A brief history of time

One of my less-endearing habits1 is my occasional tardiness. I alluded to this in my post about my funeral plans, and that I would try and arrive late. My timekeeping winds my friend Charmaine up, I know, as she can’t understand why I’m always late when we meet up, given that she has to get a slow bus in while I just have to walk around the corner to City Square.

I was watching a programme about the early railways and the introduction of railway time when I had a thought. Grabbing a pen and notepad, I started reasoning thus:

  1. According to Google Maps, my flat is 1.55° west of Greenwich.
  2. There are 360° in a circle, the equivalent of 24 hours in a day in our standard way of measuring time by the rotation of the Earth.
  3. That means it takes one hour to travel 15° of arc longitude.
  4. That means 1° of arc is traversed every four minutes.
  5. Which means that 0.5° of arc is traversed every two minutes, or 120 seconds.
  6. And that 0.1° is traversed every 24 seconds.
  7. Which means that 0.05° is traversed every 12 seconds.
  8. Therefore (by adding up the results of steps 4, 5 & 7), living 1.55° west of Greenwich means that I live six minutes and 12 seconds behind Greenwich time (mean or otherwise).

So if I’m six minutes late I’m actually 12 seconds early. I’m not late at all, I’m just living in a different time zone.

Well, it’s worth a try. I doubt anyone will fall for it. I could just set my clock to be six minutes fast and leave the flat earlier, I suppose…

  1. I’ll let you decide if I have any endearing habits, Dear Reader. []

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