Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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I like this idea, only I think it should be run by the government.

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Geyser Clock

Large vertical pipes filled with water designed to go off at different times
 
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Natural geysers don't keep as good time because they are uneven in shape and change due to events like mineral depositing, erosion and earthquakes.

They way a geyser works is when the super heated water overcomes the denser colder water on top with an explosive force. A slight constriction helps bisect the super hot and colder water. Changes in the container of that water can have effects on when this explosion happens or if it even does.

With this design I have chosen 6 such pipes that will each heat up water to go off on a different hour. Each pipe will only have to go off 4 times in a day.

Instead of a minute hand, I have decided that the pipes will be coated with liquid crystal around the area at the top where the water is cooler. This way a color change will be used to indicate what part of the hour we are into. Finally, the pipes will be numbered (possibly also in liquid crystal paint) to keep people from being confused.

These structures could also be built into the ground and take advantage of the natural thermal energy in areas where that energy is abundant. One can vary the length and the inside diameter of the pipe to get other time intervals.

sartep, Jun 03 2003

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       This would be quite elegant. Can it have music too? +
saker, Jun 03 2003
  

       It could even be used to boil an egg for you in the morning as part of your alarm call.
Aristotle, Jun 03 2003
  

       Can't you just glance at your wristwatch? Or look at the nearest clock? Or ring the talking clock? Or look on your mobile phone (spits)?   

       Also the areas where natural thermal energy is abundant tend not to be built up areas so who is going to be there to need to know the time?
squeak, Jun 03 2003
  

       //Can't you just glance at your wristwatch?//
But this is the halfbakery, squeak. If we were content with all the current ways of doing things, none of us would be here.
krelnik, Jun 03 2003
  

       Yeah sure [kerlnik] but, for pete's sake, another clock!? Why not make it custard flavoured and mounted on a segway.
squeak, Jun 03 2003
  

       Isn't there a category for clocks? I don't understand your problem.   

       By that logic, people should stop painting or writing since we already have many paintings and books in this world.
sartep, Jun 03 2003
  

       Absurdity belongs here just as much as sensible suggestions, so you're all right. It's just that suggesting looking at your watch to check the time isn't very interesting.
snarfyguy, Jun 03 2003
  
      
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