Talk:1643: Degrees

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Jump to: navigation, search

Rankine is a good compromise. 14:11, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

0.173 rad = 10°. Now it could be 10°C (50°F) or 10°F (-12°C).-- 14:14, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

It should probably be noted that since 0.173 radians is equal to around 9.91 degrees, the temperature that Cueball gave is likely in 'radians Celsius', since 9.91 degrees Farenheit would be an unlikely temperature to occur, unless they're somewhere like Canada or northern Russia -- 14:17, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

It would appear that that's already been noted since I started writing that comment. Ignore me. -- 14:18, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
It would appear you're not in New England. Temperature last night -14°F = -26°C = -0.244 rad F = -0.556 rad C. But others have noted this as well. Bob Stein - VisiBone (talk) 23:41, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
Even Manhattan, New York reached -0.9°F on Sunday, the first time it's been below 0°F there in a generation. We came within 1 part in 269 of tying the 2006 record for biggest snowstorm 3 weeks before this, broke the record for latest frost by 12 days with bitter cold 3 weeks before that, had cherry blossoms suicidally bloom on Christmas 10 days before that (because they thought it's spring) and that whole month was twice as many degrees above normal as the previous record warmest December. We also broke the record for warmest November and September a few months ago. This is called global weirding. (the more accurate name for global warming) 04:28, 16 February 2016 (UTC)

Guys, we moved away from the Réaumur-scale: You can do the same for the Fahrenheit :-). --DaB. (talk) 14:20, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

And we all moved away from the Rømer scale (what Reumer and Fahrenheit were both based on), 0F is 0Rø, 100C/80Reu is 80Rø). We even moved from the 100C-0C to 0C-100C since Celsius was a (half) crazy Swedish scientist who thought Reumer made sense if it was based on 100 instead of 80, and 100 was the freezing point (everybody ignores the second part of his scale). 17:07, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
Rømer was Danish -- Calling him Sweedish is an insult -- kind if the same insult as calling Cruz Canadian Spongebog (talk) 17:14, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
Then it was great that it was Celsius who was called a crazy Swedish scientist above, (and he was Swedish). Rømer is luckily more known for making the first quantitative measurements of the speed of light and not for his failed temperature scale. (I'm from Denmark and like the light part: He measured the hesitation of light ;-) --Kynde (talk) 21:31, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure the only people who could possibly find "Fahrenheit" easier to spell than "Celsius" are those whose first written language was German. Promethean (talk) 01:31, 17 February 2016 (UTC)

Considering how cold New England is today, I'm pretty sure it's Fahrenheit. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Temperature is given in F. Look at which month it is. And how this is a darn cold winter (at least in Canada). 14:32, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

its currently 10F in the Boston area where Randall lives.
For people from the future, see this historical data page for the day the comic was released -- 19:00, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, and others! At that time of year, either temperature would be possible in Boston, Massachusetts -- 10°F (-12°C) during a cold night or a strong cold snap; 10°C (50°F) during a midwinter thaw. --Aaron of Mpls (talk) 01:19, 19 July 2020 (UTC)

What's with the "We lost a Mars probe over this" remark? 14:33, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

One of the Mars probes crashed into Mars because one of the NASA contractors was using US Customary units instead of SI units. Blaisepascal (talk) 14:39, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
Is there a reference for this ?? Spongebog (talk) 17:17, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
It was the Mars Climate Orbiter, it crashed in 1999 because software supplied by Lockheed Martin produced results in US customary units even though the specs called for metrics units. Martin (talk) 22:04, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
The mars probe remark is in reference to a mistake in switching navigational numbers from American standard to metric (namely in that they didn't) which caused the probe to slam into the surface of mars. If I remember correctly that is. 14:43, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
I remember when this happened, thinking "OK, Lockheed, time to get out your checkbook and cough up the entire cost of that probe and launch," though I expect their bought-and-paid-for pet legislators made sure that didn't happen. Miamiclay (talk) 21:23, 16 February 2016 (UTC)

I used to think that physicists prefer Kelvin, which is of course sort of based on Celsius. Jkrstrt (talk) 15:28, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

If you're measuring a temperature difference, which I think is a far more common thing than an absolute temperature, then the two are completely interchangeable. 14:41, 21 July 2021 (UTC)

If he used Radians Fahrenheit, then 1 would be very close to earth's historical mean temperature for the period 1951 to 1980. 16:19, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

That sounds like it could almost be useful.... What is the temperature on the surface on the sun in Radians ? Spongebog (talk) 17:20, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
96.08 radians Celsius, or 173.5 radians Fahrenheit. -- 19:00, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

"Easier to spell"? When editing, I had to correct myself from "Celcius" to "Celsius". I never get Fahrenheit wrong! Cosmogoblin (talk) 20:55, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

Can someone explain to me why Fahrenheit's scale is so much more popular across the Atlantic than in his home city country continent? 21:37, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

Same reason that the British used it. It was there. Unlike the Brits the US just never got around to change it Spongebog (talk) 02:18, 16 February 2016 (UTC)
As a Brit. I love it that the US was at one point the last bastion of the BTU (British Thermal Unit), I still see 17th century measures in some farming contexts - bushels though I think we both still agree that "Acres" are a much better measure area than the soul-destroying "hectare". :) 08:22, 16 February 2016 (UTC)

Not being an instinctive science type, and on a tiny screen, I initially read the comic as "51 prefixes," and thought to myself "I could probably get from peta- to pico- in my head, but there are really 51 of those?" Miamiclay (talk) 02:46, 16 February 2016 (UTC)

Maybe one should include the explanation why both angles and temperature use the term "degree". "Degree" in measurement means, that the definition comes from a partition of a known interval. For angles, that is "a full circle is 360 degrees" and for temperature in Celsius that is "100°C is the range from freezing to boiling water". That is historical, because modern SI units are defined in terms of partitions as well. 10:23, 16 February 2016 (UTC)

I'm not a linguist, but I think that it to a certain degree (!) just means "partial", "part" or "step" -- I can agree with you partially by which I will agree with you to a degree -- any scale can in a similar degree be broken up where each part is a degree closer to the full outcome -- so in Temperature a degree is a step toward boiling, and your Masters degree is a step beyond your Bachelor towards your Doctoral degree -- in short it is to some degree just a duhdah word representing nothing but makes it easier to form a sentence around an abstract concept 20:28, 16 February 2016 (UTC)

talking about weird us customs/units i think the way trailers and such specify release dates by season is terrible. 1. there are 2 hemispheres 2. internationally seasons may vary and it is rarely specified if its north or south seasons 06:37, 17 February 2016 (UTC)

Personally, I like to give temperature in meV/particle Edo (talk) 14:29, 17 February 2016 (UTC)

Do you mean MeV per non-frozen degree of freedom? The nitrogen in room-temperature air carries five-sixths the MeV/atom as argon in the same air at the same temperature. 00:21, 18 February 2016 (UTC)
So he should have said 22.48 meV. I also prefer that as temperature shouldn't really a "base unit"

Haha, "degree of correlation". Nice. 10:34, 27 December 2016 (UTC)

Wouldn't a physics major be more likely to be loyal to the Kelvin scale than to Celsius? Heck, even the Rankine scale is more scientific than celsius; it's by far the least popular of the four, but it's still more scientific than celsius due to the fact that it starts at absolute zero like Kelvin does

Another "benefit" for Fahrenheit is that it is more precise. That is, each change in degree Fahrenheit is a smaller change in temperature, so you can be a bit more precise without needing to add digits after a decimal point. I also find it noteworthy that there are 180 degrees (Fahrenheit) between freezing and boiling. This is not coincidence, but was explicitly decided by a committee in 1776. Clearly, the choice of 180 degrees is related to a half-circle, so it almost makes sense to talk about "radians Fahrenheit", where the difference between boiling and freezing is pi. Shamino (talk) 14:03, 3 June 2020 (UTC)

When talking about US Customary versus Imperial units, is it worth mentioning that the US units are similar to the English units that were used in Britain before the Imperial system was introduced in 1824? US units mirrored British units of the late 18th century, but they didn't change in 1824 because they were already independent by that time. 14:44, 21 July 2021 (UTC)

So I see. US units were based largely on the pre-Imperial "Winchester measure" units. Though since the late 1800s, US units have been defined in terms of metric units (e.g., 1 inch = 25.4 mm exactly). --Aaron of Mpls (talk) 19:06, 23 July 2021 (UTC)