With all due respects to Shakespeare, time will always be with us, and signifies quite a lot. The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics is organizing a symposium dedicated to Time and Culture to be held 5-9 June 2016 at Harvard's Northwest Lab. According to the symposium organizers:
"The symposium aims to set the stage for future timekeeping standards, infrastructure, and engineering best practices for astronomers and the broader society. At the same time the program will be cognizant of the rich history from Harrison's chronometer to today's atomic clocks and pulsar observations. The theoreticians and engineers of time will be brought together with the educators and historians of science, enriching the understanding of time among both experts and the public."
The definition of the second has changed several times over the last 40 years and likely will change again before the end of this decade. Should timekeeping be decoupled from the rotation of the earth? We already abstract time with zone time (such as Eastern Standard Time) and minipulate it to fit our activities (using Eastern Daylight Saving Time). We no longer worry about the moment of sunrise or sunset, rather that we go to work at 9:00AM or have a class that lasts from 10:00-10:50AM. Indeed, "ante and post meridian" may be obsolete.
"The future of timekeeping is evolving with the development of optical frequency standars, the consideration of high-order relativistic effects, and the challenges of distributing trusted timescales at even higher preicision....A closer look at time in astronomy and other sciences, as a defining element of modern civilization, is needed." Read more and register for the symposium at: http://timesymposium.org
Mathematics professor Jerry Duncan Taylor passed away in 2013, but his 46 years of teaching lives on at Campbell University in Buies Creek North Carolina just south of Raleigh. A commemorative sundial in front of Taylor-Bott Rogers Fine Arts Building was dedicated on Wednesday, March 21, 2016.
The highly polished dial, approximately 12 inches square, with an inclined bar gnomon sits on a plinth embedded in a low brick wall for all to see. There are time marks for every 10 minutes, with standard time given as Roman numerals and daylight savings time one hour later given in larger Arabic numbers.
Professor and mathematics department chair Meredith Williams recalled the start of his teaching career at Campbell: "I'm not sure I would have made it through my first semester without Dr. Taylor. I had an extremely challenging group of students in a class who were determined to see how hard they could push the new professor. Dr. Taylor always had an encouraging word for me before I went to class."
Rachel Davis quoted Provost Mark Hammond from the sundial dedication (http://www.campbell.edu/news/item/sundial-dedicated-to-late-math-professor) "We wanted something physical that we could see, celebrate, and reflect on him and the good man that he is and the way he has touched many of the people here... [his] very inspired spouse, Louise Taylor, thought that perhaps we could memorialize Jerry through a sundial. It gives us the time to pause and reflect and think about Jerry."
UPDATE...PORTLAND MAINE'S LONG LOST SUNDIAL COULD BE ANYWHERE... WATCH WCSH CHANNEL 6 NEWS TO LEARN ABOUT THE SEARCH:
In 2000 the North American Sundial Society held its annual conference in San Francisco and visited the Ingleside Terraces Sundial. A century ago the site was a racetrack and as it turned into a housing development in 1913, a promotion sundial was installed with the advertisement "largest sundial in the world". Michael Callahan of "This Forgotten Day in San Francisco" talks about this historic dial and the developer Joseph A. Leonard of Urban Reality Improvement Company on November 15, 1913.
French inventor and maker of things Julien Coyne of Mojoptix has created an intriguing digital sundial gnomon that can be 3D printed. His software design (dated 13 October 2015) uses the 3D open software OpenSCAD described as "The Programmers Solid 3D Computer Aided Design Modeller".[http://www.openscad.org/about.html].
The North American Sundial Society likes to record public sundials that are in good or excellent condition. Dial #797 in Cranford, New Jersey is a sad exception. In 1972 the Kiwanis Club of Cranford presented a 15-foot diameter sundial to Union College as an expression of interest in the college and the youth of Cranford. But the years have taken a toll where it sits adjacent to the William Miller Sperry Observatory. The dais stonework mortar has given way and the concrete dial face has deteriorated.
A plan to restore the dial is underway. Dr. Stephen D. Nacco, of Union County College, Vice President, Administrative Services & Executive Assistant to the President set up a Sundial Fund under the Union County College Foundation, a 501(C ) 3 not-for-profit organization. Donations can be made online via the Web Site, http://www.uccfoundation.org/give.html with the donor selecting GIVE ONLINE NOW. Choose Donation Type "Other", and then put “Sundial” in the Additonal Comments Area as the reason for the donation.
Checks can be made out to:
Union County College
1033 Springfield Avenue
Cranford, NJ 07016
The large analemmatic sundial in front of the Harton Theater North Entrance of Southern Arkansas University (SAU) is being formally dedicated on Thursday, November 5th, 2016 in memory of the late David Thomas Smith, a 1957 SAU alum and retired assistant director of the SAU Physical Plant.
The Smith Sundial, funded by family and friends of David Smith was built by the SAU Department of Art and Design and engineers of the SAU Physical Plant. Patrick Finney was the construction supervisor and Steven Ochs was the project concrete art designer and craftsman. As described in the NASS Sundial Registry, Dial #800 is "a 22 by 17 foot analemmatic dial of stained concrete with Arabic hour numerals of polished brass. The dial perimeter and hour numerals are set in a blue decorative polymer "U" arc, appearing as a large mule shoe that represents the university Muleriders mascot symbol. Dial colors represent the royal blue and gold school colors."
As reported by Southern Arkansas University, "The Smith Sundial at SAU is one of only four Arkansas sundials that are registered on the North American Sundial Society, and the only one outside of Little Rock and North Little Rock. It is also the only sundial in the state that is [a monumental] analemmatic..."