Monday, 20 February 2012

The Ticking of a "Vast Liquid Clock"

After seeing James Marriott’s on camera delivery in Burning Capital of a version of this I always remind myself every time I travel by jet of the “vast liquid clock” that all airline industries are dependent on:

The liquid clock takes under ten days to run its course. Ten days for the oil to move from 8,000 feet below sea level to 31,000 feet above sea level. Ten days for liquid rocks to melt into air. Ten days for geology laid down 57 million years ago to be incinerated into gas.

And it was my Emirates 14-hour ultra-long-haul flight from Dubai to Sydney that provided me with a ready-made pulse for dipping in and out of thoughts about this liquid clock – the instrumental piece "Tick of the Clock" by the Chromatics. Seated near the engine I sleepily absorbed the in-flight movie Drive whose opening scenes use “Tick of the Clock”. But as Jeffrey Edberg points out in his Frontier Psychiatrist review of Drive’s soundtrack, the original "15 minute techno slow-burn from the [Chromatics’] album Night Drive is whittled down to 5 minutes on the soundtrack, looped and timed effectively to match the film’s quietly mounted action”. So for all economy class flyers on long-haul flights and throughput analysts working on liquid clocks I dedicate the next 15 minutes to you

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