On word origins:

“Consider the curious use of the word “second” to denote our smallest everyday time interval. (T)he sexagesimal Sumerians or their Babylonian brothers seem to be responsible. An often inconveniently long hour led them to use a smaller part as a unit of time: the sixtieth of an hour or the minute part of the hour or, even more briefly, the minute. Of course, much can happen in the course of a minute, so its sixtieth part—the second minute of an hour—became known to them, and eventually to us, as the second.”

Sheldon Lee Glashow, from Threads in the Tapestry of Physics at Inference-review.com

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