Q: When did centigrade become Celsius, and are they the same thing?

A: They are the same, said Glenn Burns, chief meteorologist for WSB-TV. It became Celsius in 1948 because centigrade, meaning 100 degrees, also was a unit of measurement in the French and Spanish languages. Celsius is named after Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius, who invented the centigrade scales. Zero degrees Celsius equates to 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

Q: Will a letter mailed from the United States to a communist head of state be delivered? Which avenues and procedures are used in the letter’s transit? — Rose Trujillo, College Park

A: The U.S. Postal Service, as a member of the Universal Postal Union, works with postal administrations around the world to develop policies and procedures and rates for the exchange of mail between countries, Postal Service spokesman Michael Miles said.

If an item meets mailability standards (available at pe.usps.com), it will be accepted and delivered to the destination country. However, after an item has been delivered to the postal administration in the destination country, it is subject to the rules, regulations and guidelines of the destination country, Miles said. The intergovernmental Universal Postal Union, created in 1874, is an agency of the United Nations and is composed of 191 members from around the world.

Lori Johnston wrote this column. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or e-mail q&a@ajc.com (include name, phone and city).

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