Sunday, 9 June 2013

Hooray for the 10 hour day

 As I write this it is 9.0785 according to the decimal clock I have just installed on my computer. I have always been fond of decimal time (perhaps it explains my rather idiosyncratic timekeeping and the fact that I always seem to be operating in a different dimension to most people?) and I have never understood why there has never been a more active campaign to get it adopted. The idea of dividing each day up into ten decimal hours each of which is made up of 100 decimal minutes subdivided into 100 decimal seconds is one of the finest ideas to come out of the French Revolution. Why we were so keen to adopt - long after the revolutionary ardour had faded - the ideas for decimal measurements, paper banknotes and all the rest, but leave the idea of decimal time in the dustbin of history is beyond me. Decimal time is easier to understand, much simpler to calculate and much less confusing (there are no silly AM's and PM's on the decimal clock). It has the advantage that time seems to go at a more leisurely rate and its adoption would almost immediately lead to a slowing in the frenetic pace of modern life. As each decimal minute equates to about 1.5 old style minutes, tea breaks become longer, as does Chopin's Minute Waltz. Back in the far distant days of licensing hours, I always used to say that the biggest advantage of decimal time was that it never got passed 10 o'clock and therefore it was never closing time. I must add that this logic was never accepted by any publican I mentioned it to - usually over my shoulder as I was being ejected.

As a service to my readers, I must let you know that you can download a decimal clock onto your computer display and share the beauties of this most logical system of timekeeping. Visit
for a free download. And that's not all! The software (SillyClocks 2.2)
 displays eleven different clocks which, as they rightly claim, 'will help you losing some time while trying to figure out what time it is'. The clocks are:
  • Normal Clock
  • Binary Clock
  • Decimal Clock
  • Roman Clock
  • Degrees Clock
  • DMS (Degrees, minutes, seconds) Clock
  • Sine Clock
  • Percentage Clock
  • Swatch Internet Clock
  • Hexadecimal Clock
  • Morse Clock
Apart from the Decimal version, I find the Roman Clock strangely addictive and the Morse Clock is fun. I really must get out more!

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