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Video: Making a 10,000-Year Clock
11/8/2012

The power design for the clock.
The power design for the clock.

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Charles Murray
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Re: Long is interesting, but...
Charles Murray   12/11/2012 6:03:25 PM
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Good points, Tool_maker. One of my favorite quotes about computers is attrubuted to a Popular Mechanics article in 1949: "Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons."

Ratsky
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Weren't the Mayans first?????
Ratsky   12/11/2012 11:06:34 AM
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I can just imagine that 9,995 years after the completion of this project someone will postulate that this was the "Doomsday clock" and when it stops the world would end.....

Tool_maker
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Re: Long is interesting, but...
Tool_maker   11/27/2012 2:06:10 PM
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@naperlou: When ever I see these "Long Term Plans", I am reminded of a satirical article I read 20 or so years ago where a computer made future projections based solely on the data available at the end of the civil war. It got numerous things right, ie population growth and westward expansion, but failed miserably in others.

  The most humorous things I recall were what the two biggest problems would be. One: at the close of the civil war there were X number of horses per person and the population explosion would cause a similar growth in horses leading to the problem of growing enough grass to feed all of the horses required. The author had inventive ways in which to accomplish this, but problem #two was to be the biggest: What were we to do with all of the manure these horses would generate? I think he suggested huge quantities be shipped to Washington DC, but saw that even that would soon be full.

  In short, future technologies may render all long term plans equally irrelevant and foolish appearing.

Scott Orlosky
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Re: Definitely interesting...but will it actually last?
Scott Orlosky   11/18/2012 7:49:28 PM
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As I was reading through the posts.  I kept thinking - how about just making a sundial.  There are already a vast assortment of sundial arrangements which are easily adjustable for variations over the course of many, many years and then Stonehenge popped up in the thread.  Of course!  Not sure that a special 10,000 year clock gives us any more techology than Stonehenge does. Sounds like a vanity project to me!

Charles Murray
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Re: Definitely interesting...but will it actually last?
Charles Murray   11/15/2012 6:48:13 PM
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Good point about the Stonehenge team being 4,000 years ahead in testing. And they did it without any accelerated testing techniques!  

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Definitely interesting...but will it actually last?
Rob Spiegel   11/13/2012 10:31:55 PM
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Chuck, as it turns out, the clock is designed to orient itself to the sun at noon each day. That feature is designed to keep the clock accurate.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Definitely interesting...but will it actually last?
Rob Spiegel   11/12/2012 11:24:30 PM
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That's a heck of a good question, Chuck. Let me double back on these folks and see what they have to say.

William K.
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A thousand year clock
William K.   11/12/2012 2:12:19 PM
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Making a clock to run for any great length of time without maintenance would be quite an achievement, given the multiple concerns of wear, dirt accumulation, and weathering. And if there is a chime system intended to sound daily, that means a lot more power will be needed. The challenge is that the weather will deliver an accumulation of dirt, and the dirt will get in the way of moving parts as it fills the motion clearances. Of course it is possible that the clock is being built in an exceptionally clean part of Texas, some area that has no dust or wind, but I sort of doubt that. It will be interesting to see if it even runs for one year. How about a more detailed report on the clock after it is finished, possibly including drawings or pictures describing how it captures energy, and how it moves.

Charles Murray
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Re: Definitely interesting...but will it actually last?
Charles Murray   11/9/2012 6:35:49 PM
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It's hard to imagine, Zippy, but this clock will look like Stone Henge to someone 10,000 years from now.  

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Definitely interesting...but will it actually last?
Ann R. Thryft   11/9/2012 1:34:20 PM
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You got that right about Stonehenge!
Assuming it's not destroyed in an earthquake or other natural disaster, over that period of time the clock will have to accommodate several changes in the length of various time periods--the day, for example--as well as shifts in the declination of various planets and the Moon. I wonder if all that's being considered.

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