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From:
Subject: Re: [LDR] Messick's Choice
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 20:57:20 EDT


In a message dated 8/10/2005 8:45:51 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
writes:
> I have a document and it's hard to read but very much looks like "minutes."
>
>
> Example: "thence North Two degrees Thirty Minutes West Forty five
> Perches..." dated 1764. I'm not completely sure but it continues to show
> up and looks
> like the word Minutes. Have you seen this before or am I misreading?
> Susan
>

This is basic terminology of, well, geometry:

360 degrees in a circle
60 minutes in a degree
60 seconds in a minute

So 30 minutes is half a degree. This is a very common thing to see in survey
courses.

*

It's the same kind of breakdown of units as we use for little slices of time:

24 hours in a day
60 minutes in an hour
60 seconds in a minute.

An odd system of parsing units, but it dates from ancient Babylonia, and
there's actually a cool reason for it ... if you're a mathematician.

John


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