Alright!....here we go...
Humanclock.com shows a photograph or video with the current time
represented somewhere in it. The photo/video changes every minute (all 1,440 occurring minutes on Earth!), thus you end up with a rotating picture clock sorta deal.
There are currently 28,496 "digital" photos and 720 "analog" clock photos, along with 1,238 videos (20.6 hours). So yeah, a lot of stuff here.
How the time is actually displayed is a whole different matter. A lot of photos have the time written on a crummy cardboard sign
, while other photos might have the current time in a more edible format, such as olives
. There are photos below sea level
and ones over two miles above
sea level. There are even clock pictures with people who played
Many people viewing this website end up sending in their own clock pictures, be they in an airplane
, installing brakes
, or on a playground
in Missouri. There are clock pictures from all over the world ranging from Outback Australia
. Other people travel around the American Southwest and end up taking a clock photo on a corner in Winslow, Arizona
. Some people are so far north in latitude
that they still need a flash to take an outdoor photo at 9:22am in the morning, like in Greenland. There are even enough clock photos now to have pictures from Phoenix Arizona
, and Northern California
Setting up the analog clock in 2001. This place is now a barbershop.
You might notice that a lot of the photographs are taken in Portland, Oregon USA or in Australia. This is because I live in Portland and spent 2002-2003 biking around the Australian
continent. I have nothing against the rest of world, but this is a one-man operation so I can only do so much. If you would like your geographic location represented, you can always submit a photo
I came up with this idea in March 2001 and over the years it is now on its "fifth interation" of the site. The first version of the site went online on July 16th, 2001. I decided to bike around Australia
about 6 months after this, so this put any humanclock.com development on hold for the next 18 months. (which also explains why things remained a bit crusty-yet-usable for so long). I did major updates in late 2003, 2010, 2012, and now in 2014.
This website also exists due to the efforts created by the fine authors of the following "free" software packages which were used to create (and maintain) this website: PHP
, GNU Project
, Redhat Linux
, Font Awesome
If I actually managed to work on this website outside of my home, I usually ended up at Speedboat Coffee
, The Red E
, Albina Press, or Stumptown Coffee
Work on Humanclock.tv officially began in September 2002 in the outback of Australia. My camera died
and I had to buy a new one in the town of Katherine, Northern Territory. This camera would shoot little 15 second clips at a whopping 240p resolution. I recorded a couple clips of people doing clock photos. From time to time I would record videos of the clock cardboard in various situations but never really do anything with the videos. The quality was lousy and bandwidth was a lot more expensive then, so I kind of just shelved the idea. Worst of all, doing video on the web was a major nightmare until around 2005. I really liked the idea of a video clock and nearly started doing it on my miniDV camcorder, but the cost of delivering video on the internet was still oppressive.
Here are several excerpts of minutes I recorded from 2002-2010 that are not on this site due to their lower resolution. You might recoginze some of the videos as being a bit of "behind the scenes" look to clock photos you have seen over the years. Things to look for:
Before I could really get going on the video portion of the clock site I really needed to get the entire site rewritten. A majority of the code was ten years old (hello <font> tags, hello unreadable Perl!). I put the updated Human Clock site online in 2012, but without the video portion. Rewriting the entire site was enough work in itself.
By then I had a Canon SLR camera and sound recording equipement and could do a decent job of faking my way through video production. Since I was running out of projects that would take all my time, sanity, money, and wife's patience...I decided I really needed to get working on the video portion of the Human Clock website.
In September 2012 my wife and I went to Thailand where I really started shooting a lot of the videos for this site. After that was a solo trip to San Francisco. In 2013 I hiked the Pacific Crest Trail
where I shot a lot more videos. If you see any videos that mention "PCT", then this is where they were recorded. To pass the time on the trail, I skeched out how all the 4,852 moving parts would work for Human Clock TV.
Near the end of 2013 I started the task of editing all the raw footage I had down into about 1100 minute-long videos. This took, um, a long time. I originally wanted to have a unique video for all 1440 minutes in a day, but I also didn't want to hold up the release of the site just to fill in a bunch of early morning times that most people won't see. Anyways, early 2014 was spent just getting everything to work correctly. Finally, somewhow it all got done.
(frequently asked and made up questions)
Original drawings that were scanned for the 2001 site
How many people work for humanclock.com, who finances it?
Just one, me. There are no target markets, focus groups, or overpaid "visionary" CEOs who think they are the next Steve Jobs working here. There is no "shadow company" financing this website (well, a nice woman in California mailed me $5.00 once, and a guy in Florida offered to mail me his kids' allowance money).
Why do you have that old picture of yourself on the contact page
, what is the point?
I've noticed that a lot of people/celebrities my age (~30
, ahem, 40) all say they "were the biggest dork/nerd in school", this is my way of proving that I earned the title. The photo is from Franklin Junior High in Yakima, WA. It is a group photo of all the kids in their extracurricular activity groups...yep, I was in the computers group.
When I typed in "humanclock.com", I mistyped it and left out a very significant letter. Is that site yours too?
Whatever happened to the original 11:11am girl's email address?
I removed her email address at her request, because she was getting more email than she could respond to, some of it creepy, some of it flattering. Check back soon and there might be a new 11:11 girl and/or boy.
That girl/guy at [1-12]:[00-59] am|pm timeslot is hot/cute/sexy/wanted in three states, can I meet them?
I don't know most of the people on the clock, if you see someone on the clock a lot I might know them though. Sometimes auctions are ran for the 11:11am "I need a date" timeslot.
My kid laughs every time the clock in our house turns to 4:20 am/pm, what is up with that?
Hints: Cheech and Chong, Nancy Reagan, D.A.R.E, the "War on Drugs" thingy, plant, Bob Marley, eating cookie dough, huh..what was the question?, what Willie Nelson did on the roof of the Whitehouse, Rainy Day Women #12 & 35, "I'm a joker...smoker...I'm a midnight toker"...you get the idea. How it actually came to be associated with 4:20, well, there are about 800 different theories
Last but not least, it probably has nothing to do the the closing time of the post office in Little America, Wyoming
(thanks to Fletcher for sending me this).
I'm from the Eastern United States, and some of your captions are wrong. Some clock pictures have pretty mountains and lakes in them and the caption reads "Washington". I've never seen anything like this in Washington, were they backdrops at the Smithsonian?
No, these were taken in a little known place in the Northwestern United States called "Washington". It is one of the 50 Often-United States, I kid you not. If your computer OS choice seems limited or your 80's Heavy Metal band became extinct, something in this state was probably the cause.
Did someone actually ask you the question above?
No, I made it up. I speak on behalf of everyone in Washington though. I listened to the radio a lot growing up. The national news would come on and I'd always hear the announcer say things like, "Thousands of attractive women are currently running naked
through the streets of Washington!" I'd sprint outside and not see anyone, then realize they meant Washington D.C.
Ok then, why do you violate English grammar rules and put a period outside of a quotation when it should be on the inside, like in the case above with "Washington"?
Maybe this is because I come from a computer science background where things are done logically and some sense of order is maintained with a solid yes/no answer, but if a period was part of the original quotation I would have quoted it.
What is your mission statement? In today's busy world you must have mission statement!
Uh, to serve time. I've had a variety of jobs over the years and have grown weary of such trite little sayings as "We have an unbridled desire to create happy guests". (this was from a restaurant, not a whorehouse)
Why don't have hardly any advertising on this site, how are you making any money? It is a website, you should be trying to make money on it!
Um, that's why it is humanclock.COM! (If you look up "losing money" in a thesuarus, you will see ".com" next to it.) Money wasn't my motivation for building this website, getting a photo of myself in USA Today that was five times the size of Madonna's, was. Being January 1st, 2003 on those page-a-day desk calendars was pretty cool
too. If my primary goal were to make money, this website would be be wearing more advertising than most schoolchildren.
Ha! The above is a lie, ads are now cluttering up the site everywhere!
When I started this site in 2001 it wasn't hugely popular for a few months, hence I could stash it on a friend's webserver for free. That was all nice and dandy until the website got mentioned on various talk shows and magazine articles. When this happened, the server (and any other sites/email on it) would get crushed with internet traffic.
In early 2002 I bought a new server, strapped it to the back of my bike
, and shipped on the train a few states to the east. This worked out fine until around 2004 until the website was on a national radio show and a lot of the Internet came to visit. I received an email from my friend who was hosting the server that, well, uh, it was time for me to move on
(language NSFW unless you work in a swearing factory
Since mid-2004 I've been shelling out a car payment's worth of money in hosting fees. Then of course we get into the whole time vs money thing. When I had to time to work on the site, I had extra money to keep the site online. Now that I am just freelancing, I have more time to work on the site, but I need the site to start paying its way a bit.
This looks like a blatant attempt to meet girls.
Nope, never done such a thing. My buddy Dave in Perth, Australia tried it once
Why are the website copyright dates in hexidecimal numbers?
Because everyone else uses decimal numbers. Once hexidecimal numbering becomes mainstream, I'll go octal, that or I'll pull a nostalgic retro move and go back to using decimal numbers.
Is that dodgy looking cardboard/numbers sign that shows up in a lot of the photos the same one?
Yup. It has been quite well-travelled too. top of Mt. Adams, giant new Zealand weatherwomen, parties, kayaking in new zealand, in a 66 corvette, a guy named Brad Pitt
, photographed though a moving car
, Richard Buckner
shows off 8:14pm. It has been to the potty in Los Angeles where George Michael got setup/busted
. It's hung out with Hendrix
. Last but not least it was carried 12,500 miles
around Australia on the back of my bicycle.
Mmmm, yeah, why did you go out of your way to call your statistics page
a "TPS Report"?
Go rent the movie "Office Space", that is where the"TPS Report" phrase came from. Heck, once you've seen the movie you might be able to chat up a cute boy/girl at a party with lines from the movie. (tip: quoting lines from Iron Eagle doesn't reel in the girls, trust me).
What is the"Canyon Bomber Format" as indicated on the TPS report
Atari 2600 Canyon Bomber
This is a homage to the 1978 Atari 2600 game"Canyon Bomber", programmed by David Crane
. Why anyone in real life would want to drop bombs from a plane to blow up striated rock in a canyon is beyond me. Maybe this was a better name than"block hitter". Anyways, I've always liked this game even if it was one of the less popular Atari games. For you nerdy trivia buffs, David later went on to produce the landmark game "Pitfall" for the Atari 2600.
* For 10 years this used to link to a very short domain name that served as his website. He sold the short domain name for a long amount of cash awhile back hence, no more link.
Where are those cute little dotty icons from? I have seen them before somewhere but can't remember where.
Apple ][e, Imagewriter II printer, and a program called Printshop. To make these two little icons, I had to fire up my old Apple computer. I was amazed at how that 17 year old 5.25 inch disc booted right up and I had my icons printed in about two minutes.
If you ever walked down a school hallway in the mid 80's, you probably some sign made with Printshop. I remember one time in junior high in 1985 a kid printed out a 20 foot long banner on the printer ("PARTY HEARTY DUDES!!!!! WOOOOHOOO!"), I'll never forget the look on the computer teacher's face. Oh yeah, did you know there is a driving game hidden in the PrintShop Companion? (boot side B, press Control-open apple-6)
Many of the photo caption fonts were printed on an old Panasonic dot-matrix printer using my Tandy 1000 SX. (on sale w/ CM-5 16 color CGA monitor for $899!)
The icons were a function part of the site from 2001-2004. I put them back here in 2011 even though they serve no functional purpose. I just hate to think of all that work I spent going to waste.
How come your first name is Daniel but you answer your emails as "Craig"?
My parents decided to call me by my middle name so I could be different. They weren't hippy parents with names like Stormy Willow and Radiant Moonflower, listening to Freedom Rock. (dude! Is that Freedom Rock? Yeah Man! Well turn it up! )
Wait my Mum (photo at right) actually has Freedom Rock on vinyl, uh oh. For those of you not in the know, Freedom Rock (circa 1988) was a specially priced 2-volume set ($19.95 LP/Tape, $24.95 CD) that had a pretty cheezy commercial.
Dude, is that actually you in that camaro picture on the submit photos page?
Yup. Had a mullet too. I don't own either anymore. If you ever see [my] Sister Teresa, ask her about it. Roughly quoting her: "all I can remember about that car was driving to school and......Warrant!"
Are those Atari 2600 and Tandy Model 100 "Webservers" for real?
Well, let's put it this way. PEEK and POKE are common BASIC commands, but the others???? I seriously didn't expect to hoax anyone with the Tandy Model 100 webserver. It caused quite a tizzy on slashdot.org in August 2001. I spent a few hundred hours collecting photos and building the original humanclock.com site. I spent about two of those hours making the webserver page. Yet most of the slashdot discussion was over the webserver.
Is that really a certified yoga instructor in those crazy pictures?
Those yoga poses that the webservers are doing are not yoga pose names!
You are correct, they are actually song titles from the band Guided by Voices
Sorta. Back in 2001 I wrote out several different "fonts" and scanned them in. I created a perl script which takes a text string and then builds an image containing the text string in whatever font I choose. In order to keep things a little more rough, several different instances of the same "font" are used, along with random spacing/positioning of each letter. The handwriting generator was used from 2001-2012 on the locations and captions but I had to stop using it due to the fact that I never bothered to create any förèîgñ characters.
Growing up I was told that I needed better handwriting, little did they know that my terrible penmanship would soon serve as functional art.
Why? This site is "gay". This site is stooooooooooooooooooooooooooooopid!
Dude, it's not my fault you are not old enough to drive and are are stuck in front of the computer on a Friday/Saturday night. Go play Quake or something and leave me alone. Take a shower too. (Please ignore the fact that I spent most of 1989-90 tying up my parents phone line with my 1200 baud modem.)
What is up with the lotto numbers on the montage clock?
It is so I can up the "potential revenue" of this website so I can seem more important than I actually am. My business plan is that at some point, someone will actually use some of the lottery numbers to play Powerball, win a 50 million dollar jackpot, and give me all the money. Easy.
You have too much time on your hands! Ha Ha, bet you haven't heard that before have you? Why did you waste your time on this?
I honestly cannot stand the phrase "too much time on your hands" and find it to be a bit condescending. People do what they like, everyone has different interests and things that drive them forward. I could rant about this subject for another paragraph, but Cory Doctorow from Boing Boing did a lot better job that I ever could
That clock photo with the little boy is, like, so incredibly boring and uninteresting. Why do you put such lame photos into the site?
- or -
That clock photo with the little boy is wonderful! Everyone in our office loves all of the color and excitement within that photo!
A girl I know used to live in LA while growing up. Down the street were two blonde-haired twins who she was friends with. At the same time 1,159 miles away
, the first girl I ever kissed was totally in love with these two blonde-haired twins. Irony aside, the point of this paragraph is that the father of these two blonde-haired twins once wrote:
"You see, you can't please everyone,
so you got to please yourself."
Human Clock is several minutes/hours off!
The most likely cause of this is that the clock on your computer is (like...way) off (like, totally). Set the time on your computer correctly, then restart your web browser and go to humanclock.com. This site takes the time off of your computer and sets the Human Clock to the nearest timezone.
Since it is not...even...close
to being standard throughout the world, this website ignores the concept of Daylight Saving Time completely. If your computer does not automatically change for DST and is an hour off, the Human Clock website time will also be an hour off. Once you have corrected the time on your computer, restart your browser and everything should be ok.
Um, you have a spelling mistake. It is Daylight "Savings" Time!
No, it is not
Why did you put my photo in the AM timeslot instead of PM?
This usually happens because the photo doesn't have as much going or has a general blurriness that some people normally find in the AM hour.
Why doesn't my photo show up on the blog widget or mobile versions of the Human Clock?
Photos only show up in the blog widget clocks
if the photo can be cropped to fit the small photo size and have the time still be readable. Also, the widget clocks only show photo that represent an actual "time" in some fashion and are very readable. People who are not familiar with Humanclock.com right have a harder time grasping the concept of the site if the first photo they see is a house address or a price tag.
Some photos are just numbers, they aren't times, I just want to see people holding up a time!
Why do I have to look at photos of stupid knobs holding up blasted signs all day, I just want to see numbers in everyday situations!
I'm working on fixing it so you can hide types of photos you don't want to see. For now we'll all have to learn to just get along and a big virtual hug. (virtual crying optional
Why can't I change the overall website colors like on the previous version?
Uh, to advance my goal of achieving monocultured uniformity. I wanted to make the web interface a lot simpler, so a lot of things got the heave ho. The actual reason is though is that I took it off the "to-do" list so I could get the new version of the site out sooner....so it might be a feature again some day.
What happened to those funny urls the clock used to have?
I turned them off because people were posting them on the web and since they all pointed to the same spot, the humanclock site was dropping a lot in the search results.
Pierre in Holland writes: "Isn't it possible to force the cute window to stay on top? In some strange way 'work' ends up on top of the cutest window in the world!"
If you are running Windows or Mac, there are widgets
available that you can download and run within the OS to essentially do this.
You can also download various software programs for the Mac and PC that will force a browser window to stay on top. Google is your friend on this one.
The optimal solution is to install a second monitor on your computer just for humanclock.com. If this was 1998 and I had piles of venture capital (aka other people's money) behind me, I would have mailed you an iMac blue colored humanclock.com branded monitor by now and you wouldn't even be asking this question.
I want to see the photo at a certain time, how do I do this? Where can I just browse all the clock photos.
You can't, that is the sheer fun of it! You get to sit there in front of the computer, growing older (literally) by the minute, waiting for the photo to come up. Fun huh?
Can I link to your website?
Feel free to link up the site using the address https://www.humanclock.com
Will you link to my website?
I usually don't link to other websites, in meeting-buzzword-speak, humanclock.com strives to be a One Way Portal
to a Virtual Dead End
Can I put a version of the clock on my own website?
Yes! Finally! You now can do this
Can I submit videos?
I'm a lot more picky about the videos since they take a considerable amount of my time to deal with and are a bit more of a logistical nightmare. If you have something you think would work good, details can be found on the submission info
How many minutes are done?
If you ignore the whole am/pm thing, all 12 hours of the clock are done. I've shot, edited, and uploaded 1,238 videos which covers about 20.6 hours. Some minutes are duplicated, but there is currently a unique video from 8am through 11pm. For other times, such as 3:00am, the 3:00pm photo is shown for now. This is not ideal nor my original plan, but I also needed to get this website online and like, go talk to people and stuff.
Some of the videos are boring and nothing really interesting happens. Here I am now, entertain me.
The videos are not intended to be 24 hours of riveting and entralling entertainment, much like real life. Besides, a lackluster video makes you appreciate an interesting one...at least that is my excuse.
Why does the photo clock come back up after a long while?
Video chews up a lot of bandwidth, this is the equivalent to a lot of those "Are you Still There?" things that you see on many streaming websites. I opted to have the clock switch to a less bandwidth-chewy clock instead.
That um, thanksgiving cake, thing...that shows up for a few minutes after 10:23pm, what is that?
It is a "Thanksgiving Turkey Cake", and it is awesome
Why can't I fast forward/rewind the videos?
I like the idea of the videos mimicking real life in that you can't relive the exciting moments and skip past the bad ones. Well...if you wait a day you can relive them all over again.
Why can't I browse all the videos?
This site is not YouTube.
Why can't I embed the videos?
This site is not YouTube.
Why can't I share the videos?
This site is not YouTube.
Why can't I comment on the videos?
This site is not YouTube.
Why do some videos have different music, or nothing at all?
I almost always prefer to have the original audio with the video. Displaying the environment that I captured the time in is my ultimate goal...but it doesn't always work out. The original audio can be alterted or missing for a variety of reasons. Sometimes there was way too much wind noise. Other times there might be foul language or subject matter I don't want to get a whole pile of hate mail over. Sometimes when recording on the street where I would be legally ok, I still did not include the audio because I felt like it was too invasive of people's privacy.
You should have used (some copyrighted song) on the video for (some time)?
All of the music I used is either in the public domain or Creative Commons Attribution-Only. I did donate money to Chris Zabriskie because I used That Kid in the Fourth Grade Who Really Liked the Denver Broncos
, mostly because I really liked the song and its title. If you have music you think would work well with any future videos please let me know
Why on a touchscreen device do I have to keep hitting the "play" button to get every video to start? Annoying! Why can't they just start automatically?
This is strictly because of a limitiation put in place by the tablet makers that I have no control over. Paid users
will eventually be able to download a free app that will make the videos play smoother, but this is still a few months off. Most of the traffic to this site is from desktop users (ala people stuck at work), so that was the higher priority.