The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

11 October 2006

212

Or, in Celsius, 100.

Why Gabriel Fahrenheit set the boiling point of water to 212 degrees is not known for certain. I've always believed that one summer day in the 1720s he went outside for a moment, then dashed back inside and sputtered: "Gott in Himmel! It must be a hundred degrees out there!" Six months later it was colder than Prussian beer; he decided that this was zero, and from those two points he constructed the entire scale.

The 212th Carnival of the Vanities is decidedly less bogus than this story, and packed full of bloggy goodness besides.

Posted at 2:12 PM to Blogorrhea


I'm too lazy to look it up -- so were you, come to think of it -- but what I was taught was that he put a thermometer outside his house, recorded the mercury levels for a year or so, and then called the lowest recorded temperature 0 and the highest one 100. That't why it's such a human scale and anything below 0 or above 100 is so very uncomfortable. Also, as I recall, he was actually French, or at least living in France, though presumably of German ancestry. Perhaps a (non-canine) Alsatian?

Posted by: Dr. Weevil at 9:27 PM on 11 October 2006