Saturday, March 29, 2008

Time Zone Tyranny - fight back!

In the past, humans arose with the Sun, went to work (with perhaps a break for lunch at noon) and quit their labors at Sundown. All very natural.

Then came clocks with equal hours followed by minutes and finally seconds. Now we have to have the most accurate watch possible in order to keep in sync with what could be called "civil time" complete with timezones and the changing of the clocks twice a year.

Spare a moment of pity for those unfortunates who live in Van Horn, West Texas, a city at almost 105 degrees West, but on Central Time. They're already an hour "fast" in winter but in early March they change to Daylight Savings time plus the Equation of Time causes their time-pieces to be about a quarter of an hour even faster with reference to the Sun. All this means that, at high noon in Van Horn, their time-pieces say 2:15 pm!!

Now if you're retired or currently "resting" you can fight back and lead a more natural life. Here's how:

Go and buy a watch with a rotating 12-hour bezel. (Hey, we always need another watch - this time for health reasons ;-). Spend some time Googling to find out how far off civil time is at your home. Then, for those in the West: turn the bezel back by that many hours; Eastern folks would turn it forward. Then set the watch to local solar time. If you've got it right, the sun should be overhead at 12 o/c. If you ever have cause to know civil time, just look where the hour hand points to on the bezel (ignore the minute hand).

I'm trying it out on this P650 . .

P650 in solar time mode

Katy, Texas is at almost 96 degs West. With our wobbly planet in it's elliptical orbit, the sun is overhead at 13:23 civil time this week, ie an hour and 23 minutes fast. The pic was taken at about 9:30 pm CDT and the local solar time is 8.08 pm.

Best regards,