End of the world? Math Equation? What is it?

So for the first few months I lived in NY, I’d walk by this electronic string of numbers in Union Square (our neighborhood) and couldn’t figure out what the heck it was.  Finally did some research and came up with the answer.  It was designed by Kristen Jones and Andrew Ginzel in 1999 and is called the Metronome and acts as a clock.

How to read it? The 15 numbers of the digital clock display time going and coming relative to midnight. Read time going left to right and time coming in the opposite direction. So, if the clock reads 192936257233004 it means that it is 7:29 P.M. (19 hours, 29 minutes and 36 seconds since midnight) and that there are 4 hours, 30 minutes and 23 seconds remaining until midnight. The three numbers in between are a blur of moving numbers.

So now if you ever make it out to NYC and walk by this, you’ll know what it is you’re looking at and you can impress your friends with your knowledge.  Hope this makes you feel a little smarter and little cooler.  It did for me.