I once investigated a beginner’s course in horology – the study of watches and clocks. I didn’t get any further as the course was £500, but I’ve always loved the beauty and intricacy of that kind of machinery, and it’s something I’d still like to try one day.
I may not go as far as the Untergunther, a group of French ‘cultural guerillas’ who in 2005 set up shop in the Paris Panthéon and, picking the lock every night, spent a year repairing a large clock broken since the 1960’s, all without the knowledge of the museum owners. They were recently in court for this ‘plot worthy of Dan Brown or Umberto Eco’1 but were released without charge. That is seriously cool.
That link was via BoingBoing, who recently sent me to a lovely gallery of orreries, which also includes planeteria and, new to me, tellurions. It turns out that orreries depict a planet and its moon, a planetarium the entire solar system and a tellurion the days, nights, tides and eclipses produced by a set of bodies. I want them all.
- I know somebody who really isn’t going to take well to this sentence [↩]