Sunday, September 21, 2008
The Time Eater
On Friday, renown physicist Stephen Hawking unveiled what has to be one of the most wonderful and terrifying clocks of all time.
The million dollar time piece was designed to grace a new library at the University of Cambridge in England. It features no numbers--only narrow openings in it's gold-plated face through which blue LED lights flash the time. (You can see them if you look closely at the photo above.)
But the most remarkable feature of the clock is the killer grasshopper that sits atop it. Known as the Chronophage, it perpetually walks the perimeter of the clock. Every 59 seconds, it's mouth snaps open and shut as it "eats" the minute that's just passed.
According to college officials, the clock has a few other features worth noting. For instance, at the top of every hour, it "reminds us of our mortality with the sound of a chain dropping into a wooden coffin. More playfully, the clock plays tricks on the observer, seeming occasionally to pause, run unevenly, and even go backwards."
Read more here and see a video here.