One of the things we all have to struggle with on an everyday basis is the clash between expectations and reality. As we see from Oedipus Rex to modern-day lasagna memes, life’s protagonists will never cease to swim bravely out into the great sea of hopeful optimism only to be battered back to shore by the tides of FML.
Civil time is one of the biggest examples of humans trying to wrestle reality into the neat little box of their expectations. We all know that not every day is exactly 24 hours long. It varies by about 30 seconds either way.
(Those of you familiar with the equation of time watch function may be wondering about the -16 +14 scale — hold that thought.)
The 24-hour day is constructed on an astronomical model that has Earth moving around the Sun at a constant speed, with a perfectly circular orbit centring on the Sun, rotating on an axis perpendicular to its orbit. Guess how many of those things are true? Hint: it’s zero.