dord (dôrd), n. density of mind; chiefly exhibited by one who attempts to demonstrate supposed knowledge --adj. dord'ish

10.28.2006

You Know You're Thinking Too Hard...

. . . when you're bothered by a question like this: if tonight a woman gives birth to twins five minutes apart--the first born at 1:57am, and the second born at 1:02am--which one would legally be older? (Oh, the complications of Daylight Savings Time.)

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9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jason, if, theoretically, your wife were to give birth to twins tonight and that situation became realized, would you be concerned with their relative ages? I hope not ;-) But at the same time, I wonder...

uqcoa
-the phonetic spelling of "hiccup" or "hiccough"

10/29/2006 1:07 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jason,

I think I shall find you ever and forever humerous. Your twins question sounds like other conversations we've had before.

For instance, did anyone else know that if Jason would have been born a year later, he would have been born on the leap-day. (I've always had to remind Jason that if I would have been born just five days later, I would have been so also.)

All the same, I'll agree with you in bemoaning the complications, be they practical or philosophical, of Daylight Savings Time.

I thought I had the bogger identity down, but it didn't want to work today.

-Sterling

10/30/2006 4:28 PM

 
Blogger Jason said...

Whoa! First, I said "a woman," not "my wife." Second, I admitted that I was thinking too hard (a habit of mine). Besides, you didn't answer my original question...

BTW, your word verification was ingenious.

"Sterling," (I haven't asked before how you chose that; remind me to do so) you seem to be having issues with Blogger. How many identities shall you end up with?

What gives?... neither of you answered my question...

10/30/2006 8:36 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hehe, that's why I said "theoretically." I made it personal because, as you might know, birth is an incredibly miraculous event and anyone involved would probably not be worried about the time the babies were born :-) But I would go by the actual time elapsed between births to determine age...not necessarily how time is measured because that's changed in the past and may change in the future. Time is, after all, only relative.

"Sterling," have we met?

xfhvevts
the overwhelming amount of my schoolwork prohibits me from spending more time finding a fitting acronym than actually writing a response.

10/30/2006 10:15 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jason, I was myself begining to wonder how many identities I would end up with. May have forgotten password, though to me that is doubtful. It seems Blogger has it out for me.

To answer your question, I did not answer it as I thought it was rhetorical. Then again, I didn't really have the heart to answer your riddle. After all, you said "legally older". I'd say that "legally" you might have a muddled birth-time situation. The actuality is quite simple; the "legally younger" is the "actually older".

Ladelas Greenleef, I don't think we've truly met; however, I go to the same church as Jason and so I believe I've seen you a few times when you've visited. I hear you're studying linguistics. How is it? I am just embarking on a similar college path.

-Sterling

10/31/2006 9:38 PM

 
Anonymous jdandee said...

Jason,
I am sorry to steel your thunder but there is a error in your theoretical question. The first twin would be the oldest not only because it was born first in the passage of time (which our own clocks are incapable of adjusting) but also because day light savings time does not come into affect until 2 AM in the morning!

If you doubt the truth of this statement, you will be happy to know that the US Naval Observatory is in agreement with me. http://aa.usno.navy.mil/faq/docs/daylight_time.html

- J.D.

P.S. I was half expecting you unveil this fact at the end of your post--after you had everyone scratching their heads!

11/06/2006 1:35 PM

 
Blogger Jason said...

J.D., regarding the passage of time, I'd have to agree that the one born first is older. The issue is with the birth ceritificates (hence the use of the word "legally"). If the times were recorded correctly, then, as I explained, the certificates would say 1:57am for the "older" and 1:02am for the "younger."

I'm not sure that I understand your second point. After checking your link, I think that you and I and the US Naval Observatory agree that "the last Sunday in October, clocks are set back one hour at 2:00 a.m. local daylight time, which becomes 1:00 a.m. local standard time."

So yes, I also would consider the one born first as older, but I don't see the "theoretical error." Perhaps we're both thinking too hard. :-)

11/06/2006 10:44 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jason,
Haste makes waste. Or as the modern vernacular would have us say, "My bad." Your illustration was right all along. I misread the question and thought you had the first and second twins being born at both 12:57 and 12:02 AM respectively.

One could argue though, if the first twin was born at the top of Mt. Everest (or at some other very high altitude) and the mother was able to be rapidly transported to the base of the mountain, down into a valley many miles below sea level, and there give birth to the second twin. If such a thing could happen, then it is possible that the second twin could be born at the same time as the first twin, only five minutes later! The reason that this is possible, believe it or not, is because time is effected by gravity. Clocks run faster at higher elevations. The atomic clock for instance at the Prime Meridian in Greenwich is a certain amount of milliseconds slower than the atomic clock in Colorado, USA which is at a higher elevation (or quite possibly it's the other way around, I'm not entirely sure which atom clock is at a higher or lower elevation).
Interesting, eh? Do you see any holes in this argument?
- J.D.

11/07/2006 8:57 PM

 
Blogger Jason said...

Ooh, space-time! Relativity! The theoretical possibilities with that are very interesting. Based on my understanding of it (very "light"--ha ha), clocks can run at different rates relative to each other. I'll have to give this one more thought, though, (help! I was already thinking too hard) and probably refresh myself on some of the principles of relativity--maybe we'll have to discuss it outside of the blog.

As far as holes in your argument, (let me know if I misunderstood you) if the difference in time is in milliseconds, a mother wouldn't be able to give birth to two babies in that period of time. Plus, while not a theoretical hole, it's not actually feasible because we don't know how to transport a person near to lightspeed, so it's purely theoretical, whereas the DST example could become a reality.

11/08/2006 11:54 AM

 

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