Saturday, March 10, 2012
THE ILLUSION OF TIME
“The theory of relativity put an end to the idea of absolute time! It appeared that each observer must have his own measure of time as recorded by a clock carried with him, and that identical clocks carried by different observers would not necessarily agree.”
A Brief History of Time
By Stephen Hawking
TODAY’S DATE IS MARCH 10, 2012…. I THINK….. MAYBE I AM WRONG.
This year as we approach Daylight Savings Time, and have to set our clocks forward one hour, we are also living through the four year phenomenon of a leap year.
The Earth takes 365days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds to make one revolution around the sun.
At some point in human history man became aware of the cyclic nature of the seasons and very early on primitive cultures designed lunar calendars to predict seasonal changes that affected their life styles.
Six thousand years ago the Egyptians devised a solar calendar of twelve months of thirty days plus an extra five days. This was later adopted by the Greeks. The Romans took the Greek calendar and modified it to include a leap year.
still use a modified lunar calendar to this day. Saudi Arabia
There was no one born on earth and no one died between October 5th and October 14th in the year 1582.
The Julian calendar, a reform of the Roman calendar, was introduced by Julia Caesar in the year 46 BC. The calendar design was 365 days divided into twelve months with a leap day added to February every four years. Even with leap day added, this calendar was off by eleven minutes a year and so by 1582 the error had accumulated to ten days. To correct this inconsistency Pope Gregory XIII decreed that the day following October 4th would be called October 15th (skipping ten days.)
Great Britton did not adopt the Gregorian calendar until 1752, at which time they dropped eleven days from September to correct for the time disparagement, and they moved News Years day from March 25th to January 1st.
You think this is confusing? The way it actually works is:
Every four years we add a day (February 29,) but every year devisable by 100 we skip the extra day – unless the date is also divisible by 400, in which case we add the day.
Even with all the adjustments our calendar is still not accurate. On December 31, 1999 the world stood by for a millennium computer disaster, while fundamentalist Christian churches portended the Rapture would bring about an end of the world. However, in our western calendar there is no zero-year, so 2001 was actually the beginning of the 21st century, and as far as we can determine the birth of Jesus took place in the year of 4 BC (December 25 is an arbitrary date), so our Christian calendar is off by four years.
TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE
‘Time should be considered as Philosophy not Physics – Time is a property of human consciousness, not a factor of the universe. It is a filing system that humans use to measure certain points during their journey of existence. The basic elements of the universe, whether subatomic or large, simply go about their business of being matter or energy without regard to how long they have existed.”
Paraphrased from comments by Bob Fish in Discovery Magazine 08/2007
In the early days of
, farmers kept time by a
noon mark: a stick at the base of a north/south mark on the ground. This worked fine until the advent of the
railroad. Railroads had to keep to a
time schedule for arrival and departures, and it was impossible to publish a
schedule that reflected sun time. Sun time differed from town to town and city
to city: when it was noon in America New York City it
was 11:55 in Philadelphia; 11: 47 in Washington; 11:35 in - as many as 30 different times
could be found in towns on an east/west course across most states. Pittsburg
In 1847 the railroads proposed a standard time schedule for the
with 4 time zones. Railroads in US England began operating on a standard time
schedule in 1880, and in 1883 the railroads in the began operating on a new
standard time schedule. US
Congress called for an international conference to establish international time zones, and at that conference it was decided that the zero time zone be located in
. In England , Christians
opposed the time zones (God’s time, not Vanderbilt’s) and preachers across the
country smashed clocks and watches on their pulpits. When it became obvious that time zones were
inevitable Christians wanted America
to be named the zero time zone. Bethlehem
DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME
Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.
Daylight Savings Time was sold to the public as an adjustment of working hours to allow for more recreational time for workers. In reality Congress sees an economic basis: production is higher during daylight hours so on second shifts workers tend to produce more goods during DST, also the extended daylight after work allows more hours for shoppers and increases retail sales.
When I was working I always hated Daylight Savings Time in the spring and loved it in the fall. To me, the extra hour in bed was always more important than extra daylight after work.