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15 Mar

I was wondering this past Monday how on earth our atomic alarm clock, setting in the middle of the vanity sink in the middle of our master bathroom, setting smack dab in the middle of our entire duplex unit, with no windows and just an open door leading to our bedroom, ever gets found to change the time forward one hour to comply with Daylight Savings Time. So I decided to ask Google. 

What I found according to http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/how-do-some-clocks-set-themselves-119830601/ is that these types of clocks are very popular and are reasonably priced.  They are radio-controlled clocks that work virtually anywhere in the continental USA.  And yes, even in our bathroom!  It took until overnight Sunday into Monday morning sometime to set itself forward the extra hour, but the clock was finally found.  But who or what knew it was there, I wondered. 

Despite its low tech appearance per the website, the clock “conceals an elaborate system for keeping it precisely in tune with what the National Institute of Standards and Technology deems official time: a clock calibrated by the movement of a clump of cesium atoms in Boulder, Colorado. Housed at the NIST’s Physical Measurement Laboratory, this is the official atomic clock, and it keeps time for the entire country. Furthermore, as of 2010, scientists calculated that its uncertainty had been reduced to the point that it will neither gain nor lose a second over the course of 100 million years!”

But how does it actually get to my radio-controlled clock? What I found was that the official time standard is sent to WWVB, NIST’s shortwave radio station in Fort Collins, Colorado. Once per minute, WWVB broadcasts a digital code indicating the official time—including the year, date, hour, minute and whether Daylight Savings Time is in effect—across the country. “Most radio-controlled clocks are programmed to receive this signal once per day with built-in receivers and calibrate their time accordingly. Experts say that your radio-controlled clock will work best when positioned near a window facing the source of the broadcast, (which is in) Fort Collins” according to the website.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if humans possessed a built-in receiver so that once every day, we could sit near a window and face the source of the power that would keep us tuned in and adjusted through life with such precision? I think many of us already realize we have a soul that allows us to be energized by that power each and every day if we allow it to be.

By the way, that power can find us, no matter where we are! Even if it’s in the bathroom.

 


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