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Reinventing the egg timer

The problem is that it won't reset easily
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My 5 and 8 year olds tend to spend too long in the shower in the morning, so we use a conventional hour glass egg timer to remind them of the passing time, and the lateness of arriving at school.

But when one has finished, sometimes the sand still remains in the top half and the next kid is ready to shower. How to reset it?

I propose the hourglass shape has an additional tube, linking top to bottom, around the outside. The tube can take all the contents. By tilting the egg timer in one direction, the sand can be directed into the tube, and moved to one end afterwards.

This will allow immediate resetting of the timer.

However, the side affect is that it also allows cheating of time by the kids!

Ling, Feb 10 2011

Hour Glass By-Pass http://www.wikipate...-bypass-duct/Page-2
great idea.... but already has a patent [xenzag, Feb 13 2011]

[link]






       Perfect halfbakery idea([+]): an ingenious solution which is not quite as good as the mundane solution (buy a second egg timer).
mouseposture, Feb 10 2011
  

       I cannot fault this idea. [+]
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 10 2011
  

       //Perfect halfbakery idea([+])// //I cannot fault this idea. [+]//   

       Never-the-less: apparently boring; so it can't be so.
Ling, Feb 12 2011
  

       If you didn't reset it, then it would be left to the first guy to give time to the second, alternate each day. An easy lesson in altruism.   

       Alternatively, force them to stay in the shower for the duration of the allotted time. An easy lesson in tyranny.
daseva, Feb 12 2011
  

       +1
po, Feb 12 2011
  

       21 quest: though you need to waterproof it then
mofosyne, Feb 12 2011
  

       Install a mechanical timer on the hot water line. Route the plumbing so that you have to be outside of the bathroom to set it.
ytk, Feb 13 2011
  

       Sorry [ling] but I knew I had seen this idea some time ago when I was searching patents for a similar proposal.
xenzag, Feb 13 2011
  

       Thanks, [xenzag] -good find! I'm not quite sure why would anyone bother patenting this: the market can't exactly be booming for non-electronic egg timers.   

       After all, they wouldn't work in space.
Ling, Feb 13 2011
  

       They would work fine under constant acceleration.   

       (How would relativity be reformulated if, instead of a photon clock, you used an egg-timer? The sand would flow faster as acceleration increased, and time would stop altogether for an observer at constant velocity.)
mouseposture, Feb 13 2011
  

       Having it flush the toilet every time it is re-set would deter cheating.   

       // This idea seems to be the equivalent of modifying a screwdriver handle to be a more durable pounding tool, instead of simply using a hammer or mallet. //   

       Ah, I see what you mean; but don't you have condensation in your bathroom? Wouldn't that rot the handle of your hammer?
Ling, Feb 14 2011
  

       Yes, I think it would.   

       Luckily, the sand is completely sealed in glass vials. I wonder if anyone thought of using an hourglass for timing dives? A bit bulky on the wrist, I suppose.
Ling, Feb 14 2011
  
      
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