The Doomsday Clock was manifested in 1947 by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists at the University of Chicago. It is a symbolic clock that represents our proximity to global disaster posed by the threats of global nuclear war, biotechnology, and climate change. Scientists move the minute hand closer and farther away from midnight sporadically when global events deem it necessary.
The initial setting of the Doomsday Clock was set at 11:53PM in 1947. Just two years later it was moved to 3 minutes to midnight during the onset of the Cold War, when the Soviet Union began tests on the first atomic bomb. The closet it ever inched towards midnight was in 1953, during the height of the Cold War, when it was brought to 2 minutes to midnight. Since its inception that is the closest its been to midnight and 1991’s 11:43PM setting was the farthest from midnight it’s been. That year saw the US and Soviet Union sign the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.
Since 2007 the clock remained at 5 minutes to midnight. However, with the recent “worldwide cooperation to reduce nuclear arsenals and limit effect of climate change,” the clock has been set back one minute to 11:54PM in 2010, giving all of us reason for a sigh of relief. The Bulletin of Atomic Sciences on the recent change:
It is 6 minutes to midnight. We are poised to bend the arc of history toward a world free of nuclear weapons. For the first time since atomic bombs were dropped in 1945, leaders of nuclear weapons states are cooperating to vastly reduce their arsenals and secure all nuclear bomb-making material. And for the first time ever, industrialized and developing countries alike are pledging to limit climate-changing gas emissions that could render our planet nearly uninhabitable. These unprecedented steps are signs of a growing political will to tackle the two gravest threats to civilization — the terror of nuclear weapons and runaway climate change.
This clock does not tell time like a traditional clock, with hands and numbers. Instead it uses images; the figures of a grandmother, grandchild, and dog represent the hour, minute and second hands, respectively. These figures move through different scenes as time passes by. Very creative, indeed.
This clock features an LCD face that plays a 12-hour loop of an old guy telling the time by painstakingly erasing and re-recording each minute as it goes by with nothing but an eraser and a marker. At the moment I’m kinda second guessing that there really is a man trapped behind the clock telling the time for us..
This video was taken at Design Miami during Art Basel Miami Beach 2009.
The creator of the Milky Way chose the shape in order to “reflect on the duality and unity of the sleep/wake cycle.” To engage the snooze function you simply turn the device. Setting the clock and the alarm is also done through another turning motion.
Ah, to wake up to such a smooth, chocolatey nougat-filled–oh wait, that’s Three Musketeers. Anyway, cool idea.
The Energy Aware Clock shows you the time (obviously) and your energy use by way of cool visualziations on its front display. This concept device somehow wireless connects to your power meter and shows in real-time your energy consumption fluxuate with blue spikes. Although the idea itself is interesting and could work, I feel it may cause more energy consumption, at least initially, because who won’t want to show off the awesome blue visualizations, right?
The clock is created by Swedish designers Loove Broms, Karin Ehrnberger, and Sara Llstedt Hjelm and will be shown off at Design September Brussels 2009.
This here is Biergert & Funk’s QLOCKTWO. It literally reads out the time on its cool illuminating display. It comes in various color options. Look out for the hefty price tag though–it costs around $1600.