Celsius vs Fahrenheit

science facts our home in the void fahrenheit celsius temperature thermometers

Setting thermometers side by side, the temperature where both Celsius and Fahrenheit scales show the same number is -40 degrees

Anders Celsius created his original scale in 1742. At first 0° was the boiling point of water, and 100 the freezing point. In 1743 Jean Pierre Cristin proposed that they inverted these, and it became the Centigrade scale, then renamed back to Celsius to honour its inventor.

The Fahrenheit scale was created by scientist Daniel Gabriel Farenheit. In 1714 he developed the first modern thermometer.
Fahrenheit was widely replaced by Celsius in most countries, with a few exceptions like the United States.

To easily convert Celsius to Fahrenheit you can multiply the temperature by 1.8 and add 32. The other way around, subtract 32 and divide the difference by 1.8.
There is conflicting information as to why Fahrenheit picked 32 as the freezing point of water, and even some conspirancy theories such as him being a Freemason.


More info/sources below:
Side by side scales



london smog7

Big Ben is the name of the large bell within the Elizabeth Tower (formerly known as just the Clock Tower before 2012). The Westminster Palace was destroyed by a fire in 1834, and while being rebuilt, it was decided that it should include a tower and a clock.
Completed in 1859 at the north end of the Palace, it’s now one of the most recognisable symbols of the United Kingdom.
Air pollution in cities such as London grew increasingly due to coal burning in the late Middle Ages, and by the 16th century the issues caused by air pollution were already well documented. Made worse by the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century, there are references to a London smog from as early as the 12th century.

The Clean Air Act was introduced in London in 1956 due to the Great Smog of London in December of 1952. Considered the worst urban air pollution disaster in modern history, it took around 1200 lives.


More info/sources below:
Big Ben
Brief summary of air pollution History
Air pollution in medieval England
The Great Smog of London
Clean Air Act



Six Live Chickens

Six Chickens2

Andorra has been a Co-Principality since 1278. It was created in a treaty between the Bishop of Urgell and the French Count of Foix. Its current Co-Princes are the Bishop of Urgell (in Catalonia) and the President of France. This makes the French President the only popularly elected monarch by citizens of another country.

As regents they were owed a tribute called the “Questia”. In odd-numbered years, Andorra paid about 400€ to the President of France and in even-numbered years it paid the Bishop of Urgell  900 Pesetas (roughly 7€), six hams, six cheeses and six live chickens. The quantities sometimes vary – apparently even hams and chickens suffer from inflation.

In 1993, Andorra signed a new constitution and abandoned the medieval custom, to the dismay of French Presidents and Catalonian ham lovers.

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Tea Time

Void1.pngSeen as a quintessentially British habit, drinking tea only took off in England after Queen Consort Catherine de Braganza introduced it to the royal court.  Portuguese nobility were already avid tea drinkers, so when Infanta (Princess) Catherine moved to England to marry Charles II in 1662. While there are records of tea drinking before her arrival, tea had been mostly introduced through male-frequented coffee houses. Tea being the queen consort’s favorite beverage made it fashionable among the aristocracy.
Tea in the 17th century was an expensive import from the “East Indies” (any land west of Africa, really), though it mainly came from China.
Catherine de Braganza’s other most notable legacy is the Queens borough in New York, said to be named after her, although it’s likely that she wasn’t even aware it existed.