Friday, May 22, 2020

Astonishing and Creative Ways of Marking Time, Keeping Time

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
Time it was, and what a time it was, it was 
A time of innocence, 
A time of confidences 
Long ago, it must be, 
I have a photograph 
Preserve your memories; 
They're all that's left you
--Bookend Theme, Paul Simon


Based on how often I've played it over the years, Tell Tale Signs must be one of my favorite Dylan albums. And one of my favorite songs on that double CD is Born In Time which I wrote about here in 2018:
Born In Time and Other Dylan Songs About Being Born

You can find the lyrics to Born In Time here.

Time is a concept that philosophers and thinking people have mulled over since the beginning time. Or at least since humans first appeared here. Poets and songwriters have be inspired by it, fascinated by the various ways we experience it, as too short, too long, too little and too much. 

Eve: Any idea what time it is?
Adam: Good question. Based on the angle of the sun I'd say it was after noon.

Or...

Gork: I killed another one of these things. After we skin it and build a fire it will be dinner time.
Glam: Oh good. I was getting tired of leftovers.

As life became more organized and sophisticated, so did our means of keeping time. When I took piano lessons as a boy I was given a metronome, which one can set to various speeds. It helps keep you from speeding up your pace when playing, something we can often do when nervous.

If you go to see a live orchestra performance -- nowadays you can watch them on YouTube -- you'll notice how the conductor uses his baton to set the tempo.

During my years in advertising I wrote quite a few scripts for radio advertising. I would utilize an Online Stopwatch to time these scripts so that they fit the radio station's time constraints. Today, I use that same Online Stopwatch to time my speeches for Toastmasters.

Photo courtesy @aronvisuals on Unsplash
The film Back to the Future had much to do with time. Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) figures out a solution to being stuck in the past when he realizes that the Hill Valley clock tower will be struck by lightning on a specific moment in time...

Back to the Future is just one of many films that had time travel as a central theme. Other include 12 Monkeys, the Terminator films and Peggy Sue Got Married, among others.

When I was a little tyke we used to watch a cartoon called Mr. Peabody's Improbable History that was on the Rocky & Bullwinkle Show. Mr. Peabody was the smartest being on earth and one of his inventions was the WABAC (Way-Back) machine. A central feature of the cartoon series was going back in time to teach Sherman about various people from history from Napoleon and Lord Nelson to Jesse James and Sir Isaac Newton.

All these thoughts about time were stimulated by this fascinating web page titled Astonishing and Creative Ways of Marking Time, Keeping Time. I found it so interesting I wanted to. share it... and if you have time to explore, you will enjoy it, too.

Meantime, whatever is on your agenda for the weekend, have a good time. 

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