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kottke.org posts about time

A 2000 year-old Greek computer accurately tracked the

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 30, 2006

A 2000 year-old Greek computer accurately tracked the motion of the sun, the irregular orbit of the moon, and predicted lunar eclipses. “Remarkably, scans showed the device uses a differential gear, which was previously believed to have been invented in the 16th century. The level of miniaturisation and complexity of its parts is comparable to that of 18th century clocks.”

Beautiful-looking 2007 calendar designed by Paula Scher and

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 29, 2006

Beautiful-looking 2007 calendar designed by Paula Scher and her team at Pentagram.

Every year, my friend Leslie does an

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 25, 2006

Every year, my friend Leslie does an online Advent calendar (she’s #1 on Google for “advent calendar”). This year, she’s asking for people (like you!) to submit their favorite holiday stories for use with the calendar.

Physicists at the University of Washington are

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 17, 2006

Physicists at the University of Washington are hoping to use entangled photons to send information back in time. “Here’s where it gets weird.”

A timeline of timelines.

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 15, 2006

A timeline of timelines.

Happy birthday, universe

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 23, 2006

According to the Ussher-Lightfoot Calendar, today is the 6,009th birthday of the universe. Based on James Ussher’s interpretation of the Bible, God created “the heaven and the earth” on October 23, 4004 BC. Happy birthday, everything!

Note: I’m doing Mr. Ussher’s precise chronology a disservice by fudging the Julian calendar date that he derived with the Gregorian calendar we now use. For that, I apologize.

More and more people are using their

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 28, 2006

More and more people are using their mobile phones to tell time instead of watches. Telling time has always been the #1 function I use on my phone.

The Proceedings of the Athanasius Kircher Society

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 07, 2006

The Proceedings of the Athanasius Kircher Society recently included a report on the 28-hour day. “There are apparently plenty of advantages to switching to a 28-hour day, including four-day work weeks, fewer daily chores, longer weekends.” This diary of someone who lives a 28-hour day is interesting.

Clever McDonald’s sundial billboard. “The billboard features

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 12, 2006

Clever McDonald’s sundial billboard. “The billboard features a real sundial whose shadow falls on a different breakfast item each hour until noon, when the shadow of the McDonald’s arches are dead center.”

Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 02, 2006

I know I’m going to get mail about my five-star rating for this movie, but it cannot be helped. One summer when I was a kid, a friend and I watched Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure — no joke — every single day for a span of 2 months. I still know every line by heart, the timing, inflection, everything. If there were a Broadway production of this movie, I could slide effortlessly into the role of either Bill S. Preston, Esq. or Ted Theodore Logan, no rehearsal needed.

In my high school physics class my senior year, we had to do a report on something we hadn’t learned about in class — which, I discovered when I got to college, was a lot — and I did mine on time travel. I went to our small school library and read articles in Discover and Scientific American magazines about Stephen Hawking, Kip Thorne, quantum mechanics, causality, and wormholes. To illustrate the bit about wormholes, I brought in my well-worn VHS tape of Bill and Ted’s (a dub of a long-ago video rental) and showed a short clip of the phone booth travelling through space and time via wormhole. I got a B+ on my presentation. The teacher told me it was excellent but marked me down because it was “over the heads” of everyone in the class…which I thought was completely unfair. How on earth is Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure over anyone’s head?

Jim Holt asks Freeman Dyson, Lawrence Krauss,

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 31, 2005

Jim Holt asks Freeman Dyson, Lawrence Krauss, Ed Witten and other in trying to figure out how the universe will end. Further reading: Time Without End by Freeman Dyson, Frank Tipler’s Omega Point theory, and The Physics of Extra-Terrestrial Civilizations by Michio Kaku.

Discover Magazine on a prototype of the

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 26, 2005

Discover Magazine on a prototype of the fascinating 10,000-year clock being built by Danny Hillis and The Long Now Foundation. Here’s more info on the prototype and some photos from its launch party.

Reap is an art project “exploring the

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 24, 2005

Reap is an art project “exploring the notion of marking and capturing time: time as memory, as process, as moments, as metamorphoses and metaphors”. I like the apple rotting one. (thx susan)

Streetclock: using building shadows and road markers as urban sundials

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 02, 2005

Streetclock: using building shadows and road markers as urban sundials.