Hang on a second…

3 more days to end of 2005. Well 3 days and one second more, says the Paris Observatory’s The International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service which synchronises Earth’s rotation (solar time, used by astronomers) with that of atomic clocks (used by us). Friction caused by tidal action slows Earth’s rotation down, causing solar time to be slower than atomic clocks. If this continues, the disparity will cause software used by astronomers to become obselete. To prevent this from happening, Paris Observatory adds or substract a second from solar time every six months. So we’ll get to enjoy another second more this coming New Year’s Eve.

New Year ‘delayed’ by leap second

I need 2 more weeks actually, still got lots to finish before the year starts. Well, that means I’ll come crashing into 2006 riding on a huge snowball. What a ride.

Realised I have blogged quite a fair bit, have to thank otterman and lekowala for dragging me, kicking and screaming, into this fascinating exercise.

How do one face the coming year? Will you be a butterfly or a silkworm? I’m going to lift a beautiful passage by lekowala for the answer.

From: Rabindranath Tagore, An Anthology, Edited by Krishna Dutta and Andrew Robinson

“In our highly complex modern conditions, mechanical forces are organised with such efficiency that the materials produced grow far in advance of man’s capacity to select and assimilate them to suit his nature and needs. Such an overgrowth, like the rank vegetation of the tropics, creates confinement for man.”

“The silkworm seems to have cash value credited in its favour somewhere in nature’s accounting department, according to the amount of work it performs. But the butterfly is irresponsible. The significance which it may possess had neither weight nor use and is lightly carried on its pair of dancing wings. Perhaps it pleases someone in the heart of the sunlight, the lord of colours, who has nothing to do with account books and has a perfect mastery in the great art of wastefulness.

“The prudent people, the utilitarian people, say: ‘What are these, and what use are these? What does the picture stand for?’ I say do not bother about what they are. You do not ask the jasmine what is the philosophy of jasminehood, but when you see the jasmine you rejoice in its beauty, and the wonder and satisfaction is that it should be there at all. Creation is art in its most literal meaning, for it is the meaning of reality.”

I’m going to bug lekowala for this beautiful book. Indeed, the most enjoyable time I have moving around is when I’m not trying to compose the scenery for a photograph or when I am not trying to recall the name of a certain plant. The experience of seeing a small herb peeking out from a crack on a concrete pavement is sometimes the most beautiful experiences one can enjoy.

Shall keep the words of Tagore in mind when 2006 comes along.

Will like to wish my friends, my students and students who have become friends, all the very best in the coming year ahead.


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