Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year's Eve!

Dropping the ball - two kinds

A short and very curious pair of quotes, relative to tonight's activity. One from Chesterton and one from 155 years ago. Let this simple synchronization of our world's clocks not obscure the name-day of our Lord and the solemn feast of Mary's maternity.

Thanks for taking time to be Chestertonian during 2007. Let us all strive to follow our Aunt Frances and Uncle Gilbert more closely, as they lead us on to Jesus Christ, the Everlasting Man.

I shall leave you with a quote from the Paschal Vigil, a fitting prayer to mark off the boundaries of time:

Christus heri et hodie
Principium et Finis
Alpha et Omega
Ipsius sunt tempora et saecula
Ipsi gloria et imperium
per universa aeternitatis saecula.

Christ yesterday and today,
The Beginning and the End,
The Alpha and the Omega,
His are the times and the ages,
To Him be glory and dominion
Through the universe of unending ages.

--Dr. Thursday
Remember, however, that to be breakable is not the same as to be
perishable. Strike a glass, and it will not endure an instant; simply do
not strike it, and it will endure a thousand years. Such, it seemed, was
the joy of man, either in elfland or on earth; the happiness depended on
which you could at any moment do and which, very
often, it was not obvious why you should not do. Now, the point here is
that to me this did not seem unjust. ... If Cinderella says, "How
is it that I must leave the ball at twelve?" her godmother might answer,
"How is it that you are going there till twelve?"
[GKC, Orthodoxy CW1:260]

One of the latest applications of the electric telegraph is at once
useful and beautiful. It is a plan for distributing and correcting mean
Greenwich time in London and over the country every day at noon. Every
holiday-maker knows the ball which surmounts the Royal Observatory, and has watched with interest its descent as the clock gave the first stroke
of noon, thereby telling the sea-going men in the river the exact state
of the chronometers to which they have to trust over the pathless
waters. Such a ball has been raised on a pole on the Telegraph Office,
near Charing Cross, and at noon each day is to drop by electric action
simultaneously with that of Greenwich, and falling on a cushion at the
base of the pole, is to communicate standard time along all the
telegraphic wires of the country. At the same instant the exact period
of noon will be known at the most distant as well as the less remote
places in the country; and it is said that all the Railway Companies
have agreed to avail themselves of these means of obtaining an exact
uniformity of time.
[Our Iron Roads by Frederick S. Williams (This history of the
development and status of Britain's railroads was published in 1852.)]

Thank you Dr. Thursday, for this and all your "Thursday" posts in 2007.

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