Episode #320

Time, Telephone Ring, 10,000-Year Clock

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Saturday, May 18, 2002

We look at time. Host Kurt Andersen and physicist Alan Lightman examine time as a creative tool in movies, in painting, in fiction, and in real life. And a sound designer charts the evolution of the telephone ring.


Alan Lightman

Commentary: That '80s Show

Kurt tries to make sense of all the revivals and re-runs that keep popping up on Broadway and TV.


Design for the Real World: Telephone Ring

Multimedia artist and designer Ben Rubin explains the origin of something we hear everyday — the telephone ring. 


Physicist Alan Lightman on Time

Kurt Andersen and novelist and Alan Lightman talk about how art plays with time. Lightman is a novelist and physicist. He is an adjunct Professor of Humanities at MIT and the author of several books including Einstein's Dreams and, most recently, The Diagnosis.


DJ Screw Plays with Time

In the 1990s Houston-based DJ Screw took popular hip-hop mixes and slowed them down to half their playing speed. The resulting sound has cast a spell over Texas. 


Michigan Central Depot

A decaying, abandoned train station stands on the southwestern edge of downtown Detroit. It was built in 1913 as an opulent monument to the future of the city, but now memorializes Detroit's industrial ruin. The photographer Robert Polidori and the poet and urban planner Kristin Palm each look at what ...


Cinematic Time

In the movies, a single cut can jump several decades. Bullets stop and linger onscreen. What do those leaps in cinematic time reveal about our own, daily experience? Three film critics dissect how directors have twisted time in recent movies.


10,000-Year Clock

The Long Now Foundation is designing a clock to tell time over 10,000 years. It will tick once every minute, chime once a year, and play music once a millennium.


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