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August 14, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Time eater.

Mechanical Insect Clock. Chronophage Clock.(,/image by Laurie Perez)

Chronophage taking a chomp out of time. Seriously. It is. Greek: chrono = time, phagos = eater of.(,/image by Laurie Perez)

Time eaters. You’ve experienced them.

Not daydreams. Those are a time’s builders.

But the others.

Like cell phones. (More exactly, like your mom on cell phones. Why is my number listed as “Technical Assist for anything and everything”?)

Like Facebook. (Setting any records for unfriending these days?) 

Like any attempt to find a channel where you don’t hear the words “Phelps”, “Biles”, “Clinton”, or “Trump”. (The media has become so boorish that if they were neighbors and you were hosting a block party and they were at the front door, you’d tell everyone to be quiet and hide until they left.)

The Chronophage Clock running high on the museum wall. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. No permissions granted

Getting the run-around high on the museum wall. ©

Treasures like the fanciful Chronophage are no waste of time. 

“Part insect, part reptile, the chronophage represents the looming presence of wasted time. Every 60 seconds, she opens her mouth to devour the passing minute. She appears weathered, but her lacy enamel wings suggest she was once beautiful. Every hour, she stretches her titanium body, her glass eyes light up, and she warbles the Westminster Chimes, voiced by Scottish Opera singer Kate Valentine. From outer to inner, the rings light up to count seconds, minutes, and hours…”.  read more from HMNS.

More than just a pretty face, all the magic is in the grasshopper-like leg movements.

This grasshopper escapement is real science and was critical to 16th century seafarers. Why? Wild oceans created more problems than just sea sickness for sailors.

John C. Taylor has only created 4 of these clocks which are designed to show the relativity of time.

This one’s pacing around on the wall of the Houston Museum of Natural Science, but only until Sept 18th. Don’t wait until you run out of time.

 How to tell time on Taylor's Chronophage. (

Time runs around in circles, but can’t escape the inevitable crunch time. (

As Einstein used to say “When you sit on a park bench with a pretty girl for an hours, it seems like a minute; but if you sit on a hot stove for a minute it seems like an hour: that’s relativity.”

Time after time

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

(Still on blogging break, but this is cool.)

A similar clock, The Corpus Clock (in Cambridge), by John Taylor.



  1. shoreacres / Aug 14 2016 3:32 pm

    Clever. On the other hand, listening to the thing is like being inside factory, or metal fabricating shop. For mechanical clocks, I much prefer my vintage grandmother clock, with lovely weights, a beautiful chime, and otherwise silent operation. And I must say — that grasshopper’s a little creepy.

    But, still. It is clever. I wonder how much time it took him to design and build the thing? Relatively little, I suppose.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 14 2016 6:39 pm

      He’s a very interesting complex man. It’s such a blend of art, craft, past machinery usage, and universal message. Quite beautiful – but with that clicking always in the background nudging that while you stand there admiring, time is moving forward. Gorgeous piece (but you can’t use flash in the museum, so hard to capture with the gold, contrasting dark, and the moving lights.) I thought the animation of the “grasshopper” mechanism was memerizing, too.
      Lots of stuff hopping at the HMNS – a bit like DC, you never get through all the stuff before you either get tired or they close. Thanks for circling around with a comment


  2. Robin / Aug 14 2016 3:53 pm

    Very cool, and very clever. Worth taking a break from the break. Thanks for sharing. 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 14 2016 6:31 pm

      A mesmerizing,robotic pointing to what is real and can slip away. Thanks slipping in to chat


  3. D. Wallace Peach / Aug 14 2016 4:01 pm

    I dislike those nasty little creatures and it’s a constant battle to keep them at bay. They’re everywhere! Now I know what they’re called. Thanks! I think I’ll stop blogging for an hour or two and go outside before they eat up the summer! 😀 😀


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 14 2016 6:28 pm

      They scurry off and hide in plain sight until they see you are not paying attention. Glad you decided to bug out and enjoy some real life times. Thanks for clicking along with a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Littlesundog / Aug 14 2016 5:07 pm

    What an oddity… yet fascinating! Educational video to boot!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 14 2016 6:26 pm

      How much fun to be able to create inticate machinery that’s art. Thanks for taking a minute to add a comment that’s as good as gold.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Kate Crimmins / Aug 14 2016 5:20 pm

    This week has been trying…politics, Olympics (even though I enjoy them!) but it’s better than who is killing who. Next week we are back to suicide bombers.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 14 2016 6:23 pm

      And the car chases. But wait! Preseason football. Uniformed direction towards a goal. Nothing like a positive. Thanks for clocking in with a comment

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kate Crimmins / Aug 15 2016 7:06 am

        Yes there is that football before the season starts.


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 15 2016 8:01 am

          We’re going to see how many quarterback the Texans can go through this year. One quarterback sack last night before the new guy from Broncos got pulled – for his own safety, I think.(We went through at least 5 last year. That’s got to be a record for all time?)

          Liked by 1 person

        • Kate Crimmins / Aug 15 2016 8:26 am

          You are rowdy Texans!


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 15 2016 1:14 pm

          Someone might want to ask our own defense if this is some sort of passive resistance towards our quarterbacks? 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  6. sustainabilitea / Aug 14 2016 5:22 pm

    Interesting but not what I’d want to look at daily. I’m enjoying the Olympics, politics not so much. Facebook? Day to day but too much nastiness sometimes. Blogging, although I love it, can be a time eater! Reading? Yes, but a woman’s got to eat. 🙂



  7. Paul / Aug 14 2016 7:29 pm

    I actually find that a better representation of time than the “time line” we typically use, is a ring formation like the rings of a tree. Time progression is the formation of rings encompassing the time already “passed”- which as you will see is really time internalized. This image would mean that every second we have experienced is a part of us, just deeper inside. I have thought this for some time and was amused to see the form of the Corpus Clock.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 15 2016 8:08 am

      Tree rings are accurate measure of time and historical conditions for growth. Those giant redwood slices and the petrified tree ones are cool.
      I like your idea of a circle replacing timeline. Especially the cracked part.(great catch!)
      Thanks for whirling by (found something about time draggin’you’ll like, but that’s for later…this break thing is difficult HA HA)

      Liked by 1 person

  8. easyweimaraner / Aug 15 2016 2:36 am

    oh yes… FB is my pawsonal time-eater…. but it is like jelly beans, I can’t stop :o)


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 15 2016 8:18 am

      But Easy, for a celebrity such as yourself, it’s courteous to keep your FB fans up to date. Never enough doggy grins or tail waggings. Thanks for taking time to comment

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Jay E. / Aug 15 2016 5:39 am

    Now I know where the last two weeks have gone – eaten by the chronophage! Students arrive in my classroom on Friday and I have so much to do. Any tips for keeping this beastie at bay?


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 15 2016 8:15 am

      Funny how relatively short those last 2 weeks before school always seem? All I can say is pack a sense of humor into your school desk and hang on! Thanks cor clocking in with a comment


  10. robincoyle / Aug 15 2016 9:00 am

    When you find the channel that doesn’t mention Trump or Clinton, will you let me know what it is?


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 15 2016 9:18 am

      Arrrgh! (The media barrage should count as assault and battery). There’s always the hope that the electric bill will be lower with the TV off. Thanks for the timely comment


      • robincoyle / Aug 15 2016 1:48 pm

        Yeah, but the TV is always on right now with the Olympics! The lower utility bill will have to wait until they are over.

        Liked by 1 person

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 15 2016 2:07 pm

          We seen some – recorded to get past the long stretches of commercials. Geesh. It would be nice to see the other events. NBC gets stuck on certain ones. And has to tell and retell the “back stories”. Just let the competitors play!


        • robincoyle / Aug 15 2016 5:37 pm

          I agree! The coverage used to be so much better! They would show a few minutes of one sport, check on another, do an “Up Close and Personal” story on some obscure athlete in a sport like skeet shooting, then show highlights of the previous day, then circle back to some amazing finish in some amazing competition. We got to see it all rather than hours of volleyball. I have it on, but am rather bored. That is just between you and me, though.

          Liked by 1 person

  11. The Hook / Aug 15 2016 12:08 pm

    Time, time, tickin’… tickin’ away…
    This was some of your best work ever, my friend.
    The passage of time has been on my mind lately.
    Nice to see I’m not alone.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 15 2016 1:31 pm

      “Time is what keeps everything from happening at once.” (Ray Cummings. Girl in the Golden Atom) Makes sense to me. Thanks for not timing out and slowing down to comment


  12. RKLikesReeses / Aug 16 2016 11:24 am

    That chronophage is so cool! Time – wow. Wonderful musings on it. Enjoy your break!!!! (I just returned from one that I didn’t plan and hope I never have to experience again – LOL!) ::waves:: 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 16 2016 7:34 pm

      Time for the Heat Miser to dance elsewhere. This summer simmer is too much. (Long haired cats and dogs firmly agree). There’s another chronophage that’s really cool but no time to show it now.(but soon – along with a new dragon in town!) Glad you found time to stop by and chat!


  13. pegoleg / Aug 18 2016 8:38 am

    That is very cool. And I love that explanation of relativity – makes it seem logical.


  14. EllaDee / Aug 27 2016 3:19 am

    I’m pleased to read this explanation and the upside that time is passing disconcertingly quickly because we’re experiencing life’s equivalent to sitting on a park bench with pleasant company rather than in the vicinity of a hot stove, and that something is surely eating time, I had assumed it it was taking itself off somewhere with odd socks…


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 29 2016 7:28 am

      No need to run after time. It will catch up with you sooner or later if you just ignore it. Enjoy the space! Thanks for clocking in a comment

      Liked by 1 person

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