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  • Hi I’m Craig, I'm of average height. I guess you could say I'm fair... in height, and this

  • is Mental Floss on YouTube. Today, I’m going to answer Martin Prince’s big question,

  • Why do Americans use Fahrenheit?”

  • I know some of you hate it when I don’t use Celsius, so today I’m going to spend

  • an entire video talking about Fahrenheit. Let’s get started!

  • First: I’m going to give a little history of Fahrenheit and Celsius. So, the Fahrenheit

  • scale was developed by a German man named Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit in 1724. It’s

  • believed that he originally hadbeing the temperature of ice cold salt water, 32°

  • as ice water, and 96° as body temperature. Over time, the scale shifted a little, but

  • it was used in English-speaking countries for centuries.

  • The Celsius scale was developed in 1744. It’s named for a Swedish astronomer, Anders Celsius,

  • who created a scale in whichwas the boiling point of water and 100° was the freezing

  • point. What that's the reverse! Well The modern Celsius scale was the opposite of that.

  • In most English-speaking countries, Fahrenheit was used up until about the 1960s. Then, all

  • those places (besides the U.S.) began to switch over to Celsius and the metric system. Those

  • crazy free-wheelin metric 60's. Most had been trying to switch to metric system since the

  • 1800s because it obviously made more sense. But there was some hesitation, especially

  • when reporting weather. A 2006 article by the London newspaper The Times claimed, "-6

  • °C sounds colder than 21 °F and 94 °F sounds more impressive than 34 °C." You want to

  • be impressed by your temperatures, you know?

  • So why doesn’t the U.S. switch over? Well, weve tried. Like, in 1875, the U.S. joined

  • the Metre Convention, which was a treaty signed by 17 nations. Those nations developed a standardized

  • metric system, which started with measurements of mass and length, but eventually included

  • temperature.

  • Over the course of the next few decades, it seemed like the U.S. would definitely switch

  • over to metric, and we did and now it's metric everywhere happy ending, not true. The UK

  • and Canada did switch in the sixties so why didn't we? In 1975, Congress passed the Metric

  • Conversion Act. This act claimed that Metric was, quote, "the preferred system of weights

  • and measures for United States trade and commerce.” It also stated that the government would,

  • quote, “coordinate and plan the increasing use of the metric system in the United States.”

  • The government agency USMB, or United States Metric Board, was created soon after the Act

  • was passed. But, the public still wasn’t convinced. And the Board didn’t have enough

  • power to force the country to switch over. Eventually, Ronald Reagan’s administration

  • shut down the USMB in 1982.

  • There’s still some traction and many people in the U.S. who’d like to switch to metric.

  • But, it's has been a slow process and many remain resistant. And weirdly, you still see

  • Fahrenheit crop up in scientific journals and engineering. This is for one main reason:

  • the degrees are smaller, so you can get twice the level of precision before needing decimals.

  • Then there's a secondary reason, 'murica rah.

  • Thanks for watching Mental Floss on YouTube, which is made with the help of all these nice

  • Celsiuses. If you have a Big Question of your own that you’d like answered, leave it below

  • in comments. See you next week! That one might be a Fahrenheit, actually.

Hi I’m Craig, I'm of average height. I guess you could say I'm fair... in height, and this

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アメリカ人はなぜ華氏を使うのか? - 大きな疑問 - (Ep. 37) (Why do Americans use Fahrenheit? - Big Questions - (Ep. 37))

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    羅紹桀 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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