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Treebeard's Stumper
8 October 1999

98.6 in the Shade

It's hard to dress right for school in the fall. Mornings are usually cold and foggy, but it gets warm. A week ago it was hot, good for local vintners, but too much for me. Normal body temperature is 98.6° F. Why is it that when the air is that warm, it's too hot? Shouldn't that be just right? Even more confusing, that's not hot enough for a good hot tub, which we like about 105° F. Finally, why is that familiar 98.6 so exact? Real body temperature varies by the hour! (Bonus: Connect this with the loss of the NASA Mars Climate Orbiter spacecraft!)

Answer


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Copyright © 1999 by Marc Kummel / mkummel@rain.org