CRAIG CONLEY (Prof. Oddfellow) is recognized by Encarta as “America’s most creative and diligent scholar of letters, words and punctuation.” He has been called a “language fanatic” by Page Six gossip columnist Cindy Adams, a “cult hero” by Publisher’s Weekly, a “monk for the modern age” by George Parker, and “a true Renaissance man of the modern era, diving headfirst into comprehensive, open-minded study of realms obscured or merely obscure” by Clint Marsh. An eccentric scholar, Conley’s ideas are often decades ahead of their time. He invented the concept of the “virtual pet” in 1980, fifteen years before the debut of the popular “Tamagotchi” in Japan. His virtual pet, actually a rare flower, still thrives and has reached an incomprehensible size. Conley’s website is OneLetterWords.com.
At the Sharp Flats, in Salem, Virginia, the clocks simultaneously show 10:40 and 11:40. As constant investigators of such phemonena, we diagnosed the problem at a glance. Note how the treble clef on the clockface is backwards. It's been said that clinging to backward symbols keeps society from moving forward without the weight of baggage from the past.
There is a six-hour discrepancy at this clock tower in Scranton, Pennsylvania, documented by Scott Chenoweth. Though we weren't on location to discover the exact cause of the timely weirdness, we offer this photo to help hone the insights ofwould-be investigators of temporal anomalies. The more clocks one sees that are "on the fritz" (Fritz being the German clockmaker who first went "cuckoo"), the better attuned one will be to time warps in the wild.
When we're asked, as chronologicians, to correct a temporal anomaly, we often have to explain that it's not as easy as resetting a clock, for there are mighty forces out there. From NY School of Agriculture at Alfred University's 1942 yearbook.
We encountered many temporal anomalies in Martinsburg, West Virginia. This one, at the Veterans of Foreign Wars buiilding, displayed two different times on its faces, both incorrect. Due to the great number of faulty clocks in Martinsburg, we suspect a city-wide rift in the fabric of time/space.
Because timelessness is defined as zero succession and infinite simultaneity, clock towers without clock hands are paragons of timelessness. This handless clock tower near Mansfield, England was documented byStephen McKay.
Jonathan Caws-Elwitt spotted a temporal anomaly in The Lying Voices, by Elizabeth Ferrars:
*** [The "lying voices" are clocks!]
The clocks ticked in a hundred different rhythms, loudly or softly, on high or low notes, some striking the hours sweetly and some with a jangle and some letting them pass without comment of any kind. But one thing all the clocks had in common. Every single one in that room, big or little, shabby or splendid, grotesque or beautiful, was wrong.
[A little later.]
"Time doesn't mean anything to the people here." "Except to the man with a roomful of clocks." "Oh, but it isn't time that interests him--all the clocks are wrong." ***
We encountered a temporal anomaly in St. George, South Carolina. The time was 9:58 at 2:03 p.m. If you, too, noticed that the lamp post is leaning toward the clock, you may have a natural talent as a chronologician. You'll have heard that light bends in intense gravity, and like us, you probably diagnosed a rift in the fabric of space-time.
We spotted a temporal anomaly at Harrisonburg's James Madison University. But we couldn't get anywhere near the clock in question to diagnose the cause of the time slip. Have you ever tried to park at a university? Because we couldn't investigate further, we made this collage; it's meaningless, but the anomaly seemed to warrant us dedicating some of our time to it, one way or another.
We encountered a great many temporal anomalies in Martinsburg, West Virginia. This one, at a school, warmed our heart on a very cold day, because both clocks showing different (and wrong) times meant that school was probably out early. (Classroom education, obviously, is one of society's very most dunderheaded notions.)
We encountered a temporal anomaly in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. At 4 p.m., it was simulaneously 1:25 and 10:31. We passed this anomaly on our way to visit a family member at a neurological rehabilitation clinic, and in the hallway outside his room was a framed painting (eerie! bizarre!) featuring an obscured element. Could the obscured element be a gold pocket watch, in the tradition of Salvador Dalí's famous melting timepiece hanging off a branch in "Persistence of Memory"? If so, we'll credit this painting for triggering temporal anomalies in the area. By the way, we overheard a physical therapist saying that she had to time a patient's treatment according to her stopwatch because none of the clocks on the floor were in agreement.
The city of An Oghmagh, Northern Ireland seems to exist within a rift in the fabric of time/space. Temporal anomalies documentarian Kenneth Allen offers three proofs. The first occurs at the troubling intersection of two streets with the same name (that's always playing with fire), and the clock (four hours early) is situated below a word missing its apostrophe. (Grammatical anomalies may, for reasons still foggy, trigger temporal anomalies all on their own.) Two "Campsie" streets, two (or more?) "Charlies" ... it's all a lot for the time to keep up with. The second proof is of a clock that proclaims "3:17" at 11:00 a.m. The third proof is of a clock displaying "6:15" at 11:30 a.m. For any would-be time travelers, An Oghmagh offers a city-wide portal.
We encountered and determined the cause of a temporal anomaly in Troy, Alabama. The clock tower of the public library displays the wrong time. As constant investigators of such phenomena, we diagnosed the source of the distortion at a glance. The front window of the library reflects a warping of space, and that warping has shifted the hands of the clock. Though the cause is simple enough, great mysteries yet abound, for precisely why is Troy, Alabama so buckled? Is the fabric of space-time being prodded by the phallic monument in the town square?
It's simultaneously 10:30 and 2:45 in Gullbringusysla, Iceland. This temporal anomaly was documented by Anthony Stanley, who blamed windy conditions. Though we weren't on location to verify a meteorological cause for the timely weirdness, we spotlight this photo to help hone the insights ofwould-be investigators of temporal anomalies. The more clocks one sees that are "on the fritz" (Fritz being the German clockmaker who first went "cuckoo"), the better attuned one will be to time warps in the wild.
We encountered a mysterious temporal anomaly in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. The town clock was an hour and 26 minutes off. As constant investigators of such phenomena, we sought to diagnose the source of the problem, but to date this anomaly remains unsolved.
It's simultaneously 6:15 and 8:40 at this clock tower in Santa Ana, documented by Richard Habeck at 6:56. Though we weren't on location to discover the exact cause of the timely weirdness, we spotlight this photo to help hone the insights ofwould-be investigators of temporal anomalies. The more clocks one sees that are "on the fritz" (Fritz being the German clockmaker who first went "cuckoo"), the better attuned one will be to time warps in the wild.
Arman's "L’Heure de Tous" sculpture at the Saint Lazare train station has created temporal anomalies not only in Paris but all across Europe and even parts of Turkey. Though we are proponents of art in general, we must formally denounce this particular sculpture for its recklessness with the fabric of spacetime. Photos by Juanedc and Vincent Aguerre.