Sometimes I think that I’m not really learning anything as a direct result of my college education. I spent the first half of it assessing how much I know and the last half of it rehashing one subject in ten different ways.
But every now and then there is a rare gem of academia that falls straight into my lap.
Like today, while dutifully memorizing reams of astronomical terminology, as in astronomy, I was studying sundials and learned that a sundial is technically just the disk. The part that casts the shadow is called a gnomon, Latin for indicator.
That means those sundials on the ground where you cast the shadow and tell the time, you are a gnomon. Also I tend to wonder if a gnome’s hat was the original gnomon.