Archive for October, 2014

Another way of thinking about the geological timescale

A few years ago I came across the suggestion of using an analogy of a movie to visualise geological time-scales. That is, each frame would be one year and you would view 24 frames per second. I incorporated this into a talk that I did, and then forgot about it. I was reminded of this the other day, and redid the number crunching. The results, assuming that my maths is correct, can be seen below. I have worked out the number of seconds from this year to each event. I then worked out a more human-readable time (minutes, days, weeks and so on). I am sure that I am missing some events, so if you have anything in mind, feel free to let me know. I hope that this is interesting to some people who talk about geological times to non-geologists. Timescale 1994 (first democratic elections in .za): 0.83s 1987 (ME!): 1.125s 1961 (first man in space): 2.2s 100 ya (WWI): 4.17s 111 ya (first powered flight): 4.625s 1820 (British settlers arrive in the Eastern Cape, +-Shaka Zulu’s mfecane): 8.1s 1652 (Jan van Riebeek arrives at the Cape): 15.1s 2000 ya (Time of Jesus): 83.3s 1 minute 23.3 seconds 2560BC […]