The Prototype For Metric Mass Is Shrinking!

*The 118-year-old cylinder that is the international prototype for the metric mass, kept tightly under lock and key outside Paris, is mysteriously losing weight — if ever so slightly. Physicist Richard Davis of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures in Sevres, southwest of Paris, says the reference kilo appears to have lost 50 micrograms compared with the average of dozens of copies.*

...yeah. I had a moment of panic--

*the constant! The constant!*, then rememberd, right.

*This doesn't actually affect me*.

Right. I spent the meeting today gleefully changing everyone's age to base four, eight, eleven, and binary. Let me just say, still more productive than sitting through that meeting. Also, I need to check my work. I'm not sure about the four base.

an_kayohan_kayoh50 micrograms is roughly equivalent to the weight of a fingerprint.Maybe someone cleaned it.

seperisemrinalexanderWe learned base 8 when I was in fourth grade - that was about the only thing I liked in math.

seperissowould. A *lot*.God, you learned base eight in fourth grade? *bitter*

emrinalexanderGod, you learned base eight in fourth grade? *bitterAt the time, when they gave us the Iowa Educational Development Tests, I always tested higher in math than anything else, so I was in some kind of torture chamber gifted math class. Fortunately, the math part of my brain departed for greener pastures at the end of that year (or maybe it just got warped from all the base whatevers) and I thankfully returned to eating topographical maps.

ileliberteseperis...no calculators? *shocky*

ileliberteAnd yeah. Log tables no fun :(

(Deleted comment)seperisI keep wanting to ask--

why binary for computers? And why *do* we use a 10 instead of say, eleven? Is all of math really based on our number of fingers?It's a very weird thought.

(I'm kind of getting dizzy by the 360 thing. Trying not to think about it.)

ratcreatureI always found it interesting why we use certain bases in certain areas. I mean, base 12 and 60 are fairly practical. Also IIRC, the hour still has 60 minutes, because the Sumerians used a Sexagesimal system in their math, and it just stuck, for the angles too, but it's kind of weird that we don't use that for everything then, but this weird mishmash. I mean using 60 is so practical because it has so many factors that you don't need fractions, so it's no wonder their system stuck for the everyday math, and nobody would think about turning time units decimal, but why use something different for the rest? I mean, nobody would use 11 as a base, because it is a prime, thus too few factors making calculations harder, but ten isn't much better and only really has the finger thing going for it.

mad_jakswhy binary for computers?2)why *do* we use a 10...?

Idiot's answers (as in *from* one not *to* one:

1) Because switches only have two positions 'on' and 'off'

2) Because we all tend to have ten fingers...

thepouncerThe Diamond Age. He's got several sections that explain the history of computer language by analogy, and I felt that blinding light of comprehension. It was fun.Why is a minute divided into 60 seconds, an hour into 60 minutes, yet there are only 24 hours in a day? With applicability to circles too, I'd think.

(Deleted comment)seperisratcreatureseperisShould see if Weight Watchers has any operatives around there.

nimnodnimnodseperislovelokest*geeks out*

ms_nerd