Why are there 24 hours in a day? When's 10 minutes past 15 o'clock? What is Zulu time? Why did the BBC receive 3000 complaints? What is a lamington?
This is the story of the gradual adoption of the 24-hour system of representing time. In Britain, this small matter led to questions in the House of Commons, debates in the House of Lords, reports by Home Office committees, decisions by the Prime Minister and the Cabinet, lively letters to the Times, and thousands of complaints to the BBC.
It's also a story about human nature: our enthusiasm for new ideas and practical innovations, our distrust of novelty and fondness for tradition, our love of argument and our need to compromise, and our instinctive search for order to overcome chaos.