[LEAPSECS] Yet another time scale

Zefram zefram at fysh.org
Wed Aug 11 05:28:47 EDT 2010

Tom Van Baak wrote:


Now the supremacy of Greenwich Mean Time is being challenged by a
gargantuan new clock being built in Mecca,

Displaying GMT+3h. They haven't quite figured out this rebellion
business. Still, they get bonus points (from me) for sticking to the
same offset all year round, unlike the Westminster Clock, and thus, er,
further supporting the concept of GMT.

According to Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian cleric known in the Muslim
world for his popular television show Sharia and Life, Mecca has a
greater claim to being the prime meridian because it is "in perfect
alignment with the magnetic north. "

Interesting claim. Which axis of the city do they reckon is the preferred
one, to be aligned with the Earth's magnetic axis? The magnetic axis
is aligned a little over ten degrees away from the horizontal plane
that you'd perceive in Mecca. Maybe they're taking architectural tips
from Pisa?

This claim that the holy city is a "zero magnetism zone" has won
support from some Arab scientists like Abdel-Baset al-Sayyed, of the
Egyptian National Research Centre, who says that there is no magnetic
force in Mecca.

No magnetic force? That means no chemistry, not really any atoms,
difficult place to visit. How do all the mosques stay up when any
building material would immediately dissociate into plasma? It must be
a miracle!

Western scientists have challenged such assertions, noting that the
Magnetic North Pole is on a line of longitude that passes through
Canada, the United States, Mexico and Antarctica.

And there was me thinking it might be on a line of longitude that
*doesn't* pass through Antarctica. Silly me.


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