Category Archives: General

Linnaeus’ Flower Clock

Here’s a novel way to create your own timepiece – if you have a garden!

Four O'Clocks

Mirabilis jalapa – The Four O’Clock flower

In 1751, Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus suggested that by planting flowers which open and close at different times of the day in a particular pattern, you could tell the time just by observing the petals.

Plants have biological clocks which are linked to the circadian rhythm that regulates processes such as metabolism, release of fragrances and movement – which is roughly based on 24-hour intervals.

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The First Stopwatches in Space

This post was updated 14th April 2014.

Speedmaster Stopwatch

Did You Know?

The Omega Speedmaster wristwatch picks up the honour of being one of the first stopwatches in space? 

In fact, it was also the first stopwatch on the moon and even now this model is still used in spaceflight by NASA. 

Today, we’ll look at the fascinating history of the Omega Speedmaster – one of the first stopwatches in space and first on the moon!

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Origins: Days of the Week

Have you ever wondered why the days of the week are named as they are?

If so, today’s blog post is for you, as we’re taking a peek at the history of the days of the week.

The days of the week as we now know them were originally named after the sun, moon and five planets of our solar system:

February CalendarSunday — Sun’s day (“day of the Sun”)
Monday — Moon’s day (“day of the Moon”)
Tuesday — Tiu’s day (“day of Mars”)
Wednesday — Woden’s day (“day of Mercury”)
Thursday — Thor’s day (“day of Jupiter”)
Friday — Freya’s day (“day of Venus”)
Saturday — Saturn’s day (“day of Saturn”)

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Was Galileo the father of time?

In today’s blog post, we’ve decided to take a trip through time and look back at perhaps the father of time himself – Galileo – and his magnificent contribution to the measurement and our understanding of time.

Galileo Galilei - Father of Time?

Galileo Galilei – Father of Time?

Galileo Galilei (1564–1642) was an Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer and philosopher.

At just 20 years of age, while studying medicine, Galileo noticed a lamp swinging overhead while he was in a cathedral. He was curious to know how long it took the lamp to swing back and forth – so he used his pulse to time the swings.

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“Ten more minutes” – How to kick the snooze button habit

Snooze buttonEvery morning, millions of people fight a battle with themselves and their alarm clock snooze button. The buzzer goes off, you quickly silence the annoying machine with a slap of your palm then roll over and have “just a few more minutes”.

But hitting the snooze button is a bad idea.

The sleep you manage to get between snooze alarms is very low quality, leaving you feeling groggy and more tired. Also, the snooze button really tests your limited willpower – which you could be using more constructively.

Here are some ideas to help you kick your addictive snooze button habit!
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NASA’s Voyager 1 – To infinity and beyond

Saturn - Voyager ImageOn the 12th of November 1980, NASA’s Voyager 1 probe had it’s closest encounter of Saturn, passing within 124,000 kilometres of the planet. Earlier during the same day, Voyager had also come within an incredible 4,000 kilometres of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan.

Today, we’ll celebrate one of modern times most historic explorers – Voyager 1 – that 23 years ago helped reveal so much about the planet Saturn and its many moons.

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Don’t forget… the clocks go back this weekend!

Spring forward, fall back

SundialIt’s that time of year when we gain an extra hour here in the UK. On Sunday 27th October 2013, British Summer Time (BST) ends and Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) – perhaps more commonly known in this country as Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) begins.

But why do we change the clocks forward and back each year? Today we’ll take a trip through time and look at the history of daylight savings.

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Stopwatches – The Educational Swiss Army Knife?

Used for time management during lessons and exams or cross curricular activities such as Science, Maths and PE, stopwatches are a vital tool for education.

They’re also useful for maintaining pace in lessons, helping your students stay focused and developing time management skills. Lessons of any length can be divided up into shorter sections or tasks. If your students are aware of the timing, they can often work towards a goal and focus their attentions on a specific project. You can also keep track of the time you’re spending on actual lessons or helping students on a one-to-one basis.

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