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Measurement appreciation day

Measurement appreciation day

In the 2 July 2017 issue of Nature, there is an article in the Comment section about the science of measuring:


The moral of the article is that if we all actually measured properly it would go a long way towards fixing our reproducibility problem. Good point, that unfortunately has to be made over and over and over.

Then, while looking for a good image to represent Metrology in this post, I learned that the 20th of May is World Metrology Day. According to http://www.npl.co.uk/world-metrology-day/,
“World Metrology Day is celebrated by over 80 countries each year on 20 May – the anniversary of the signing of the Metre Convention back in 1875. To this day, the agreement provides the basis for a single, coherent system of measurements that are traceable to the International System of Units (SI).”
Now THAT is worth cheering!

While this may not be something you think about much, some of you may recall what happened to the Mars Climate Orbiter because of a “failed translation of English units into metric units” (it probably crashed into mars). That’s right, not everyone used SI units, and, well, oops.


Here is my suggestion: You know how we all (are supposed to) check the batteries in our smoke detectors whenever the time changes? I think that every May 20th we should all check our units. Mark your calendars.

Image from: https://degiuli.com/2017/04/19/6-project-management-lessons-from-the-mars-climate-orbiter-failure/


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Birth of the Blog

This blog, like the book Lab Math from which it springs (incompletely formed), will be about numbers. I will endeavor to:

1. showcase the basic and the practical, not the challenging or even the advanced;

2.. provide straightforward guidance for the unenthusiastic (“just do it exactly this way”);

3.. provide refreshers for those needing refreshment (whether they know it or not.)