Monday, May 11, 2009

Price Check on Aisle 4

Does anyone know the SKU for a baby?

Explanation: It's Monday. I waited until noon so you all had a chance to wake up. Now I present you with an engineering problem.

My daughter turned three months old this weekend. Since she has no scheduled doctor's appointment this month, we do not know her weight. My home scale is digital, and only reports weights to a precision of 0.5 pounds. Furthermore, the scale isn't consistent enough to even guess her weight. I need another way to measure her weight.

My first (and perhaps easiest) idea is to take her to Wegman's and put her on a produce scale. As I do not know her SKU number, I would not be able to print a label for her. That would be tough to explain at checkout time.

After that, I'm at a loss. Without buying a new scale, how do I figure out her weight? Remember, I don't have the time to construct a giant balance. Any suggestions?


Jack said...

I believe this is easily resolved using a barometer, a tape measure and the leaning tower of Pisa.

No, that was how Leonard De Vinci decided who to cast in his code movie.

Actually you can calculate her weight using bungee cords, the baby’s car seat and your weights*.

Suspend the baby in the car seat from bungee cords. Mark how much they stretched (How high off the ground the seat is).

Remove the baby from the seat and replace with weights until the seat is at the same height as it was with the baby in the seat.

*As a substitute for weights, you could use grocery products sold by weight. (This would also give you her calorie content)

Or you could see how much water she displaces.

Or you could make up a number . . . Who would know?

Jack said...

I'm sure it's not the "best", but you can use water displacement if the object floats. The mass of water the object displaces in a container is equal to it's own mass. One US gallon equals 8.33 pounds , so to keep it simple, if the object displaces one US gallon, it weighs 8.33 pounds, 2 gallons equals 16.66 pounds and so on.
This is the method they use to calculate a ships mass. The interior of the hull volume to the water line plus whatever hull plate thickness will give you the ships mass. That's the reasoning behind using the term displacement when referring to a ship's weight

Anonymous said...

Don't they make a Lego scale ?