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Journeys with the caterpillar: Travelling through the islands of Flores
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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Tribute to alarm clocks

Some things don’t get the respect they deserve, take alarm clocks for example. At supermarkets, alarm clocks are often kept in a jumbled heap, giving them as much importance as the cheapest rags on sale. Nowadays, we never come across television commercials that seek to promote alarm clocks (gone are the days of Anchor and Orpat). Probably even Richard Dawkins or Mahesh Bhatt doesn’t have any views on them. May be alarm clocks have taken up an air like quality, of being present everywhere and thereby becoming unimportant. Indeed, they are inbuilt into anything electronic: mobile phones, television sets, microwave ovens, radio sets, laptops etc.

But alarm clocks continue having a certain haloed relevance for some people. For most students, life revolves around the alarm clock. At my hostel, the most reliable person in a friend circle would be gifted multiple alarm clocks so that he could diligently wake up all the others. And we all respected the menacing power of the alarm clock, especially when someone from the hostel would have left for many days with his alarm clock left set inside his room.

As such, silently, some people have been perfecting the alarm clocks in what they should do best: create menace. There are alarm clocks (Nanda) that keep moving about randomly in the room till you get up and turn it off. Thinkgeek has come up with an alarm clock that has a propeller driven key which detaches from the clock and keeps flying when the clock starts beeping; one has to get up and retrieve this flying menace to get the clock to shut-up. There are even alarm clocks that keep on beeping loudly till you wake up and solve a mathematical problem that appears on the clock screen!!! Some advanced alarm clocks alter the light in the room to give a sunrise feeling while some clocks use electrodes fixed to the head to wake up the person only during light sleep.

So what’s next? In BBC’s Culture Shock, it was suggested that one could have alarm clocks that at the designated time would start donating money to causes you disapprove of by accessing your online banking account. And the clock would keep donating to these nasty causes till you wake up and set the alarm off. Surely, it should also be possible to have alarm clocks that directly inject caffeine into your blood when the time is up. Well, till such clocks come up, get your alarm clock to play any Michael Learns to Rock song, which with their constant and pointless weeping will immediately get your brain thinking on the purpose of life.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There is also the alarm clock that turns on the television