Thursday, April 1, 2010

Today I give you a quick look at the news and then I have an important message to leave with you.

From the London Morning Standard:

Big Ben's Big Image Makeover: High Tech Replaces Tic-Toc

by Tim Perdue

Hanging 320 feet above the capital in the dead of night, a team of technicians stealthily brought Big Ben into the Digital Age - an act that caused near-riots when dawn revealed the dramatic changes to shocked Londoners.

Commuters and tourists were stunned to find the eerie green glow of LED digits peeking through the morning fog, bringing and end to almost 150 years of tradition. Even the famous bells have been replaced by an electronic version which allow for variable volume control and options for playing traditional tunes during holidays such as Christmas and New Years.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair defended the change as riot police ringed the Palace of Westminster, keeping outraged throngs at bay. "Big Ben's new digital readout symbolizes our goverment's unwavering commitment to transforming Britain's image and economy from one ruled by the Dickens' Age to one which leads and lives the Digital Age."

The Great Clock, which everyone calls Big Ben, was set in motion in May 1859. Designed by Edmund Beckett Denison, it was the most expensive and accurate clock of its day. Big Ben's new quartz movement is synchronized with the Royal Observatory's atomic clock in Greenwich, capturing the moment to a millionth of a second. Its original mechanical movement and bells have been removed to the Royal Observatory's museum of horology, where they will be preserved as the focal point of the distinguished 1,500 clock collection.

Jonathan Betts, the museum's curator, was philosphical about the move to modernize Big Ben. "It may lack romance, but it is a logical step in the progression of greater accuracy in measuring time. The mechanical clock has gone the way of the sundial and the hourglass. It has become a quaint curiosity in a world where time now marches to the beat of electrons."

The original movement and its bells will be cleaned and restored by expert clockmakers from Thwaites & Reed. They will then be placed on public view in the Royal Observatory's main gallery, where they are expected to attract crowds of curious Londoners and clock enthusiasts from around the world. Bett's face brightened at the thought. "It will be a marvelous draw for the museum. People are very big on Big Ben."


Going On Vacation!

There may be a pause in postings to this blog. We are going on vacation and our destination could cause problems posting due to the distances involved. There would certainly be a time lag. We are going to Mars!

I graduated from The University of Mars (Deimos and Phobos Eternatatis!) back in 1968 and have always wanted to get back there. Recently I recveived an invitation from my old History professor, Mr. Walston, to come and visit. I immediately let Ray know that I would get there as soon as I could.

Ray is currently involved in the Richard Branson/Google joint venture named Virgle. Here is a link to their work.


I respect Ray's work. He is, after all, my favorite Martian.

We looked around for some good travel deals. This was not easy. The charges for extra bags were outrageous! But we perservered and finally found the following -

Expedia Flights To Mars

This looked like the best deal available and the rooms would allow us to stay without being an imposition on Ray and his family. It is, after all, just his summer home. "Cottage By The Face" he calls it.

I will try to find a way to continue posting here occasionally. Ray said something about a time machine or a time reverse syncopation stopulator portal. He even sent me a connection EZ Button that I will press in a moment. I figure if that doesn't work we can always use Expedia. If we are not back in five years, start without us.

Okay! Let's press that EZ Button Hon!

!noH nottuB ZE taht sserp s'teL !yakO

.su tuohtiw trats ,sraey evif ni kcab ton era ew fI



  1. Funny the article mentions the red glow of digital numbers, yet the picture shows green ones :)

    I actually met Ray Walston when I was a lad. He was performing in The Matchmaker in Sacramento, California and I happened to run across him as he sat outside the theater (it was a circus-tent like affair). I wanted to get his autograph, but neither of us had pen or paper.

  2. I noticed that too. Too late - I think I'll go back in time and change it now! LOL Good pick up!