Hey, hey, ho, ho—the kilogramme has got to go!

It has always annoyed me that the kilogramme, one of the fundamental units of the Système International d'unités, is a prefixed unit. This completely breaks the logic of the system and I'm sure is one of the reasons that many people believe “kilo” is the name of the mass unit. (Not that they can tell the difference between mass and force either, sigh.)

Anyway, to my joy I find in the latest issue of SEK-Aktuellt that others have been equally annoyed by this and there is work underway in the Comité consultatif des unités to replace the kilogramme with another unit, which in addition would together with most other SI-units be based on a fundamental property of nature (Planck's constant in this case), rather than some arbitrary object (the kilogramme prototype in Paris). A proposed name for this new unit is not leaked in Anders J Thor's short article and I haven't been able to come up with anything witty myself, but I hope it will be some short and memorable.

Down with the kilogramme!


Blogs in scrubs

There are quite a few blogs written by medical people out there and they offer stories with the widest possible range of joy, despair, scientific advances and dark-age magic, all the emotions that make the medical profession so attractive to producers of fiction set in hospital environments, but still the (perhaps just slightly varnished) truth is probably the most gripping.

Orac's Respectful Insolence is probably the most well-known and with an amazing spectrum of regular subject themes, from Enemaman to the Hitler zombie, but I just found Trauma Queen, the blog of a recently graduated paramedic in Edinburgh. The stories from his daily life, mixing drunkards, injured and sick people with the children he loves so deeply and selflessly brought me unashamedly cliched tears and laughter. Read them!



…I just wanted to draw your attention to the language spread in my reading list in the side bar.


Maybe I should just give up

Every now and then you see pictures of models and think “Yeah, yeah, it's easy to make it look good in 1/32.” and then find the scale is something much, much smaller. Hideaki Kudo has built some really small cars.