Archive for February 7, 2011

Temperature of McDonald’s Coffee, and Other Celsius Benchmarks

I am so done with cold weather. Northern Virginia had trouble breaking 40°F in January. Granted, we’re not International Falls, MN, where the temperature had trouble surpassing the legal drinking age, but I am still ready for spring.

In January 2005, I went skiing near Montreal. At the bottom of the mountain, a thermometer showed the temperature to be ‑25°C. Next to the thermometer was a sign announcing that the temperature at the top of the mountain was ‑20°C. My buddy said, “Quick, let’s get on the lift. It’s 5° warmer at the top.”

Really? If you can tell the difference between ‑25°C and ‑20°C, you’ve spent too much time in North Dakota.

Back home, I was telling a friend about the trip. I mentioned that it was ‑25° on the mountain. I failed to include the temperature scale, and she actually asked, “Celsius or Fahrenheit?” All I could think was, “Does it matter?” It was cold! C-O-L-D!

International travel can be tough if you need to continually convert between temperature scales. Here’s an annotated Celsius thermometer with some benchmarks:

A related trivia question for which very few folks know the answer (without computing it): At what temperature does degrees Celsius equal degrees Fahrenheit?

February 7, 2011 at 7:56 am 3 comments


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The Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks blog is an online extension to the book Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks. The blog contains jokes submitted by readers, new jokes discovered by the author, details about speaking appearances and workshops, and other random bits of information that might be interesting to the strange folks who like math jokes.

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