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Smoot's Ear: The Measure of Humanity

3.21  ·  Rating Details ·  14 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews
Measures are the subject of this unusual book, in which Robert Tavernor offers a fascinating account of the various measuring systems human beings have devised over two millennia. Tavernor urges us to look beyond the notion that measuring is strictly a scientific activity, divorced from human concerns. Instead, he sets measures and measuring in cultural context and shows h ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published September 24th 2007 by Yale University Press
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Mar 12, 2008 Srikanth rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Architecture Students
Recommended to Srikanth by: My boss
Shelves: design
The beginning and end are good, the middle is a very tangential experience.
Aug 23, 2007 Kate rated it liked it
Recommends it for: metric system detractors
Recommended to Kate by: the newspaper
Shelves: sciences
"On 14 October 1960 it was agreed to return to a truly 'natural' and scientifically verifiable definition for the metre rod derived from the radiation of the orange-red light emitted by the radioactive krypton-86 isotopre, so that the metre would equal 1,650,763.73 wavelengths in vacuum of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the levels 2p10 and 5d5 of the krypton-86 atom. Since 1983 it has been defined more simply as the distance that light travels in a vacuum in the fraction o ...more
Jan 01, 2013 Andrew rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The title leads one to expect a diversionary tour of the history of the technologies and the debates regarding measurement, and to an extent it is. Sadly, this perfectly serviceable intention is sidelined in favour of a wacky partisan position, in the process making Robert Tavernor the Baigent and Leigh of measurement.

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