I’m a geek

24 Apr

Yesterday as I was driving to work, my mind turned once again to the fuel consumption gauge on our car.  It said that our average fuel consumption was about 10.5 km/L (just about 25MPG for you folks south of the 49th).  I wondered how that compared to our previous Volvo, but in that car, the fuel consumption was expressed as L per 100 km.  I could remember that our average in that car was about 8.5 L / 100 km, but had no idea if we were doing better or worse.  I’d been meaning to attempt a conversion ever since we got the new car, but would always forget about it by the time I got to wherever I was going.  Yesterday, though, I suddenly thought of it again at lunchtime, so I got out a scrap piece of paper and started scribbling equations.

PROBLEM A

10.5 km =    x L     
     1L         100 km

PROBLEM B

  8.5 L    =   x km  
100 km        1 L

I don’t remember precisely when we started doing algebra in school (around grade 5 or 6?) but I do remember wondering, after we’d been at it for a year or more, whether math was ever going to be anything other than algebra ever again.  What, aren’t we done with this stupid algebra stuff yet?  Math was by far my least favourite (and worst) subject.

And yet now I positively delight in real-world algebra problem.  And I enjoy long division and multiplication, too.  Although I can generally work out an approximate 15% tip in my head in a few seconds, I actually love doodling the problem on a restaurant napkin.  Nothing’s more fun than multiplying by 1.15!  What the heck has happened to me?

On the other hand, I shudder when I think about mentally converting Fahrenheit to Celsius and although I’ve started to get a feel for that bizarre empirical system, it’s only because the Volvo dealership in Bellingham, WA (where the car was purchased) wasn’t able to convert the thermometer to metric units.  And so I am being forced to look at Fahrenheit every day.  I still say you Fahrenheit people are weird.

Well, I know you’re all dying to know the answers, so I’ll put you out of your misery.  Actually, the way I originally wrote out the equations didn’t really make sense, so ignore them; I finally figured out I just had to take the inverse of each ratio (and multiply by 100 in the first case).  Clear as mud?  Whatever, the answer is that with the old Volvo, we were getting about 11.7 km/L.  So we were doing a little better with the old Volvo, but it had one less cylinder and we did only highway driving, so I guess it’s pretty comparable.

Anyway, the point is, I just as much of a geek as I ever was in my entire life.  I’m still a bookworm.  I still wear glasses.  My fashion sense is still a little sketchy.  (But thank God I no longer wear braces and the skin situation has cleared up!)  There were times when I was growing up that I paid for my geekdom, but now I like to think that it contributed to the wonderfully compassionate nature I have today.  (And, you know, modest, too!  Ha!)  The great thing is, being a geek when you’re an adult… isn’t such a bad thing.

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7 Responses to “I’m a geek”

  1. Penhall April 24, 2008 at 8:09 pm #

    Try: http://www.tdiclub.com/misc/conversions.html

    – use it way too often rather than doing the math myself.

    Speaking of geek, time to get back to editing those SQL Databases.

  2. kara April 24, 2008 at 8:16 pm #

    Well I am a geek as well! I love math and science and have my dream job of editing science study guides from home!

  3. fawnahareo April 24, 2008 at 8:40 pm #

    George, you’ll notice I didn’t say I did any of the metric/empirical conversions by hand…!

    Kara – that’s great! Not many people can say that. I wish I could say that I’m in my dream job, but I’m still figuring out what I wanna be!

  4. Beanie April 24, 2008 at 8:55 pm #

    I’m a geek, too! And proud of it, baby!!! 😉 Although with today’s trendy styles and ultra-thin lenses, glasses don’t neccessarily indicate geekdom. Unless you choose to wear ugly, dorky glasses (but that could also mean that you’re just cheap)…

  5. Penhall April 24, 2008 at 9:01 pm #

    There is actually a l/100k vs km/l convertor on there too.

    Most of the metric/imperical stuff I do by hand is US Gallons / Litre stuff.

  6. Penhall April 24, 2008 at 9:05 pm #

    O, and I guess apparently I’m an artistic-geek who looks like a biker – whatever the H E double Hockey Sticks that is.

    I was attending Mardi Gras with Fidel Castro
    Bucksome cross dressers threw fake gold coins at our feet
    As we discussed the fate of the revolution
    Suddenly, CIA men dressed in bikinis
    Tried to stab us with fountain pens
    Fidel blew mustard gas from his cigar
    And immobalized the lot of them
    19 tequilas later we had a deal
    Havana goes back to the mob
    And Fidel and I open a chain of Kentucky Fried Chicken shops

    Ain’t life sweet? I feel good
    I feel better than James Brown
    I feel better now

  7. Nemmy April 25, 2008 at 2:46 pm #

    Geek is the new chic. Just sayin’… 😉 (But I may be biased)

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