Science Or Hobby? The Timeless And Artful Task Of Timekeeping
It has been around since mankind first noticed its passing. That may seem like an eternity, this concept called time. It is a science that both fascinates and scares the living daylights out of most people, consuming every waking moment like a bibliophile consumes a good book. It can make you feel old, or blissfully unaware of its passage, or fearful of the future. It is history immortalized in prose. Books have been written about how to decipher time, how to create time, how to manage time, and how to accessorize time. Time can be tough to pin down, to get enough of in its many incarnations. So is time just a science with a funky name, horology? Is it just the timeless craftsmanship of making watches? Or is it simply a fun, logical hobby that, well, passes time?
Time As You Know It Is Not That Old
You may not have realized it, but your clock is based on time frames that are not so new. Canadian engineer and inventor Sir Sanford Fleming first raised the notion of earthly time division in 1878. As ancient as time is, that may strike you as fairly recent. And you would be right. He proposed that the earth should be divided into time zones that were spaced 15 degrees apart. Since the earth is a globe, it has 360 degrees. This created 24 time zones. Each time zone is an hour apart, beginning at the Greenwich median time zone, ground zero, the prime meridian if you will. West of the Greenwich line is earlier in the day. East of the Greenwich meridian is later in the day. Time zones made transportation and communication easier back in the 19th century. This certainly helps keep the world organized today.
The Timelessness Of Horology
Okay, time zones may not be so old, but in the beginning, humans told time and season by the position of the sun and moon. Scientists like Galileo came up with varying ways of connecting with time using sundials and stars. No one really knows who invented timepieces, but whoever did masterfully created the division of hours, minutes, and seconds. Then came horology and the timeless art of timekeeping. There are artisan classes in watchmaking, there are countless books on the science, beauty, and history of timepieces. Even physicists like Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking were fascinated by time and space. Time is eclectic, relative, about taking a direction to the future, learning from the past. So perhaps time is more than mere science, more than a history that cannot be reclaimed. Time is life itself.
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