Виталий Е. Ермолин, студент холодных вод (seminarist) wrote,
Виталий Е. Ермолин, студент холодных вод

There are, as everybody knows, many ways of measuring time,

and from the earliest ages learned men have argued earnestly in favour of their different systems, with not a little bad blood, one is sorry to say, arising between the representatives of the various schools of thought.

Hipparchus of Rhodes, for instance, who had his own ideas on the way time should be measured, once referred to Marinus of Tyre, who held different opinions, as 'Marinus the flat tire,' which, though extraordinarily witty, was pretty bitter: and when Purbach and Regiomontanus were told the views of Achmed Ibn Abdallah of Baghdad, they laughed themselves cross-eyed. Purbach, who was a hard nut, said that Achmed Ibn Abdallah knew about as much about measuring time as his grandmother's cat, a notoriously backward animal, and when kind-hearted Regiomontanus in his tolerant way urged that Achmed was just a young fellow trying to get along and one ought not to judge him too harshly, Purbach said 'Oh, yeah?' and Regiomontanus said 'Yeah,' and Purbach said Was that so, and Regiomontanus said Yes, that was so, and Purbach said Regiomontanus made him sick. It was their first quarrel.

Tycho Brahe, the eminent Dane, measured time by means of altitudes, quadrants, azimuths, cross-staves, armillary spheres and parallactic rules, and the general opinion in Denmark was that he had got the thing down cold. And then in 1863 along came Dollen with his Die Zeitbestimmung Vermittelst Des Tragbaren Durchgangsinstruments Im Vertical e Des Polarsterns - a best seller in its day, subsequently made into a musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein, who called it North Atlantic, a much better marquee title - and proved that Tycho, by mistaking an azimuth for an armillary sphere one night after the annual dinner of the alumni of Copenhagen University, had got his calculations all wrong, throwing the whole thing back into the melting pot.

P. G. Wodehouse, 'The Old Reliable', 17

(Источник, разумеется, "Британская энциклопедия", статья Measurement of Time).
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