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Thursday, January 24, 2020

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists fails again to set the time on their clock

Stopped clock is still analog, unable to sync to WWVB

T he Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a collection of geriatric sixty-foot tall people who are so old they still use the term ‘atomic scientist’, tried and failed once again yesterday to set their clock to the right time. Instead of hitting the correct time, which was ten o'clock PM Eastern time, they accidentally set it to one hundred seconds to midnight.

This reporter was disappointed. I thought they'd get closer than that, so I called some friends of mine who are roughly the same age as those fake atomic scientists.

Doomsday clock
Doomsday clock with radium dial, on Daylight Savings Time

“I was convinced it would be a quarter after seven,” said one. “That way, I can go to bed before it's over.”

“I had 0.03 seconds to midnight in the pool,” said another, adding with the tiniest trace of smugness audible in his voice, “President Trump is a verified and imminent threat to the entire space-time continuum!”

“I didn't know there was a ‘the’ in the name. Are you sure about that?“ said another.

“Who is this?” inquired one elderly gentleman. “Stop calling me, do you know what time it is? It's almost eight-thirty and you just woke me up!”

Most of the people called, however, appeared resigned to the likelihood that the clock, which contrary to expectation is not atomic, does not even have a radium dial, and has nothing to do with real scientists, will remain analog for another year, as a digital one would likely be blinking 12:00 for all eternity like the VCRs (video cassette recorders) in the self-identified atomic scientists' homes.

Referring to the threat of global warming, the anti-nuclear group said “We now face a true emergency—an absolutely unacceptable state of world affairs that has eliminated any margin for error or further delay.”

What the Doomsday Clock symbolizes, then, is that the group that created it is a stopped clock.

Most people expressed surprise that the clock, a relic of an era before computers, will not automat­ically “spring forward” when the country switches to Daylight Savings Time on March 8. Even this reporter's analog watch does that; however, in fairness, the watch was made after the invention of radio.

Note: a previous version of this article left out the word 'the' from their name. We don't regret this one little bit.

jan 24 2020, 4:40 am

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