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    Re: The Analemma in Castaway
    From: Bill B
    Date: 2006 Dec 11, 00:44 -0500

    LOL Frank.  H_ll, he failed to hang himself.  Who can trust him?  You'll
    have to ask Ken about the deeper implications. 
    > Just as well perhaps. Think about it: how could you get an analemma on a cave
    > wall. If there's some little notch that admits light for only some brief
    > period of the day, it will catch the Sun's light at the same Local Apparent
    > Time every day. To get an analemma, you need to mark the Sun's position at the
    > same Mean Time --clock time-- every day. You could get the up-down component,
    > which comes from the Sun's changing declination, and that's enough to make a
    > calendar, but the left-right component, which generates the classic
    > "figure-eight" shape of the analemma, would seem to require a functioning
    > clock.
    > There is one way to rescue the movie scene. Suppose the time-obsessed
    > character in "Castaway" is so obsessed with time that he has studied,
    > academically, the concept of LAT vs LMT (for those who haven't seen it, the
    > ironic twist in the film is that the character is some sort of executive
    > shipping manager for FedEx and he is literally obsessed with punctuality).
    > Perhaps he understands the meaning of the analemma on the globe and has 'waxed
    > philosophic' about its implications. Maybe there's a scene that ended up on
    > the cutting room floor that shows the castaway back in civilization before the
    > plane crash lecturing some fellow employee and pontificating that "even the
    > Sun is late six months out of the year, but we at FedEx will be better than
    > the Sun itself". If he had this information in advance, then by drawing out
    > the analemma (roughly) on the wall of his cave from memory, the time-obsessed
    > castaway would have a shred of civilization under his control in the form of
    > knowing the approximate mean time every day at local apparent noon even when
    > his watch had stopped running. This might have been too cerebral for a movie
    > that was already slow-moving, but it's not outside the realm of possibility.
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