Saturday, August 5, 2017

Highs and Lows and Other Weirdness #socs

Naturally, when I hear “high” and “low,” I think of weather. You know, high and low temperatures, high and low pressure, etc. Did you know that in Canada, 30 degrees means it’s hot, and in the US 30 degrees means it’s cold? See, 30 Canada degrees is equivalent to 86 US degrees, while 30 US degrees is equivalent to -1 degrees (approximately) Canadian. It’s different with money…

Speaking of money, “high” and “low” makes me think of the stock market, when they talk at the end of the day whether the market is higher or lower, and how many stocks set new highs and new lows. The stock markets have been doing very well lately, and I hope it continues, because my retirement savings are all invested in the stock market. Which reminds me, I need to start moving some of my savings into something more secure.

Oh, and music, with high and low pitches. The A below middle C vibrates at 440 cycles per second, also called 440 Hertz, named for Heinrich Hertz, who is not the same guy that started the car rental company. The A above middle C vibrates at 880 Hz, the one above that at 1760 Hz… notice a pattern? Then you know the A below the A below middle C vibrates at 220 Hz, the one below that at 110 Hz, etc. Now, that’s at concert pitch, which some people argue should be higher than 440, others argue should be lower. As long as everyone is in tune, it doesn’t matter.

And, speaking of another kind of pitches, in baseball, pitches can be high or low, inside or outside. When a pitcher throws a ball to a batter, he’s aiming for the strike zone, which is defined in the official rules of baseball as over home plate, between the top of the batter’s knees and the middle of his chest (called “the letters,” because that’s normally where the name and/or logo of the team is on the player’s shirt). Of course, that all depends on the judgment of the home-plate umpire, who tends to have his own strike zone that might be wider than the 15″ width of the plate (38.1 cm for you metric fans) and might have different upper and lower boundaries, depending on who’s pitching, who’s hitting, whether or not the umpiring crew has to leave to go elsewhere after the game, whether or not it’s raining or threatening to rain, and how big of an asshole he is.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little walk through the deepest recesses of my mind.


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from The Sound of One Hand Typing

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