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Time Detector

Be prepared!
  (+19, -3)(+19, -3)
(+19, -3)
  [vote for,
against]

Now you can tell the difference between an unusually quiet Sunday afternoon and a total breakdown in time with Wagster Industries' new Time Detector.

This ingenious device features a battery powered rotating sweep arm mounted in front of a round fascia. A light recessed into the fascia is powered by the same battery.

While the arm is rotating, the presence of time is indicated. In the absence of movement, it is possible that the battery has failed - this situation will be accompanied by the failure of the led. If however the movement ceases while the led is still illuminated this will be due to an absence of time preventing the arm from progressing from one position to another.

The absence of time either locally, globally or universally will cause a number of problematic issues (failure of earth's rotation, cessation of heartbeat, indefinite postponement of the Big Brother finale, bafflement of thermodynamic arrow) as well as some benefits (lack of ageing, indefinite postponement of the Big Brother finale) there is nothing that you can do about it as any remedial action or in fact any action at all will be impossible. However, armed with the Wagster Industries' Time Detector you will at least be alerted to the cause.

Buy this amazing scientific instrument today for the reduced price of £299.99 or buy the Deluxe Time Detector equipped with 1/60th rpm and 1/1440th rpm sweep arms and twelve numbered calibration points to enable exact calculation of time's progression for only £599.99.

Don't get caught out in a temporal paradox without one!

wagster, Jun 11 2007

Two_20Cups_20Of_20Coffee [pertinax, Jun 12 2007]

[link]






       Marked for deletion, too expensive.+
zeno, Jun 11 2007
  

       When time stops, so do you, so how would you notice that time had stopped?
nuclear hobo, Jun 11 2007
  

       That's just a minor detail: look at the big picture!
Ling, Jun 11 2007
  

       I see one problem with this clever indicator. If time stops, so will the propagation of the light wave from the LED to the observer. The observer will only know that time has stopped when the arm and LED spontaneously shut off (time stops) and then begin rotating and light again (time restarting).   

       [+]
bleh, Jun 11 2007
  

       Oddly arcane measurement system - I think you should go with metric.
DrCurry, Jun 11 2007
  

       Time for two cups of coffee, [wagster], to get your afternoon moving again.
pertinax, Jun 12 2007
  

       [wagster],   

       I think you have described a time _indicator_ rather than a time _detector_. There is a subtle but important difference.   

       I would be more inclined towards bunnage if you had invented the latter.   

       What are the indicated units? If you take one on a spaceship and accelerate to close to c, will one left on earth still detect time?   

       Could it be designed as a count-down timer to the next big bang? I've always been interested to know when the next one would be (I've got places to go, people to see, and that sort of stuff, you know.)
csea, Jun 12 2007
  

       Since we already have the means to slow time down (denstist's drills, divorce hearings, final exams), as well as the means to speed time up (the halfbakery, alimony payments, final exams) it is apparent you have found a niche where noone has gone before. But is it portable? Can it detect daylight savings time?
Canuck, Jun 12 2007
  

       //Final exams//   

       I wonder what is the characteristic of things, where they can both slow up and speed down time.
Ling, Jun 12 2007
  

       But as time slows down, so does your perception of time - time moving at half-speed when perceived by your half-speed brain will appear to be moving at full speed. By extension, when time stops, if it is perceived by your frozen-in-time brain, it will appear to be normal.
The only way this Time Detector will work is if it is used to detect localised pockets of sluggish time - so, if you suspect that things in the corner of your kitchen age more slowly than elsewhere in your house (perhaps cut flowers in a vase last longer there?) you would put this Detector there, stand back (so you are not affected by the temporal anomaly yourself) and observe the Detector from the other side of the room.
hippo, Jun 12 2007
  

       //you would put this Detector there, stand back// I'm not sticking my arm into some localised pocket of temporal disturbance! No, I want to be able to gingerly throw the detector into any suspect corner of my kitchen from a safe distance, like from behind the sofa. Perhaps, if there was a bit of string attached, I could retrieve the device after having thrown it, to see if it's gone weird (e.g. covered in pre-ordinal mucus, or hyper intelligent moss from a billion years hence, that kind of thing)
zen_tom, Jun 12 2007
  

       Of course as time and speed are ultimately inter-related, you can also use this as a speed detector. If you notice the arm slowing noticably you can infer that the speed of the wall upon which it is hanging is starting to approach c. Get out of the way fast.
wagster, Jun 12 2007
  

       You could also use this technique to determine whether you are about to be punched in the face, by measuring the apparent time dilation experienced by your assailant's wristwa...erm I mean wrist-mounted time-detection unit.
zen_tom, Jun 12 2007
  

       // I would be more inclined towards bunnage if you had invented the latter. //   

       Ladders have been baked for some time, so I'll bun this rather new, free-thinking idea. +
xandram, Jun 12 2007
  

       //// I would be more inclined towards bunnage if you had invented the latter. //// I had one only this morning in Starbucks.
I'm concerned about what happens if the LED fails. Have you considered this possibility? I mean, most LEDs have lifetimes measured in the hundred thousand hour range, but this detector unit might be operating for some considerable amount of, ...erm, detecting period.
coprocephalous, Jun 12 2007
  

       Given that the end of time is an infinite time away (give or take a few years), this product will only last an infinitessimal amount of it's potential useful operating period no matter how long it lasts or how well we build it, so we have decided to build it badly.   

       It will provide a useful alert to relativisitically induced temporal problems during your lifespan, but the end of universal time is out of it's scope. And yours.
wagster, Jun 12 2007
  

       *applauds whole thread*
calum, Jun 12 2007
  

       Does it make a noise? If so, at what frequency?
Dub, Jun 12 2007
  

       //If so, at what frequency?// Well, duh, that depends how fast time is passing.
coprocephalous, Jun 12 2007
  

       This works the wrong way round entirely. It should consist of a mechanism and some electronics that conspire to move a meter needle across a dial, and also illuminate a light bulb in case the meter fails, and illuminate an LED in case the light bulb fails, if the current temporal minimum energy event (the 'tick' of time) quota is equal to the count of the previous sample, the last time some kind of energy transition somewhere sometime in the universe occurred. Of course, even the act of examining and displaying the comparator result results in further minimum energy events, which increase the quantity of minimum energy events in the pile over there, that have ever happened, ever (ie, the 'time'). On the other hand, you could sell plenty of these, if you also combined another feature, such as the ability to clean the heads of your hard drives, remotely, just by this unit having been purchased and sat on the mantlepiece. You could even repurpose the dial, light bulb and led to indicate a state of hard drive neediness of head cleaning.
Ian Tindale, Jun 12 2007
  

       BUN! This is totally half baked!
Jscotty, Jun 12 2007
  

       //current temporal minimum energy event// - that's what I find: time is quantised. Moments don't flow smoothly from one to another, passing through all intermediate times along the way, but flick, almost instantaneously, to the next moment and then the passage of time is suspended and nothing happens for about a second.
hippo, Jun 12 2007
  

       //£599.99 ?!?! Way too expensive. I'm going to wait and get one second hand.//
Why? The standard model already comes with the two hands.
methinksnot, Jun 12 2007
  

       //battery powered//   

       Glad to hear this idea isn't a wind-up. [+]
imaginality, Jun 12 2007
  

       I will for-go the reasons why this idea is self-defeating because all have been mentioned in detail, above. I will however say that this has great market potential. I know, myself, how useless the damn thing would be, and I still want one.   

       Bun to you.
MikeD, Mar 20 2008
  

       What? Mar 20 2008?!?   

       Damn, if only ...
MikeD, Mar 20 2008
  

       It would work.....if it could work. I don't need to explain why this wouldn't work, everyone else already has. But it was well-written. +
TahuNuva, Mar 20 2008
  
      
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