Re: [LEAPSECS] the tail wags the dog

From: Peter Bunclark <>
Date: Tue, 24 Jan 2006 07:50:21 +0000 (GMT)

On Mon, 23 Jan 2006, John Cowan wrote:

> Rob Seaman scripsit:
> > that it can be reliably recovered from observations whenever and
> > wherever needed (once you are located with respect to a meridian, of
> > course).
> I don't understand this. You can't shoot the mean sun with a sextant,
> only the friendly ("apparent", whatever) sun. So at the very least
> you need an analemma.

I don't think Rob meant the above to be a complete course on navigation!
> In any case, the majority of the world has managed to live with the fact
> that the day-of-month can no longer be recovered by examining the moon,
> although if we were still hunter-gatherers a purely lunar calendar would
> make a lot of sense.

Good example of a timekeeping decision made by a (very tiny) minority over
the majority. How nice indeed, it would be, if the months were fixed to
match lunations. February could be a leap-month which changes length when
necessary to keep the synchronization...

Received on Mon Jan 23 2006 - 23:51:13 PST

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