"Pheww it's 90 today" or "Pheww it's 32 today"?

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Ted633

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I work in the aviation maintenance sector, and due to American influence, everything is in imperial with only 2 exceptions. Fuel qty (Kg x1000) and temperature!
 

RichT54

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I work in the aviation maintenance sector, and due to American influence, everything is in imperial with only 2 exceptions. Fuel qty (Kg x1000) and temperature!
As an ex-meteorologist I always found it a bit perverse that weather reports and forecasts for aviation always gave the visibility in kilometres or metres while they used feet for cloud base.

In my day, the Met Office made several attempts to dispense with giving temperatures in Fahrenheit in addition to Celsius in public forecasts. However the press (especially the Express) would then stir up a fuss claiming it was some kind of socialist plot inspired by the EU and we would have to go back to including Fahrenheit again.
 

Peter Mugridge

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I would be saying "Yippee it's 32..."

In fact, the current temperature in my study, I see, is 33.4°C. There's a digital thermometer in front of me and the reading sensor is on a short pole clear of anything so it's a genuine air temperature reading measured from about the height of the top of the desk.
 

xotGD

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When in the US in winter I never know how cold it is. Hot days in degF I know what's what, but when it is 10F is that just cold or stupidly cold?
 

Mcr Warrior

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When in the US in winter I never know how cold it is. Hot days in degF I know what's what, but when it is 10F is that just cold or stupidly cold?
In the UK, the record lowest temperature in modern times on three separate occasions in Scotland has been something like -17°F (or -27.2°C) so that's fairly cold, albeit maybe not by US standards!

10°F is a tad warmer (or less chilly) at a relatively balmy -17°C.
 
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Bald Rick

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Celsius. Can’t remember the last time I saw Fahrenheit being used in a non-American situation. Do the tabloids still use it? I thought even the Currant Bun had switched to C.
 

haggishunter

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Used to not be uncommon in the Met Office mountain forecasts to see 'At 900m it will be -2ºc and the freezing level will be around 2000ft' !
 

GRALISTAIR

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BTW - anyone remember the famous headline The Sun says "Phew what a scorcher"? That was my company at the time lab computer password. TSSPWAS - The Sun says phew what a scorcher !
 

Starmill

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Celsius, like most SI units, makes far less inherent sense to people because it's based on a universal constant, not something we all use all the time. After all, we're people, not water. A foot makes more sense as a typical length of that part of one's body rather than a metre which was based on a pendulum, then the international standard metre bar. Today, 1m is defined as the distance travelled by light in a vacuum in 1/299,792,458 of a second. Easy to grasp?

However, much more importantly, SI units are both standardised and interoperable. To most, they tend by now to be familiar as a result. How much energy is a calorie? Well that's not an easy thing to think about. But 1kcal is the unit of energy required to increase the temperature of 1 litre of water by 1 degree. That's a satisfying feeling.

That's why people who grew up using them, that's most people now fortunately, other than those who know the US Customary measures better, think they 'make sense' more.
 

xotGD

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Straying slightly off topic, my favourite American unit is acre-feet as a unit of volume. A field an acre in size submerged by a foot of water. Excellent.
 

Domh245

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And straying slightly more off topic from that off topic, the most irritating imperial mess is the foot-pound/pound-foot situation!
 

Bald Rick

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And straying slightly more off topic from that off topic, the most irritating imperial mess is the foot-pound/pound-foot situation!
Measuring speed in some obscure imperial measures can be fun though. On my bike ride tonight I averaged 44,000 furlongs per fortnight. Feels rather impressive.
 

JonasB

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After all, we're people, not water.
Actually, we're roughly 60% water… And if you live in an area that sees temperatures below zero, it is usually very useful to know if it's above or below zero.

Also, SI units makes perfect sense if you have grown up in a country that uses them exclusively. And it is a system of units that works together making it very easy to do calculations in your head. To quote Josh Bazell:
In metric, one milliliter of water occupies one cubic centimeter, weighs one gram, and requires one calorie of energy to heat up by one degree centigrade—which is 1 percent of the difference between its freezing point and its boiling point. An amount of hydrogen weighing the same amount has exactly one mole of atoms in it. Whereas in the American system, the answer to ‘How much energy does it take to boil a room-temperature gallon of water?’ is ‘Go **** yourself,’ because you can’t directly relate any of those quantities.
 

Mojo

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And straying slightly more off topic from that off topic, the most irritating imperial mess is the foot-pound/pound-foot situation!
Most irritating for me is the mythical "cup." Certainly if you search for any recipe on the internet you will most likely end up with a recipe which thinks it acceptable to provide ingredients in "cups." My standard history is full of me searching for a recipe, clicking on the first link, then 5 seconds later re-searching for the same thing with "uk" added to the end.
 

GusB

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Most irritating for me is the mythical "cup." Certainly if you search for any recipe on the internet you will most likely end up with a recipe which thinks it acceptable to provide ingredients in "cups." My standard history is full of me searching for a recipe, clicking on the first link, then 5 seconds later re-searching for the same thing with "uk" added to the end.
Funnily enough, in home economics at school flour was measured out by a cup rather than by weight, but the butter was in grammes. I used to bake at home with my mum when I was a kid and everything was weighed (in pounds and ounces) using a rather archaic set of scales and some ancient weights.

I share your frustration regarding recipes online.
 

Bedpan

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I've used Centigrade from whenever it was that they started using it in weather forecasts, back in the 60s or whenever, and I've only come a cropper with it once. I've never referred to it as Celcius though. What is the difference, if any? Is there a subtle relationship between the two, like mass and weight, or cc and ml?

As for when I came a cropper, my phone wouldn't turn on. I thought that I might have got it wet, so I consulted a website I found in Google which said I should take the back off and heat it in an oven at 120 degrees for 20 minutes. I did that, but when I took it out of the oven, the case had melted. Then I realised I had been looking at an American website.



Measuring speed in some obscure imperial measures can be fun though. On my bike ride tonight I averaged 44,000 furlongs per fortnight. Feels rather impressive.
I couldn't possibly be doing with that. 220,000 chains a week for me!
 

xotGD

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How much do I weigh? I know the answer in stones and pounds, but I have no idea in kg or in pounds like the Americans do it.

For the latter I would need to learn the 14 times table.
 

Bald Rick

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Most irritating for me is the mythical "cup." Certainly if you search for any recipe on the internet you will most likely end up with a recipe which thinks it acceptable to provide ingredients in "cups." My standard history is full of me searching for a recipe, clicking on the first link, then 5 seconds later re-searching for the same thing with "uk" added to the end.
Mrs BR assures me that a cup is a standard measure of volume in baking terms (not weight), and it is 240ml. Or put another way 4 doz. teaspoons.
 

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