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
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