1 || 2 || 3 || 4 || 5 || 6 || 7 || 8 || 9 || 10 || 11

# 2  The Travellers Temperature Tips

Date: 28/08/2006

Many businessmen, tourists from the USA and UK are going to travel to the countries that use SI system. The base SI unit of temperature used in science is the Kelvin but a change of 1 K is the same as 1 degree of the popular metric unit, the degree Celsius, so both units are used in parallel.

In 1742, a Swedish astronomer, Anders Celsius designed a temperature scale from 0 to 100. The lowest, cold end (0), he affixed for the temperature at which water freezes and the highest (100) for the temperature at which water boils. This scale, known as the centigrade scale became widely spread.To honour Celsius, in 1948, the centigrade was named the degree Celsius. Until the 1970, English speaking countries used the Fahrenheit temperature scale based on affixing 32 for the freezing point of water and 212 for the boiling point of water with the difference between both ends divided into 180 parts (degrees Fahrenheit).

However, due to a convenient, easy to grasp in - every - day – life, the Celsius scale gained popularity and now is commonly used in every country of the world with two prominent exceptions: USA and UK! However, the differences between magnitudes of these two units produce headaches for housewives, students, technicians, travellers on both sides of the divide. “Have I set the temperature of my oven correctly?”. “ My body temperature is 37.8 ºC. Should I go to a doctor?”. “I am travelling to Cracow... CNN reports that temperature there, at present, is – 19 ºC; how should I dress?”

An so on...Very often the problem is to change correctly the degrees Fahrenheit to the degrees Celsius or vice versa, especially when faced with urgency. With help comes the Internet. According to one search engine only in April this year about 50 000 people in the world turned to the Internet for help to convert either the degrees Fahrenheit to the degrees Celsius or vice versa. Oh, I wish 10% of them found my book in every coming month! And then...10% turned into buyers! (...Wacek, stop dreaming! For only these two keywords you want to get a fat salary! Please continue!). 

OK, then, something easy to remember during your trip:

Temp. in ºC

0 .........................freezing point of water

18 -22 .................pleasant outdoor temperature

23 temperature, the best for brain

26 -27..................pleasant beach temperature

28 -29................. hot

30 and above......very hot, temperature stress

36.3 – 36.8 body temperature during a day

above 37.1..........your body requires attention

above 38.5..........your body requires urgent attention

above 45 ............most of organisms do not survive

100......................boiling temperature of water

160 – 220........... typical baking temperature range

To change to your familiar Fahrenheit degrees:

1) multiply by 2 (eeeasy!)

2) subtract 10% (or 1/10) of the result (eeeasy!)

3) add 32

Easy, but you need to memorize the number “32”! How to help your memory? Say, you correlate it to your age, a certain event: “when he was 32” or AD 32 crucifixion of Jesus; the possibilities are endless. I memorize: “I need to add the next higher number than the highest number of days in a month, i.e. 32”.

Remember these three steps:

ºC x 2, -10%, +32 →→→ ºF (exact!!)...

send me a postcard from your travel and... keep warm!

Wacek Kijewski

PS: Read my last ezine: "How to Measure Cultural Differences in Metric Units". Keywords: fun test, fun facts, joke, puzzle, metric units.


Do you like anecdotes, interesting and challenging problems, fun facts, puzzles, jokes related to metric system and measurement? Read them in the 2015 on-line edition of "SI Units, Conversion and Measurement Skills",204 pp.