Date: Thu, 28 Sep 1995 01:12:58 -0400
From: ALICE FABER faber[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]HASKINS.YALE.EDU
Subject: Re: going metric
Dennis Baron asks:
| Is going metric like going postal, only more so? When I spent a year in
| France we went metric in a big way. Distance, liquid measure, even the
| 24-hour clock and decimal currency were no problem. The only problem I had
| with metric was the temperature. I know there's an easy formula, and I was
| always perfectly comfortable doing centigrade in science labs. But somehow
| it was all meaningless when it came to the weather (or sick children, tho
| we did bring along a fahrenheit oral thermometer). So every time I
| listened to the meteo on the radio, I would have to stick my head out the
| window to really know how to dress the family.
This is getting off topic, but...when I studied in Israel, the way I coped
with metric temperatures was simply to memorize a few points:
21 room temperature
38 body temperature
40 stinking hot
Everything else was proportions (halfway between room temp and body temp is 84
F). This was kind of an operational calibration (ie, 21C is slightly cooler
than 72F), but it was the only practical way to do things.
Now distance/speed limits I could do conversions for on the fly...Go figure.