Something to Think About

"I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Monday, November 21, 2011

Curiosity minus the cat

Last week a newscaster mentioned the US National Debt Clock on the news.  He noted that the national debt has exceeded 15 trillion dollars.

It got me thinking that I really didn't know very much about the debt clock.  I wondered if our tax dollars paid for it and had countless other questions.  I looked it up.

Here are some things I discovered:

  • You can view the clock in real time on line here This site is really cool because it contains all sorts of data.  (I got a kick out of the auto sales and gold/precious metal tabs at the bottom.)  It's a great reference source for all sorts of information!
  • The clock is updated weekly from figures published by the US Treasury.
  • According to Wikipedia, the debt clock was started - and funded -  by a real estate developer named Seymour Durst in 1989. 
  • There have actually been 2 (physical) debt clocks over the years.  The original clock was unable to run backwards so they had to turn it off from 2000 to 2002 when the debt decreased.  Since that time, it's been replaced by a clock that can run backwards and forwards.  The clock was moved to a different building at this time.
  • The clock has outlived Seymour who passed away in 1995.
  • The clock is currently maintained and updated by the Durst Organization. 

These are just a few quick facts about the calculator.  More details can be found on Wikipedia or click to look at the debt clock online!  It really is fascinating - though a bit depressing, as well.

Image of Saturn courtesy of NASA

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