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Flat Earth Academy Introduction

What did we do before we had mobile phones to tell us the time? And before wristwatches?

What IS "time", anyway?

Before we had mobile phones with a clock (among all the other things it has!), and other clocks, we had sundials.

Make your own sundial

This page is just getting started. There's still work to do on it. But there's nothing to stop you starting your own sundial today, is there?

What is a sundial? At its simplest, it is something flat with a "pointy thing" sticking up from it. You put the sundial out in a sunny spot, and look at the shadow of the pointy thing. (We call such a thing a "gnomen".)

There are markings on the flat bit. You can read of times... and approximate DATES... from where the shadow falls on the markings.

So! That shouldn't be too hard to make, should it?

A few tips: Put the flat thing either horizontal or vertical. And if vertical, mount it so that it faces true (not magnetic) south.

You can start with a blank "flat thing", and make marks on it based on what your mobile phone is telling you the time is. After a while, you should be able to build up enough marks that you no longer need your mobile phone... if the sun is out.

Sound easy? It is... mostly. Think about how "things" could go wrong. And how you would make it harder for them to go wrong.

One day I hope to get back to this page, and expand on the above, and point out some of the "where go wrong"/"how to fix" areas.

Best wishes to you in your sundial construction in the meantime. Hint: Worry most about where the TIP of the gnomen's shadow falls...

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