# vrf timing conversions

Question asked by VRFuser on May 24, 2006
Yeah, that's what I thought.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Shawn Fessenden [mailto:shawnfess@comcast.net]
> Sent: Wednesday, May 24, 2006 1:00 PM
> To: VRF
> Subject: RE: [vrf] timing conversions
>
>
> > Has anyone successfully accomplished this?
>
> Simplicity itself, to a point. One equals one second, so
> 1000ms. = 1. 60
> seconds = 1 minute. 60 minutes = 1 hour. Check: hmsToSec(1,
> 0, 0) = 3600, 60
> * 60 = 3600. Continue for days and weeks (24 hours a day, 7
> days a week).
>
> When you get to months and years, now you've got a problem.
> What month? What
> year? What month *in* what year? If you want to skip months
> and just say
> there are 365.25 days a year, that's usually close enough but
> the number of
> days in a year is changing all the time. Come to that, the
> number of hours
> in a day is lengthens at a faster rate than number of days in a year
> changes. In order to calculate these quantities exactly you
> need precise
> orbital data (of the Earth-Moon system for year, of the Moon for day).
>
> You've touched upon one of the greatest astronomical problems
> of all time,
> and mankind has spent most of its civilized existence (and much of its
> pre-civilized existence) simply trying to answer these
> questions. The Julian
> calendar added one day to February every four years, but that started
> throwing the calendar out of whack with reality. Some of the
> greatest minds
> in history have worked on the problem to no avail. Royal and
> Papal councils
> (specifically those of Nicaea and Trent in 325 & 1563
> suggestions.
>
> The most "shocking" change was made by Pope Gregory XIII (at the
> recommendation of the Council of Trent), who decreed that
> Thursday, October
> 4th, 1582 would be followed by Friday, October 15, 1582. This
> marked the
> beginning of the Gregorian calendar as we know it today. And
> we're still not
> done. NIST is constantly inserting "leap seconds" in the year
> to keep the
> calendar in step with the seasons. And there's really no end in sight.
>
> The only events that we can be absolutely sure of are the solstices &
> equinoxes. The period of these events change at different
> rates depending on
> the relative positions of the major gravitating bodies in the
> Sol's grip.
> The length of the day depends on how fast the Earth rotates
> and that rate
> slows as the Moon drifts away. The measurement of time is
> somewhat relative
> on all fronts. But at least not for the same reason that Einstein
> discovered! One is hard put to it to decide which is the
> more... distressing
>
> -SHAWN-
>
>
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