Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Time Is on My Side

A few favorite fun facts from 20 Things You Didn't Know About Time.

  • The average U.S. city commuter loses 38 hours a year to traffic delays.
  • The Department of Energy estimates that electricity demand drops by 0.5 percent during Daylight Saving Time, saving the equivalent of nearly 3 million barrels of oil.
  • By observing how quickly bank tellers made change, pedestrians walked, and postal clerks spoke, psychologists determined that the three fastest-paced U.S. cities are Boston, Buffalo, and New York.
  • The three slowest? Shreveport, Sacramento, and L.A.
  • One second used to be defined as 1/86,400 the length of a day. However, Earth’s rotation isn’t perfectly reliable. Tidal friction from the sun and moon slows our planet and increases the length of a day by 3 milli­seconds per century.
  • This means that in the time of the dinosaurs, the day was just 23 hours long.
  • Time has not been around forever. Most scientists believe it was created along with the rest of the universe in the Big Bang, 13.7 billion years ago.
  • There may be an end of time. Three Spanish scientists posit that the observed acceleration of the expanding cosmos is an illusion caused by the slowing of time. According to their math, time may eventually stop, at which point everything will come to a standstill.
If time is slowing down, does that mean I have more time to finish my thesis?