.2

2.8

Perfectly adequate (±1° most of the time) for those of us who live in England. Our friends in hotter or cooler climates might consider whether a tweak to the constant “thirty” is worth it.

Clothed in sorrow’s dark array

The other day, while walking down the street, I heard somebody say to their companion, “Sometimes I don’t want to spend an evening out with my colleagues. Sometimes, I’d rather be in my pyjamas.”

I was close enough to have said to him, “Why can’t you do both?”.

But I didn’t.

Potatoes

A conversation overheard in Italy between an Italian woman and an American woman:

American: “What are these?”, looking at the menu, “- crispy potatoes?”.
Italian: “Um, well they are a vegetable that grows in the ground. They are white. Quite like a parsnip, but larger.”
American: “Oh, I know what a potato is but what is a crispy potato?”
Italian: “Well, it is a potato that is crispy.”
American: “I see”.

Overheard in Rome

Two men walking on a bridge in Rome:

Man 1: The fortification here is quite immense. There are loads of cannons up there but you can’t see them because there is a statue in the way.

Man 2: Look at that statue over there.

Man 1: Yeah, that one’s a lady.