Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Man in the Hatch

Remember when you were younger and calling "Time and Temperature" amounted to a daily ritual of self-importance? Maybe in your limited pre-teen social demographic, the act of dialing the phone thrust you into a simulated state of popularity. Maybe you became the gatekeeper to your family's daily couture--a pint-sized forecaster. Maybe this is all just me and I've laid out for you some semi-neurotic starting point for the whole time thing. But, admit it. Knowing you've calibrated your life to some kind of official standard does synchronize you to the world in a deep breath kind of way, right?

The modern equivalent for us in the states is the official clock website kept by the US government. I can imagine, it's what the important events in our time are tied to. Space shuttle launches. Poll closing times. Wall Street. The clock is monitored jointly by the NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (Department of Commerce), and the US Naval Observatory, too important, apparently, to leave it to one employee with the potential to fail as completely as the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 in the hatch. Where was this job on career day?

On this site, you'll also find links to world zone maps, articles on the fundamentals and history of timekeeping, and downloadable software that will automatically synchronize your computer to official time.

If you're looking to this site to realign you with the earth and bring your life into balance and harmony, you won't find it here. But if you're looking to eliminate the time warp we all experience in our own house, where the disparity between your kitchen and bedroom clocks can dissolve five minutes of your day, check it out.

Today: butt-numbing writing time=bliss


Marilyn Brant said...

Oh, you're so right about the "time warp" in my own house. Every time the power goes out or Daylight Savings comes again, I fight a new battle of trying to get us realigned with real time. I checked the official website and was pleased to find that 3 of my clocks were actually set correctly. The others, well...

Anyway, I just read on the GH loop that you weren't going to be in San Fran. I'm SO disappointed! I'd really hoped to see you there (although I can understand the greater allure of Hawaii :). I've been saving up topics to talk with you about in person, so maybe we can snag some time to chat at the next conference. Hope so.

L.A. Mitchell said...

I'm glad you were able to swing National this year. I'll miss seeing you and all the 007-ers. We'll find each other in 2009, wearing our pink ribbons at the booting-out ceremony. Deal? :)