It's About Time

 I think we just changed to Standard Time.  We switched from Daylight Savings Time, which is really a bizarre concept. If we move the clocks an hour, does it really change the amount of daylight in any given day?  I believe this whole concept began with a joke.  Our randy Ambassador, Ben Franklin sent a letter to the Journal of Paris saying essentially that they could save candle use by waking Parisians up an hour later (or earlier, I don't remember.)  He was not serious.   

Turns out he was predated by over a thousand years by the Romans, who used different water clocks each month.  I acknowledge my ignorance concerning water clocks except to say that each monthly water clock measured a different length hour to track the solar day.  No wonder the Empire lasted little more than five hundred years.   (It appears that they were not the inventors of water clocks though. That came much earlier — see link below.)  Then I believe New Zealand got involved, and now about seventy countries on the planet are doing the backward/forward boogie each year.  Check this link Daylight_saving_time if you want to go down that rabbit hole.  While you're at it here's Wikipedia's exhaustive dissertation on Water Clocks.

Okay let's go back to the subject of this essay — TIME.

By TIME, I mean the intervals defined by the rotation of the our planet on its axis and its revolution around the Sun with the moon circling us like a playful puppy. Any other measure is purely arbitrary.  The hour and week are simply ways of carving up the passage of  time into equal parts.  But because of the variability in our natural world that we try to divide into equal parts, we have to make occasional corrections.  in order to maintain the precision that appears to be critical to our civilization, we must, at intervals "correct" time.  UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) is not permitted to vary more than 0.9 seconds from UT1 (Observed Solar Time) so a correction is needed and since we can't change the Sun's activity, we must match it. so we alter the atomic clocks that all earth time tracks.  Here's the last rabbit hole for you. UTC vs UT1.  

Welcome to humanity's desire to structure the universe and the universe's fun in thwarting it.

Until Next time,



  1. THis is a fun little frolic my friend. Pretty 'timely' as we fall into these darkening days of winter. Only three weeks more of sliding into deeper darkness and then that beautiful tilting/returning thing the earth does in her own sweet time brings us into lighter days once again.


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