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On heatwaves

- Stu Heritage:

I can’t help feeling that America cheats a little when it comes to heatwaves, simply because it still uses Fahrenheit as a system of measurement.

I’m convinced that you only do this to freak Britain out.

Your news reports say that it’s 100 degrees, and we automatically start imagining a fiery hellscape of foaming lakes and exploding eyeballs because, to us, 100 degrees is the temperature at which water boils.

Meanwhile, in the Celsius-loving UK, it’s barely touching 30 degrees and we’ve all taken to working in our underwear and licking rocks for moisture. I’m tempted to say that the US wins at heatwaves because, from a purely quantitative standpoint, it gets hotter there than it does here. But you’re America. You have sprinklers and air-con because you expect it to be hot. Not here, though. Any weather that isn’t tepid drizzle catches us by surprise every single year. Last night nobody could leave London because all the railways physically buckled under the heat, because we don’t expect it to be hot and therefore make all our rails out of Play-Doh as a cost-cutting exercise. We’re rubbish at heatwaves. The worst. And this is why we win.

Advantage: UK.

(Photo: Photograph: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)