30 JAN 2015 by ideonexus


PETWHAC stands for Population of Events That Would Have Appeared Coincidental. Population may seem an odd word, but it is the correct statistical term. I won't keep using capital letters because they stand so unattractively on the page. Somebody's watch stopping within ten seconds of the psychic's incantation obviously belongs within the petwhac, but so do many other events. Strictly speaking, the grandfather clock's stopping should not be included. The mystic did not claim that he could stop...
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08 AUG 2013 by ideonexus

 The Clock United Communities

IN Europe the clock very early became a public machine. Churches expected communicants to assemble regularly and repeatedly for prayers, and flourishing cities brought people together to share a life of commerce and entertainment. When clocks took their places in church steeples and town belfries, they entered on a public stage. There they proclaimed themselves to rich and poor, awakening the interest even of those who had no personal reason to mark the hours. Machines that began as public in...
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Large clocks in every town brought everyone together under one precise time. It was a reminder that we are all part of a community.

21 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Conception of Time

We never really see time. We see only clocks. If you say this object moves, what you really mean is that this object is here when the hand of your clock is here, and so on. We say we measure time with clocks, but we see only the hands of the clocks, not time itself. And the hands of a clock are a physical variable like any other. So in a sense we cheat because what we really observe are physical variables as a function of other physical variables, but we represent that as if everything is evo...
Folksonomies: time
Folksonomies: time
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We do not see time, we only see its effects.

01 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 A Clock Stopped at the Moment Feynman's Wife Died

Sometimes we can actually pin down the explanation of a weird coincidence. A great American scientist called Richard Feynman tragically lost his wife to cancer, and the clock in her room stopped at precisely the moment she died. Goose-pimples! But Dr Feynman was not a great scientist for nothing. He worked out the true explanation. The clock was faulty. If you picked it up and tilted it, it tended to stop. When Mrs Feynman died, the nurse needed to record tl the time for the official death ce...
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But he traced the phenomenon to a faulty mechanism in the clock that triggered when the nurse picked it up to record the time of death.