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RSS Newsletter May 2010

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timeanddate.com logoMay 2010

New Countdown Timers Available

Are you looking for a free and accurate countdown timer that you can personalize for your website or blog? You can use our Countdown Timer, which is easy to use for customization purposes.

You can create your own countdown for any event, including anniversaries, birthdays, baby due dates, holidays or vacation time, retirement dates, weddings, and much more. Read more about it in our features update on our Countdown Timer.

Here are some reasons why people use our countdown timer:

  • The countdown is accurate — the clocks display current time, even if the user's computer clock is wrong.
  • You have choices regarding DST — there are different options on how to deal with daylight saving time (DST) with regard to your countdown timer. Read more about the countdown timer and DST.
  • The countdown takes into account any time zone — all the major time zones are supported.
  • It is highly configurable — choose different backgrounds, text options, colors and fonts.
  • You can choose units to display — from days to milliseconds.
  • No registration is needed — the HTML code is available immediately.
  • You can choose between HTML and Flash – pick either a simpler version or a visually richer version of your countdown timer.
It is quite simple to customize your own free countdown timer. All you need to do is fill out the gray customization form on the Countdown Timer page. If you need help, please read about the Options for Your Free Countdown Timer. Feel free to comment on timeanddate.com’s new countdown timers by emailing us at: webmaster@timeanddate.com

Monthly Poll

A monthly poll in each newsletter lets readers voice out their opinions on various topics related to information on our website.

Previous Poll Results

April Question: What do you think about our new look?

67%I prefer the new design.

20%Not important - I am here for the content

8%Has it changed? I hadn't noticed

3%I prefer the old design.

2% I don't like either design.

237 votes. See the poll results online.

Note for poll results: Numbers may not add up to 100% on the poll due to rounding.

May Poll

This month’s poll gives you the chance to tell us what you think about daylight saving time. If you are having troubles with the vote function below, you can also vote online.

Question: What do you think about daylight saving time (DST)?

All the Time in the World

by Allan Eastman

The Mouse Ran Up The Clock

Allan Eastman Allan Eastman left behind his successful career as a Film and Television Director and Executive Producer to travel the world. He has visited over 100 countries on all six continents. He spends most of his time reading, writing and thinking about things. He is an amateur historian, a music archivist, a reasonable chef and a seeker after happiness .

The Best Film Edit of All Time

Have you seen Stanley Kubrick’s great cinema masterpiece, 2001: A Space Odyssey?

Released in 1968, a year before the first Moon landing, this imaginative vision of the Human Race’s distant past, near future and ultimate evolution featured a narrative that covered millions of years and offered nothing less than a voyage across the Universe. The film was a sensation in its initial theatrical run, partly because its “Stargate Sequence” was perceived as a truly psychedelic experience by the younger generation of that time – and it was pretty cool - but mostly because of its bold and scientific depiction of the Human exploration of Space some 33 years in its own future. The movie baffled many people because of what was thought to be its ambiguous philosophical underpinnings but no one could deny the genius of the filmmaking.

The film’s computer main character, the HAL 9000, became a cult symbol of the onrushing technological age which was gathering pace in the 60s.

As a teenager, I saw 2001 at least half a dozen times in the movie theatre, thrilled to finally have a Science Fiction film that seemed real to its subject. It became one of the great inspirations for me becoming a filmmaker. The motion picture itself survives in revivals and on DVD, still regularly featured in critics’ Ten Best All Time Movie lists and is still both powerful and relevant, curiously fresh and modern after all this time.

The reason I bring this up is because the film contains what I believe to be the greatest film edit in the History of the Movies and this particular edit deals directly with the main themes of this month’s article here on the timeanddate.com newsletter.

The first part of 2001: A Space Odyssey transports us a million years or more into the past to focus on a group of pre human Hominids scratching out a perilous subsistence from the harsh African savannah. They survive on roots and grubs, unable to harvest the meat protein on the hoof around them. They are themselves prey for the wild beasts in their environment, huddling apprehensively together under a cliff face through the long nights. They are driven off their water hole by a more aggressive group of proto-Humans.

Then one Dawn, the great mysterious symbol of the movie, the looming black Monolith – Kubrick and Clarke’s metaphor for God or some larger Intelligence in the Universe – suddenly sits in front of them. They are in terror and in awe but the alpha male of the group, significantly called Moon Watcher, eventually summons the courage to touch it.

Later, sitting in the dust, Moon Watcher picks up the long thigh bone from an animal skeleton on the ground. The planets align above the black Monolith. Moon Watcher has the first mental connection, the first conscious thought – a vision of one of the miniature cattle like animals around them crashing to the ground after being struck by the bone. Next, his tribe is dining on fresh meat.

Armed with bone clubs, Moon Watcher and his group attack the tribe that had driven them away from their water. When their leader challenges him, Moon Watcher clubs him to the ground and beats him to death.

And then comes the greatest cut in the History of the Movies – in exhilaration, Moon Watcher flings his bone-club into the air in triumph. The camera follows the bone up into the sky and as it pauses at its height, Kubrick cuts to a bone shaped satellite wheeling in orbit around the Earth in 2001.

This one cut implies millions of years of Human evolution and connects the first tool and the first thought to the highest point of our technological and scientific thought and progress.

OK. All very interesting, you say but what’s your point?

Just this. The movie and this astounding edit illustrates one of the key elements in the Human Race’s evolution from the earliest pre Human past to our own present – Man as Toolmaker and as Tool User. Many Anthropologists have suggested that Human Beings’ near unique capacity to make and use tools was decisive in our development as a species. Tool use aided in the growth of conceptualization and hence, more neuron connections in the brain, resulting in more advanced intelligence. That is a direct line to language and abstract thought. Similarly, there must have been a genetic selection for more opposable thumbs and more dextrous fingers that eventually raised the skill level of early technology. Tool use separated Humans from the rest of the Animal World.

In our previous articles, we discussed the philosophical and scientific ideas of what Time actually is or may be, as well as the various conceptions for defining and measuring Time that human civilizations have come up with through the Ages. Where we must go now is to connect our legacy as Toolmakers with our Human ideas of Time.

Read more of Allan Eastman’s article The Mouse Ran Up The Clock, found at our guest feature section All the Time in the World.

Message from the Team

Hi and welcome to the May edition of our monthly newsletter!

We hope you enjoyed reading our previous newsletters, which are found in our newsletter archive online.

We’ve been busy working on a free, accurate countdown timer that has more customization choices for different websites or blogs.

We wanted to give users the choice of different background designs and other options for how their countdown text can be displayed on their countdown timer. We hope that you find this service useful.

Keep an eye for the next newsletter in mid-June, which will feature more of what we will have in store for you, such as an improved search feature for the World Clock.

Next month’s newsletter will also include coverage on an upcoming lunar eclipse (June 26, 2010) and total solar eclipse (July 11, 2010).

That’s it from us for this month!

If you are reading the newsletter on our site and wish to subscribe to it so that it is automatically sent to your email address on a monthly basis, you can subscribe your email address here.

Don’t forget: please check if our confirmation email has been automatically forwarded to your Spam folder!

FAQ/Tip of the Month

Each Calendar has a Holidays and Observances box underneath. You can choose which holidays and observances you want displayed, and add daylight saving dates (in countries where daylight saving time applies) and seasons in some calendars. 

There are more options for calendars for some countries, such as Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. You can find more local holidays, important observances, and religious holidays next to “Add more holidays/observances”.

Simply click on a link next to “Add more holidays/observances” or choose the downward arrow button next to “Select” (a drop-down menu should then appear).

Did You Know...

… The internationally accepted acronym for Coordinated Universal Time is “UTC”, not “CUT” or “TUC”.

This is because UTC was chosen as a compromise, as unanimous agreement could not be achieved on using either the English word acronym “CUT” (taking the first letters of the words “Coordinated Universal Time”) or the French acronym “TUC” (abbreviated from “Temps Universel Coordonné”).

Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) is the basis for civil time in many places worldwide. Time zones around the world are expressed as positive or negative offsets from UTC.

You can read more background information about the UTC acronym, as well as an article we have about Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) Explained.

timeanddate.com on Twitter

DushkaAmateur Ever tried to set up a meeting where everyone is in different time zones? I love this: http://www.timeanddate.com/”

giselebaxter The World Clock: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/ via @addthis A useful site if you want to know what time it is for your friends.”

jschneider @rosy1280 http://timeanddate.com/ doesn't cure my timezone woes, but it does help a bit.”

ameen What time is it? >The World Clock – Time Zones: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock”

domlavigneAP Great resource for checking global timezones and planning int'l meetings. http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/”

Have your thoughts about timeanddate.com heard on Twitter. Twitter users can also follow timeanddate.com’s latest tweets.

Time Zone News

Alaska Bill To End Daylight Saving Time Defeated
Alaska's proposal to ban daylight saving time, House Bill 19, has been defeated in a legislative session in April 2010.

New Time Zone for Mexico’s Bahía de Banderas
The Mexican municipality of Bahía de Banderas recently changed its time zone to share the same time as the Puerto Vallarta municipality in a bid to integrate the region’s development.

Daylight Saving Time Returns to Egypt in 2010
Daylight saving time (DST) will begin in Egypt at midnight (00:00) between Thursday, April 29, and Friday, April 30, in 2010.

Get the latest Time Zone News updates on places around the world that make changes to their daylight saving schedule or time zone.

About timeanddate.com

timeanddate.com provides facts and information on time and date.

The website features the World Clock, which includes time zones from many cities around the world, and the Calendar, which has customized features according to country, language, year, and other personal preferences.

These are just two of many useful tools to help people get what they need about times, dates, and other related information worldwide. Our website has more information about the company behind timeanddate.com.
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