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Water-powered watch

I momentarily misread one of my student's sentences and thought s/he was commenting on the development of a portable water-powered clock in the late Middle Ages. After a moment of amusement, I realized what a truly neat idea this would be. A water-powered watch!

So of course I then asked the internet if such a wonderful steampunkesque* creation existed. I couldn't think how it would work right off, but I leave that to other creative minds to solve. The answer? Think Geek sell a water-powered clock that's just six inches tall, small enough to be portable. But there's even better to come: there will be water-powered mobile phones available (at least in Korea) by 2010. And a mobile is (among other things) a kind of pocket watch.

* Or, quite literally, clockpunkesque, but I wasn't mentally committing to how the waterworks inside were going to function.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 7th, 2007 12:05 pm (UTC)
What a lovely idea -thanks for posting this.
Nov. 7th, 2007 12:18 pm (UTC)
Now if only any of the resulting clocks or phones actually looked like traditional pocket watches, it would be even more exciting!
Nov. 7th, 2007 12:52 pm (UTC)
Wow! It's the future!

I wondered if you meant that they would be powered by some kind of mini-version of tidal power, generated by the movement of the wearer's wrist before I clicked the links. But this is way more exciting!
Nov. 7th, 2007 01:08 pm (UTC)
I was sort of hoping for something with tubes and pipes, gravity powered, but figured it unlikely given the physical limitations on that working on a small scale. Tidal power would be even niftier! But I'm willing to settle for these instead, under the circumstances. (I think tidal would have been more exciting than hydrogen generators, actually, but that's because it was the more unlikely solution of the two.)
Nov. 7th, 2007 03:01 pm (UTC)
Never mind water fuel-cells
I'm still waiting for my hip-flask mobile phone - as brought to my attention back in 1998 by Bruce Sterling in Viridian Note 00042: the Viridian Alcohol Cellphone
Nov. 7th, 2007 04:06 pm (UTC)
Although largely unrelated, that reminded me of a momentary misreading of my own earlier today, where I believed that a woman was saying "I will regret the day I die", missing out the rather important "it till".
Nov. 7th, 2007 05:03 pm (UTC)
If I have the consciousness to do it, I'm sure I'll regret the day I die too.
Nov. 7th, 2007 04:55 pm (UTC)
All good stuff, for readers with a love of the heroic.
A portable clepsydra! Whatever will they think of next? Using it to measure the pulse?

Moving from the Ancient Geeks to the modern day, I have to say that I'd prefer a Potable Portable powered by alcohol.
Nov. 7th, 2007 05:02 pm (UTC)
Re: All good stuff, for readers with a love of the heroic.
I'll pursue those footnotes for concrete details when I've done a little more grading. Meanwhile, firstly, a warning: "clepsydra" can mean either water clock or sandglass, so unless it specifies or context makes it clear, keep an open mind. Secondly, I wonder what they mean by "portable"? Thirdly, Roman law courts (and earlier) used something we could call a portable clepsydra. It was a container with a small opening. The container itself was highly portable. But to use it, you put it in a tub of water. When the vessel has filled with water and fallen to the bottom of the tub, the time limit (in this case, on the amount of time a lawyer can speak) is up.

This isn't to say there weren't any, and I'm looking forward to seeing what the Herophilos sources actually say, but that's the existing context as I know it.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )