Sunday, March 13, 2011

Catomic clocks

From the Wikipedia entry on Atomic Clocks:

Since the beginning of development in the 1950s, atomic clocks have been based on the hyperfine (microwave) transitions in hydrogen-1, caesium-133, and rubidium-87.

Or so they say. Personally (purrsonally?) I don't think so. I think somebody had a cat.

The transition to Daylight Savings Time, the old "spring forward" is hard on us all. An hour less sleep, never mind that we "get it back" in the fall, is exacerbated by having another hour to wait until the sun comes up. Oh, we rejoice after a few hours when the sun sets later, but it makes for a hard day and into the week. There are studies to prove it and I'll find them maybe and add them to the post, or maybe not. Because that's not the observation here.

This post concerns DST and my cats.

Pyewacket cat is most assertive in his pursuit of being well-fed. One might say he's aggressive if he can see the bottom of his bowl. Just one square inch is enough to send him into kitty overdrive. So I was amazed this morning when my alarm went off and he didn't immediately pounce to my side and begin the routine of up-up-up-you-lazy-person-feed-me! No, he stayed on the floor. It's wasn't time for breakfast. It was an hour too early. What was I doing getting up?

His brother Tuxedo wasn't concerned either. The outdoor cats, being an extremely opportunistic bunch, are willing to eat when I'm willing to feed them. Still, Duchess was stayed abed in her box. She was getting her full 20 hours of sleep.

I've no doubt their kitty stomachs will quickly adjust to DST. Which just goes to the point of this post: The scientists who started messing with the idea of atomic clocks based them not on Cesium etc., but on the most reliable of time keepers, a cat's stomach.

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