Why squirrels are 'splooting' in the heat

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by wegs, Jul 22, 2022.

  1. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Well folks, we've got ourselves a squirrel racist is what we've got...

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  3. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    sideshowbob, wegs and Seattle like this.
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  5. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    There are ''eastern gray squirrels'' mainly in my area as well, and there is one that has literally taken over my yard. He taunts my cat even on the back porch through the glass door. The other day I was going out to my car, and I heard this shrieking sound...didn't sound human, but it was hard to pinpoint. Looked up in the tree, and this squirrel was eyeing me, shrieking. He knows what he's doing...

    That's how I will use it, if the day ever comes and Americans are forced to convert. It doesn't make sense to use a small number (Celsius) to describe a sweltering hot day.
     
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  7. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Interesting to know there are still a few others that use Deg F. Which ones?

    By the way, now I know what "splooting" is, I can say that I've seen a heavily pregnant grey squirrel do this, even in spring when the weather was cool.
     
  8. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    That's interesting. In the UK we are more metric but not 100% so. Long distances are still quoted in miles, as are speed limits. Body weight is still often expressed in stone and lbs, though kg is becoming more common. Beer is still served in pints, though bottles and cartons of liquid are metric. Weights in the supermarket etc are kg and g, though lb and oz are sometimes also added for the elderly. Some older people still speak of air and bathing water temperature in F, but it is dying out.

    The curious thing is pipes and hoses. These are sold in metric lengths but the diameter is still expressed in fractions of an inch. This is not as crazy as it may seem, since the diameters were standardised long before metrication, and there is no sense in altering them. Interestingly when I bought a length of hose in France a couple of years ago, the diameters were expressed in mm but corresponded to 1/2 and 3/8 inch. So it seems to be international, like the most common railway gauge (4ft 8 1/2 in.)
     
  9. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

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    Wasn't that set by the Romans. The distance between the chariot wheels?

    And it affected the size of the Space Shuttle boosters. The boosters were made smaller than NASA would have wanted. The larger size NASA would have preferred was to big for the train carriages and would not fit through any tunnels



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  10. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    It seems to be a bit far-fetched to attribute the gauge to the Romans. However George Stephenson did apparently base it on the gauge in use in the Durham coalfields for horse-drawn coal wagons. A wheel-to-wheel width around 5ft was suitable for a wagon drawn by a pair of horses. Presumably the horses' hooves had to fit between the rails without treading on them.

    If you have a nominal 5ft track width and 2 inch width rails, you end up with a 4ft8 inch inner rail-rail distance. (With a railway, it is the inner distance that is critical, due to the wheel flanges.) It appears Stephenson started with a 5ft outer (4ft 8 inner) distance and then later added an extra 1/2 in clearance, to prevent binding on sharp curves. So in that sense there does seem to be a link back to horse-drawn wagon practice. But not to the Romans specifically.

    As for rocket boosters, the track gauge is a quite different thing from the loading gauge. It was the US rail loading gauge that limited the diameter of the boosters. The US loading gauge, and the Continental European one, are quite a bit bigger than the UK one, as it happens.
     
  11. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Here’s the link:

    https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/countries-that-use-fahrenheit

    Being pregnant probably caused her to feel warmer than normal. Nature amazes me every day. Animals in general, seem a lot less complicated than humans.
     
  12. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

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    I worked on the Alice Springs to Darwin railway line when it was constructed

    The company put out a small news letter. The information I put in the post was from one of the articles in one of the news letters

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  13. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, well these myths are all over the internet and they do make a nice story.
     
  14. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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  15. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    " Animals in general, seem a lot less complicated than humans." Wegs

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  16. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    In Australia, the official units for pretty much everything are metric. Road signs all have distances in kilometres. Temperatures on whether reports are always degrees Celcius. Unit prices on fruit and vegetables are always in dollars per kilogram. The price of petrol (not "gas", BTW) is displayed in cents per litre, and the fuel consumption stat for cars is typically given in litres per 100 km. Schools teach metric units more or less exclusively.

    Most Australian adults have some awareness of imperial units in various contexts, though from the above discussion it seems that we use imperial units even less than Canadians (who, of course, are forced to share a common border with the United States). One reason we need some awareness of imperial units, other than for the purposes of interpreting historical sources, is that we all live in a globalised economy, with lots of international trade. We are also forced, from time to time, to communicate with more backward peoples, such as Americans.

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    If we buy nuts and bolts made in America, sometimes they have nice metric diameters (which is the most common these days), but sometimes they still come in fractions of inches and similarly nonsensical measurements, so we have to understand the difference and how to convert if necessary.

    The baby boomer generation in Australia grew up with imperial measures - heights of people were in feet and inches, weights were in pounds, money was pounds, shillings and pence. Their children - generation X and those following - largely grew up in the metric era, after the currency was decimalised and weights and measures metricised. However, we still have to be able to communicate effectively with the boomers. If a hospital wants to know your height, their form usually wants it in centimetres, but chances are good that most people also know their height in feet and inches, even if that's virtually the only thing they use feet and inches for.

    Given my education and upbringing, I personally never developed a good feel for lengths in feet or miles. I'm aware that a foot is about 30 centimetres, because school rulers and such things usually have both scales marked on them. But I can't look at the height of a ceiling and tell you the difference between 10 feet and 12 feet by eye. On the other hand, I have some intuitive sense of how far 100 metres is, or 3 metres. I'm also aware that 1 yard is approximately 1 metre, so I can do a rough conversion of metric to imperial or vice versa in my head if I have to. My internal length sense is calibrated for centimetres and metres rather than inches and feet, however.

    When I hear or read reports of temperatures in the United States, I invariably have to do a mental conversion to Celcius to get a sense of what it means. "90 in the shade" does not immediately say "hot" to me, whereas anything over 30 (Celcius) immediately does, for me. "-10 degrees Celcius" says "freezing" to me much more immediately than "10 degrees Farenheit". I know my fridge keeps things at about 4 degrees Celcius; I have no idea (without calculating it) what that is in Farenheit.

    Cooking recipes tend to get handed down from generation to generation. New cookbooks in Australia usually have volumes in millilitres, although measures like "cup" and "tablespoon" make some sense and are still widely used. I can tell you that a standard "cup" is about 250 ml; I have no idea what it would be in pints or quarts or whatever (without looking up the conversion).

    A standard "pot" of beer (aka "midi" and other terms, depending on which Australian state you happen to be in) is typically 250 ml, too, these days, but it's also easy to buy beer in a pint glass (if you want a larger beer). I've never bothered internalising what a pint is in millilitres, because I've never found a need to to understand it in any context other than buying beer.

    Buying "gas" in America in dollars per gallon was always meaningless to me (although I was keen to convert US dollars to Australian dollars to find how much the fuel was actually costing me). I don't do distances in miles, or speeds in miles per hour, so that also meant a certain loss of intuition when driving in the States.

    Younger Australians have even less use for strange imperial measures than I do.
     
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  17. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    In Canada, meat is priced in both kilograms and pounds. It is generally packaged in pounds (454 grams). Other packaged or bottled items - e.g. orange juice - come in weird quantities like 1.28 liters. Try comparing prices when you're getting 850 grams for $4.97.

    A sheet of plywood is 4 feet by 8 feet. A house is framed with two-by-fours (which are 1.5 by 3.5) on 16-inch centers.

    When it comes to temperature, I'm about equally comfortable in C and F. Precipitation is reported in millimeters; I have to convert them to inches to make any sense of them.

    More than half of our trade is with the US. Whatever they sell us, they have to label in Imperial and metric - as well as in English and French.

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  18. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Millimeters for precipitation? I'd rather say two inches of rain than 50.8 millimeters. That's an odd use of it, imo.

    In the jewelry world, millimeters is commonly used when describing widths of bracelets, necklaces and rings - however, when it comes to circular pendants, I wish they'd use inches more often. Some jewelers do, but many have taken to explaining the size of pendants using mm and I'd rather they say '1/2 inch' because my mind can easily 'see' that measurement as opposed to '12.70 mm.'

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    This is more so I should add, for online jewelry shopping.
     
  19. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    6,950
    Me too. I know how big one millimeter is but it's hard to scale up.
     
  20. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Cherry-picking your measurements! Whaaaaa?

    You wouldn't say 50.8 millimeters; you'd say 50 millimeters!


    Tell me, if it were 25 millimeters of rain that fell, would you prefer to say 0.98 inches? Or maybe 63/64ths of an inch?
     
  21. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    haha I could see a weather forecaster wanting to using millimeters for measuring precipitation because it gives the impression that a flood is approaching, so you better beware! Job security.
     
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  22. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    If they followed the auto-industries tactics for obfuscation, they would switch from "inches of rain per hour" to "days of the week per 100mm of rain". (What a crappy trick they pulled.)
     
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  23. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Lol! How true.

    It's probably one of the few jobs (meteorologist) that you can continuously be wrong, and never be fired.

    ''Oh, look at that, Bob....we thought that hurricane was coming our way, but looks like it just missed us! Again.''

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    Meanwhile, everyone in that city has spent a small fortune on flashlights, candles, batteries, and enough food to feed a small army, because ya know, The Weather Channel said to be prepared... a massive wind event is going to happen.

    Okay, so I'm a little jaded.

     

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