Back Of The Envelope: How Warm Is It On Low Steps?
By Ross Chapman on
Jan 20, 20180 Comments
Thinking of a warmer time
Many of us know that you can measure a cricket’s chirps to determine how warm it is outside. But did you know that there’s another way to scientifically estimate the temperature in Morningside Heights? When it gets a little warmer, you can use this one neat trick to figure out how warm or cold it is on everyone’s favorite fake beach, the Low Steps.
Outdoor temperature between 32 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit – Columbia students will not crawl out of their dorms in the freezing cold.
A view of the Low Steps – the South Lawns are an ideal location.
Thermometer (or, let’s be honest, a weather app)
Go outside to check out the Low Steps.
Pick either the left of right half of the lower steps, right underneath Alma Mater.
Count the number of people sitting on the Low Steps. Ignore anybody walking, as the extra motion can complicate counting.
If you would like to increase accuracy, count the second half and average the count of the two halves.
If a majority of students have laptops, multiply the count by 1.25.
Add 20 to the number of seated students. This will provide the approximate temperature in Fahrenheit.
To calculate the approximate temperature in Celsius, learn to use Fahrenheit instead.
Rumor has it that this formula was first found in a 1932 fraternity handbook. Try it out yourself when it gets a bit warmer! Deantini would be proud of your highly scientific estimations.