science video

Overlapping Clocks

This is a simple question, but sometimes, the simplest things are the most difficult to grasp.

awesome DIY photo

Stringy Time

string time clock

German artist and maker Felix Vorreiter has created this pretty cool clock that uses encoded strings to display a digital readout of the time.  As you can see, the string passes through rollers to form 5 lines which when everything lines up, reads the time.  His clock advances the string in a traditional 1 second at a time format, which I think would make it much too difficult to actually read the time.  Also, his rope is only long enough for 2 hours of time.  He estimates it would take 0.7 miles of rope for a full 24 hour day.  To that I say it’s time to re-think the pattern painted on the string.  Re-use some of the painted lines, sure, that would be a much more difficult algorithm to figure out,but that’s why we have computers!

time trial


awesome DIY video

Wooden Analog Clock

You know Japan isn’t just known for their crazy perversions.  They’re actually insanely good woodworkers too.  Case in point, this crazy complicated mechanical clock that draws out the time on a magnetic board.

Look at the intricacies of it:

wooden gears

Now here you can see, and listen to it in action:


awesome computer DIY electronic news science

Digital Analog

Bernie Rohde makes clocks.  That’s nothing special to be honest, in the last hundred years or so clock making has gone from being a master level skill, to something overlooked and simple.  Sure, the science of time keeping has advanced greatly over the years, they even decided to add a leap second to the day for some unnecessary reason this evening, probably breaking much of the internet in the process, but making clocks, that’s not that hard anymore, mostly because it can be so forgiving because we have so many other things that we rely on for the accurate time.

clock - 1

Well, Rohde’s clocks are something different.  He started out life as a TV repairman.  Except, in the last decade, TVs have gotten much less repairable, and more consumable.  So his line of work dried up as more and more of the relics from the 70s and 80s were replaced.  He still had many of the various electronic pieces used in the TVs transistors, resistors, capacitors, all the important things.  He decided to use those various electronic pieces to make clocks.

A circular grid of LEDs makes up the face of the clock, then a circuit of these simple resistors, and transistors, and capacitors keeps the time and illuminates the LEDs as the hands of the clock face.  He does all of this by hand, for truly unique, one of a kind art pieces.  No two are alike, but each one is made of the same guts.

I like this blue & green clock below, with the see through face.  But I also like the one above that just takes you back to the 1960s when computers were this complicated and scary and also full of wonder.

Illuminated Clock




Today is another one of those “special” days.  But not one that most normal people know about.  Today is pi-day.  Or more specifically, 3.14.  March 14th.  This “holiday” works while the American system for displaying dates, which most of the rest of the world considers wrong, unfortunately, we’re America, and quite frankly, most of us don’t care what the rest of the world thinks of us.  And that’s what’s makes us great.

Any Hootie and the Blowfish, back to the matter at hand.  Pi day, today.  Today has a very special connection in the history of Pi day because it’s the once in a century that we get more than high school levels of significant figures.  Yes, today, using the time, we can get 7 full significant figures of accuracy (3.141592653).  More if you go into the millisecond range.  But you shouldn’t because that’s silly.

  • 3 – Month of March
  • 14 – 14th day of the month
  • 15 – Year 2015
  • 9 – 9 AM
  • 26 – Minutes past 9AM
  • 53 – Seconds into the minute, one more and we can’t get to the moon anymore because our aim is off

In honor of this momentous occasion, this post is being published at 5 significant digits.  I could tell you it’s 7, but how would you know.  You’ll have a hard enough time even seeing if this is at 5.  Oh well.  Enjoy your Pi today America, you’ve earned it.

science strange

Alternate History Thursday – TIME


The above is a real time gif of the earth’s movement.  Just watch it, it moves at few frames a second, and after 24 hours, it will be back where it started.  Anyway, you could waste all day watching that, or you can take my word for it and then read the following:

Time is an interesting concept.  It’s claimed that it’s the only constant in the universe, and that it can only flow in one direction.  But I’m about to flip all that 180 degrees on you.  TIME is as a concept that humans understand is flawed.  By gaining access to an alternate reality, you can quickly see that the flow of time is not equal to that in your local reality.  This is most easily seen when traveling “back in time” to 1947 by dialing in the correct coordinates and opening the temporal-displacement door (TDD).  The technology for this door was provided to us by the crashed alien craft from the late 1940s.

Now, conventional wisdom says that with a flux-capacitor, and the ability to drive at 88mph, you will be able to open your own TDD.  The technology displayed in a flux-capacitor has not been successfully decoded, but we believe that the TDD is an alternate version of the flux-capacitor.  It’s probable that the aliens have decided that a door is the optimal way to change dimensions, whereas for us humans, if you’re gonna make a time machine (out of anything), why not do it with some style.

After careful examination of the final product, it was determined that the TDD was safe for human use, and the first time travelers were sent to the year 1947 to witness the crash landing of the aliens from which the technology came.  Temporal paradoxes are prevented because we are not traveling through time, but rather to another dimension altogether.  However, it is important to note that once the door is closed, travel to that dimension from your source dimension is more or less closed.  The probability that a door can be opened to the same dimension is ridiculously small with our current understanding, and the aliens are not telling use anything helpful.

Regardless, we feel that this a minor issue for the time being.  The door doesn’t need to be fully open to keep the portal open, just not closed completely.  This has prompted the invention of the Temporal-Jam (T-JAM).  This leaves the TDD open just a hair, and as long as the location is known, can be opened with minimal force.  Care must be used so that only approved beings travel through the door, this is why it’s recommended that a firewall be constructed around each TDD complete with auto-close functionality, and it’s own low-yield nuclear device.  The EMP field will destroy the time-circuits, and hopefully any dangerous lifeforms that make it through the TDD.  Any local loss of life is expected in this situation, and understood.

This is just a preliminary report, we look forward to further testing of the TDD, T-JAM, and fail-safes in order to work out all kinks in the plan and make it a profitable endeavor.


awesome DIY science

Mechanical Clock

There’s something to be said about the beauty of a purely mechanical piece of equipment.  Something that has moving parts, but has no electricity running through it at all.  Something that would work 1,000 years ago, 1,000 years into the future, and anywhere (that gravity is of earth’s constant of 9.8 m/s2).  I’d love to make something similar to this one day, but it would go on my long list of other things that I need to build, chief which of those would be a house.

{Hacked Gadgets|Laughing Squid}

a stumble awesome DIY video

Giant Log Townscape

The Chinese artist of the name Zheng Chunhui has spent the better part of 4 years carving this replica of the Chinese painting by the name of Along the River during the Qingming Festival.

Here’s the finished product:

Finished Wood

It’s very hard to get an idea of the scale of this project from the above photo, which is why this next photo is gonna go in.  It has people standing next to it for scale:

log sculpture 2

The entire sculpture is over 40 feet long, 10 feet tall, and almost 7 feet wide.  Zheng Chunhui received an entry into the Guinness Book of World records for this piece.  It’s considered the longest wood carving.  I would also like to add that it’s ridiculously detailed.  And 3 Dimensional.  This entire thing is crazy.

Here’s some detail of what I am guessing is the Bridget Scene:

bridge scene

And here’s the corresponding scene in the original scroll {wiki}:

bridge scene

There’s even a video of it if you really want to get into it.  Except the video looks like it’s just showing the same above, but to music.  Oh well.

{I Lobo You}

DIY photo science strange

22nd Century Art

How would you like to be a part of a 100 year long photography project?  Well, Team Titanic, out in Berlin is about to start up a 100 year long project.  It’s not something that you would expect either.  Or even something that you could figure out easily.  They are planning to release 100 pin hole cameras into the wild hands of the public, and have them set up to take one single photo with an exposure time of 100 years.  That’s 3.156 x 109 seconds.  That’s a long ass time.


That’s what one of the cameras looks like.  Next week, the public will be able to pay $13.75 to reserve a camera.  They will be tasked with placing the camera somewhere where it will be likely to last 100 years.  They (each owner of the camera), should only tell one person, later in life, who should do the same.  Until the summer of 2114 that is.  When hopefully 100 middle aged people will remember where they all are and develop the photos.  Hopefully even more, everything about the cameras themselves will last.  From being out in the elements for 100 years, to the actual building they’re attached to still existing…

I like the idea.  It’s pretty neat, I don’t really know how it will turn out.  But then again, no one alive really knows how it will turn out, and I guess that’s the appeal to it all.

{Peta Pixel}

awesome internet

What is Time?

This probably went unnoticed last year, but you may have heard something about it over the summer, when it finished, (that’s when I heard of it anyway).

xkcd # 1190 was an extremely slow moving movie.  In total, it was 3,099 frames that updated every half hour, or hour for the following 123 days.  Set 11,000 years in the future in (what’s left of) the Mediterranean , it chronicles the journey of two characters  as they try and figure out why the sea is rising, and then how to survive it.

If the above 40 minute video is too much (after all, you did just spend an hour watching time being made earlier this week), then you can scroll through the frames at your own pace over at Geek Wagon.  Regardless of how you end up watching it, you should watch it in it’s entirety, it’s worth it.  If you want to get the gist of the story, then head on over to Explain xkcd.

Either way, watch it, and let’s see if Randall Munroe has anything in store this year.