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Elephant Clock (wikipedia.org)
64 points by raghava on July 13, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 15 comments

Here’s a detailed animation of how the Elephant Clock works.


And how is the disk at the top rotated? I'm talking about the one that shows the number of hours since the sunrise.

I was wondering the same thing. The wikipedia article discusses it a bit under the heading “passage of temporal hours”, but I couldn’t visualize it. I was hoping the video would clarify that.

It appears that the dropping ball does something to advance it.

Al-Jazari's knowledge seems to have ultimately derived from a Baghdad library, via the Banu Musa brothers.

I find the history of those libraries fascinating https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Wisdom.

Kinda OT.

Apparently he was a Yazidi Kurd; that's what the circumstantial evidence shows, and there's no other evidence AFAICT.

It says "Muslim engineer", which would be like saying Steve Jobs was a "Christian Engineer".

> It says "Muslim engineer", which would be like saying Steve Jobs was a "Christian Engineer".

I note that Ismail al-Jazari's wikipedia article [1] describes him as muslim, and also an engineer -- which appellation are you concerned about here?

I'm unsure how that compares to describing Steve Jobs as either christian or an engineer, though I'd be struggling to try to substantiate either descriptor.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ismail_al-Jazari

Steve Jobs was a cultural engineer.

> Steve Jobs was a cultural engineer.

You mean like P. T. Barnum?

I'm a crap history student, but wasn't this during a time when a central Caliphate ruled over most Muslims? It might be more accurate to say that calling him a "Muslim engineer" is like calling Steve Jobs a "Western engineer". Specifying a particular region he was from might be like calling Jobs a "California engineer".

Slightly off-topic but if the "history of science" is a subject that interests, I can recommend "The Cambridge Illustrated History of Science". It's an expensive book but I was able to borrow a copy from a library near where I live and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

I found a video about it, pretty cool. http://www.1001inventions.com/media/video/clock

If you are into horology, an interest podcast to listen to is S-Town. It's about a amateur horologist who lived in a shit-town. He made a lot of money restoring clocks.

Why was it a shit-town?


> "Brian, a longtime This American Life producer, started reporting this story more than three years ago, when he got an email from John with the subject line “John B McLemore lives in Shittown Alabama.”"

You can listen to the podcast which includes John McLemore himself and why he described it so.

Cool article. My thanks to whoever posted it.

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