The Grizzly Den

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Posts Tagged ‘inventions’

Do You Know What Time It Is?

Posted by grizzlymedia on September 24, 2008

Well, now I just feel totally bored with the clocks in our library. A new clock at Corpus Christi College in Cambridge, England, cost over a million pounds, which is about $1.8 million to you and me. Plus it’s more like a work of art than a mere clock. It doesn’t even have hands like a real clock, and it’s designed to run in an erratic fashion, slowing down and speeding up whenever it’s in the mood. Kind of like people. Which is sort of the idea behind the “Corpus clock” designed by inventor John Taylor who built it with his own money in honor of British genius John Harrison. In 1725 Harrison invented the “grasshopper” escapement, a device that helps regulate the movement of clocks. As a visual pun on the grasshopper idea, Taylor designed a whimsical grasshopper which sits atop the clock. The grasshopper is called a “time eater” or chronophage. The long needle teeth and barbed tail of the insect are vital components of the clockworks. The grasshopper’s jaws begin to open halfway through each minute and then click shut at fifty-nine seconds. Its eyes, which are usually a lackluster green, sporadically flash a bright yellow. The clock has become the showpiece of the college library, which was also donated by Taylor. Taylor made his fortune with his other inventions, which include controls for electric tea kettles. Not nearly as exciting! To learn more about the clock, and how it is supposed to remind us of our own mortality, read an article at the FoxNews website.

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