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Measurement

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Simon1066
1079810.  Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:55 am Reply with quote

Units of measure include the Earlang, the Barn, the Beard Second, the Crab, and the BED

BED stands for banana equivalent dose. Eating a banana exposes you to a small amount of radiation, about 0.1 microsieverts. BED is a clever way of comparing radiation exposure with banana consumption. For example “The Fukushima Radiation Leak Is Equal To 76 Million Bananas per hour”

The Earlang is a measure of telecommunications traffic. One Earlang is one hour’s use of a single line of voice traffic over a mobile phone network.

The Barn is a unit used in particle physics and relates to the number of particles to hit a detector in a particle collision accelerator.

Unlike the light year, the Beard second measures very short distances, i.e. the distance the average beard hair grows in one second.

The crab is another unit to measure the intensity of radiation. Radiation detectors in space have been calibrated by directing themselves to the crab nebula, which until recently, was thought to produce a constant stream of x-ray radiation.

This must surely be a very fertile theme to explore. After all we’ve been using units of measurement for many hundreds of years and there will be interesting stories in their discovery, and in the complications different measurement systems have given rise to.

 
Morbius
1079838.  Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:53 pm Reply with quote

The Donkeypower is defined as being 250 Watts, approximately one third of a horsepower.

A nibble is half a byte, i.e. four bits. A jiffy is also used in computing - it's the length of time for one tick of the timer interrupt.

 
AlmondFacialBar
1079840.  Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:58 pm Reply with quote

QI facts about miles:

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mile

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
Spud McLaren
1079855.  Fri Jun 13, 2014 4:34 pm Reply with quote

Different temperature scales:

Celsius (centigrade)
Fahrenheit
Kelvin
Rankine
Newton
Réaumur
Rømer

and a comparison table.

 
Dix
1079862.  Fri Jun 13, 2014 5:06 pm Reply with quote

Other computer-related M units of measures are

Mickey: a unit of measurement for mouse movements.

and the (mythical) "Microsoft Minute": a unit of measure for download time -- the one used for the visual progress bars that ticks along nicely for about 90 seconds and then sits there for 90 seconds more before the full minute has elapsed. A very flexible unit :-)

 
mjc3
1079885.  Sat Jun 14, 2014 12:30 am Reply with quote

Simon1066 wrote:

BED stands for banana equivalent dose. Eating a banana exposes you to a small amount of radiation, about 0.1 microsieverts. BED is a clever way of comparing radiation exposure with banana consumption. For example “The Fukushima Radiation Leak Is Equal To 76 Million Bananas per hour”


They semi-covered the banana equivalent dose when they talked about micromorts (Killers episode), although I would love to see another mention of it since it is one of my favorite units of measure.




Spud McLaren wrote:
Different temperature scales:

....




I think that my favorite temperature scale is the electron volt - the electrical energy lost from moving an electron across a 1 volt potential. The fact that it can be converted into temperature is just one of those, "wait... ok, I guess physics says this works" things for many scientists.

(Kelvins * Boltzmann constant = eV)

 
Big Martin
1080187.  Mon Jun 16, 2014 8:11 am Reply with quote

My late friend in Memmingen had an old map of the area on the wall in Bavarian miles, though what that equates to in Statute Miles I couldn't say.

We used to rate insurance cover for heating boilers on their British Thermal Unit output. Unfortunately, the surveyors were ahead of us underwriters in going metric and all the reports would come in with the capacity in Kilowatts. To work out the BTU capacity you had to know the capacity of the boiler in cubic inches and mutiply this by a figure that I can't recall now. This could to lead to a lot of calculations for a cylindrical boiler that the report only gave the dimensions of in centimetres. Eventually it dawned on me that, as long as I was somewhere about right, nobody was ever going to check my assumptions and I could get away with guesstimates and save a lot of time.

 
Ian Dunn
1080197.  Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:06 am Reply with quote

I think the main thing that should be brought up about measurments is that you cannot measure anything with a 100% degree of accuracy.

In other words, you cannot for example prove that something is exactly one centimetre in length. In order to do so you have to prove that it measures 1.0000000000000000... centimetres. Every number after the decimal point has to be zero, but as there are an infinite number of digits you cannot prove that every single one of them is a zero.

 
suze
1080198.  Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:13 am Reply with quote

Big Martin wrote:
My late friend in Memmingen had an old map of the area on the wall in Bavarian miles, though what that equates to in Statute Miles I couldn't say.


A Bavarian mile was apparently 25,406 Bavarian feet, where a Bavarian foot was 11½ inches.

It's about 4½ English statute miles.

 
tetsabb
1080226.  Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:01 pm Reply with quote

And, as I am sure AFB would agree, the Irish Mile is almost infinitely variable-- "Sure, it's about a moile down the road"; this can be anything between a couple of hundred metres to halfway across the country.

 
djgordy
1080268.  Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:25 pm Reply with quote

Quiz: how does this

Spud McLaren wrote:
Kelvin


link up with the music thread?

No Googling, Binging or any other search engineing please.

 
Ian Dunn
1080270.  Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:41 pm Reply with quote

Is there some song about absolute zero. Maybe John Cage?

 
djgordy
1080274.  Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:47 pm Reply with quote

Correct. John Cage's 4 minutes 33 seconds last 273 seconds and Cage chose that because -273 is absolute zero on the Kelvin scale. OK, doesn't actually qualify as a song but you get -273 points.

 
tetsabb
1080281.  Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:10 pm Reply with quote

Very cool, djg.
(DYSWIDT?)

 
AlmondFacialBar
1080326.  Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:25 am Reply with quote

tetsabb wrote:
And, as I am sure AFB would agree, the Irish Mile is almost infinitely variable-- "Sure, it's about a moile down the road"; this can be anything between a couple of hundred metres to halfway across the country.


See the Wikipedia article which works under a similar assumption, if slightly more formalised. You're forgetting Paddy Murphy's barn on the corner that burned down twenty years ago, though. And the stile his grandnephew has there, but only when he has his sheep outside, which is from April to November, and sure isn't it a shame that it's March now. In fairness to them, though, it terms of absolute length about a mile and half way to Donegal isn't much of a difference...

:-)

AlmondFacialBar


Last edited by AlmondFacialBar on Tue Jun 17, 2014 3:42 pm; edited 1 time in total

 

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