Wednesday, April 2, 2003

Being gentle with time

From New Scientist: "Fifteen antique turret clocks have been fitted with radio receivers and automatic regulators to move their delicate mechanisms forward an hour without any pushing and shoving from clumsy human hands. There is a growing shortage of people who are familiar with the workings of the large mechanical clocks on churches and public buildings, as routine maintenance tasks such as winding the clocks become automated. Yet they still need to be put forward an hour in spring and moved back again in the autumn without damaging their fragile mechanisms, some of which are 250 years old. So Rob Youngs has invented a discreet box of tricks to do the job. The device has infrared sensors to monitor the clock's pendulum swing and a microprocessor to compare this with the time signal generated by the National Physical Laboratory's atomic clock."

This makes me think of the Clock of the Long Now - such a clock, if sufficiently impressive and well engineered, would embody deep time for people - and the broader history of time measurement.


Post a Comment

<< Home

CC Copyright 2001-2009 by Anne Galloway. Some rights reserved. Powered by Blogger and hosted by Dreamhost.