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Quoting "Mark J. Reed" <[log in to unmask]>:

> Most other traditional cultures started the day at sunrise; the
> modern practice of using midnight is an artifact of the mechanical
> clock.  Once we had the means to measure time independently of
> the sun, it became apparent just how dramatically the time between
> successive sunrises or sunsets varies throughout the year.  By the
> same token, the time between successive noons or midnights (defined
> as the midpoint between sunset and sunrise) stayed relatively
> constant.  Between noon and midnight, midnight was chosen because
> it was inconvenient (for pretty much everyone but astronomers)
> to change the date in the middle of the day.

There has been periods of my life in which I've more commonly been awake at
midnight than at noon. But then I live in the blessed age of electric light!
And come from a country where night is more or less optional in summer ...

                                                          Andreas