Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Further Proof Americans Don't Speak Metric

The last week and a half, I've been up to my eyeballs in the Frameline32 San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, but a display ad in the newspaper did catch my eye. It's for a new condo development in Petaluma (an outer suburb about 60 km north of San Francisco). The condos are very "green" in construction, for which I applaud them — they have a variety of energy-saving and water-conserving features, low-VOC paints, Energy Star appliances, tankless water heaters, double-paned windows, and so on, plus granite and marble countertops, slate tile flooring, and a bathroom for almost every bedroom. They're even located in the center of town, providing considerable opportunities for shopping and recreation without needing to hop in a car. All very fine things.

But then there's the name of the development: Celsius 44.

Most Americans have little to no concept what that means, so permit me to translate:

44°C = +111°F

Not quite "Death Valley in July" [PDF], but not exactly a moniker that speaks of comfortable living, particularly in a metropolitan area where the citizens complain about the heat if the daytime high tops 20° (68°F). What were they thinking??