Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I was reading my perfectly innocent-looking homework assignment, when all of a sudden I saw this:

Figure 1: Augh!

You know, I figured a biomechanics class (which is, after all, all about the realistic physicality of biology as opposed to magic cartoon enzymes that always work) would feature more realistic estimates of a bacterium's size.

Figure 2: I also figured it would feature less fleeing and primal terror. [Source]

Of course, the answer is that E. coli are measured in μm (micrometers), not meters, and that the micro sign simply failed to render due to some strange failure of MS Word. The lesson is clear: Mistakes in character encodings will kill us all. Go forth boldly, my friends, and godspeed.


  1. The lesson is clear: LaTeX is the way, the truth, and the light.

  2. No one cometh unto comprehensible documents except by me!