Some Other Time (2 of 5) by James Merritt

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Some Other Time (2 of 5)
Series: Otherwise
James Merritt
Psalm 118:24; Ephesians 5:16-17


Introduction

1. One of the most important buildings, in the world, sits in a perfectly circular, well-guarded park in northwest Washington, D.C. It is a non-descript concrete building on the grounds of the U.S. Navel Observatory and it houses the nerve center of the U.S. Directorate of Time.

2. Behind its well-guarded barred windows sit 28 atomic clocks. Four of these clocks hold atoms of hydrogen and 24 of them hold atoms of cesium. Laser beams and microwave beams are fired at these clocks, causing the atoms to verbrate with an incredibly regular vibration. The results are measured by a computer and every second, they are fed into America's Master Clock.

3. Those measurements in turn become the basis for all time keeping in the United States and those measurements are sent to the International Bureau Of Weights and Measures, just outside Paris, which keeps the world on the same time.

4. There is one thing the entire world knows and that is time matters. It matters more than ever, but it wasn't always that way. In our own country there was a time when time didn't matter.

5. Before the locomotive and the invention of the railroad, time didn't really matter to anybody. When the railroad was built, trains had to run on time and all of a sudden, time was moved to the top of people's priority list. Phrases that had never been heard before like, ''time is wasting'' or ''times up,'' or ''the train is leaving the station'' began to be heard all over the country.

6. What we now call, ''Standard Time'' came about because of the railroads. Before the railroads, everybody set their own time. One town could say it was 4 o'clock and a town five miles down the road could say it was 4:30pm, but then the railroads began to publish schedules and for the first time in 1883 our country was divided into 4 time zones. Time became very, very, important.

7. In 1790, les ...


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