Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Time---and---A Physics Question


I read something online a few weeks ago that mentioned the word 'time' is the most often used word in the English language. I don't agree with that. I would think the word 'the' or 'I' would win out over 'time'. Maybe it is the most often used noun or concept.

A person told me today that she doesn't like clocks and dislikes the concept of time. She said it is a manmade concept and makes her feel stressed and unsettled. She also said that she owns only one clock, and that is her alarm clock. She does not own or wear a watch. She doesn't have a bedtime, but rather goes to sleep when she's tired, and she doesn't eat at certain times of the day, but rather eats when she's hungry. On her days off or her vacations, she goes an entire day or many days at a stretch without knowing what time it is. I am fascinated by this.

I am obsessed with time. I must have my watch on me at all times. Sometimes I'll even sleep with it on and shower with it on, though the latter is because I'll wash it while I'm in the shower. At work, shift locations and assignments are made in one-hour increments, and I must know where each person is each hour of the day in order to ensure we've got all the right balls in the air at all the right times. I must know the time in order to do this. If I had to guess, I'd say I look at a clock, watch, or some other timekeeping device or time display over 100 times a day, maybe more.

I heard a story some time back about a college professor who couldn't wear wristwatches. I can't remember if it had something to do with a pacemaker or maybe it was that the man couldn't wear anything constricting for health reasons. Whatever the reason, this man had fine tuned his internal clock and always knew within 5 minutes what the time was.

When I was in drum corps, some of the rehearsal days, which were commonly 14 hours long, would pass by extremely slowly. I commented on this one time, and one of my peers told me she had stopped wearing her watch and noticed the time passed by more quickly. I followed suit and found she was right.

I can't go without my watch at work, or my work will suffer, but I can try an experiment at home regarding time. I haven't yet determined the scope or the rules of the experiment. I'll keep you posted.

A Physics Question

Imagine the sun is shining through a window and creating a small light spot on the wall or floor. Imagine I take a ball point pen and begin waving it back and forth between the window and the floor so that a small fraction of the light spot is in shadow at any one moment in time. If I were able to wave the pen back and forth at a speed faster than the oscillating speed of the light wave--in essence, faster than light--would the light spot stay in shadow and basically not be seen?

I wonder such things.


Kit said...

"Time" is the most often used noun, "the" is the most often used word overall.

Though I understand your physics question in hypothetical object cannot move faster than the speed of light.
IF it could, that object would discount itself as a physical presence.
The pen would be undetectable, therefore, there would be no shadow, just a steady stream of light.

CatBoy said...

I have no idea what either of you are talking about.

***LadyMtnMedic*** said...

There would be no shadow.

Your image made me think of the blades on a helicopter. The faster they go the less you see of them, you actually see right thru them.

I carry a watch while on duty, but do not carry one in my personal life. Just the alarm clock in the morning as a back up incase my internal clock ( and the dog) fail me. Normally I am up and awake long before then.

emma said...


emma said...

I just read that watch sales are down. It seems all the youngins just use their cell phones to note the time.