'Time.Is' Website Shows You How Far Off Your Computer's Clock Is, Plus More Cool Tools That Will Let You See Time In A Whole New Way

If I run a few minutes late for anything in the future, apparently now I have an excuse! The website Time.is tells you if your computer's clock is accurate by checking it against an atomic clock — and apparently my clock is two minutes and 24 seconds behind the actual time. Considering that atomic clocks are the most accurate time source in the world, it's safe to assume that the clock on my Mac computer is out of whack. But hey, it's OK; most of us probably have slightly inaccurate clocks — for example, my editor's computer clock was running 4.2 minutes too fast — so at least we're all in it together.

I find this stuff really cool, even if there is little practical reason to be worried about a time difference of a few minutes. For such a simple tool, clocks are such meaningful and symbolic parts of our life — they're what get us up in the morning, or let us know it's time for bed or for a meal. They're the nagging reminder that we've been spending too long on Facebook, or that we haven't spent enough time on the treadmill. Technology for telling time has existed almost as long as humans have, which just goes to show how important it's always been to use. To get a little morbid for a second, perhaps we track time to push away the idea of the little time we have left — we track time, maybe, to deal with our own mortality.

Sorry. Werner Herzog impression over.

But it's still neat, right? Inspired by Time.Is, I decided to look into other websites that make you think about the basic clock in a new way. Of course, the Internet delivered. Here are some of the best websites I found:

1. The Colour Clock

Hexadecimal color codes have six digits. So does time broken down by hour, minute, and second. This clock ties the two together, expressing time as constantly changing hues. The result is mesmerizing.

2. Industrious Clock

The time here is constantly erasing and rewriting itself by the second — and I mean this in the most literal way possible. Of course it doesn't work like this, but I imagine some guy stuck in the Internet, having to endlessly write all those numbers like it's his job.

3. The Human Clock

This is really cool: Each minute, there's a new user-submitted photo showing the military time written out, existing in the world somewhere.

4. Kuku Klok

There are a lot of online alarm clocks, most of which are pretty dated — I mean, isn't your smartphone the ultimate alarm clock? Well, except if you ever find yourself in a situation where you've lost your phone — your one and only alarm clock — and you need to get up for work the next day. I've lost my phone a number of times and Kuku Clock has always saved the day — it will wake you up even if you lose your Internet connection, which is more than a lot of other online clocks will do.

5. Ring Clock

Time really is a flat circle!

Images: Eflon/Flickr