Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Heavenly Helium Hands

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Imagine a balloon shaped like a dumbbell except one end is a stubby arrowhead and the other approximates its feathered rear. One side of the helium arrow is colored sky blue and the other is black like the hand of a clock.

In the middle of the thin “shaft” is an apparatus that can change the vertical angle of the arrow by pumping gas from one end to the other and by movement of a small weight. The weight can also keep the hand on the right keel for example to make an arrow point down to the right (5) or down to the left (7).

These free-floating clock hands could hover in a large lobby or terminal or drift a few meters over a town square on a calm day. Hour, minute and second hands would be identified by their proportions and size, and in the latter case by rotational speed. Several of each would be needed so the time could be seen from different points.

Clocks could be built with three hands turning on a common axle, or viewers could assemble the correct time themselves by finding separate hands.

FarmerJohn, Jul 07 2005

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       It would have to be a *very* calm day, or out of the way of any HVAC streams. Croissant for such lovely if imprecise clockery.
baka, Jul 08 2005

       Give us a digital version :-)
normzone, Jul 08 2005

       Pint-size version of this would work: put the apparatus in a bell jar.
reensure, Jul 08 2005

       Or stadium.   

       When I read the tagline I imagined something of a more prurient nature.
crater, Jul 08 2005

       Get your mind out of the crater, [crater].
gardnertoo, Jul 09 2005


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