Time on our Hands!

We had an excellent Zoom talk yesterday by John Hope, with a good turnout of more than 25 members signing in.

He was talking about ‘Time through the Ages‘. It was very informative, taking us on tour of the various approaches and inventions of the Babylonians, Egyptians, Arabians, Greeks etc. Not forgetting Galileo (with his pendulum clocks), and our own Isaac Newton and John Harrison.

John Hope covered a wide range of aspects of time including the historical (24 hours came from the Egyptians and 60 seconds came from the Babylonians) and the methods used (moon, sun, sand hour glasses, candle, water, astronomical, mechanical, atomic)

John produced some lovely stories including the advent of Railway Time (1840), when the differences between a standardised national time and local times, which could differ by 20 minutes or more, required station clocks to have two small hands as well as the single hour hand!

There was also a contemplative note in the talk, about why we use, and whether we need the largely artificial construct of time.

Made me think that, with the pandemic-caused lockdown, time has taken a whole different meaning for most of us – retired people especially.

It’s clearly affected me, as I ceased these ramblings during the first two lockdowns (apologies if you missed them, sorry if you didn’t). I’ve pulled myself together now, and realised I have the time!

If you have, do give these pieces some feedback on our website!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *