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Stephen Hawking Unveils "Time Eater" Clock 198

gyrogeerloose writes "Stephen Hawking unveiled an unsettling clock in Cambridge on Friday. Designed by John Taylor — a British horologist and inventor whose thermostatic switch is incorporated in millions of electric appliances worldwide — the clock was conceived as a tribute to another British inventor, John Harrison. Harrison invented the grasshopper escapement in the early 18th Century, which resulted in extremely accurate mechanical time keeping and was instrumental in solving the Longitude Problem. Taylor's clock, which in entirely mechanical in operation but has no hands, uses a fearsome-looking 'demon grasshopper' as its escapement. 'I... wanted to depict that time is a destroyer — once a minute is gone you can't get it back' Taylor said. 'That's why my grasshopper is not a Disney character. He is a ferocious beast that over the seconds has his tongue lolling out, his jaws opening, then on the 59th second he gulps down time.' It also (purposely) only tells correct time once every five minutes. An excellent video of the clock in action, with an explanation of its workings by its inventor, is available on YouTube."

Steven Hawking Considering Move To Canada 378

thepacketmaster learned of "...the possibility of Steven Hawking moving to Waterloo in Canada: 'A report out of Britain suggests Stephen Hawking is considering an invitation to come work at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics....But he's also being encouraged to move to Ontario by his University of Cambridge colleague Neil Turok, the mathematical physicist who will take over as Perimeter's executive director on Oct. 1. Perimeter confirmed last night that it has made a standing offer to Hawking...Turok is leaving Cambridge after failing to persuade university authorities, research councils and sponsors to spend $40 million...By comparison, Waterloo's Perimeter Institute has about $600 million in funding...The addition of Hawking to Perimeter's staff of top physicists would be a major coup for the research institute, founded in 1999 by Mike Lazaridis, founder and co-CEO of Research In Motion, which makes the BlackBerry.'"

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