As my students know, I like metric, so I am saddened by this in the NY Times: Dropping Kilometers From Highway’s Signs Divides Arizona
Distance along I-19 is measured in kilometers, just as it is in Mexico. That means highway markers advise that there are three kilometers until the next gas station, four until the next rest stop, seven until the next desert town.
But the distinctive signs’ days may be, well, numbered.
The Arizona Department of Transportation says the 400 signs along the I-19’s 100 kilometers are too old and need to be replaced. The new signs, officials say, would be like all the others in the state and would indicate distance in miles. Exit numbers would be reconfigured as well.
I have nothing against dual units (putting miles below km to help the British tourists out), but a full-scale conversion seems foolish and expensive, and why need exits be changed, km gives you the opportunity for more integer exit signs, while with miles, you might need an a, b, c suffix to the exit if there are a cluster of off-ramps.
Nice thread from Reason on whether re-entry of US citizen (in this case, Paul Lukacs at SFO) into the US can be done without explaining to Customs and Border Security why you were overseas.
‘I’m Not Going to Be Interrogated As a Pre-Condition of Re-Entering My Own Country’
“Why were you in China?” asked the passport control officer, a woman with the appearance and disposition of a prison matron.
“None of your business,” I said.
Her eyes widened in disbelief.
“Excuse me?” she asked.
“I’m not going to be interrogated as a pre-condition of re-entering my own country,” I said.
This did not go over well. She asked a series of questions, such as how long I had been in China, whether I was there on personal business or commercial business, etc. I stood silently. She said that her questions were mandated by Congress and that I should complain to Congress instead of refusing to cooperate with her.
She asked me to take one of my small bags off her counter. I complied.
She picked up the phone and told someone I “was refusing to cooperate at all.” This was incorrect. I had presented her with proof of citizenship (a U.S. passport) and had moved the bag when she asked. What I was refusing to do was answer her questions.