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    Re: Ah, give someone a calculator.......
    From: Robin Stuart
    Date: 2010 Aug 26, 06:06 -0700

    Frank Reed notes of Sky & Telescope, "Some of the older publications do clearly have style advice for their authors." however they are not always so careful when discussing physical quantities. A number of years ago an article appeared describing Roger Angel's rotating glass furnace at the University of Arizona used to cast large parabolic mirror blanks. Although I don't recall the numbers exactly, a statement was made something like "the temperature of the oven will be more than doubled from 900F to 1900F". As I happened to be teaching a course in undergraduate physics at the time I could not, in good conscience, let such an affront to popular scientific literacy pass unchallenged so wrote in pointing out that it was really only meaningful to talk about temperature doubling with reference to the Kelvin scale. In the statement above, it didn't. The author/editor did take the trouble to write back but only to say that he thought that his meaning was clear - it's enough to make the crystal spheres groan!

    Robin Stuart
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