Feb 12, 2021

the rattle 2/12

— “Your average city council is largely in a shape that people from the 19th century would recognize—maybe the 20th century if we’re being charitable—but really not in the right shape to address 21st century problems or opportunities.” And more on design and leadership in this low-fi interview with Dan Hill. His talk on Viable Cities is also great.

— Michael Downing, who died this week, on daylight saving time:

What is a month? It depends on how you look at it. A lunar month is the average time between two full moons, or approximately 29 days, 12 hours, and 44 minutes. A solar month is 1/12 the time lapse between two passages of the sun through the vernal equinox, or about 30 days, 10 hours, 29 minutes, and 3.8 seconds. A sidereal (star-based) month is the time is takes for the moon to complete one revolution around the earth as measured by the observation of a fixed star, which adds up to something like 27 days, 7 hours, and 43 minutes.

These profound variations and complications have been with us for centuries, and yet in the twentieth century, the most sustained public controversy about time focused on one allegedly saved hour of daylight.

Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time. The world lost a passionate writer and humane citizen in Michael Downing.