Friday, January 09, 2009

Kind of like Finnegans Wake

Here’s how it went. I was just coming up to work and I crossed into a snowier lane, and I thought, is this a mistake? It will take me longer to stop. Something in my mind brought up foot-pounds per second per second, which made me think of that scene in The Shining where Jack is raging about hurting Danny. My mind switched gears to metric, and I started thinking, what’s the equivalent? Newton-metres per second per second? And then I remembered Mars Polar Orbiter, which crashed on Mars because some of its instructions were in imperial instead of metric. Then I thought it was disappointing to find out that some people in NASA were still using imperial… it would be almost as startling as seeing someone wandering the halls of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, lighting kerosene lamps. Then I looked it up and discovered that it was Lockheed-Martin who sent the instructions in imperial, not the JPL. What a relief. NASA’s rep is saved.


Jim Grey said...

You can always spot the guys who wanted to be physicists!

M Taher said...

We have a survey on job search in Canada, as part of a book to be completed on 'what works and what doesn't work'--Details will appear at We have two set of questions in this survey.
First is for the new immigrants, to share their own experience. The link is here:
Second set of questions is meant for agencies, experts and professionals who are responsible to guide the new Canadians. This link is here:
Feel free to post a link from your blog or to forward it to all the concerned in your mailing list.
Any help will be highly appreciated.