844-1212 Time Is Dead

Apparently it’s an old news story. But I didn’t know!

Today my friend commented that her computer time does not match the time on her phone and she never really knows what time it was. I commented about back in the dark ages of my first computer [1997] when someone gave me a freeware program that let me update my bio clock, down to the nano second, via some serious atomic clocks around the world. Because the computers were not calibrated to keep up back then. Maybe it was still a problem, I don’t know.

Then she said “Wait, can we call Time?” Well gosh, yes, I remember calling Time. Let’s try it! And as we often do, we said it at the same time: 844-1212 … she put the phone on speaker and pressed the numbers in the proper order…

Instead of Time, a pre-recorded error message issued forth from the telephone speaker. Please Check The Number And Dial Again. WUT? We can’t Dial Time anymore?

Time Is Broken. Maybe the Mayans were right after all. =:0

Hello Old Friend

I ran into an old friend Friday.

I stopped by my favorite used book store after work, hoping to stock up on paper backs before the winter cold settles in. I make my way to the science fiction section way in the back, scan the shelves, picking my way past fantasy, dragons, fairies and the more hard core SF novels that are all too often series now, too long to bother with. Then my eye lands on a single slim spine, tucked away on the bottom shelf, as Silverberg usually is when filed alphabetically.

Time Of The Great Freeze by Robert Silverberg 

“Oh my gosh. Hello!”

I quickly plucked the book from it’s neighbors and held it in a death grip, even though the backroom was vacant except for me. And I smiled.

This story was my first Silverberg and I’m fairly certain it was my first post-apocalyptic Sci-Fi experience. I was eight or nine at the time. I close my eyes and can see myself pulling it, in hardback, from among the stacks of books in the Public Library. The world is covered in ice! People living under cities for hundreds of years! Breaking free!

I didn’t want to take it back to the Library when I was done.

Over the years, I have often thought back to this short juvenile novel that made such an impression on my psyche. Even when a story ends, the characters can remain alive in memory. I have read many more Silverberg novels over the years, and loads more SF by many more authors, Heinlein settling in as my all time favorite long ago. This may not have been Silverberg’s best, nor was it my favorite novel among my favorite genre, yet it remains special. Something about it lit a spark that has never gone out. And I was so happy to stumble across it again by accident. Sometimes we find what we need when we aren’t looking.

The printing is 1971, and it’s in remarkable shape for being over 40 years old. I sniff and look around to see if I have been caught; it smells just the way a proper old paperback book should; woody, earthy, dusty and ever so slightly sweet. I open the book, breath in the muskiness, and am transported back. “It was late in the day – or what passed for day in the underground city of New York.”

Hello Old Friend.

Ohio Crop Circles near Hopewell Serpent Mound

Investigators probe reports of crop circles near Hopewell mound [Serpent Mound]
7:14 AM, Oct 1, 2012 Written by The Gazette Staff

Hopewell Serpent Mound Crop Circle

CHILLICOTHE — A group of crop circle enthusiasts gathered Sunday at a farm near Hopewell Mound Group to get a ground-level look at a newly discovered formation there.
Jeffrey Wilson, director and co-founder of the Independent Crop Circle Researchers’ Association, was joined by about a dozen cerealogists — people who study crop circles — at 8 a.m. for an investigation of the site. A Gazette reporter tried to accompany the group to the site, but was turned away by Wilson. He said anyone outside of the group would need the property owner’s permission, but he declined to provide the owner’s name or contact information.

In a Sept. 24 post on the website cropcircleconnector.com, Wilson said the landowner is only granting access to the group that conducted the investigation Sunday. He urged others to respect the landowner’s property rights and not to trespass.

A page dedicated to the crop circle indicates it first was reported Sept. 20 by Kevin Williams, the brother of a woman who saw it while flying over the farm in an airplane.
“My sister saw a crop circle from an airplane last week,” Williams wrote on the website. “She asked (the other person in the airplane) to take some pictures for me as she knew I was a believer in extraterrestrial life.” Continue reading