1606: "Five-Day Forecast"

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Re: 1606: "Five-Day Forecast"

Postby SFX » Mon Nov 23, 2015 2:06 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:Metric time makes perfect sense. What doesn't make sense is basing it on the second. Define a metric second as 1/100,000 of a day. So 1 metric second is 0.864 seconds. That's a convenient interval. A thousand metric seconds will be about a quarter of an hour, which is also a nice length of time for many purposes. You will still have an inconvenient conversion from days to years which can't be escaped, but the system would overall be a lot simpler than it is now.
You just invented decimal time

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decimal_time

The problems with it became obvious, which is why it's not used. But why start with a day to divide? Why not a year?

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Re: 1606: "Five-Day Forecast"

Postby thevicente » Mon Nov 23, 2015 2:12 pm UTC

I've said this before and I say again:

thevicente wrote:This comic, annoying me for using degress F , gave me an idea.

Randall could make versions in both imperial and metric and use ip-geo thing to serve the "correct" units for everyone.

Doesn't see too difficult considering the programatic things he made in the past.

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Re: 1606: "Five-Day Forecast"

Postby Copper Bezel » Mon Nov 23, 2015 2:19 pm UTC

Gosh no. If he did all that, the only possible choice would be to switch them.
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Re: 1606: "Five-Day Forecast"

Postby mathmannix » Mon Nov 23, 2015 2:47 pm UTC

Ehh, eventually the rest of the world will come around and accept U.S. (formerly "Imperial") measurements as the correct standard. I'll explain why they're better.

armandoalvarez wrote:*Volume is probably the worst. So much unnecessary math to do unit conversion.


Strongly disagree, volume is the best. (And this is why U.S. measurements are better than the metric system.)

OK, I know roughly what a liter of water is (I picture a quart, ha!)

But even if I have it established really well in my head what a liter is, that doesn't really give me a good idea of what a hundredth or thousandth of a liter is, or even what ten liters is. OK, the math is great for SCIENCE and all that, but not really for everyday life (such as measuring for cooking or whatnot.) It's a GREAT idea to have separate names for the commonly used volumes of teaspoon, tablespoon, ounce, cup, pint, quart, and gallon. I can instantly visualize a teaspoon of vanilla, or a half-cup of sugar, or two gallons of water. Any factor of more than 0.2 or 5 away from a measurement, and I can't easily visualize it anymore. So if all I had were quarts, I would need 0.0052 (ish) quarts (or 5-ish milliquarts) of vanilla, 0.125 quarts (or 125 milliquarts) of sugar, and 8 quarts of water.

And those are all too hard to visualize. Winner: U.S. measurements, clearly!
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Re: 1606: "Five-Day Forecast"

Postby Kit. » Mon Nov 23, 2015 2:56 pm UTC

Zacen299 wrote:No "freezing" is -20°C with windchill and -30°C without seriously people do you not know that to be freezing you need to be able to easily get frostbite? :P Also for the record where I live last I checked it takes -40°C without windchill to actually close our schools which I both get and deeply terrifies me. What is wrong with where I live?

Humidity. The air where you live is too dry. Quite far from the Gulf Stream, are you?

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Re: 1606: "Five-Day Forecast"

Postby Copper Bezel » Mon Nov 23, 2015 3:01 pm UTC

"Quart" is just short for "quarter gallon". Yet no one seems to have the need to use the fourliter as a base unit either. Obviously, people struggled more with imperial. Thus, metric wins.

Unless you're being serious, in which case, no, just no.
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Re: 1606: "Five-Day Forecast"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Mon Nov 23, 2015 3:05 pm UTC

mathmannix wrote:Ehh, eventually the rest of the world will come around and accept U.S. (formerly "Imperial") measurements as the correct standard. I'll explain why they're better.

armandoalvarez wrote:*Volume is probably the worst. So much unnecessary math to do unit conversion.


Strongly disagree, volume is the best. (And this is why U.S. measurements are better than the metric system.)

OK, I know roughly what a liter of water is (I picture a quart, ha!)

But even if I have it established really well in my head what a liter is, that doesn't really give me a good idea of what a hundredth or thousandth of a liter is, or even what ten liters is. OK, the math is great for SCIENCE and all that, but not really for everyday life (such as measuring for cooking or whatnot.) It's a GREAT idea to have separate names for the commonly used volumes of teaspoon, tablespoon, ounce, cup, pint, quart, and gallon. I can instantly visualize a teaspoon of vanilla, or a half-cup of sugar, or two gallons of water. Any factor of more than 0.2 or 5 away from a measurement, and I can't easily visualize it anymore. So if all I had were quarts, I would need 0.0052 (ish) quarts (or 5-ish milliquarts) of vanilla, 0.125 quarts (or 125 milliquarts) of sugar, and 8 quarts of water.

And those are all too hard to visualize. Winner: U.S. measurements, clearly!
But if you have a gallon of milk, the recepie specifies a cup of milk per person and you need to cook for 40, do you have enough?

Metric measurements are easily better. A gallon is about 4,5 liters, a cup is about 250 ml so: no. 40 cups is 10 liters so you need over 2 gallons.

Also I have sizes in my head for several standard measurements: 330 ml is a beerbottle, 1l is a cubic decimeter (100 mm x 100 mm x 100mm, or about the width of my hand cubed), 20 ml is a shot of whisky.
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Re: 1606: "Five-Day Forecast"

Postby ucim » Mon Nov 23, 2015 3:18 pm UTC

mathmannix wrote:OK, I know roughly what a liter of water is (I picture a quart, ha!)

But even if I have it established really well in my head what a liter is, that doesn't really give me a good idea of what a hundredth or thousandth of a liter is, or even what ten liters is. OK, the math is great for SCIENCE and all that, but not really for everyday life (such as measuring for cooking or whatnot.)
That is not a sufficient reason.

With use (the same way you can visualize a teaspoon or cup), the metric units will become equally familiar. The advantage (and arguably, the only advantage) is that metric units easily convert, whereas cups and quarts and teaspoons and barrels don't. There are a lot more conversion factors to memorize and multiply/divide by.

The problem is really twofold:
One is that ten is a horrible number system base. Twelve is far superior (almost all common fractions are easily expressed past the "decimal" point). Commonly needed arithmetic in base twelve will almost always lead to pretty numbers; this is not true of base ten. We use base ten because we were designed with haphazardly evolved with ten fingers. It's too late to go back now, but commonly needed arithmetic is why so many measuring systems have factors of two and three and four built into them, but rarely five or seven.

Two is that different sized units are "best" for different fields, and they also arose haphazardly, without any thought for an overarching unit system. Moving to metric (or any other universal system) makes each of these fields more awkward, for the benefit of easily switching between them. There once was a wonderful website which described the history and usefulness of various systems (such as why "chain" is used for surveying, and why it's so much better than anything else for that purpose, but I don't remember the URL and cannot find it any more. It may have gone to the Bit Bucket in the Sky; searches reveal other sites but not any as awesome as that one.

Even money fights this. Ten is an awkward number for splitting subsets, but since we have adopted base ten, anything else is awkward for universal systems.

As for temperature, Farenheit and Centegrade are superior to Kelvin because at least with the former, you can have something that has "absolutely no temperature", thus defeating quantum mechanics at its own game. :)

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Re: 1606: "Five-Day Forecast"

Postby Echo244 » Mon Nov 23, 2015 3:26 pm UTC

Neil_Boekend wrote:Metric measurements are easily better. A gallon is about 4,5 liters, a cup is about 250 ml so: no. 40 cups is 10 liters so you need over 2 gallons.

Also I have sizes in my head for several standard measurements: 330 ml is a beerbottle, 1l is a cubic decimeter (100 mm x 100 mm x 100mm, or about the width of my hand cubed), 20 ml is a shot of whisky.


Randall says you have half-sized shot glasses. And your shot glasses are too small to hold the contents of your nasal cavities.
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Re: 1606: "Five-Day Forecast"

Postby speising » Mon Nov 23, 2015 3:40 pm UTC

Well, it's a shot glass, not a snot glass.

Anyway, whether imperial or metric, volume measurements in cooking, for anything but liquids, are just wrong. (4 cups of apples?)

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Re: 1606: "Five-Day Forecast"

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Nov 23, 2015 3:44 pm UTC

mathmannix wrote:Ehh, eventually the rest of the world will come around and accept U.S. (formerly "Imperial") measurements as the correct standard. I'll explain why they're better.

armandoalvarez wrote:*Volume is probably the worst. So much unnecessary math to do unit conversion.


Strongly disagree, volume is the best. (And this is why U.S. measurements are better than the metric system.)

OK, I know roughly what a liter of water is (I picture a quart, ha!)

But even if I have it established really well in my head what a liter is, that doesn't really give me a good idea of what a hundredth or thousandth of a liter is, or even what ten liters is. OK, the math is great for SCIENCE and all that, but not really for everyday life (such as measuring for cooking or whatnot.) It's a GREAT idea to have separate names for the commonly used volumes of teaspoon, tablespoon, ounce, cup, pint, quart, and gallon. I can instantly visualize a teaspoon of vanilla, or a half-cup of sugar, or two gallons of water. Any factor of more than 0.2 or 5 away from a measurement, and I can't easily visualize it anymore. So if all I had were quarts, I would need 0.0052 (ish) quarts (or 5-ish milliquarts) of vanilla, 0.125 quarts (or 125 milliquarts) of sugar, and 8 quarts of water.

And those are all too hard to visualize. Winner: U.S. measurements, clearly!
One liter is 1000 cubic centimeters. Do you know how many cubic inches are in a quart? Volumes are not only for cooking liquids, and the metric advantage is that you can convert easily between them, whereas 231 is a much messier number to work with, even if you do remember that that's how many cubic inches are in a gallon.

Also, your inability to visualize units you're not familiar with is not a point against the unfamiliar system.

Also also, unless you remember (and regularly use) rods, chains, and furlongs, you already measure distance in inconveniently different units. There are 5280 feet or 1760 yards in a mile, and anything between 15 feet and 1056 feet, you're using factors bigger than 5 (or smaller than 1/5).
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Re: 1606: "Five-Day Forecast"

Postby Kit. » Mon Nov 23, 2015 3:44 pm UTC

ucim wrote:As for temperature, Farenheit and Centegrade are superior to Kelvin because at least with the former, you can have something that has "absolutely no temperature", thus defeating quantum mechanics at its own game. :)

The "temperature" is just a reciprocal to the fundamental physical unit, coldness.

Then this probably needs to be cited as well.

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Re: 1606: "Five-Day Forecast"

Postby CharlieP » Mon Nov 23, 2015 3:59 pm UTC

ucim wrote:One is that ten is a horrible number system base. Twelve is far superior


Yes, twelve is more divisible than ten, but I don't see how that's relevant to Imperial units.

One twelfth of a mile is 146 2/3 yards,

One twelfth of a gallon is either 1 2/3 pints or 1 1/3 pints, depending where you come from.

One twelfth of a stone is 1 1/7 pounds. One twelfth of a pound is 1 1/3 ounces.

In fact, the only thing that I can think of that divides neatly by 12 is the foot.
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Re: 1606: "Five-Day Forecast"

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Nov 23, 2015 4:04 pm UTC

CharlieP wrote:
ucim wrote:One is that ten is a horrible number system base. Twelve is far superior


Yes, twelve is more divisible than ten, but I don't see how that's relevant to Imperial units.

One twelfth of a mile is 146 2/3 yards,

One twelfth of a gallon is either 1 2/3 pints or 1 1/3 pints, depending where you come from.

One twelfth of a stone is 1 1/7 pounds. One twelfth of a pound is 1 1/3 ounces.

In fact, the only thing that I can think of that divides neatly by 12 is the foot.

No, but lots of things are divisible by 2 or 3 separately, and 1/3 is much nicer in base-12 than 10.
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Re: 1606: "Five-Day Forecast"

Postby Znirk » Mon Nov 23, 2015 4:06 pm UTC

Echo244 wrote:
Neil_Boekend wrote:20 ml is a shot of whisky.


Randall says you have half-sized shot glasses.

The whole glass is about 40ml. The actual shot one is usually sold, as specified by the etched line halfway up the glass, is 20ml.

And around here, a normal serving of whisky in a bar who know what they're doing is often 40ml (though obviously in a different glass).

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Re: 1606: "Five-Day Forecast"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Mon Nov 23, 2015 4:18 pm UTC

Znirk wrote:
Echo244 wrote:
Neil_Boekend wrote:20 ml is a shot of whisky.


Randall says you have half-sized shot glasses.

The whole glass is about 40ml. The actual shot one is usually sold, as specified by the etched line halfway up the glass, is 20ml.

And around here, a normal serving of whisky in a bar who know what they're doing is often 40ml (though obviously in a different glass).

Indeed. Whisky should always be served in a nosing-and-tasting glass. Preferably with a small glass lid.
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A tumbler (glass used in most films) is good for bourbon, but not for whisky. Good whisky has awesome smell that is a large part of drinking it. A tumber lets that smell out of the glass. This means that smelling the whisky does not work properly. Tumblers are for people who don't like whisky and just want to get drunk. Nosing-and-tasting glasses are for people who actually like whisky.
Also, one who actually likes whisky doesn't use ice. Ice is required for bourbon to make the overly sweet taste palatable (the tastebuds that process sweet won't work properly when cold).
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Re: 1606: "Five-Day Forecast"

Postby CharlieP » Mon Nov 23, 2015 4:28 pm UTC

I can vaguely remember when spirit measures went metric UK bars, circa 1992.

Previously, a single measure was 1/6 of a gill (5/6 of an Imperial fluid ounce, roughly 23.7 ml) - in England at least - but it became either 25 ml or 35 ml, depending which the bar chose to implement.
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Re: 1606: "Five-Day Forecast"

Postby SFX » Mon Nov 23, 2015 4:54 pm UTC

A bloke walks into a pub and says "Give me 568.26125 Milliliters will ya"

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Re: 1606: "Five-Day Forecast"

Postby freezeblade » Mon Nov 23, 2015 8:29 pm UTC

.5L is close enough to a pint. At least, in comparison to how varied beer is poured in the US. If you ask for a pint in a typical bar, odds are you'll get it served in a 12oz glass, which is a much higher error bar than just getting a 500ml glass.
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Re: 1606: "Five-Day Forecast"

Postby SimonMoon5 » Mon Nov 23, 2015 8:37 pm UTC

Anyone else notice that it's not going to be above 52 degrees Fahrenheit in the next million years, according to the forecast? If that's correct, I say bring on the attack of the flying saucers!

For me, 100+ degrees Fahrenheit is tolerable. It's only when it gets to around 110+ degrees Fahrenheit that I find things too hot to do anything. But I also don't like 60 degrees Fahrenheit or cooler... that's heavy jacket weather... and no matter how much you crank up the heat, you can't get the cold out of your buildings. Floors are still cold, the air still lingers with cold's putrid touch... Bah.

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Re: 1606: "Five-Day Forecast"

Postby Zacen299 » Mon Nov 23, 2015 8:53 pm UTC

Kit. wrote:Humidity. The air where you live is too dry. Quite far from the Gulf Stream, are you?


Yes, yes I am. I live in the Canadian prairies far far away from any thing resembling humidity.

On a different note, will there always be someone who hates base 10 every time the measurement system argument comes up? Because from every time I've been in one there's always one.

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Re: 1606: "Five-Day Forecast"

Postby SFX » Mon Nov 23, 2015 9:11 pm UTC

Zacen299 wrote:On a different note, will there always be someone who hates base 10
Who hates it?

The hate is for a system that was designed for science, not everyday life.

It's why time and angles and so forth are still not metric. Some things work better for practical living. Others for math and science.

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Re: 1606: "Five-Day Forecast"

Postby Keyman » Mon Nov 23, 2015 9:31 pm UTC

puppysized wrote:I have always thought it's useful that -40°C=-40°F. A winter or two ago, we hit that (if you include windchill). To add my opinion in, it's below freezing outside right now, which isn't really unpleasant for me. The air tastes much more refreshing when it's cold, I like 0°C.
Where I'm from, you know it's below zero if your nose hairs start to freeze while breathing.
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Re: 1606: "Five-Day Forecast"

Postby rmsgrey » Mon Nov 23, 2015 11:31 pm UTC

SFX wrote:
Zacen299 wrote:On a different note, will there always be someone who hates base 10
Who hates it?

The hate is for a system that was designed for science, not everyday life.

It's why time and angles and so forth are still not metric. Some things work better for practical living. Others for math and science.


Actually, there are valid mathematical reasons to dislike base ten - it's composite, so you don't get the benefits of a prime base, but it only has two proper divisors, so you barely get any benefits from it being composite. It's pretty much the worst of both worlds.

The main reason it gets used for science is that people use base ten in everyday life, so it's easier to stick with that rather than teaching a new system. Unless you're working with computers at a fairly low level, in which case base sixteen sees a fair bit of use.

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Re: 1606: "Five-Day Forecast"

Postby SFX » Tue Nov 24, 2015 2:03 am UTC

I was clicking random, and look what showed up!

Image

https://xkcd.com/1245/

I had forgot all about that one

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=103904&hilit=1245

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Re: 1606: "Five-Day Forecast"

Postby ijuin » Tue Nov 24, 2015 7:31 am UTC

jasc15 wrote:I like how it takes 4 trillion years for the temp to drop a single degree.


Yes--to drop from just over one degree above the Cosmic Microwave Background temperature to just above the CMB temperature. You pretty much have to wait for the larger stars in the galaxy to all burn out and stop heating up interstellar space for that. For reference, the cosmic background radiation temperature at present is just short of five degrees above Absolute Zero on the Farenheit scale.

On the matter of weather temperatures that I can tolerate, I find myself literally drenched in my own sweat and wringing the sweat out of my clothing at anything above 70 Farenheit.

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Re: 1606: "Five-Day Forecast"

Postby CharlieP » Tue Nov 24, 2015 9:10 am UTC

freezeblade wrote:.5L is close enough to a pint. At least, in comparison to how varied beer is poured in the US. If you ask for a pint in a typical bar, odds are you'll get it served in a 12oz glass, which is a much higher error bar than just getting a 500ml glass.


You should try backpacking around Australia. Every time I got used to the local nomenclature, I moved to the next state and was either given more or less beer than I was expecting, or told I wasn't asking right:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beer_in_Australia#Beer_glasses
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Re: 1606: "Five-Day Forecast"

Postby CharlieP » Tue Nov 24, 2015 9:30 am UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:Gosh no. If he did all that, the only possible choice would be to switch them.


Indeed. It frustrates me immensely that there's no way to permanently teach Google Maps that I'd rather have distances in kilometres than miles.

Also, there seems to be a roughly 50/50 split between kilometres and miles among my UK friends who publish their running/cycling/walking/swimming activity on social media. I wonder if that'll change much over time.
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Re: 1606: "Five-Day Forecast"

Postby Aviatrix » Tue Nov 24, 2015 10:46 am UTC

"A meteorologist can predict pretty accurately what will happen tomorrow. The day after tomorrow is trickier, but you've got a 50-50 shot or so. People will forgive inaccuracies in the forecast for Day 3. Anything over a 3-day forecast is pure fiction, which is why we have English course requirements for the Applied Physics degrees."

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Re: 1606: "Five-Day Forecast"

Postby førtito » Tue Nov 24, 2015 11:42 am UTC

Yeah, thing is - forecast up to the day after tomorrow is pretty accurate. At least you won't have 8 hours of sunshine if they predict 10mm/m**2 of rain.
I always loved those colleagues at work, who look up some random weather forecast for the destination of their summer vacation and accept that as hard coded. Once they came back, they said things like "They predicted hot weather 3 weeks ago, but it was mostly rainy. Weather forecast - such a crap". Telling them that nobody really could predict the exact weather over a timespan of more than 72h didn't help. Next year they came from their vacation telling you the weather they predicted 3 weeks ago was totally off. "Weather forecast - such a crap!"

I don't know why this happens. But apparently people are convinced that meteorologists are some kind of magicians who could predict the weather all the way up to doomsday with zero error. If that was the case, there would be way more meteorologists having jobs at the stock exchanges and all the banks dealing there :roll:

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Re: 1606: "Five-Day Forecast"

Postby rmsgrey » Tue Nov 24, 2015 2:16 pm UTC

førtito wrote:I don't know why this happens. But apparently people are convinced that meteorologists are some kind of magicians who could predict the weather all the way up to doomsday with zero error. If that was the case, there would be way more meteorologists having jobs at the stock exchanges and all the banks dealing there :roll:


The stock market does have those pesky feedback loops where predicted outcomes affect actual outcomes.

Okay, so does weather, but it takes rather longer for the effect of human reactions to the weather forecast to manifest...

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Re: 1606: "Five-Day Forecast"

Postby squall_line » Tue Nov 24, 2015 9:16 pm UTC

freezeblade wrote:.5L is close enough to a pint. At least, in comparison to how varied beer is poured in the US. If you ask for a pint in a typical bar, odds are you'll get it served in a 12oz glass, which is a much higher error bar than just getting a 500ml glass.


In a bar in the U.S. a few years back (almost 5 years ago, actually), we challenged the bartender/server about the size of our glasses, complaining that they were quite obviously nowhere near 16 fluid ounces (let alone 20). We were told at the time that any glass larger than 12 ounces (I don't remember if she said '13 or larger' or 'larger than 12') could legally be called a "pint glass" in a bar.

Such a move is illegal in some states like Michigan, but I don't know if it's legal here in Iowa, because I didn't bother to look it up at the time. Now that I'm thinking about it, I might actually look it up, but I don't know that anyone would be willing to approach any state legislators about this quirk. "Cheater glasses" are just one of MANY ways that drinking establishments can turn margins in their favor.

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Re: 1606: "Five-Day Forecast"

Postby SFX » Tue Nov 24, 2015 10:06 pm UTC

The next time an argument about Celsius vs F .... I just realized I don't actually know to spell Fahrenheit, OK thanks auto spell checker, the next time the argument starts, here is the YouTube to settle the argument.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzVLMNZ_Snk (NSFW, but funny)

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Re: 1606: "Five-Day Forecast"

Postby scarletmanuka » Wed Nov 25, 2015 2:22 am UTC

Apparently I'm the only one who came to this thread to post that the alien attack should have been in a five-century forecast, since we know from Futurama that it happens (twice) before the year 3000. Somehow this disappoints me.

(And yes, I realise there could be another one three million years from tomorrow.)

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SFX
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Re: 1606: "Five-Day Forecast"

Postby SFX » Wed Nov 25, 2015 2:46 am UTC

scarletmanuka wrote:Apparently I'm the only one who came to this thread to post that the alien attack
We don't actually know it's aliens. By then it could be humans doing the attacking

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ijuin
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Re: 1606: "Five-Day Forecast"

Postby ijuin » Wed Nov 25, 2015 6:33 am UTC

førtito wrote:Yeah, thing is - forecast up to the day after tomorrow is pretty accurate. At least you won't have 8 hours of sunshine if they predict 10mm/m**2 of rain.
I always loved those colleagues at work, who look up some random weather forecast for the destination of their summer vacation and accept that as hard coded. Once they came back, they said things like "They predicted hot weather 3 weeks ago, but it was mostly rainy. Weather forecast - such a crap". Telling them that nobody really could predict the exact weather over a timespan of more than 72h didn't help. Next year they came from their vacation telling you the weather they predicted 3 weeks ago was totally off. "Weather forecast - such a crap!"

I don't know why this happens. But apparently people are convinced that meteorologists are some kind of magicians who could predict the weather all the way up to doomsday with zero error. If that was the case, there would be way more meteorologists having jobs at the stock exchanges and all the banks dealing there :roll:


The thing that a lot of laymen don't recognize is that projections more than about four days away are estimates about the behavior of weather systems that have not actually formed yet. It's like trying to predict the path of a hurricane when the tropical depression that will form it has not yet even happened. You're asking about rainfall from clouds that have not yet formed, whose moisture has not yet evaporated from the ocean, etc.. This is why meteorologists have to fall back on statistical analysis for any projection beyond the five-day forecast.


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