Set your clocks for it.

An interesting oddity will occur (very) early tomorrow morning:

At three minutes and four seconds after 2 AM on the 6th of May this year, the time and date will be 02:03:04 05/06/07. This will never happen again.

***Dave, who got this via DOF who got it from Living the Scientific Life, points out that, actually, it will happen again in a hundred years, but still it’s pretty nifty just the same.

28 thoughts on “Set your clocks for it.

  1. Was about to say ‘Just happened here’, but then I realised it’s actually 02:03:04 06/05/07 here.  Will remember it for the 5th of June though.

  2. I am reminded of the fundamental principle of the state religion in Battlestar Galactica; “This has happened before, and it will happen again”

  3. Um LH, I think the date is supposed to be May 6th.  In America we represent the date as MM/DD/Year.  Unless Les was posting a quote from a source outside of the US.

  4. Um Webs, I know.

    The Americans being unable to get the date display correct keeps confusing me! (Waiting for ranting USian yells at me describing them as wrong LOL)

    More than once I’ve posted on a thread here thinking it’s recent, then realising it’s actually months old.

    People talk about 9/11.  Why? What happened on 9 November? Two countries seperated by a common date.

    Then they mad a mistake. They bombed London on 7/7.  They should have waited until the next day.

    [/paraphrase- original was on telly]

  5. I believe our European friends will experience this amazing non-event event on June 5.

    And yes LH, I do hate figs. Mainly because of those damnable Fig Newtons which I ate too many of as a child.

  6. The quote there says this 2-3-4-5-6-7 will never happen again.  That’s not true.  It will happen in 3007.

    And besides if we miss it we can wait until next year when it will be 03:04:05 6-7-2008.

    Or the year after that.. or the one after that.  Personally I’m waiting for 2012, because I won’t have to wake up early.

  7. And yes LH, I do hate figs. Mainly because of those damnable Fig Newtons which I ate too many of as a child.

    Lucky you.  I also ate too many of those damnable Fig Newtons as a kid, but I still love figs, which are not exactly no-cal.  I’m pretty good at resisting candy, but dried fruit is my downfall.

  8. Fig Newtons

    No idea what one of these is but from

    not exactly no-cal.

    I’m guessing they are so called as they increase your gravity.

    And yes LH, I do hate figs

    Right, its official. He’s God. What’s the position on amputees (You don’t have to answer that one, I’m going to assume that there is at least one God who isn’t a complete and utter Git)

  9. At three minutes and four seconds after 2 AM on the 6th of May this year, the time and date will be 02:03:04 05/06/07. This will never happen again.

    This bloke’s confused. On the one hand he said: 6th of May instead of May 6 and Then he referred back to the USian method of dating.

    I’m with LH; it’s FifthaJune for me too.
    If I was really, really interested I’d find out which other countries follow the Month/Day/Year as opposed to the Day/Month/Year.
    It’s rather annoying to hear/see our Oz media driving the USian Kultcha train in regards dating.
    There’s a completely confused generation coming on – I wonder how many years before we’re swamped.

    And all this talk about figs reminds me of FIGJAM. Figjam.

  10. If I ever spork up a funny little observation about date and time, I’ll be sure to add; “This will never happen again”.  Makes for a good conversation starter.

  11. Friend of mine just pointed out…

    Next up is September 8th.

    12:11:10 09/08/07

  12. One I’ve liked for a few years, but it won’t work in US cos of the funny way y’all do the date thingy, is: at 7 after 8 pm on 20th July it’ll be – 20:07.20.07.2007.

  13. Speaking of non-events, how about Y2K? Okay, solar years are meaningful.  But millennia are a cultural spinoff of the evolutionary happenstance that we evolved from pentadactyl tetrapods, giving us a penchant for base ten.  And what happened in the year we started reckoning our dates?  Nothing out of the ordinary.

    Yes, the American MM/DD/YY system is pretty silly.  But what about the Austrian way of telling time?  9:30 is “halb Zehn”, that is, “half (way to) ten”.  9:40 is “fünf vor dreiviertel Zehn” (“five before three-quarters of ten”).  So far, the Austrians only recognize quarter-hour divisions in this fashion, but I am trying to extend this system to other divisions, and will say, for instance, that 9:48 is “fünf Sechstel Zehn” (five-sixths to ten).  For some reason, it hasn’t caught on yet…

  14. Go for the original Egyptian/Roman Hours. Each one was 1/12 of a day, and then 1/12 of a night.  This means 9-5 is much easier in the winter.

  15. Okay, elwed, you’ve pinned me down.  How about “10100 before 1010”? tongue rolleye

  16. Go for the original Egyptian/Roman Hours. Each one was 1/12 of a day, and then 1/12 of a night.

    These are of course the hours you get with a horizontal gnomon on your sundial. If you want hours that are (close to) equal, winter and summer, you need a gnomon pointing to the celestial pole, which the Romans and Egyptians didn’t figure out.  But as you say, Hussar, maybe it’s an advantage to have shorter hours in winter.

  17. Sorry for the triple dip.  But the last post was not very exact, and I don’t want to be responsible for people making faulty sundials, getting to work late, and losing their jobs.

    1) A horizontal gnomon is of no use if you live at the North or South Pole.

    2) A vertical sundial face (with the horizontal gnomon pointing North or South) is only good for half the year if you live at the Equator.

    3) It’s of course only the daylight hours that are shorter, in the Roman/Egyptian scheme, in the winter.  The nighttime hours are longer in the winter. Duh.

  18. 1) A horizontal gnomon is of no use if you live at the North or South Pole.

    I’ll make sure I remember that on one of my frequent trips there.

    The accuracy of a sun dial changes through the year- If you plot minutes ahead/behind on a graph (x=date) you get a nice wave effect.

    maybe it’s an advantage to have shorter hours in winter.

    Bit of a bugger for those games which are timed though (football/rugby/etc)

    Timed/dated 10110:10010 01000/00101/00111

  19. (warning- for sundial freaks only)

    The accuracy of a sun dial changes through the year- If you plot minutes ahead/behind on a graph (x=date) you get a nice wave effect.

    Depends on the sundial.  A sundial with an analemmatic scale, that is, one that has that wave built in, can be as accurate as you are capable of reading it, barring minor atmospheric and even more minor relativistic effects.

    The analemmatic scale is of course necessary because the Earth orbits the Sun elliptically, not circularly.  The problem with the analemmatic sundial is that it is only theoretically accurate at the point in time it was reckoned for, and gets gradually less accurate as the precession of the equinoxes proceeds.  This precession also continually changes the time of year that particular constellations rise and set, and is responsible for lots of woo (this is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, etc.)

    Right now, we’re closest to the Sun in early January, and the length of the day plus night, say from sunrise to next sunrise, is longer than in July.  That’s because we move faster in our orbit when we’re closer to the Sun, and since we’re moving around the Sun in the same direction as we’re rotating on our axis, that extends the length of the day (plus night).  It’s easy to understand why this is so if you imagine the Earth not rotating on its axis but still going around the Sun- one orbit, one year, would make the Sun rise and set once, but in the other direction (west to east).  The Earth actually rotates on its axis about 366 1/4 times a year, not 365 1/4, but the orbit around the Sun subtracts one day each year.  And the orbit delays the Sun in the sky a bigger part of that day in January than in July (currently), because we move faster and thus further around the orbit then.

    The time of year when we’re closest to the Sun is changing constantly because of the precession of the equinoxes.  However, since one complete precession takes about 26,000 years, today’s analemma is actually pretty accurate for tomorrow too, if you’re not fussy about nanoseconds.

    So when you build your sundials, don’t carve the analemma in stone, but go ahead and pencil it in.

  20. Hmmm.

    My wife told me I was a bit anal because I like to set my watch to the second, which is fine for my battery powered quartz regulated wrist watch, but a bit of a bugger for the spring powered mechanical pocket watch she bought for the wedding- its not finely engineered enough and tends to be +/- 15 seconds.

  21. My Seiko 5 self-winding watch is usually within 5 minutes or so if I remembered to set it.  ‘Spoze I could drop it off at the jewellers to be regulated.  But hey, I’m not timing a moon launch.

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