Our Friend the Alfred

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One of my favorite things about physics class in college was learning about the SI units. My friends and I took to calling them Old Dead White Guy Units (ODWGU) because it seemed to us that most of them were  named after ... well ... distinguished European gentleman of the englishmen era.

Perhaps its a little solipsistic to claim some aspect of the natural world and name it after yourself. But I supposed we have to call these things something, and it's kind of fun to learn the history behind each discovery. Plus, if those gentleman can do it then I don't see why I can't. There are so many things in life that are just yearning for quantification.

A case in point: Todays unit is the Alfred (Alf)

The Alfred is the SI Unit of intrigue, as observed through a window. It's named for Alfred Hitchcock, English director of the film Rear Window.

Here are some common observances as measured in Alfreds:

0 Alf  =  An empty, non descript window (theoretical, all actual windows are > 0 Alf.) 0.001 Alf  =  1 mAlf  =  A window with a spooky shredded curtain blowing gently in the breeze. 0.01 Alf  =  1 cAlf  =  A scowling child looking back menacingly. 0.012 Alf  =  1.2 cAlf  =  A scowling child looking back menacingly and eating an ice cream cone. 0.04 Alf  =  4 cAlf  =  Scowling twins in matching outfits (any age). 0.1 Alf  =  A mysterious shadowy figure. 0.2 Alf  =  A mysterious shadowy figure in a fedora. 1 Alf  =  A gruesome murder in progress, as seen in silhouette.

Note that the presence of a cat in the window automatically multiplies any recorded value of Alfreds by a factor of 0.045. This unitless constant is known as Pluto's coefficient.