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Posts under tag: Fahrenheit

February 17, 2015

Why Americans still use Fahrenheit long after everyone else switched to Celsius

Eugene 02-17-15 weather

Weather status from the Eugene Airport (weather.gov)

Virtually every country on earth aside from the United States measures temperature in Celsius. This makes sense; Celsius is a reasonable scale that assigns freezing and boiling points of water with round numbers, zero and 100. In Fahrenheit, those are, incomprehensibly, 32 and 212.

This isn’t just an aesthetic issue. America’s stubborn unwillingness to get rid of Fahrenheit temperatures is part of its generally dumb refusal to change over to the metric system, which has real-world consequences. One conversion error between US and metric measurements sent a $125 million NASA probe to itsĀ fiery death in Mars’ atmosphere.

Why does the United States have such an antiquated system of measurement? You can blame two of history’s all-time greatest villains: British colonialism and Congress.

For more, check out the remainder of this article from Vox.com