clock pragmatic historian time timekeeper

Timekeeping with Fingers and Sun

When I was a kid, someone taught me a nifty little timekeeping technique involving my fingers and the sun. If you hold your fingers between the setting sun and the horizon, you can estimate the time for full sunset by counting 15 minutes for each of your fingers between the sun and the horizon line. For the photo above, there are 4 fingers between the sun and horizon, so there is about an hour before…

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clock pragmatic historian time timekeeper

Using Sound to Keep Time

Which of these things is not like the others? With my penchant for clocks as the visual theme for The Pragmatic Historian, does today’s featured image of drums come as a surprise? It may seem on the surface that clocks and drums have nothing to do with each other, but both are timekeeping devices. Clocks tell us what time it is within the day, but drums establish the tempo for other musicians to follow. The…

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