You know how it is in some parts of the world. Excuse me sir. Do you
perchance know what time it is? He looks at his watch. It’s ten after
two. Is that AM or PM sir? What’re you blind. Well yes. as a matter
And then in other parts of our planet. where they’re a tad more
civilized and up to date… Excuse me sir. Do you perchance know what
time it is? He looks at his watch. It’s fourteen hundred hours and
Ahhh. Now isn’t that better? No need for AM’s and PM’s. Use the 24
hour format and you’re all set. With only one little conundrum. Ya
gotta calculate. You look at your watch. Let’s see. If it’s two in
the afternoon you add two to twelve and you get fourteen and then you
add the ten minutes and it’s fourteen hundred hours and ten and who
the hell needs that kind of crap? I’ve got enough on my mind that I
don’t need no higher mathematical skills and what the hell’s wrong
with this world anyway?
You want to know the time buddy? Go ask someone else. Or find
yourself a 24 hour watch. But the history is rather interesting. for
those of you who have the time. Oh pun pun pun. Hey Charlie. o-pun
the door. Oops. Getting off track here.
But it wasn’t always a 24 hour day. Nay nay. A couple of hundred
years ago the French decided that a ten hour day would be much
better. Oui oui. Of course this made each hour about 2.4 times as
long as one of ours. And each one of the French hours was divided
into 100 minutes. And each minute. .100 seconds. Vive le metric
But that didn’t work out. There were too many out there that did not
very much like the decimal day. So what did they do? They divided the
day into two twelve hour segments. Twelve hours of daytime. twelve
hours of nighttime. Ah. but there was a conundrum. In the winter the
nights were longer. In the summer the days were longer. Very rarely
were both twelve hours long.
And so the eureka moment arrived. And what did we do. We packaged the
whole shmear into one happy twenty four hour day.
Dark–light–day–night. all one big happy twenty four hour segment.
And then the world divided. . as it is often wont to do. and we got
AM’s and PM’s. And when the radio guy announced the game was about to
start at ten o’clock. which side of the twenty four hour segment was
he talking about? Meet you at ten ten kiddo. Morning or night? AM or
PM. Wouldn’t it be better to say meet you at 2010… and now you know
All well and good. But what about those of us who want a visual on
this. The clock doesn’t say 2010… does it? Or does it?
The fact of the matter is. there are clocks that do. They tell the
time in 24 hour segments. See? Look. It says 2010. Have any of you
ever seen one? Would any of you like to see one? Ah you lucky devils.
Guess who has an image of such a clock? What’s that? Moi you say? How
So go. look. A twenty four hour clock on a wall. a symbol of man’s
innate cleverness. which will of course never catch on because nobody
likes to try new tricks if they don’t have to. Look at the metric
system. When you go to the grocery store. do you order two pounds of
potatoes. or do you say may I please have a kilo of red russets
So there it is.
For those of you who are new to this thing called Tidbits. may I
direct you to my home page at http://www.tyler-adam.com where you
will scroll down the left side menu till you get to the area that
says Current Tidbits. click it. and you will see represented on our
pages an image of a magnificent 24 hour clock.
And there ya have it. That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.