October 2023 archive
From Wikipedia, a story about Roselle, a guide dog who was with Michael Hingson on September 11, 2001:
Roselle was asleep under her owner's desk on the 78th floor in Tower 1 of the World Trade Center when the attack commenced. She was awakened by American Airlines Flight 11 ... impacting some fifteen floors above them. Roselle calmly helped Hingson to stairwell B, despite the smoke, confusion and noise surrounding her.
A few days ago, all four of the clocks in my house that run off 120VAC were two minutes fast. Two of them have synchronous motors. The other two clocks are digital but rely on utility 60Hz to keep time.
Utilities don't maintain a perfect 60Hz but they try not to let much error accumulate. In the western USA, power companies make a correction once the error reaches ±2 seconds. Two minutes of error is thus more than a little bit anomalous. Several people who work for the power company live in my neighborhood but I haven't had a chance to ask anyone what happened.
Most wall clocks nowadays have battery-powered quartz movements. My synchronous motor clocks are relics, especially the one in my workshop. Only the case and the dial in that clock are original now. I replaced the movement and hands a while back, and before that I replaced the domed glass after my table saw threw a piece of wood at it (my fault).
One of the digital clocks that was running fast was in my microwave oven. The oven stopped working a couple days later. Either it was heartbroken to find out that you can't trust utility power to keep good time—or perhaps it just wore out after 34 years.
The climate control unit in my car has a quality control sticker with an endearing message. The eternal part is somewhat ironic, as this unit is notorious for having capacitors that fail with age. I recently took mine out to send it off for repair.
The message is in Japanese and English, the former translated here by my phone.