Tuesday, May 18, 2010
After two decades of debate, physicists have chosen to assign the most widely used scientific measurement as being exactly one hundredth the mass of Phillips who, despite frequent attempts to get in shape, has been stuck at a consistant weight of 100 KG, or 220.42262 lbs for over 12 years.
Bernard Colliex, a project leader for the Standards Committee for the IBWM explains the decision to take advantage of Phillips' unwavering mass as a breakthrough in maintaining scientific consistency, ensuring that all fields of investigation will henceforth hold perfect agreement over reported measurements.
"We have such confidence that Phillips will never make his weight goals, despite many failed and pathetic attempts at dieting and exercise," Colliex said, ". . . that we are willing to peg the exalted kilogram to the constant mass of this frustrated yet consistently obese man."
Since their inaugural meeting held in 1889, when the committee was charged with maintaining the uniformity of the international system of units, the kilogram has been long defined as being equal to the mass of a particular cylinder made from a platinum-iridium alloy kept in a vault near Paris, France.
Unfortunately, physicists for the international advisory group have measured slight variations in the cylinder's weight, making it unreliable. Because many units in the SI system are defined relative to the kilogram, its precision is necessary for scientific research around the world.
The committee expressed confidence that using Mr. Phillips as new reference point will give them the highest degree of precision to date. They noted that while Phillips had been known to walk a couple of miles over lunch break, he would subsequently reward himself with a McFlurry on his drive home from work, so any weight changes have been shown to be indistinguishable to 10 decimal places.