The Tics of Our Clocks

Recently, I came across something particularly interesting while engaged in my usual morning “Face-stalking”.

For those not familiar with the term, it refers to one using a highly popular social networking site to catch up on the various goings-on of their friends, by reading their status updates, without having actually to bother calling them.

Handy – I know.

Prepared for the usual banalities, I was surprised and delighted to find that Whitehorse had experienced some time anomalies. Apparently many people, in several separate households, discovered that some or all of their clocks were running ten minutes behind.

Now I could take the usual sceptical route and start popping out some factual blah-blah-blah about A/C current and hertz, which would give a perfectly normal and extremely plausible reason for many clocks running slow.

For a people already pretty used to random brownouts and blackouts, something like this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, and completely without an “X-Files-y” explanation.

(I’d rather use Fringe-y as my made-up adverb, but not enough people are watching that show.)

But really, where would the fun be if we could explain this phenomenon away with a simple memo from Yukon Energy?

I believe what we actually have here is a clear, manifest case of stretched “Yukon Time”.

Now we are all quite familiar with the term: “Yukon Time”.

Far more than just something we jokingly blurt out to our co-workers as we saunter over to our desks a good 10 minutes late for work, it refers to the actual passage of time in the territory.

Which, as all our tourism brochures tell visitors, runs slower than the rest of the world.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Can you imagine living in a world with strictly monitored coffee breaks? A world where your lunch hour is exactly that? A world that doesn’t allow for lazy meandering down Main Street, conversing with everyone you run into?

Horrible. I know. I live in Saskatchewan. Here, they have ridiculous notions like, being “on time” or you’ll be “fired”. This coming from a people that haven’t saved daylight for decades.

Don’t they know there’s a better system available?

Free from the rat-racing, faster-paced “Outside” version of time our Southern cousins have to deal with, Yukoners can freely enjoy the finer things in life, at a pace adequate to a Northern lifestyle.

(Please refer to previous “meandering” line above.)

Currently, most of the world sets their alarm clocks based on the spinning of atoms. Men and women in lab coats record the oscillation, or atomic vibrations of the caesium-133 atom. This happens at a very specific and quantifiable rate, and therein lay the tics of our clocks.

It sounds like a pretty infallible system, but what is the cold spinning of electrons compared to the sheer willpower of 33,000 people?

You’ve heard it here first folks. Don’t blame Yukon Energy and a lack of hertz for the lost time, instead, realize that the entire territory just unconsciously used the force of their collective will to add 10 minutes to their Easter weekend.

I don’t wanna go back to work either …

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