Time and Time Again
It's a new year! 2018! Parades! Confetti! Champagne! Bad puns about "hey, I haven't seen you since last year!" You know, all that.
Seems a bit fitting that I should say something here about the passage of time. Like, why do we celebrate tonight as the new year? What makes any one spot on the earth's orbit of the sun any more spectacular than another? Wouldn't it make more sense to have that new year's day fall on a spot when the earth is closest or furthest from the sun? Or when the moon has completed a proportional number of orbits around the earth or is in a certain phase in relation to the sun's position?
Well, it wasn't always so - in fact, the first January 1st didn't even happen until year 45. Talk about a retcon!
Before that, the first of the year was celebrated at what is now the vernal equinox (or autumnal equinox for my fellow travelers south of the equator) to coincide with the halfway point between the solstices.
Calendars are weird things, really - focusing as much on celestial events as they do with terrestrial ones. Monarchs and religion play equal parts in their design, but most of us have forgotten their origins. Like, November and December were originally named as the 9th and 10th months, until Julius and Augustus decided to get squeezed into the summer. Or how about the days of the week being tributes to the Norse gods?
Yeah, it's all a whole thing, really. And effectively useless for time traveling. You can't just tell your time machine to go back to last thursday or set the dials so you can travel back to November 15, 1955. It's more than just flipping back the pages of a calendar - because we're talking about more than just a blink back against pages in a book.
The earth spins (at the equator) at a speed of nearly 1000 miles per hour; not even taking into account the shift in our rotation, it orbits the sun at about 67,000 miles per hour. Our solar system rotates around the star-flecked spirally arms of the Milky Way at about 490,000 mph, as we all move towards the Great Attractor at a relative speed of 1,000 kilometers per SECOND.
So, yeah. We're moving along at a brisk little jog, there. But if numbers are just too much math for a New Year's weekend, then how about if we slap a groovy little drum riff atop a bunch of monks singing and watch the way the worlds move?
Okay - I'm going to just leave that here while I go contemplate calculating the requirements for the specificity of time travel. Future projects and all that.
OH! I was going to ask. What are you doing this year? Let me know, please, if you so choose.