Sunday, November 7, 2010

Spring forward, fall back

It's that time again, when we all have to reset our clocks - a useless, outdated practice that wastes more time (!) and energy than it saves. But, it got me to thinking about unusual clocks. I remember once purchasing a ballbearing clock (right) for about $30 - cheap enough - but dropped it on the way home. I ended up with 32 ballbearings and a pile of plastic pieces. I never bought another, although I would dearly love to own one (hint hint!). The action is mesmerizing - a bit like staring at an aquarium. Using it as a timepiece is secondary to the fun of seeing those balls dropping!

The 'net has an amazing array of fascinating clocks. For example, go to Google Images and search for [clock]. If you search for [clock ballbearing] you will find pictures of some truly incredible clocks, including the one at left which will write the time on a piece of paper for you! It costs a mere $350,000 - more info, plus a video demonstrating it in action, is here. Classic Rube Goldberg. Which reminds me - for a beautiful Rube Goldbergian device, take a look at this commercial. (It loads slowly, but be patient - it's worth the wait.)

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