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"It's not the heat it's the humidity" calibration towers

Settle the silly little debate
  [vote for,

Every now and again, you hear the phrase: "it's not the heat, it's the humidity" and you think,"really, I mean.. it's pretty hot in it's own right". This sort of thing can drag on for months if not years leading to vexation and regret. The reason why is that humans aren't very good at such things. We're not thermometers, and so have no real handle on absolute temperature, frankly, not all of us can even decide upon a sensible scale *ahem.... Fahrenheit*

Now, humidity is even trickier, the amount of water that will happily hang around in the air is very much dependent upon the temperature, worse still, the way humans prefer to lose heat is based upon trying to force MORE water into that same air. So, out perception is all multifactorial and non-linear. Which leaves humanity without a chance, hence stupid sayings.

My solution is to build two HUGE towers, like large residential tower blocks, not too tall, but big. Squarish, you might say. These tower blocks will face one another. One will contain a HUGE quantity of industrial humidifiers. Capable of producing a rather intimidating amount of humidity. Opposite, in both orientation and function will be the tower opposite. This will contain a HUGE quantity of industrial DE-humidifiers which will be capable of removing a very reassuring amount of humidity.

Now, between the two we should have a rather splendid standing gradient of humidity, there might be some tweaking required with airflow to assure some semblance of linearity.

Right, so, when that little "it's not the heat it's the humidity" phrase happens, you'll be able to drag the ruffian down to the enormous calibration plaza... you may drag them into the 100% dry end and say "even with no humidity it's roasting, you clot". Conversely, they might be able to drag you to the other end and say "see!? makes a difference you sweaty knave". At various points there will be sign posts indicating the humidity at that point. I'd recommend every 5% or so.

There will be at least two fringe benefits: 1. if a smart phone manufacturer decides to include a humidity sensor, then you could take it here for calibration. 2. If you're on a promising second date you can work out if the young lady in question has genuinely straight hair. The extra 30 mins a day really adds up.

bs0u0155, Jan 08 2014

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       Well, as moist-skinned beasts, we actually perceive the wet-bulb temperature, not the dry-bulb, (within certain limitations). So the saying is pretty apt. At 40 degrees centigrade, and 90+ percent humidity, you're pretty stuffed just breathing. Whereas so long as I'm hydrated, I can work in 45+ degrees,low humidity air for long periods.   

       Why not just report wet-bulb temperatures instead? Some workplace health and safety regs are written around wet-bulb temperatures for tolerable work conditions, for instance.
Custardguts, Jan 08 2014

       So, now we need the wet- and dry-bulb maximum and minimum temperatures, in Fahrenheit and Centigrade.   

       (Our hero is chained to a deep-sea hydrothermal vent, his naked skin directly exposed to the crushing weight of the entire Pacific ocean.)   

       "Hot enough for you, Mr Bond?"   

       "Actually, it's not the heat, it's the humidity."
spidermother, Jan 08 2014

       //Every now and again, you hear the phrase: "it's not the heat, it's the humidity"// In the midwest, in the summer time, you hear that every other phrase to come out of someone's mouth. Soooo I'd like to know...is it the heat or the humidity for sure, so I could answer the person spot on, and appear very smart indeed.
blissmiss, Jan 08 2014

       are people in the mid west currently saying "it's not the cold it's the complete lack of humidity"? 'cause if they want to be logically consistent...
bs0u0155, Jan 08 2014

       pointless bloody weather "news". You can figure out if your car is going to start, or what the snow/ice is going to be like by knowing the straight temperature; windspeed is handy if you're going to be outside any longer than it takes to find the car, but "windchill factor" is only good for boasting to people who don't know any better, and there's always somebody from a couple provinces over who can legitimately snicker and say "you call that cold ?" (which remark is then immediately overtrumped by somebody from Churchill claiming they've moved to the Kelvin scale for convenience).
FlyingToaster, Jan 08 2014

       Personally, I want all temperatures reported in time to lethality for a normally dressed human. How long until hypo- or hyper-thermia kills you if you go out into it in jeans and a t-shirt.   

       (I'll accept, for both, the time until it disables you to the point where you will not be able to recover under your own power, eliminating any quibbles about the whole "they're not dead until they're warm and dead" hypothermia issue.)
MechE, Jan 08 2014

       //all temperatures reported in time to lethality for a normally dressed human//   

       The ethics people are going to put a huge downer on what would otherwise be a wonderful series of very useful experiments to establish such values.
bs0u0155, Jan 08 2014

       //time to lethality for a normally dressed human//   

       would really depend on if that human were, per se, a Minnesotan visiting Arizona or a Floridian in International Falls.
RayfordSteele, Jan 08 2014

       If all this works out, can there also be "It's not you, it's me" calibration towers?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 08 2014

       Like a pass-fail personality test?
RayfordSteele, Jan 09 2014


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