Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tempus fugit.

There's a adage for daylight savings time that goes like this: "Spring forward and Fall back". The concept is controversial and was only possible when analog or digital clocks became of common use. Before that, sundials were one of the few means to tell time. They come in all shapes, orientation and sizes, but they all have one feature, it was a gnomon. The accuracy of the sundial is based on a variety of factors; such the shape of the gnomon, how it leans, the time of the year and the latitude.

Gnomom comes from the ancient Greeks meaning "to know". Also from the Greek is the prefix "a", which means "not". Thus the word agnostic, literally means "I don't know". Often this word is used in Religious context, it's use usually gets confused with another belief "athetisism".

Distinguishing these to concepts is difficult, but I believe that Henny Youngman said it best when he stated that "he used to be atheist, but there were no religious holidays". In turn, the ultimate agnostic was W. C. Fields. When he spent his last weeks in a hospital, where a friend stopped by for a visit and caught Fields reading the Bible. When asked why, Fields replied, "I'm checking for loopholes". Now, that's covering all your bases!

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Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica

Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica