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    Re: Nautical Almac Question
    From: Frank Reed CT
    Date: 2006 May 31, 17:03 -0500

    Hi Jared, you wrote:
    "print them with the minus sign, AND use the shading to make certain it
    didn't get lost."

    That's probably the best approach. The shading alone may be a useful
    compromise for one rather curious reason: who can remember the correct
    significance of a positive or negative sign on the equation of time? I
    can't. I have to check every time, and the sign has changed
    historically. I would much prefer something like E or L marked after
    each value to indicate that the Sun is early or late to the meridian.

    I try to remember a few important dates for the EqT (these are mostly
    US references): it's zero around Tax Day, Graduation Day, Labor Day,
    and Christmas, and it's at max/min points around Valentine's Day and
    Election Day. With those date and a picture in my head of the general
    shape of the curve, I can generally estimate the equation of time
    within five minutes

    "But the US Government Printing Office? I suspect either the "we've
    always done it this way" bureaucratic mindset makes this unlikely, or
    they just don't pay enough to get real talent working for them."

    The total annual budget in the year 2006 for staff for the world's
    remaining nautical almanacs probably does not exceed $100,000 (I am
    referring to people who actually work on a nautical almanac; other
    ephemerides and other functions like paid historians excluded). So no,
    there probably is not enough money for real revisions. But that 'we've
    always done it this way' mindset is probably not so important on the
    "supply side" for almanacs, but it sure as hell is important on the
    "demand side". Change does not come easily for navigators and often
    with good reason!


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