Friday, December 19, 2008

Stuck in the Middle Ages

No wonder we're still debating whether evolution is real or not.

We're using the British Imperial measurement system that results in pearls like the following:

"To examine innovation in steam technology, we need a measure of how good a steam engine is. One important measure is the amount of work delivered by a given amount of fuel. This can be measured by the duty of a steam engine: the number of pounds of water that can be lifted one foot for each 94 pounds of coal consumed."

http://www.fee.org/publications/the-freeman/article.asp?aid=8370.

Let's try it again: duty of a steam engine is the number of pounds of water that can be lifted one foot for each 94 pounds of coal consumed.

Think how hard physics - no, any science! - in these units...