JUN 09, 2017 08:11 AM PDT

Should we switch to the metric system?


Back in the day when we were developing a measurement system, we used whatever was closest, and what was closest was our bodies. We had actual measurements such as "an arm's length," "a foot," and an acre, which was the amount of land that a person could work in one day. But all the while as we in the United States were developing our own unique system, France was disseminating their system, based on the number 10. Called the metric system, it spread and took hold throughout much of Europe, creating a fundamental divide between Europe and the US that impeded trade. So what did the US do?

In order to rectify this divide, in 1866 Congress signed an act agreeing to recognize the metric system as the global authority on all units. So why are we still not using the metric system? Turns out we actually are, it's just disguised by our own unique vocabulary. The governmental definitions for all of our units are actually defined by their equivalents in the metric system; i.e. 1 mile = 1.609344 kilometers, not the other way around! In 1975, President Gerald Ford signed the Metric Conversion Act to try to get the US to fully adopt the metric system, but because the act was made optional, it essentially failed. Turns out here in the US we're really stuck to our ways!
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
SEP 17, 2018
Videos
SEP 17, 2018
How THC Binds to Cannabinoid Receptors in the Brain
Seconds after marijuana is consumed it begins to affect your brain. The main cannabinoid produced by the cannabis plant is called THC (tetrahydrocanna...
SEP 22, 2018
Videos
SEP 22, 2018
Did a Vampire Facial Expose Patients to Bloodborne Disease?
It seems there is no shortage of unusual beauty rituals; vampire facials may fall into that category....
SEP 26, 2018
Videos
SEP 26, 2018
Cancer Immunotherapy
Video illustration about how tumor cells are sensed and destroyed by the immune system and how tumors evolve and detect immune-mediated eliminations, as well as iimmunotherapies associated....
OCT 03, 2018
Videos
OCT 03, 2018
The Use of Cannabis to Treat Chronic Pain
Chronic pain can lead to depression, addiction to opioids, anxiety, other side effects, and more. The first video from Howcast talks about clinical tr...
OCT 07, 2018
Health & Medicine
OCT 07, 2018
The Myth Behind Being Double-Jointed
Every so often, you might come across the occasional show-off that flexes their bodies in unusual ways and claims to be “double-jointed.” But i...
OCT 08, 2018
Videos
OCT 08, 2018
What Is Brain Hacking and What Can We Do With It?
What exactly is “brain hacking?” Well, it sounds nefarious, but it’s actually about connecting the brain to external devices and monitors...
Loading Comments...