... while the WSJ worries about the state of science education

Thursday, July 20, 2006
OpinionJournal - Best of the Web Today: "The Times of London reports on the latest weather across the pond:

A heat wave has spread across Europe with near-tropical temperatures so far claiming seven lives as people struggle through their daily lives in temperatures reaching 40 degrees. . . .

In France, it is those in the southeast who are suffering the most, but even temperatures in Paris will soar to 36 degrees by midweek as the heat wave spreads to the north, forecasters said. . . .

An elderly man and woman have already died in the Bordeaux region in the when the heat exacerbated their medical conditions. Temperatures had reached 38 degrees when the 85-year-old man died in hospital, and the woman, 81 at her home.

A 53-year-old labourer in the eastern French town of Macon died overnight of 'malign hyperthermia' after working outside in temperatures of 33 degrees, authorities said.

Wow. When it's 40 degrees or below, we are apt to don a sweater, and we always thought we were pretty insensitive to cold. These Europeans must have a really low tolerance for heat. No wonder they're always worrying about 'global warming.'"

18 comments:

Skookumchuk said...

So none of our "allies" will be moving to Palm Springs, then?

chuck said...

A degree is a degree the world around.

brylun said...

I took Taranto to be making fun of the metric system as he has regularly done in his columns. See here at the very end story (250 Kilo-Hertz) as another example of this.

Skookumchuk said...

Yeah, but come on... what is 33C? 91F?

Here, all the old codgers are headed out for nine holes on the links.

Ya wear a hat.

Buddy Larsen said...

Do it in your head, 4 step coversion (w small error factor):

Fahrenheit to Celsius:

1) Add 40

2) Halve it

3) Add 10%

4) Subtract 40

***************

Celsius to Fahrenheit:

1) Add 40

2) double it

3) Subtract 10%

4) Subtract 40

Seneca the Younger said...

I agree, Brylun. I just reserve the right to make fun of him for it.

Seneca the Younger said...

Or remember that -40°F = -40°C, 100°F = 40°C, 50°F = 10°C, and interpolate.

Buddy Larsen said...

yeh--anything to keep from multiplying fractions in your--or my, better said--head. Say, how'd you make those 'degree' symbols?

chuck said...

While visiting the link this is what caught my attention:

Though he's a committed Islamist activist in a movement that denounces the United States for supporting Israel and occupying Iraq, Shorah proudly sports what has become the latest trend in Palestinian street wear: US military apparel.

Talk about cultural imperialism.

Or remember that -40°F = -40°C, 100°F = 40°C, 50°F = 10°C, and interpolate.

Paul Erdös had another version of this story, how Kummer calculated 7 x 9:
Kummer said to himself: "Hmmm the product cannot be 61, because 61 is
prime, it cannot be 65, because 65 is a multiple of 5, 67 is a prime, 69 is
too big - Only 63 is left."

Buddy Larsen said...

What's that story about Einstein, he's out for a walk one evening and the sky splits open and God hands him down the plan of the Universe.

Einstein, brow furrowed, walks along studying it for awhile, then stops and points to one of the formulas and says "You know, this right here, this just won't work."

chuck said...

Buddy,

That's a variant of the Pauli joke. Pauli was fascinated by the fine structure constant and said an explanation was the one the he would ask of God when he died. So...

And here, allow me a short diversion to quote a once-famous joke about the first day in Heaven of W. Pauli, the theoretician “par excellence”.

At the pearly gate, Saint Peter says :
“Pauli, God wants to meet you right away”, and shows him the proper direction. At God’s palace, the Deity says, "Pauli, you have been a good man, and I want to reward you in some way. Ask me any
question you like." Without hesitation Pauli says, “Explain the fine structure constant”.

So God goes to the blackboard and starts writing, and Pauli listens in pleasure. But after two minutes Pauli stops smiling. After five minutes, he is shaking his head - and suddenly he jumps to his feet shouting "Das ist ganz falsch!"


Pauli had a reputation for being extremely critical and was famous for the phrase "Das is ganz falsch."

Buddy Larsen said...

LOL--yes, our beloved old eccentric geniuses. Thank goodness they didn't specialize in dogma & doctrine--

Morgan said...

Buddy,

Your conversion is exact going Celsius to Fahrenheit, but you would need to add 11.11...% to get the same precision going Fahrenheit to Celsius.

Never saw that algorithm before. Thanks.

Seneca the Younger said...

Buddy, it's °

There's a lovely chart of these thigns at Elizabeth Castro's site.

Seneca the Younger said...

Dammit. Don't preview your comment if you use these things: blogger will savage you by translating too early. It's °

Buddy Larsen said...

Man, that IS a great chart--thanks!

Morgan, you're welcome--it's an old oil-patch rule-of-thumb, rounded for ease of use & 'good-enough' accuracy in the ranges where a rule-of-thumb is handy.

(rule of thumb, handy, jeez, gotta get a grip on these idiomatics)

Peter UK said...

x Degrees Fahrenheit
= 5/9( x - 32) Degrees Celsius.

y Degrees Celsius
= (9/5y + 32) Degrees Fahrenheit.

Had to learn these at school,never knew when Johnny Foreigner was going to fob one off with the wrong temperature

Seneca the Younger said...

Man, that IS a great chart--thanks!

Her book is even more wonderful. I just pre-ordered the 6th edition, even though I have owned all five previous editions.