Cool Times ⏰

Some times on a digital clock are cool if you happen to notice them at the right time. I always take a moment to appreciate a coincidental sighting of a cool time, but won’t waste the whole minute. There are different things which can make certain times special. Sometimes the coolness is because of a cultural reference, other times it’s the repetition of numbers, or if you use a 24-hour clock, the coolness happens because an important year is being shown on the display.

Cultural Representation

Digital clocks may display times which represent something of cultural importance. Here are a few that I’ve noticed:

3:14      Represents Pi (π), which is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter[1].

4:20      Is the “high” time because it’s the numeric representation of marijuana.

7:11      Represents 7-Eleven convenience stores (the business spells out “Eleven” in its name).

9:11      Is a reminder of the September 11 terrorist attacks. It also represents the number you call if you need emergency assistance.

10:10    Is cool to me, because it reminds me of The Adventures of Tintin (1990s cartoon).

Repetition

Six of the hours on a standard 12-hour clock will show the same digits across the display: 1:11, 2:22, 3:33, 4:44, 5:55, and 11:11. That’s pretty cool, but if you use a 24-hour clock, 00:00 and 22:22 are even better because those times can’t be replicated by a conventional clock.

Years in 24-Hours

24-hour clocks can display times representing certain years, and that’s pretty awesome if there’s a year of personal or cultural significance to you. Just remember that clocks can only represent centuries up to the 59th year. Here are some examples of important years that can be displayed on a digital clock.

13:46    Commonly known as the year the Black Death started. It “ended” 7 minutes later on 13:53. Did you know that an average of 7 bubonic cases are reported each year in the USA[2]?

14:31    The year Joan of Arc was burned at the stake, because the English couldn’t handle the fact they were defeated by a woman on the battlefield. A woman couldn’t have done that. She must be a witch!

15:17    Martin Luther nailed his 95 criticisms against the Catholic church, sparking the protestant movement. This could also be the first negative review to be posted on a business[3].

18:12    The US declares war on Britain, and gets their asses whipped when the British burn Washington in… 18:14.

19:12    The year the Titanic sunk, and “Rose Dawson” told Jack she’d never let go.

19:18    The end of World War I. The Romanovs are assassinated in a basement by the Soviets.

19:45    The end of World War II.

19:57    Sputnik 1 is launched into orbit.

20:00    The start of a new millennium!

20:01    2001: A Space Odyssey! And, on a somber note, the year 9/11 happened.

20:20    Is probably the worst year in modern history. It’s also cool because there’s a TV show called 20/20. And the common phrase: “Hindsight is 20/20”.

22:54    Events from the Star Trek episode “The Cage” happen this year.

22:56    The Earth Alliance station, Babylon 5, comes online. It’ll be “… our last, best hope for peace.”

These are the cool times I’ve noticed over the years, but it’s important to notice that we are living in cool times as well. Any year in this century has the potential to be a historic year that may be reflected on a clock, at least up to 20:59.

Maybe in the year 23:59 we’ll have colonies on distant planets with 25 or even 30-hour days. Their digital clocks will be able to represent even more of our historic years. And maybe a fellow observer of time will take a moment to appreciate the occasional cool time.

Just a moment though… not the whole minute.


[1] Wikipedia. (n.d.). Pi. Retrieved from Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pi

[2] CDC. (2019, November 26). Plague: Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/plague/faq/index.html

[3] Yes, the church has always been run like a business. Around the 1500s, it generated it’s funds via indulgences and tithes. Nowadays, the church’s income comes from many different sources, but the most important source is donations.

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