Sunday, February 8, 2015

Why Do Our Clocks Move Clockwise?

A very esoteric question with a somewhat not-so-esoteric answer, but have you ever wondered why most elementary school kids haven’t been taught on the reason why clocks move clockwise? 

By: Ringo Bones 

Well, the reason our clocks – most of them anyway – move clockwise and so does our steam gauges is that the modern clock is an evolutionary step above of the sundial and in the northern hemisphere – where most of the planet Earth’s people live and civilization first developed – a sundial’s shadow moves clockwise as the sun travels across the sky through the day. While in the southern hemisphere, a shadow cast by a sundial will move counterclockwise, making the modern clock a representation of daylight in the northern hemisphere. The seasons too are flipped. 

In a move that will probably educate the rest of us and help Bolivians find heir indigenous roots, Bolivian foreign minister David Choquehuanca launched the horological initiative that not only help Bolivians get in touch with their indigenous roots but also remind them that they are a people of Earth’s southern hemisphere. AS a grand gesture of their horological initiative, the large clock of the congress building of La Paz, Bolivia runs counterclockwise and the numbers are mounted in reverse in comparison to clocks developed in the northern hemisphere. If Bolivia’s Counterclockwise Clock fails to remind Bolivians of their southern hemisphere roots, I don’t know what will. 

Even though it is seldom mentioned in the story’s canon, DC Comics’ Hawkman and Hawkgirl’s home planet Thanagar has its dominant civilization and most of its people develop in the southern hemisphere of the planet. Because of this, their clocks and steam gauges move counterclockwise in comparison to ours. And if the Bolivian foreign minister gets his way, he may have Bolivia’s steam gauges – as in speedometers and other forms of tachometers – move in a counterclockwise fashion to remind Bolivians that they are citizens of the planet Earth’s southern hemisphere.