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Doug's Word Clocks
May 15, 2011 12:50 AM   Subscribe


 
Very cool, too bad the kits are so expensive. Can I get a Chinese made one for $9.99 at Walmart?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:56 AM on May 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's an app for that...
posted by chavenet at 12:57 AM on May 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


I never knew I wanted a clock until now, but now I do!
posted by iamkimiam at 1:09 AM on May 15, 2011


No, a word clock is a method for synchronising digital audio devices.
posted by pompomtom at 1:22 AM on May 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Cosc may be crap, but us timekeepers scoff at not being able to know the time in eighths of a second.

This bitch here doesn't even tell you the exact minute except for a few times an hour.

chronometre for life!
posted by hal_c_on at 1:28 AM on May 15, 2011


Ooh another clock for me to covet besides a Nixie Clock.

This clock irresistibly reminded me of the illuminated destination signs at Earl's Court tube station.
posted by KirkpatrickMac at 1:40 AM on May 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Take a look at this one: Celestial Mechanical Calendar and Orrery mindblowing
posted by the mad poster! at 1:54 AM on May 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Verbarius
posted by spasm at 2:07 AM on May 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


So, if I made one that used French words, it wouldn't be a word clock?
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:54 AM on May 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm wondering now if it's possible to make a similar clock, but drastically reduce the number of letters involved. Assuming horizontal and vertical words, and perhaps diagonal ones too.

And what sort of algorithm(s) would help automate figuring that out, I wonder? This being metafilter, I'm sure there are many comp sci/math nerds out there who can point me near the right direction of an elegant, non-brute force solution.
posted by lesli212 at 2:57 AM on May 15, 2011


'Psst...buy the clock!'
'Who said that?'
'I'm your inner hipster!'
'A cricket?'
'A papercraft cricket, voiced by Neil Gaiman!'
'I don't know what Neil Gaiman sounds like.'
'Then take my word for it. Buy the fucking clock, man!'
'But I don't need a clock!'
'Buy the one in Johnston!'
'What the fuck is that?'
'It's a typeface.'
'Like a font? In PowerPoint?'
'...'
'What?'
'You know what? Just...just fucking forget it.'
posted by obiwanwasabi at 3:01 AM on May 15, 2011 [32 favorites]


Oh wow, he's in Canberra! He should make the Gallagher government give him a grant to put these up in ACTION bus terminals instead of building more giant plastic birds.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 3:08 AM on May 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


So, if I made one that used French words, it wouldn't be a word clock?

You might think it would be a "horlage mot", but google translate finds "word clock" in French.
posted by StickyCarpet at 3:15 AM on May 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh wow, he's in Canberra! He should make the Gallagher government give him a grant to put these up in ACTION bus terminals instead of building more giant plastic birds.

From some directions it's a bird. From others... (a bit nsfw).

But I agree that one of these would be a vast improvement over the clock in Civic that ignores daylight saving and doesn't get fixed for months when it breaks.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 3:20 AM on May 15, 2011


All of my papercraft wordclock fixies are in Futura.
posted by DU at 3:55 AM on May 15, 2011


I really like this clock.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:01 AM on May 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


All of my papercraft wordclock fixies are in Futura

berthold akzidenz grotesk...
posted by nathancaswell at 4:59 AM on May 15, 2011


Good artists borrow, etc. It's pretty much a direct copy of the qlocktwo, although he doesn't mention that anywhere. My version states up-front that it is not original.
posted by autopilot at 5:18 AM on May 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


These are very cool. I am, however, reminded of a high=school teacher who disliked digital watches (early 80s). He said that you lost something important with the switch from analog to digital, specifically the visual representation of time passing. That a dial breaks up the day, and the hands moving around the dial are indicators of how much has passed. 15 minutes looks like a quarter of an hour, for example.

I suspect he'd like these even less than digital watches...
posted by Gorgik at 5:22 AM on May 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


You might think that it doesn't tell you the exact minute, hal_c_on, but on the official qlocktwo and my wrist-watch version there are small dots around the corner of the frame that tell you which of the five minutes in the interval. My version also added a small indicator moving around the frame to tell you the current fractional second, updated at 6 Hz.
posted by autopilot at 5:40 AM on May 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


I find this word clock comforting and better than the usual method. There's something very hopeful about "Five Fifteen" rather than the autocratic and cold "5:15."

Wish they came with little phrases along with the times, like "Five Fifteen and the color orange."
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 6:23 AM on May 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Autopilot has posted his clockwork into projects. Darned cool.
posted by SLC Mom at 6:37 AM on May 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh wow, he's in Canberra! He should make the Gallagher government give him a grant to put these up in ACTION bus terminals instead of building more giant plastic birds.

...or statues of Al Grasby!
posted by Sutekh at 6:57 AM on May 15, 2011


I've had Fuzzy Clock installed on my Mac for years now. It's one of my favorite little things.

There seems to be a Windows equivalent, too.
posted by hippybear at 7:29 AM on May 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


It kind of reminds me of this famous clock from my old dorm.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:01 AM on May 15, 2011


If nothing else, these things would have to be programmed differently for different countries (even English-speaking countries) -- 10:30 is half past ten to Americans and half ten to Brits.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:49 AM on May 15, 2011


There's a "real" app for that - by the design company that created the original - as well as another of theirs, a iterally-24-hour-all-human-powered alternative.
posted by OneMonkeysUncle at 8:50 AM on May 15, 2011


If the clock said "It is a quarter to three" instead of "It is quarter to three" I'd think about it. I mean, shouldn't a word clock be grammatically correct?
posted by kozad at 8:58 AM on May 15, 2011


10:30 is half past ten to Americans and half ten to Brits.
It's "half past ten" in Britain too; the word "past" is sometimes merely dropped for brevity.
posted by apatharch at 9:05 AM on May 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


The mesmerizing Pencil Clock [aka Industious Clock] by Yugo Nakamura. His other online timepieces include ClockBlock [Shockwave Player req., then click 'View online'] and ClockSphere.
posted by cenoxo at 9:15 AM on May 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


"'[…] your inner hipster! […] papercraft […] Neil Gaiman!'"

When you people use the word "hipster," do you intend for it to mean anything at all anymore? Papercraft indeed. Jesus. Was it that twerp with the index cards back in 2004 or whatever who did this to you?

posted by wreckingball at 9:22 AM on May 15, 2011


10:30 is half past ten to Americans and half ten to Brits.

And yet, to the Germans, Halb Zehn is 9:30.
posted by hippybear at 9:27 AM on May 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Boy - can you just SEE the code for this word clock or what?

"half 10" in Hungarian is 9:30 btw
posted by victors at 12:39 PM on May 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


And yet, to the Germans, Halb Zehn is 9:30.

I love the scene in Casablanca when the German expatriates ask each other the time, and have a literal exchange that is funny to people who know a little German.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:03 PM on May 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


have a literal exchange that is funny to people who know a little German.

I know a little German.
posted by hippybear at 1:49 PM on May 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I know a little German.

nice
posted by nathancaswell at 2:01 PM on May 15, 2011


This is paradoxical. On the one hand, I don't have the time to make one of these. On the other hand, if I made one, I'd have more time. On the other other hand, since these don't have hands, I guess all three hands are cancelled out, including this one. Time paradoxes, man... They fuck my brain all up!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:31 PM on May 15, 2011


Man, my kids would have loved that clock when they were learning how to tell time. They never, ever would have learned to tell time, though.
posted by Euphorbia at 11:43 PM on May 15, 2011


Does anyone know why the numbers aren't in order? It says "past one three two four" when it looks like "past one two three four" would work just as well and look cleaner.
posted by mr_silver at 5:10 AM on May 16, 2011


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