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Time and date trivia

Here are some useful time and date facts that are bound to make you the star of your next party!

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Time trivia
The phrase in “a New York minute” refers to a very short period of time
  • The phrase in “a New York minute” refers to a very short period of time or an instant, so does “Jiffy”, but it is formally defined as the time required for light to travel one centimeter.
  • The science of timekeeping is known as horology.

  • A nanosecond is one billionth of a second, and a picosecond is one trillionth or 0.000 000 000 001 of a second.

  • Planck time is the shortest known time span. It is the time it takes for light to travel a Planck length or 1.616199 × 10-35 meters in vacuum.

  • Easter is normally celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon that occurs on or after the Spring Equinox.

  • Contrary to popular belief, a light year is not a unit of time but a unit of distance. The International Astronomical Union defines a light year as the distance light travels in vacuum in one Julian Year. In astronomy, a Julian Year corresponds to exactly 365.25 days.

  • A fortnight is a unit of time that refers to 14 days. It comes from an old English word, fēowertȳne niht, meaning fourteen night. It is commonly used in the UK, Ireland, and many commonwealth countries. People in the US and most parts of Canada use the term biweekly to refer to the time period of two weeks.

  • The phrase in a New York minute refers to a very short period of time or an instant. Legend has it that the phrase originated in Texas in the late 1960s. The phrase was popularized by TV personality Johnny Carson who joked that a New York minute was the time between a traffic light turning green and the car behind one's car honking.

  • Jiffy is usually used to indicate a very short period of time, but it is formally defined in the fields of Physics and Chemistry as the time required for light to travel a centimeter. Also known as a light centimeter, a jiffy is equal to about 33.3564 picoseconds.

  • Any month in the Gregorian Calendar that begins on a Sunday will have a Friday, the 13th, and there is at least one Friday the 13th in every year. A single calendar year can have up to 3 Friday the 13ths.

  • February 30 was once a real date.

  • Eschatology is a sub-field of a variety of disciplines including Theology, Philosophy and Physics that deals with the end of the World or end of time.

  • Despite being larger than mainland United States in terms of land area, China has one single time zone (UTC+8). Mainland United States is divided into four time zones.

  • France has 12 time zones, most of which are in its overseas territory. The country of France itself observes a single time zone (UTC+1).

  • According to the Oxford English Dictonary, time is the most frequently used noun in the English language, while year is the third most frequently used noun. Person is the second most used noun.

  • The Sun's light reaches the surface of the Earth about 8 minutes after it has left the surface of the Sun. It takes 3 minutes to reach Mercury and about 4 hours to reach Neptune.

  • Sidereal time measures time according to the position of stars in the sky. A sidereal day is the time it takes for a specific star to reach the same position in the sky. It is a few minutes shorter than a mean day, spanning 23 hours, 56 minutes, and about 4 seconds.

  • The Antarctica and the Arctic are the only areas where all standard time zones currently followed in the world, converge. Amundsen–Scott Station on the South Pole however uses New Zealand time (UTC+12 and UTC+13 during DST).

  • India is the largest country by land mass that follows a half hour offset from UTC (UTC+5:30). Nepal is one of two locations in the world that is 45 minutes ahead of or 15 minutes behind a standard time zone (UTC+5:45).

Topics: Fun, Timekeeping


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