h a l f b a k e r y
Not so much a thought experiment as a single neuron misfire.
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Through a delightfully complicated and beautiful system involving two inversely-polarized sterling engines, a complex system of gears and discs, and a backup battery, the Sterling Engine Clock tells time forever while you stare at it, contemplating the mysteries of the universe.
Driven by variations in atmospheric pressure and by daily temperature variations, running since 1864. [Spacecoyote, Mar 16 2011]
||Far more fuel-efficient than my internal combustion engine clock. [+]