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People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- July 07, 1986
- Vol. 26
- No. 1
Always Running Short of Time? Let Morton Rachofsky Lengthen Your Day with a 25-Hour Clock
Rachofsky hired a mechanical engineer to rig a timepiece to speed through a normal hour in 57.6 minutes. Over 24 hours, the stolen time—2.4 minutes each hour—adds up to an extra 57.6-minute "hour" and, voilà: a 25-hour day. He christened his souped-up time machine XTRAOUR, got a patent and, as soon as he has a distributor, plans to sell it nationally for under $50.
Clock owners should be prepared to show up minutes to an hour early for appointments—or be mathematical wizards who can compute "real time" from whatever the XTRAOUR is indicating. Rachofsky insists that "the minor inconvenience of being out of sync is outweighed by the advantage of making the most efficient use of time. There will always be a group of achievers who want to squeeze as much as they can into each day. They'll use it to speed themselves up a little bit." That's just what Rachofsky, a 56-year-old bachelor, has been doing for years. When not selling commercial real estate, he serves on the board of several civic organizations and pursues an artistic career as a sculptor of steel and wood. And he invents. His SUCABA
(abacus spelled backwards) is a manual counting device based on the binary number system and is used as an educational toy.
The 25-hour day occurred to Rachofsky after reading studies on humans kept in isolation. Without time markers, like clocks or daylight, they fell into sleep-wake cycles of about 25 hours, awaking an hour later each day. Keeping to this daily rhythm would be impractical for the 24-hour world, but Rachofsky thinks his clock is the next best thing.
What are the chances of getting everyone to switch to a 25-hour day? "Well," Rachofsky asks, "what are the chances of getting everybody to reset their clocks twice a year to get an extra hour of sunlight?"
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