World's Biggest Clock on Time for Burning Man

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Josh Keppel
    At one point, the leg shot some fireworks out as the flames were raging around the Man.

    Time may slip away for playa-goers in the Nevada desert at this year's Burning Man festival. However, it won't be for lack of keeping -- as long as a team of Berkeley-based scientists, artists and engineers can beat the clock.

    The world's biggest time piece -- a circle 3.25 miles around and 1 mile in diameter, powered by lasers -- is the latest ambitious project by veteran Burner Jim Bowers, who built a giant project called "Eyes of Gawd" for last year's festival.

    The clock won't do much good for Burners' punctuality, unless they can somehow levitate into space (ahem...). The clock will tell time by emitting lasers across the desert, so as long as someone is in a satellite, they should be able to tell time accurately to one-2,000th of a second, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

    The clock's three laser hands will be beamed 40 feet over the heads of playa-goers from a tower located at the center of the Black Rock City desert. Twelve other towers -- the hour towers -- will ring the main tower. When finished by Aug. 29, the clock will be the world's biggest.

    A hand-picked team of 67 artists are crafting the towers, Bowers said, and UC Berkeley scientists like Marc Hertlein are figuring out how to program the clock's laser-powered inner time-telling mechanism.

    So even as Burners may forget where and who they are under the powerful spell of the desert, if they're high enough they'll know what time it is. But is it AM or PM?

    Bowers needs a machinist to help finish the project. Such skilled artisans should contact Bowers at 916-521-4489 or jimbowers@hoothill.net for information.