Math Question

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Zany_in_CO

Saponifier
When the instructions say "Microwave for 3 1/2 minutes", do you set the timer for:

A. 3.5 (3 1/2 minutes)?
B. 3.3 (3 minutes, 30 seconds)?
Dumb question, I'm sure but I really would like to know.

ImpKit

Certified Ocelot
I hit the button for 3 minutes and then the button for "add 30 seconds". My microwave is cool like that.

Aside from that, I would set for 3 minutes 30 seconds. Most microwaves don't, in my experience, do fractional minutes; they only operate in seconds and minutes.

ResolvableOwl

Well-Known Member
@Zany_in_CO The mathematician in me has to explain my reaction: Even in the stupid and old-fashioned countries that still use the metric system, one minute has not 100, but 60 seconds, so ½ minute = 30 s (regardless if you measure temperatures in °F, °P or °Oe).

Answer A is true if your microwave agrees with this. But answer B means the same if it counts decimal places from 0…5 (not 0…9). (Can't really have a say, my microwave has a mechanical, not a digital timer.)

I. e. if you are able to set it anywhere between 3.6 and 3.9, then answer A is right. If, when dialling up, after 3.5 comes 4.0 right out the way, then (and only then) it's answer B (but only in microwave-land, not in real-world mathematics). But not since you are stupid, but because microwave manufacturers think it's a good idea to be stingy with their displays.

Zany_in_CO

Saponifier
I hit the button for 3 minutes and then the button for "add 30 seconds".
I like it! I can do that. That is certainly the most practicable answer.

if you are able to set it anywhere between 3.6 and 3.9,
I hit the following and then "Start" and the timer started the count down. The results:
3.30 >>> 3:29
3:50 >>> 3:49
3:60 >>> 4:00
3:90 >>> 4:30
HAH! How about that?! I can't tell you how much it means to me to have my confusion over this issue resolved in a most demonstrable manner.

Even in the stupid and old-fashioned countries that still use the metric system
I couldn't agree more!

It is interesting to note that when JFK (President Kennedy) took office on January 20, 1961, in his inaugural address he promised we would make it to the moon AND make the switch to the Metric System in 10 years. My heart skipped a beat at the latter promise. "It's about time", I thought.

We landed on the moon on July 20, 1969 (my daughter's second birthday). We never made the switch to the Metric System. Thinking back, I don't remember that we even tried!

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ResolvableOwl

Well-Known Member

Gawd. There is A SINGLE THING that is EVEN WORSE than using two decimal scales, and this is TWO AT A SAME TIME. I can imagine, at some beautiful day in the '60s, some intern in some government department has started to write up a proposal for conversion to metric, then attempted to heat up his meal in the microwave, and upon this experience he decided that the world is condemned to doom anyway, and the US customary-imperial-metric issue is the smallest of all troubles.

ImpKit

Certified Ocelot
We landed on the moon on July 20, 1969 (my daughter's second birthday). We never made the switch to the Metric System. Thinking back, I don't remember that we even tried!
Completely off topic but... rarely does anything make me feel young these days. But this did since your daughter is 3 years younger than my mother. >_> Which is not meant to be an implication that anyone is old. Just that I'm excited to feel young. Now if greys would stop forming in my beard, that'd be great...

Quilter99755

Supporting Member
Completely off topic but... rarely does anything make me feel young these days. But this did since your daughter is 3 years younger than my mother. >_> Which is not meant to be an implication that anyone is old. Just that I'm excited to feel young. Now if greys would stop forming in my beard, that'd be great...
I was sitting here trying to remember back that far, but think it was about then that all of our packaging started having both kinds of measurements on them. And I seem to remember something about lobbying against it but by that time I lived in the wilds of Alaska with no TV or newspaper(I remember it as the early 70"s). It was definitely a political issue or divide that killed it. I remember being upset, but not realizing the issues. I always thought if we just changed totally, people would eventually stop trying to compare the two systems.

Then ImpKit added his statement and I had to figure out just where I was in 1969. And then tried to figure out just how old I was when I got my first gray hair!

Now that I am soaping I use the metric system for measuring all the time and then have to convert my ordering into pounds and ounces. Way too many times have I cussed the politicians for stopping the metric conversion. But in between the cussing I have learned to roughly do my own conversions between grams and ounces. It is amazing what you can learn on your own...even at my age! I still wish we had changed back in the 70's

coconutoliveallergyp

Active Member
It's 3.30 because microwaves usually countdown in minutes and seconds. If you put 3.50 then that's three minutes and 50 seconds.

earlene

Grandmother & Soaper
I still have the newspaper from the moon landing. My firstborn & I had just come home from the hospital.
It is interesting to note that when JFK (President Kennedy) took office on January 20, 1961, in his inaugural address he promised we would make it to the moon AND make the switch to the Metric System in 10 years. My heart skipped a beat at the latter promise. "It's about time", I thought.

We landed on the moon on July 20, 1969 (my daughter's second birthday). We never made the switch to the Metric System. Thinking back, I don't remember that we even tried!
Yes, Congress did try, in 1866 (after Andrew Johnson replaced Abraham Lincoln) and again in 1875 and beyond. Again in our lifetime even before the 1960's through 1990's and periodically since. It was strongly opposed in the 70's & 80's by then Congressman Grassley (and later Senator) and also Mankiewicz of NPR, as well as various others with influence. In 1982 president Ronald Reagan dismantled the Metric Board that Congress had established in 1975. But then in 1991 president George H. W. Bush directed by Executive order that government agencies go metric and in 1993 under president Bill Clinton, we had a National Metric Conference (which apparently got us nowhere toward going metric, however), and as recently as 2016 there has been more political push to go metric. But the problem seems to be that it's always been "Voluntary" and strongly opposed by folks who want to preserve US individualism (or whatever their reasoning is - perhaps just pain stubbornness.)