My camera phone saw a few strange things today. An experimental street light at the Dallas Museum of Art's sculpture garden... Maybe they didn't think it all the way through.
On the way to work, I saw a horse getting hauled off to jail after obviously being arrested. I wonder what it did? It looked very guilty.
My elevator on the 48th floor was having all 660 feet of cable replaced because the old ones were fraying and about to snap (kidding, they were reclaiming the much more valuable copper, I think). Maybe I'll run down the stairs this afternoon instead of taking the elevator (stairs actually take 6 minutes and 30 seconds).
Over by Southfork Ranch, someone left a few stacks of gigantic number 2 pencils, they must have forgotten the sharpener.
Sunlight streamed in this morning and hit my muse bust in exactly the right proportions to make it light up as if intentional. This made me think of how that actually probably only happens exactly right once every year. Kind of like the Office episode where all the characters are watching the screen saver to bounce in *exactly* one of the corners in pure diagonal movement.
And this is the roundabout way of getting to the subject of time in the ancient world. In antiquity there were a few obvious ways of telling time better than looking up and just observing the sun's location.
One way was to burn accurate candles. In order for it to be big enough for a whole city to see, can you imagine the Roman equivalent of Big Ben being replaced each day? But it would probably be nothing but trouble, since Roman candles shoot firey exploding balls all over the place.
Another way to tell time which had been around for a while was the water clock. But its operation was somewhat sketchy in freezing weather, plus they didn't have electric pumps to refill the water all the time.
The sundials however, were accurate on most sunny days. They even used the sundials to calibrate the water clocks. So maybe it was sundial during the day waterclock at night? Plus, the sundials were portable. Imagine glancing down at this baby on your way to an important business meeting on the Palantine (Collis Palatium).
I might just be motivated enough to build me a proper sundial that throws down shadows and also points out mosaic months of the year. You know, in case my water clock goes dry. Ooops, its a shade past time to go...