This week the state of Colorado, the same state that just legalized smoking marijuana, claimed the top spot in the world for most accurate clock. The clock is said to be accurate so accurate it only loses a second every 300 million or so years. Just where this missing second goes is anybody’s guess.
Now just what would a bunch of pot-smoking, laid-back, buzzed-up people in a state have to do with nitpicking about such accuracy when it comes to time? That’s a good question.
Actually it turns out that the National Institute of Standards and Timing is located there and it’s their job to get into the Guinness Book of World Records every year for the most accurate clock.
Keeping track of time is extremely important to such things as power grid systems, modern telecommunications, GPS and your boss when you go on a smoke break at work. If you see one of these things the next time you clock in, you can be fairly certain your boss has an obsessive-compulsive disorder problem brewing. If he starts referring to your tardiness in terms of nanoseconds, it’s certain he does.
This particular clock is much larger than a Rolex and doesn’t look nearly as nice. I don’t expect them to sell many of them either. After all it doesn’t come equipped with a radio, snooze button or make French toast.
Besides, it uses cesium atoms to generate its timing, so that makes it radioactive. That means you’d have to be HAZMAT certified to change out the batteries anyway, so it makes owning one unattractive. Unless of course you want to be a big shot and shell out the money to be one of the first to own one like those Google Glass people.
I would have thought that somebody like the Germans would be at the forefront of having the most perfect timekeeping system since it’s against the law there to be late for anything. But then again, we cleaned their clock in World War II, so maybe it’s not so surprising, is it?
In fact the Europeans were trying to one-up us again with a more accurate clock, but we got there first again.
You might say it was good timing.