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TIL clocks run from left to right because in the Northern hemisphere that's how sundials cast shadows (bonus: in an attempt to recover their cultural identity, Bolivians installed an anti-clockwise clock in their Congress building)

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3.9k points · 6 months ago

Before clocks it was referred to as "sunwise" not "clockwise."

1.3k points · 6 months ago

Literally the Swedish name, medsols and motsols.

What does mot mean?

Med = with, mot = against. So literally with sun, against sun.

Med = with, mot = against. So literally with sun, against sun.

Motley Crue... Against the crew?

But they spell it Mötley Crüe.

Möt in swedish is meet though.

Also the letter ö is pronounced like the ea in earth, if you wanted to know.

The "ea" in earth. Do you mean the "ear"? Like the "ur" in hurt?

Sort of, but without the “r” sound. To make the sound, you sort of separate your lips and make the sound from the back of your throat— If that makes sense.

Fun fact: The word for “island” is just ö. The word for “Iceland” is island.

im trying it now, looking like an idiot making noises at the breakfast table, hahaha thanks mate

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38 points · 6 months ago

Just the u in hurt. No 'r'.

The i in sir.

The ea in Earth.

Etc...

I can pronounce those word in so many different ways that sound correct to me that I really don't get how ö is pronounced. But apparently not like in German.

12 points · 6 months ago

Ö is also pronounced that way in German o.O

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So... Muttley Crew?

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4 points · 6 months ago

Note to you guys - this is only accurate for British English. American English pronounces them differently.

Hurt in RP: hɜːt

Hurt in AE: hɝt

Ö: /øː/

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Counter-sunwise

23 points · 6 months ago

So motsols = counter-sunwise-sunwise?

No, from other more specific replies I got, mot means against, so against sun.

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You're assuming sols = sunwise. Could be some sorta fish. So maybe motsols = "counter-sunwise mackerel".

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"Med" is gonna mean "with". So "with sun" and "against sun".

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Against, opposite of.

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I normally use ”medurs” and ”moturs” though. Who knows in what direction the sun goes?

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"With sun", "Against sun" for non-Swedes.

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127 points · 6 months ago

"counter clockwise" was referred to as "widdershins"!

And here I assumed Pratchett just made that up out of nothing. Shows me.

I generally assume that Pratchett's nonsense words are real

Pratchett thought words were fun.

Everyone thinks Pratchett's words are fun.

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7 points · 6 months ago

Reflected sounds of underground spirits

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Auf!

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21 points · 6 months ago

Before clocks it was referred to as "sunwise" not "clockwise."

Oh! Years ago I read about how sailors always braided ropes "sunwise", meaning clockwise, and for about 20 years now I've been wondering how the fuck sunwise meant clockwise. Thanks!

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6.5k points · 6 months ago

Clocks run from left to right between 9:00 and 3:00, other half it's right to left.

1.8k points · 6 months ago

This guy thinks.

2.0k points · 6 months ago

Basically, clocks rotate clockwise.

Mind = blown

Blown = slang for sucky suck job

Very good, Mr. President. Now, why don't we put our phones away and head on down to the fairway?

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33 points · 6 months ago

Anti-widdershins

Anti-widdershins.

Deosil.

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That's why they call them clocks.

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except for that one in Bolivia

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389 points · 6 months ago

This is why “righty tighty lefty loosey “ always confused the fuck out of me as a kid

Agreed. Specially as a dyslexic. Someone finally told me 'go clockwise' and it clicked what to do and I for a brief moment hated everyone who screamed 'turn it right!'.

137 points · 6 months ago

"Clockwise tighty, Counter clockwise loosey" doesn't have the same ring to it.

Clockwise is lockwise is what I was taught

15 points · 6 months ago

That works pretty good, nice.

That's way better!

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These damn millenials all have digital clocks now. How are they supposed to know what a clockwise is?

We’ll have to integrate it into their children’s programming. https://i.imgur.com/70sIN0F.gif

It's 2018 though. There are no millennial children anymore.

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76 points · 6 months ago

You have to think from screwdrivers perspective, not yours

See the screwdriver. Feel the screwdriver. Be the screwdriver.

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I was just on the lookout for some left-handed girl called Lucy. Took a while for me to see the phrase written out or used in context. But in my mind there still exists that out-of-reach harlot, Lefty Lucy.

Lefty he can’t sing the blues all night long like he used to…

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This is why I was taught the "right hand rule" as a kid. Point with your right thumb and close your fingers; the way your fingers close is the way you turn the bolt. If you want to drive the bolt in then you point toward it, if you want to loosen you point away.

If I recall right this is also how you figure out the direction of the magnetic field on a solenoid. But it has been a long time, please correct me if I'm wrong!

Yep, exactly right, or at least the field in the solenoid. Or anything else that uses a cross product. Safer way is to point your right thumb in the direction the current is going through the wire and then curl your fingers around, since the field will be opposite on opposite sides of the wire. For another example, if you want to get the force on a charged particle moving in a magnetic field, F=qv X B, you put your fingers in the direction of motion (v) curl them toward the direction of the magnetic field (B) and stick your thumb out to give the direction of the force (F).

I've wondered if it's any coincidence the way we thread screws/bolts/caps/etc is the same as the right hand rule for torque.

8 points · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

They're basically both arbitrary conventions. If we drew magnetic field lines from South to North or declared the electron positive and the proton negative it would reverse. Since most humans are right handed they're probably the more sensible conventions.

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I don't understand

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4 points · 6 months ago

This seems like a lot more to remember.

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Left and right as in, which way the screw would turn if it were a steering wheel

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I actually remember getting in an argument with my dad over this as I told him he was turning it the wrong way. It quickly escalated and I am sure my dad was thinking "wow I have raised an idiot." Eventually I realized that I was wrong, but neither of us were smart enough to explain what we were thinking. Instead it was basically

"turn it to the left!"

"I am!"

"No that's right!"

"Are you stupid?!"

"No, turn it that way"

"no that's left"

"trust me!"

"....NEVER!"

Righty tighty can go fuck itself. It's clockwise or counter/anti clockwise with rotating objects. :|

If you drive a car then turning right is always clockwise.

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35 points · 6 months ago

We should come up with some kind of term that refers to the direction a typical clock dial turns.

Clockish

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Even if we settled on a term, I'm sure we'd find a way to disagree on the term for the opposite direction.

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The do run clockwise all the time, though.

30 points · 6 months ago

Arguably all clocks run clockwise, even the anti-clockwise ones.

Comment deleted6 months ago(2 children)

Mine ran away because I was winding him up too much

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It also runs top to bottom between 12:00 and 6:00.

If you stand on the hands the hands will always towards the right.

Unless its a really big clock, if you stand on the hands, you just break the clock.

This guy thinks.

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this guy thinks stands on clocks

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Depends on the direction you're looking

If I face the center of the clock, I'm moving to my left.

Unless I'm underneath the clock hand and facing the center, then I'm moving to my right.

Well, if you're underneath the clock, then from your perspective, it's counterclockwise.

From my point of view, the Jedi are counterclockwise.

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And also whether or not you're in Bolivia.

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7 points · 6 months ago

That depends on which way you are looking.

Unless you’re facing the center...

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6 points · 6 months ago

Clocks run clockwise.

In Sweden it's 09:00-15:00

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2.5k points · 6 months agoGilded1

Once every month or so, there's a TIL that makes me produce an audible "huh..."

What do the NSFW make you produce?

489 points · 6 months ago

[sighs] alright I'll fire up the webcam.

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I believe it’s an inverted ‘huh’. An ‘uhu ’ if you will.

Uhu?

Uhur?

Uhura? Oh my

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But an inverted would be yny

ɥnɥ

7 points · 6 months ago

huh...

···ɥnɥ

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30 points · 6 months ago

Whatever the NSFW equivalent of 'huh..' is.

Which I guess is just 'huh..'... only with semen.

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it seems so obvious now but i never thought of it

Once every month or so, there's a TIL that makes me produce an audible "Wtf is that shit title"

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I live near the Equator, where my shadow should fall?

On the ground?

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If you live between the tropic lines, it rotates both ways depending on the time of year. However, the shadow will always be short, unless you tilt your sundial, then it can rotate any which way you want.

Imagine standing on the Sun and looking straight at the Earth while it's rotating. The point on the Earth's surface that you're looking at just follows the equator exactly (assuming the Earth isn't titled). So from the point of view of someone standing on the equator, the Sun moves in a straight line overhead from east to west. So their shadow would point straight west in the morning, get shorter, disappear, and then grow to the east in the afternoon.

Since the Earth is titled, it gets slightly more complicated. Imagine looking straight at Earth from the Sun while the Earth is rotating around it. Because the equator is at an angle, you'll only be looking directly at the equator two times a year. As the Earth moves around the Sun, the spot you're looking at will move up and down relative to the equator depending on the season. So from the ground, the Sun is only directly overhead two times a year. The rest of the time, it'll be either a little more north or a little more south, depending on the season.

So your shadow will fall a little bit north half the year and a little bit south the other half. Two times in the year it'll cross over and be exactly on the equator.

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Clocks run all directions, they are circles.

Clocks don't run they don't have any feet ... they tick...

Mine's silent. Electronic.

That's because you can't here electrical impulses. Peasant.

Hear. Peasant.

Damn voice typing.

I predict that the language will change to eliminate homonyms, homophones, and homographs. Something similar happened in aviation English, where the number 9 is pronounced "niner" to avoid confusion with "five".

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But time flies.

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14 points · 6 months ago

Time is not a line. It's round like clocks.

Time is a flat circle.

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Til in the southern hemisphere sun dials go opposite of the northern hemisphere.

And the Moon looks inverted, constellations are different, and the sun is inclined to the north on the sky instead of the south (when far from the Equator)

I'm in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, and can confirm the the sun rises in the NE and sets in the NW. Also, not only depends we have a few different constellations, we can also see the Magellenic clouds, which are nearby galaxies that you can see with the naked eye.

14 points · 6 months ago

I was also going to chime in with the "fact" that toilets also spin in the opposite direction in the southern hemisphere.... but I just googled it and it's not true at all!

I believed that one for a very, very long time.

Comment deleted6 months ago(1 child)

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4 points · 6 months ago

The coriolis effect unfortunately doesn't effect toilets

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Indeed! It's not like the Earth rotates in the opposite direction down south, although it would be hilarious if the Sun rose in the west. Took me a while to realize that it's just about the angle at which the sunlight hits that causes the shadow to move in opposite directions.

What does a sundial do on the equator? Do they just not work??

25 points · 6 months ago

They are linear instead of round

The shadow would go back and forth in a line or extremely stretched oval.

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And sundials on the equator must be really freaking confusing..

Yep. They reverse direction twice a year.

That would happen anywhere in the tropics

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This was done by a "President" who wants to run for the 11th time even though the constitution forbids him.

84 points · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

And he even spent thousands on a referendum "asking us" if he can actually go for it again. Majority said no, he's shoving it up his ass and trying to find a way to go for it anyway.

*: clarified my point.

"This is what the people want" I swear our country is one step away (if not already) from a dictatorship. It's sad and frustrating not to be able to do something from abroad

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But...

Despite the referendum, the Supreme Tribunal of Justice of Bolivia ruled in December 2017 that all public offices would have no term limits [...] thus allowing Morales to run for a fourth term.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evo_Morales

The fact that the judicial system is stacked with his cronies and party members matters little considering he'll be running virtually unopposed. Major counter candidates are either in jail or been pushed out of the country.

8 points · 6 months ago

The Supreme Tribunal Justice of Bolivia is his people. This re-election goes against the constitution.

And as stated before, he even spent a lot of money to ask people what they wanted. People voted against him, he said fuck it, Ima do what I want anyway.

Yeah, fuck him. I have Bolivian family and they are all tired of his corrupt and ignorant regime

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997 points · 6 months ago

TIL sun dial shadows are part of cultural identity

Everything is a part of cultural identity, having a anti-clockwise clock is a symbolical political statement (like drawing our map upside down) representative of an effort by the bolivarian republics to recover and maintain their indigenous people cultures.

168 points · 6 months ago

I used to have a Goofy watch that went anti-clockwise, didn't realize it was a political statement.

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79 points · 6 months ago

Yeah, Bolivians have a huge clock making tradition.

15 points · 6 months ago

I think Incas had clocks.

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Comment deleted6 months ago(39 children)

Because we are topist as a species to suppress any remnants of the mole people after the mole wars.

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No one actually uses the upside down map for practical reasons, it's a political symbol popularized by the art piece I linked in the comment

Comment deleted6 months ago(0 children)

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20 points · 6 months ago

There's going to be a faux woke Vice article about it in three...two...

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246 points · 6 months ago

"Left to right" or, you know, clockwise.

43 points · 6 months ago

Unless the hand is past the halfway mark, then it's right to left.

39 points · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

Clockwise motion is relative to the moving object and not the perspective of the viewer. The hands move left to right relative to themselves always. The viewer is irrelevant.

Edit: Since some just can't help themselves here the definition

in the direction of the rotation of the hands of a clock as viewed from the front or above; circularly to the right from a point taken as the top

Note what is bolded. The clockwise motion is relative to whatever is consider the objects top. This is of course the observed motion of a clock taken from a fix perspective in front or above. Also no turning it upside down doesn't change this, nor would standing on your head.

The only thing that can chang it is viewing it from the outward or inward perspective, in which case it's realitive as both perspectives see opposite motions.

But the object is moving forward. Not to the left or right

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He's just making sure the Bolivians aren't confused

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19 points · 6 months ago

You also have 12 hours because the people creating the first sundial (probably Egypt) counted the bones on one hand using their thumb.

Huh? I have 12 finger segments. Is that what you mean?

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17 points · 6 months ago

It's got to be so confusing using that clock if you're not used to it.

I used to have a novelty watch that ran backwards. You get used to it pretty quick.

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13 points · 6 months ago

When I was growing up my parents had a novelty counterclockwise clock in the living room. Made telling time on regular analogues a little difficult for a while.

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15 points · 6 months ago

Where can I find this beautiful pocket watch ?

It's so cool! Sadly, it costs 24 million dollars :( I'm having trouble finding a cheap replica.

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As a Bolivian I can tell you, if you want to get a lot of karma, research some of the crazy shit that happens there. I'll give you a good one:

Once the president, Evo Morales, during a public statement stayed that he "met all the pregnant women in the countryside and in their bellies it was tattooed 'Evo Fufils'" There's like a gazillion of these so have fun

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Is "anti-clockwise" an actual term? Isn't it counter-clockwise?

754 points · 6 months ago

I believe counterclockwise is American English, and anticlockwise is UK English.

The real TIL is in the comments! Thanks for responding!

And before the age of clocks, the terms were sunwise (with the direction of the shadows, what we call clockwise) and widdershins (against the shadows in the sundial, or counterclockwise).

Also ‘deosil’ for what is now clockwise

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Widdershins

Turnwise

Flip it turn-ways

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What's the other one, deasil or something? I've been trying to use these words ever since I saw them in a text game when I was like 12.

Deosil and widdershrins. Esoteric terms I think

Comment deleted6 months ago(4 children)

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Sunwise

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Widdershins and anti-widdershins, which mean, against the sun, and opposite of against the sun respectively.

9 points · 6 months ago

Isn't it counter-widdershins?

Comment deleted6 months ago(1 child)

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31 points · 6 months ago

Yes, it's weird to call it counter clockwise in the UK.

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It's common in non-American English. British isles, Australia and New Zealand use it for sure.

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7 points · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

Feynman has some interesting discussion regarding relative directions like left/right and clockwise/counterclockwise. If you were on the phone with a distant alien with no common reference point, could you describe to him which side was the left side? Try it!

...

You generally cannot! It's kind of frustrating. Well it turns out that with nuclear physics, you can in fact explain it. You have to say something like: "Ok so get some radioactive Cobalt-60 and cool it to near absolute zero. Wrap coils of wire around it and apply a current. Adjust the direction of the current until the emitted beta-particles are mostly going in the upward direction. When that's happening, the current is flowing in what we call the right-to-left direction!"

But there's a catch. If the alien you're speaking with and its whole world is made completely of anti-matter then they'd get it wrong. So, as Feynman says, if you ever arrange to meet with this alien and he holds out his left hand, then watch out!

Here's the experiment where they figured out this was possible.

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96 points · 6 months ago

why is everybody so upset about the fact that Bolivia has one clock that goes anti-clockwise???

Bolivian here, mostly because the president who is in charge only cares about "sending a message" and doesn't care about people, instead of celebrating our differences he separates people, he only "governs" for "his" people, and basically hates the people who did not vote for him, instead of spending money on this kind of stuff he could spend it on all the homeless people in the street or healthcare, but he puts his needs and pleasure first

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76 points · 6 months ago

Because if you do anything that can in anyway be traced back to identity, you're an evil identity politics. Now excuse me while I go talk about how all of America should speak english.

22 points · 6 months ago

Latino guy here, how can that be traced back to their identity?

20 points · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

south american natives have a long tradition of astronomy and their sundials have always been anticlockwise because of physics, have you ever heard about the incan calendar?

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Bolivia is in the southern hemisphere

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As the article says, since they're in the southern hemisphere, sundials go counterclockwise.

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Right?? People are actually offended like goddamn why does it even matter. It's just a neat tidbit. I really can't with people sometimes.

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You realize a watch is a circle right, so left to right doesn't make any sense at all.

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Bonus question: how does a sundial work on the equator?

I also know that the “direction” the moon wanes in (as in the shape of the crescent) differs in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. So how does that work on the equator?

12 points · 6 months ago

There's only two days each year that the sun is directly above any point on Earth (between the two tropics). So only twice a year will the equator have a problem with sundials, and anywhere between the tropics has the same issue.

Basically if you trace the point that has the sun's zenith (where high noon is directly over head) it moves between the two tropics. The tropics have a true high noon on the solstices, and the equator has high noon on the two equinoxes.

But on those days, they don't really, the shadow doesn't rotate at all it just moves from left to right, and at noon you get no shadows which makes things look VERY weird. (http://goedhartvoordieren.nl/?page=r/pics/comments/64tdgx/when_the_sun_is_directly_overhead_in_hawaii_it/?utm_source=reddit-android)

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35 points · 6 months ago

A clock is always clockwise.

Every base is base 10.

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"Why the fuck is there a backwards clock in the Congress building?...... Oh, really? Well that's weird and dumb."

-Bolivian citizens

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84 points · 6 months ago

I think it's neat

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43 points · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

If US congress puts up a purely symbolical token in homage to pre-colombian civilizations, is it weird and dumb? It's not like Bolivia is trying to ban traditional clocks, people are making this seem much bigger than it really is.

It is a fairly big clock.

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The real problem is that the goverment uses this to try to divide the nation even further, we were not united before, and now we are parting away, this clock, and the change of name to "Plurinacional" is giving identities to the aimara, quechua, guarayos and so forth, and while doing that they kill to birds in one shot by not reinforcing the bolivian identity, Basically we are breaking ourselves bit by bit and the government is using this in their favor to do what pleases them I normally say jokingly that Bolivia needs a pinochet (heavy hand dictator), a civil war (proper one) and a few more won wars to really start becoming a real country who's citizens are proud of they nationality

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Hell ya dude ! Keep learning! Edit>-ta+ya

3 points · 6 months ago

Clockwise. It is called clockwise.

4 points · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

The dictator of Bolivia, Evo Morales, says it was because they aren't going to go "to the right" they are going to "the left" (politically). I hope it's not because he actually thinks it goes backwards in the southern hemisphere.

His political party is MAS - Movement towards Socialism.

He is trying to overrule yet ANOTHER vote saying that he cannot run for office again. He claims the "empire" (NORTH AMERICA) is turning his people against him.

How is it their cultural identity when most of them descend from europe?

5 points · 6 months ago

“Recover their cultural identity”....ugh....shut the fuck up.

TIL Bolivians have very little to be proud of.

fun fact: in the bolivian edition of the majora's mask, if you want to go back to day one you have to play the inverted song of time.

(͡•_ ͡• )

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