Tuesday 18 February 2014

How time was invented

Have you ever wondered how we first learnt to measure time?

Here's a quick lesson you'll never forget.

Many years ago at the time of the Romans there was an Italian called Role. He was the tenth son of a tenth generation of men called Role - in fact he was known as Role the Tenth. Which in Roman times was written Role X.

Anyway Role X, and everyone else for that matter, noticed that it was sometimes daylight and sometimes night. "But how do we measure such a recurring occurence to see how long is daytime compared to night time." thought Role X.

So he asked the opinion of his friend Galileo who at the time was looking up at the sky and wondering why the sun was always in different locations.

This is not the Galileo physicist, mathematician, astronomer and philosopher who lived between 1564 and 1642 - but most probably an earlier ancestor of his; which shows that the Galileo family were very clever for generations. But I digress. 

Anyway, after a short discussion with Galileo, Role X planted a big candle which he had borrowed from his local church right in the middle of his garden. (The candle was in the middle of the garden - not the church. Just pay attention).

He measured the candle carefully. He waited until the sun was right above the candle, (i.e. no shadow), and he lit the large candle and left it lit until the following day when the candle had no shadow again. He then blew the candle out and measured the bit that was left. From this he deduced how much candle had burnt over the period it was lit.

He then got another candle with exactly the same dimensions and marked with his pen 24 equal segments from top to bottom. That's the candle's bottom not his bottom! Are you really paying attention?

He called each segment "hours". He quite rightly thought that if he lit the new candle at the same time as the previous day, (i.e. no shadow), he will call that MIDDAY and then every segment as it burnt down would be an HOUR, until the following day when there will be no more segments on the candle; and when there was no shadow (i.e. MIDDAY again).

Are you still paying attention? Good.

Role X decided he'd call the 24 segments one DAY.

He lit the candle and waited. But the experiment did not work because it was windy that night and the candle blew out.

He prepared a third candle which this time he kept indoors. That did not work either because the sun did not cast a shadow indoors.

So in total desperation, Role X bought himself a watch and solved all his problems about time.

Well ... I did promise you a quick lesson you'll never forget. Go buy yourself a watch and forget about lighting candles in the wind.


  1. How could I not be paying attention? Very funny, Victor! You're right - this is one lesson I'll never forget! Maybe you should be writing history textbooks?

    Errr...no, maybe you better scratch that suggestion. I'm not sure the world is ready for "History According to Victor S.E. Moubarak" quite yet :) But give them time...

    1. Now there's a thought Mary. Perhaps I should be writing history books instead of just reading. I like reading. I once read a dictionary ... the author kept changing the subject every few lines.

      Glad you enjoyed this post. Thanx for visiting me, Mary.

      God bless.

  2. Now that I think about it, "History According to Victor S. E. Moubarak" would be hilarious if this post is an example :) Maybe you could give a few more "history" lessons in the future?

    God bless you too!

    1. OK Mary. I accept the challenge. Please visit here again soon and learn history as you've never learnt it before.

      God bless.

    2. I will! I'm looking forward to reading what you come up with next :)

  3. Oh Victor...I had my forehead firmly planted on my computer desk laughing like crazy at Role the Tenth. How your mind works! And then to follow it up with Galileo...not the famous one. Hilarious :)

    Thank you always for your posts which never fail to make me think or laugh or love my faith more. Usually all three.
    Looking forward to next Thursday's post,

    1. Thank you Ceil for writing in to tell me you enjoyed this post.

      My next History Lesson is here tomorrow. Please spread the word so that everyone can learn history as they've never learnt it before.

      God bless.

    2. To day, while driving, "I" stopped at a Mall, I saw a couple of baby cyclone playing with paper and they seem to be having fun and doing a good job of keeping the paper in a circular motion so "I" asked them what "Time" was all about for them but they were just not listening and/or paying attention to what "ME", "ME" and "ME" were asking them. Instead "ONE" quietly told U.$. (usual sinners) that when "IT" grows UP, "IT" wanted to be just like His Father who enjoyed in "Time" blowing calm breezes to good people but the other seem to be a little UP SET and quietly told me that all this world deserved was wild winds and like his ancestor's gods, "IT" would make sure that plenty of "Sew Name He" would be feeding humanity what they truly deserved in "TIME" if they didn't smarten Time UP and.......

      END YA SAY sinner vic! BE NICE! DON'T BE LIKE THAT! Don't you think that YA should at least give "Role" a chance to throw a "Ten"? (lol)

      Go Figure brother and sisters in Christ! :)

      God Bless Peace

    3. I'm so pleased you enjoyed the story of Role who invented time.

      God bless.



God bless you.