December 14, 2012 at 5:08 pm #605916
I need your help guys – I need your most ridiculous ways to measure time – or at least measures of time not commonly used.
So far I’ve got fortnights and measuring in moon cycles.December 14, 2012 at 5:56 pm #779718December 14, 2012 at 6:18 pm #779719
Dunno if this is the kind of thing you’re talking about, but one thing I do related to time, is if something is coming up, say getting dentures, or signing a lease ;-), I’ll tell myself that in the same amount of time going backwards, (2 days ago, 3 hours ago), I’ll be/have……
MikeDecember 14, 2012 at 6:39 pm #779720
JKBParticipantDecember 14, 2012 at 6:39 pm #779721
Mike, a coworker and I are having a sort of ‘nerd off’ that I am destined to lose. He is now measuring time in fortnights and ‘until the next waining moon’.
I just need something to battle back with.December 14, 2012 at 9:37 pm #779722December 14, 2012 at 10:24 pm #779723December 14, 2012 at 10:27 pm #779724
Moment: “In medieval reckoning: the tenth part of a ‘point’ (point n.1 2c), i.e. the fortieth or the fiftieth part of an hour.” (from the O.E.D.)December 14, 2012 at 10:29 pm #779725
“Platonic year n. chiefly hist. (originally) a cycle postulated by some ancient astronomers, in which the celestial objects go through all their possible movements and return to their original relative positions, after which (according to some versions of the theory) all history repeats itself; (in later use identified with) the period of precession of the equinoxes (approx. 25,800 years).” (from the O.E.D.)December 14, 2012 at 10:30 pm #779726December 14, 2012 at 10:34 pm #779727December 15, 2012 at 3:38 am #779728
WCDeb: There are all sorts of fun ways to measure time. Lunar cycles are an ancient method, of course. Waxing and waning separates the two halves of the month, and you can be more specific by referring to waxing crescent, waxing gibbous, waning gibbous, and waning crescent, with full and new thrown in where they belong. In many traditions, each lunar cycle has a name. So you can schedule a meeting for the first day of the waxing gibbous Wolf moon, a little more than a month from now.
Other astronomical methods include “sidereal” time, which measures movement of the earth against the fixed objects in the sky, as opposed to solar time, which gives you the familiar 24 hour day. A sidereal day is about 23 hours, 56 minutes. There’s also the Julian date system, which numbers days in a continuous sequence starting from January 1, 4713 BC on the proleptic Julian calendar. Today, for example is 2456276. If you like the general idea but prefer the Gregorian calendar, then you start on October 15, 1582, and today is 157115.
Or you could go smaller scale and measure time using the “jiffy,” which is the duration of one tick of a computer system timer interrupt, usually 0.01 second. (Be careful, though, because in electronics, a jiffy can be 1/50th or 1/60th of a second, while in quantum physics, a jiffy is the length of time it takes light to travel one fermi. And if you don’t know the length of a fermi, well, you’re already beyond hope.)
You can combine large and small metric measures by using the “microcentury” or the “nanocentury.” You can do the math yourself, or refer to these handy approximates: microcentury is about 52.5 minutes and a nanocentury is about 3.156 seconds (or be super-nerdy and say it’s pi seconds). Or, there’s the milliweek: 10 minutes. And the kilominute: 16 hours, 40 minutes.
There’s a quasi-metric measurement known as the “blink,” In this system, there are 10 hours to the day, not 24, 100 minutes to the hour, up from 60, and 100 blinks to the minute. That makes a blink approximately 0.864 second. (Still, this approach is frustrating, because the words “hour” and “day” don’t go away, although their values are obviously different from what we are accustomed to. But it’s nerdy even to raise the issue.)
One other system that can be useful is geologic time. The primary units are the eon, era, epoch, period, and age. An eon is a half billion years or more; an era is several hundred million years; an epoch is tens of millions of years, a period is shorter than an epoch and longer than an age; and an age is millions of years. Many of these units are individually named, which is fun, and they each have a corresponding layer of rock on the planet. This system is not so good for, say, scheduling a meeting, however. In geologic time, your meeting already happened.December 15, 2012 at 4:08 am #779729
The Velvet BulldogParticipant
My dad used to say things would get done when he got “A Round Tuit.” Someone finally gave him a clay medallion with the word “TUIT” on it, so he had no more excuses.December 15, 2012 at 11:07 am #779730
2 Much WhineParticipant
It is hard to believe but it is actually possible to slow time down. I have often said that if I was told I had a week to live I would spend it with my mother-in-law. . . . .
. . . . Because it would feel like FOREVER.
Of course that’s just a joke as I would be in trouble if it wasn’t.December 15, 2012 at 3:22 pm #779731
I used to have a wooden nickel type thingy that was a (round) “tuit”!
MikeDecember 15, 2012 at 6:49 pm #779732
WCD: you could go celestial on him and schedule meetings based on the lunar and solar tides. king tides. spring tides. neap tides. also check out the terms perigee, apogee, perihelion, and aphelion.
or you could reference when the moon is in its various astronomical signs:
i see a theme developing, regarding the moon and time…
In astronomy, a fortnight is the mean (average) time between a full moon and a new moon (and vice versa) or half a synodic month. This is equal to 14.77 days. For more information see eclipse cycle.  In the Hindu calendar this period is called a Paksha (also Paksa) and consists of 15 Tithi.December 16, 2012 at 2:06 am #779733
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