Welcome to Wiser Now’s weekly email blast which reflects my eclectic interests and, I hope, yours. October is Clock Month, and because time has affected most of us weirdly this year, it seems like a fitting subject to briefly unwind. Which reminds me of an old chauvinist joke: I don’t try to figure out what makes my wife tick. I just try not to get her wound up.
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I hope you are finding these offerings fun, and perhaps even useful, and I welcome your feedback. ( And if you haven’t yet pressed the subscribe button so this newsletter doesn’t go to spam, please do so now.


The Quirky Quote

The Quirky Fact

Although town clocks were popular in Europe as early as the 11th century, it would take another couple hundred years to mechanize them, and several centuries after that to synchronize them. One town’s clock time could be completely different from the clock in the neighboring town.

Perhaps most dedicated to accuracy was the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England that was established by King Charles II in the mid-1600s primarily to help sailors at sea improve their navigation by using time and astronomy to determine longitude.

Landlubbers didn’t worry much about the accuracy of their timepieces until railroad travel made standardization necessary for establishing timetables. In 1869, when the 2000-mile transcontinental railroad was completed, there were hundreds of time “zones” across the country. In 1883, pushed by railroad moguls, the U.S. and Canada adopted the time zones we use today. The next year, attendees at the International Meridian Conference meeting in Washington, D.C. agreed to establish 24 international zones according to the same system, and Greenwich became the prime meridian (0 degrees longitude). Uneven acceptance of daylight saving time and rebel countries like India and China who live with a single time zone continue to wreck a bit of havoc with that system.

The Quirky Observation

As the featured product of the “Time Will Tell” slide show highlights, the English language has dozens of words and expressions related to time. The dictionary defines “moment” as “a very brief period of time,” but is that longer or shorter than in a jiffy, in a flash, in the blink of an eye, or lickety split? And are some of the following moments longer than others?

  • man of the moment
  • spur of the moment
  • heat of the moment
  • moment of truth
  • a moment’s notice
  • live for the moment
  • magical moment
  • never a dull moment
  • not a moment to spare
  • a moment’s notice
  • having a senior moment

And then there are moments to remember. What are yours?

The Question
Author E.B. White said, “I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.”

This “save or savor” dilemma is one we all face. What do you savor each day and what big or little things would you like to influence for the better?

Featured Product 

Many of the ideas in this eblast have been adapted from the Wiser Now slide show, “Time Will Tell, which you can learn more about and purchase here.

Einstein explained his theory of relativity by saying “Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT’S relativity.” Time is fascinating and more fun than you would expect. This slide show offers:
  • A trivia quiz called, “It’s time you knew”
  • Several word games related to time
  • Two imaginative exercise on what you would do with extra time and expressions of time
Curious yet? Check it out!

The Quiz 

This quiz represents an excerpt from the “Time Will Tell” slide show featured above.

Can you guess the correct answer?

1. Clock
a. The word “clock” comes from the French word for “bell” because early clocks did not have faces and merely sounded out the chimes. ___
b. The word comes from an Arab word for “hour” because the earliest clocks were hour glasses filled with sand or water. ___

2.  Watch, as in small timepiece
a. The word comes from the German word for “wake” (wacht). ____
b. The word comes from the idea of “keeping watch” or vigilant for danger during shifts of time. The timepiece was used to wake sleepers for the next watch. ___

3.  Hour - The custom of marking day by a 24-hour system was invented by the Babylonians.
a. Our word “hour” Comes from the Greek word "hora" - which was used to mark a time or season. ___
b. It comes from a corruption of the German word “Uhr” for “clock.” ___

4.  Bimonthly vs. semi-monthly
a. Bimonthly means twice a month and semi-monthly means once every two months. ___
b. The opposite is true. ___

5.  Kairos
a. This is a Greek word that refers to a time of glory and accomplishment. It’s related to “kudos.” ___
b. This is a Greek word that refers to a time when everything is in sync, i.e., everything is going well. ___
6.  Linear vs. cyclical time
a.  Linear time refers to calendar time – months and years, past present and future. Cyclical time refers to the lunar cycle and yearly seasons. ___
b.  The opposite is true. ___

Answers at the end of this document.

The Shameless Request

Please share Wiser Now Wednesday with anyone you think might be interested, and if you represent an organization that would like a customized version, please send me a note at

The Quirky Resources

Answers to the quiz
1.a     2.b      3.a     4.b     5.b      6.a
My multiple goals are to amuse and inspire you, to share what I and people whom I admire am doing, to stimulate your curiosity and spur you to action. I hope you enjoyed this offering. You can access previous issues here. We welcome your feedback. (
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Copyright (c) 2019 Kathy Laurenhue | All rights reserved.

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