Another Rant (Tired Words Pt 4?)

I should be studying right now for an exam I have in five hours but I need to get something off my chest.

I hate the FPS system of measurement. I hate it so much. I hate it with the same hatred that John Green has for pennies. I hate the Foot-Pound-Second system like I have hated few things before.

And why? Why does it irk me so that we still use this archaic system of measurement in so many aspects of our everyday life? Well, as an engineering student I am expected to do calculations in both FPS and SI units. And that’s some bull. That’s bull because the FPS system should have died out as soon as a MUCH better system was created. A system that is based on a base ten number dealie (I am too tired/lazy to look up the proper name for the whatchimacallit).

Here’s an example, say you wanted to measure the length of your room. In FPS you would take that measurement in feet and then some fraction of a foot using ever decreasing fractions to discover the correct length of your room. In SI units, you would use meters, then decimals, ever decreasing decimals, and get the same result. But then say that you wanted to find how long it took something to fly across your room and then compare that to the speed of a car on the highway. Well, in SI that’s easy.Length of your room divided by the time it takes the thing to move from one side to the other, then a simple base ten unit conversion and bam! your done. But with FPS? Oh no. length divided by time then some arbitrary unit conversions based on stupidness and you’re done.

And then there’s the elegance of the fact that (and I may have some of the factors of 10 off here) but in SI units 1 cubic decimeter of water at 1 atmosphere has a mass of 1 kilogram and when accelerating at 1 meter per second per second has a force of 1 newton. In FPS the numbers are dumb and I dont want to do the math.

And then there’s fahrenheit vs celsius and kelvin.

From wikipedia:

Fahrenheit proposed his temperature scale in 1724, basing it on three reference points of temperature.[7] In his initial scale (which is not the final Fahrenheit scale), the zero point is determined by placing the thermometer in brine: he used a mixture of ice, water, and ammonium chloride, a salt, at a 1:1:1 ratio. This is a frigorific mixture which stabilizes its temperature automatically: that stable temperature was defined as 0 °F (−17.78 °C). The second point, at 32 degrees, was a mixture of ice and water without the ammonium chloride at a 1:1 ratio. The third point, 96 degrees, was approximately the human body temperature, then called “blood-heat”.

According to a letter Fahrenheit wrote to his friend Herman Boerhaave,[10] his scale was built on the work of Ole Rømer, whom he had met earlier. In Rømer’s scale, brine freezes at zero, water freezes and melts at 7.5 degrees, body temperature is 22.5, and water boils at 60 degrees. Fahrenheit multiplied each value by four in order to eliminate fractions and increase the granularity of the scale. He then re-calibrated his scale using the melting point of ice and normal human body temperature (which were at 30 and 90 degrees); he adjusted the scale so that the melting point of ice would be 32 degrees and body temperature 96 degrees, so that 64 intervals would separate the two, allowing him to mark degree lines on his instruments by simply bisecting the interval six times (since 64 is 2 to the sixth power).

Fahrenheit observed that water boils at about 212 degrees using this scale. Later, other scientists decided to redefine the scale slightly to make the freezing point exactly 32 °F, and the boiling point exactly 212 °F or 180 degrees higher.[citation needed] It is for this reason that normal human body temperature is approximately 98° (oral temperature) on the revised scale (whereas it was 90° on Fahrenheit’s multiplication of Rømer, and 96° on his original scale).

What the fucking shit. What kind of arbitrary bullshit is this? I mean, the fuck?

Why the hell would you use human body temperature, something that is in NO way a constant, as a set point for your scale?! WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK?!

Again, from wikipedia (may you never go offline):

Celsius, also known as centigrade, is a scale and unit of measurement for temperature. It is named after the Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius (1701–1744), who developed a similar temperature scale. The degree Celsius (°C) can refer to a specific temperature on the Celsius scale as well as a unit to indicate a temperature interval, a difference between two temperatures or an uncertainty. The unit was known until 1948 as “centigrade” from the Latin centum translated as 100 and gradus translated as “steps”.

From 1743 until 1954, 0 °C was defined as the freezing point of water and 100 °C was defined as the boiling point of water, both at a pressure of one standard atmosphere with mercury being the working material. Although these defining correlations are commonly taught in schools today, by international agreement the unit “degree Celsius” and the Celsius scale are currently defined by two different temperatures: absolute zero, and the triple point of VSMOW (specially purified water). This definition also precisely relates the Celsius scale to the Kelvin scale, which defines the SI base unit of thermodynamic temperature with symbol K. Absolute zero, the lowest temperature possible at which matter reaches minimum entropy, is defined as being precisely 0 K and −273.15 °C. The temperature of the triple point of water is defined as precisely 273.16 K and 0.01 °C.

This definition fixes the magnitude of both the degree Celsius and the kelvin as precisely 1 part in 273.16 (approximately 0.00366) of the difference between absolute zero and the triple point of water. Thus, it sets the magnitude of one degree Celsius and that of one kelvin as exactly the same. Additionally, it establishes the difference between the two scales’ null points as being precisely 273.15 degrees Celsius (−273.15 °C = 0 K and 0 °C = 273.15 K).

That’s better.

I have an exam to finish studying for so I’ve gotta go now internet. But I leave you with this comic by The Oatmeal (who’s work I greatly admire and who I hope got a chuckle from this article but also does not hate me for the many speeling and gammer error’s in it).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s