Saturday, 15 November 2014

a stitch in time save nine

Mental Floss has an interesting collection of obscure units of time. For instance, did you realise that a moment, begging a moment's pardon bought one precisely ninety seconds (a minute-and-a-half's) leave? Be sure to check out the other nine non-conventional measures.

Incidentally, the next generation of atomic clocks being deployed really place the convention of timekeeping outside of human bounds and make the question of what is time wholly academic. These strontium-based clocks will not lose a fraction of a second over the course of several billion years but are so sensitive to the way gravity affects not the clockworks but distorts time itself, no two clocks could ever be exactly synchronised. This level of accuracy seems to have no direct, significant bearing on a human scale, yet the clocks and associated technologies would be able to register these corrections and aberrations. What do you think? Does close enough get out of our hands? By the way, the saying a stitch in time is a warning for would be proscrastinators—idiomatically directed at those weary of mending those little rips and snags in clothing, which if addressed early could prevent more darning to do later.