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GNOME Idle Science

Garden Gnome Tests Earth's Gravity 144

sciencehabit writes "Researchers have long hypothesized that objects weigh less at Earth's equator because the planet's spin and shape lessen gravity's pull there versus at the poles. Satellite accelerometers have confirmed this, but a digital scale manufacturer decided to test things the old-fashioned way. Enter the Kern garden gnome. When placed on a scale at the South Pole, the intrepid ornament weighed 309.82 grams versus 307.86 grams at the equator, a difference of 0.6%."
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Garden Gnome Tests Earth's Gravity

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  • by buchner.johannes ( 1139593 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @06:42PM (#39434289) Homepage Journal

    Next to the standard kilogram, there will be a standard garden gnome.

    0.6% is not a small number. I'm looking forward to discussing the next international health survey and asking "Did you normalize your weights for gravitational variance?"

  • Re:Wrong units... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by snookums ( 48954 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @07:44PM (#39435023)

    I once saw an ad for a digital bathroom scale that claimed it "never needs calibrating" and was "accurate to 0.1%". I immediately called bullshit* on this in my head and am glad to know that I was justified in doing so.

    * Note that this was in Australia where we actually measure our mass in kg, rather than our weight in lb. It may well have been that accurate as a weighing machine, but not as a "massing" machine.

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