Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Celsius to Fahrenheit

Fahrenheit = (Celsius x 1.8) + 32

This is the equation for converting Celsius into Fahrenheit. As many of you are probably already aware, the majority of the world uses Celsius, not Fahrenheit when recording temperatures. Nevertheless, whether out of utility, convenience, or just good old stubbornness, we Americans have chosen to continue using the Fahrenheit Temperature Scale…which is fine, while you’re living in America. But, if you decide to live or travel abroad, you have to make some adjustments. Not just for temperature either. You have to think in kilometers not miles, kilograms not pounds, and liters not gallons. I wonder what really lies at the root of our reluctance to adopt these international standards. Maybe it’s the same phenomenon that suppresses the popularity of soccer in America. I digress…that’s not what this post is about.

Anyway, I haven’t really been that interested in temperature conversion until recently. Last summer was wet and mild…plus we lived at a higher elevation for most of it, so the heat felt bearable. Winter seemed long and cold, especially without adequate heating, but not quite as bitter as I expected in terms of temperature. What I’m trying to say is that the temperature has not been severe enough for me to take interest. Then, about a week or two ago, the heat came. Since then, there have been a few days when I can’t even get up and walk to the kitchen without breaking a sweat. Recently, Nicole and I have spent much of our time sitting in front of the fan trying to stay cool…well, warm is about the best that can be hoped for.

So, a few days ago, out of curiosity, I began to ask the locals about the actual temperature. The responses I got were all in the range of 40 degrees Celsius, which meant very little to me at the time. In fact, in my Fahrenheit mind, 40 degrees sounded pretty cool. Then, a friend of mine shared with me the equation for conversation…

(40 x 1.8) + 32 = 104 degrees Fahrenheit

Now I’m paying attention.

I know I shouldn’t be complaining. It won’t be all that long from now, probably sometime in November, and I’ll be complaining about the cold. The grass is always greener I suppose. It’s actually not that bad, as long as you’re sitting in front of the fan, drinking a glass of cold water…however, we can’t just sit around all day. We’ve got places to go and people to see. Unfortunately, our main mode of transportation involves stuffing ourselves into small buses already packed with people sitting, standing, and squatting wherever space can be found. Consider another interesting factor regarding this mode of transportation: here in Armenia, there is a commonly held belief that exposure to a breeze or a draft of air can cause sickness. Consequently, those lucky passengers who find seats next to the window keep them either closed or at a slight crack to reduce such risk. As a result, the bus becomes a kind of sauna…sadly, not the nice spa or health club kind either.

I hate to say it, but I miss spending most of my days going from one temperature controlled building to the next back in the US. However, I’m sure that once I return, I’ll be complaining about excessive energy consumption, high utility bills, and our dependence on unsustainable sources to produce such conveniences. Like I said earlier on, the grass is always greener.

I’ve heard that there are similar heat waves back in the US. Stay cool and enjoy your summer.

-Andy

PS. Today is actually a bit cooler here. Maybe we’re on the tail end of this heat wave. I suppose everything happens in cycles. I guess it’s just a matter of waiting patiently while the cycle runs its course.