Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Testing a thermometer

How things change. Time was when a thermometer, the type one might use to take ones temperature, contained a drop of mercury in a thin tube and you had to squint just right to read the damn thing. I'm not sure I could even read one these days; the years are taking their toll on my eyesight.

Nowadays there's a thermocouple and an LCD display supposedly calibrated to tenths of a degree. One of these days I might do a couple of checks to see how accurate they are.

The thing that amazes me the most though is that they give the things away at the local pharmacy! Cue the old codger music. I remember when the glass and mercury thermometer was expensive enough that most households in our neighbourhood didn't have one!

Whilst picking up a prescription the other day Sonya grabbed a couple of thermometers and left one sitting on the dinner table. We're a bit like that; almost the only time the dinner table is cleared is at Christmas. (There! I knew there'd be another use for Christmas!) Sat down to dinner Andrew picked it up and stuck it in his gob to test it. I couldn't resist.

'Ummm, my dear?' I asked Sonya. 'Do you think we should tell Andrew how we tested that thermometer?'

'Nah' she said. 'It'd only put him off his dinner'.

It did too!

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