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Entries in clocks (4)

Monday
Dec262011

redefined: the cuckoo clock

photo by: jeaneeem Since the 17th century, the Black Forest—including its flora, fauna and wood chalets— has become synonymous with cuckoo clocks.

True Black Forest clocks are hand-carved dark-stained pine, Linden or fir cabins with leafy accents and birds as chimes. More elaborate variations include colorfully painted scenes with hammering craftsmen, folk-costumed maidens, or Lederhosen-clad revelers—oftentimes chasing across the clock face.

Typically the clock keeps time by way of a weighted mechanism—usually pine cones on chains or a swinging pendulum—and announces the time with the call of a cuckoo bird as it pops out of hiding.

Artisan clock makers still create these timeless timepieces, but the modern cuckoo clock has been edited to its most compelling element—a whimsical bird on its perch that originally signaled the arrival of Spring.

Friday
Mar112011

daylight saving time, 2011

“Spring forward, Fall back” reminds us to turn the clocks forward one hour this Sunday at 2:00 a.m. as daylight saving time begins.

Friday
Nov052010

daylight saving time, 2010

“Spring forward, Fall back” reminds us to turn the clocks backwards one hour this Sunday at 2:00 a.m. as daylight saving time ends and we return to standard time.

Daylight Saving Time, DST, began when Germany, Britain, and other European countries adopted the schedule in 1916 as a way to conserve energy—ie. coal which was rationed during WWI. Russia began the following year, the US in 1918, and since then many countries adopted the practice, changed the start/end dates, or dropped it entirely.

While most of North America shifts at 2:00 a.m. local time—meaning each time zone shifts one hour after the other—the EU shifts all at once. In some countrys or states only part of each participates. For example, while California and New Mexico shift, only part of Arizona does, and near the equator—where daylight doesn’t vary much—there’s no need to switch.

There are pros and cons to debate if the practice is still necessary or desirable, but as an energy saving practice it no longer seems significant considering how energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs—and energy in general—are so readily available.

On the positive side, the shift serves as a reminder to check a seasonal to do list: replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, replace furnace filters and reprogram thermostats, get the latest flu vaccine and get rid of hazardous materials like old paint cans via scheduled community collections, double-check lighting cords and turn on the CFLs!

Tuesday
Jun012010

watch: wall clocks

We almost went crazy there were so many cuckoo clocks in Milan! We love how this quirky, folky timepiece has us smiling every hour it entertains us.

In this digital age while waiting for the volcanic ash to clear us for take-off, these functional toys reminded us how enjoyable it is to slow down, smell the flowers and play with the dogs in the park.