December 23, 2003

Switch the Speed Limit Signs For Fun

Today marks a very important date in 1975, Congress passed a landmark piece of legislation that was destined to forever change the lives of every American.

That's right, they passed the Metric Conversion Act of 1975, or Public Law 94-168. The United States Metric Board was established to plan, coordinate, and implement our switch to the metric system.

Here it is 28 years later and the switch was a rousing success. You can not find an American educated after 1975 who still thinks in terms of inches, feet, yards, or miles. Not a one. Good on ya, Metric Board!

(end sarcasm)

From that link above:

The efforts of the Metric Board were largely ignored by the American public, and, in 1981, the Board reported to Congress that it lacked the clear Congressional mandate necessary to bring about national conversion. Due to this apparent ineffectiveness, and in an effort to reduce Federal spending, the Metric Board was disestablished in the fall of 1982.
(emphasis mine)

Of course, metric conversion is still (slowly) going on here in the States. But it might be easier just to continue taking take over the world.

(end Brain voice)

Posted by Jennifer at December 23, 2003 05:06 AM


Robin Williams did a great thing about liking the metric system for measuring certain body parts. Something about being Mr. Tripod man if I remember correctly. But the metric system plays hell with romance. Where it once was “I’d walk a thousand miles for one of your smiles” with the metric system it would be what? “I’d walk a thousand kilometers for one of your thermometers”?

Posted by: Pete at December 23, 2003 05:34 AM

Ya know, every now and then I would *wonder* what happened to that Metric Conversion act. . .Thanks, Jen!

I'm pretty bummed about it, tho. For someone who used to bake for a living, I *still* can't remember how many cups are in a gallon.

Posted by: Victor at December 23, 2003 07:35 AM

Actually the more I think about it I realize that we could probably blame the whole thing on women. What woman would want to say that she has a 80cm waist? Or 91 cm hips??

Posted by: Pete at December 23, 2003 03:26 PM