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Continuosly Varying Timepiece

Never worry about daylight savings again
(+6, -6)
  [vote for,

Jim has recently been to Perth Australia and noticed that they don't bother changing the clocks around for daylight savings. Basically thats because the sun comes up at (roughly) the same time in winter and summer --- if you can decide which is which....

Jim has decided to solve the problem of people arriving too late or too early the day after the clocks change for daylight savings. To wit, he invents the "Continuosly Varying Timepiece" so that no matter where you are in the world relative to the sun --- midday will always correspond to the suns zenith.

Time zero is set at 12 midday on the longest day at one of the places that has the longest days --- not sure where they are but there are probably ancient sun temples there abouts.

Hmmm, Jim is yet again very pleased with himself.

madness, Mar 18 2005


       Every place has its own particular longest day. The further north (or south) you go, the longer this day is, up to several months.   

       Timezones are created for a purpose.
zeno, Mar 18 2005

       Hmmm, Jim might be very pleased with a continuously varying codpiece.
FarmerJohn, Mar 18 2005

       Jim shouldn't be so pleased, because he has invented continuously variable time zones. No one can agree on a time, except if they stand next to each other, and everyone else is late or early for everything.
Ling, Mar 18 2005

       Increased likelihood of missing one's date at the Constantly Punching Hands cafe.
Soterios, Mar 18 2005

       Ling --- Early time pieces suffered from the same problem. No one could agree on the time because there was no frame of reference.   

       Ling --- If you have an appointment at X at 9am your watch will continuosly adjust to time at X as you move closer to it. Thus you need never be late you --- you may find yourself moving faster or slower depending on the direction you are moving (relative to the sun).   

       Murdoch --- Yes this is a pretty radical rethink of time keeping. I think that it is a more natural way to look at time. I will feel right when I look at the clock and it is actually midday --- or midnight for that matter.   

       Zeno --- Hmmm I hope that my definition of time zero does not need adjustment. The poles are not only bright for about 6 months they are also dark for about the same amount of time. Somewhere near the equator gets more sunlight --- I figure that that is why it is hotter...
madness, Mar 18 2005

       Congrats, you just reinvented the way people kept time before there were clocks at all.
krelnik, Mar 18 2005

       On Mar 20 the vernal (and autumnal) equinox, I understand day will be the same length as night, all over the world.
FarmerJohn, Mar 18 2005

       krelnik --- not quite before there were clocks no one could agree what time it was and I imagine no one really cared until payed employment became more fashionable than slavery.   

       Just of the top of my head, half the earths circumference is 12000 miles and the maximum time differential is 12 hours. If you had to travel 1000 miles east west you would notice a difference of an hour --- traveling 1 mile equates to about a 4 seconds time differential.   

       On an average day no one would notice the difference in time as they moved about. Which figures because I don't notice it getting dark if I happen to be traveling east. With a watch that adjusts itself to your position on the earth you can benefit from time keeping that is in tune with what is actually going on.   

       Just as an aside ask yourself why an hour is related so closely to the circumference of the earth. A more accurate clock is going to more accurately follow the passage of the sun --- time zones are a crude method of trying close what is basically an open loop system i.e. your watch does not adjust for where you are and (probably not) what time of year it is.
madness, Mar 18 2005

       Yes, yes [madness] it is very clever and you are absolutely completely right. The timekeeping is stupid and we could do a much better job like you suggest.   

       It is just so impractical. Suppose I want to have a phone meeting with my employees from all over the country, at four in the afternoon. How would we know when to call? My four in the afternoon is not your four in the afternoon. I would need to know exactly what time it is for you. The solution is the timezones. In your idea, how would I know? I would need to know exactly where you are instead of approximately and I would have to make a much more difficult calculation to figure it out.
zeno, Mar 19 2005

       I find timezone calculations difficult now! I don't bother doing any calculations I just look it up. Infact, I don't see any difference in a timezone calculation using a continuously variable system and the current one --- you need to know which time zone to use.
madness, Mar 21 2005

       I seem to remember that standardised time became important about the same time that trains started running up and down the country. They discovered that each town clock had a different 'local' time and so it made timetables very difficult to work out.   

       Clocks were also used to navigate on board ships, being the only way to calculate longditudinal position (latitude can be determined by using an astrolabe to observe stars)
mecotterill, May 24 2008

       No, they knew the times were different; longtitudinal variations in local time were known many years before that. It's only when "faster than time" travel became possible, through the agency of the railway, that it became significant. Even then, it only matters for East-West journeys.   

       The same is true today, when travelling from London To Johannesburg.
8th of 7, May 24 2008

       [marked-for-deletion] - not original - this is how they used to do it before timezones were invented.
zen_tom, May 18 2011


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