On Mon 2005-01-24T00:50:10 -0800, Tom Van Baak hath writ:
> Isn't knowing when noon is already a specialist operation?
> I mean, most people could tell you when noon is to within
> an hour or two or three, but finer than that requires a far
> amount of daily mental calculation, no?

Noon has long required a calendar, an almanac, a longitude, and the
ability to perform addition and subtraction.  This has long been
something that could be presumed within the abilities of any locality
big enough to call itself a town.  The tasks of business, payroll,
and banking demand that much.

Sunrise and sunset have required haversines.  That's why the
newspapers publish them.  Trigonometry was not required for simple
civil life.

Steve Allen          UCO/Lick Observatory       Santa Cruz, CA 95064
[EMAIL PROTECTED]      Voice: +1 831 459 3046     http://www.ucolick.org/~sla
PGP: 1024/E46978C5   F6 78 D1 10 62 94 8F 2E    49 89 0E FE 26 B4 14 93

Reply via email to