Carving out a 500-ft underground spiral staircase through rock – Clock One Project

[Excerpts from] High on a rocky ridge in the desert, nestled among the brush, is the topmost part of a clock that has been ticking for thousands of years. It looks out over the ruins of a spaceport, built by a rich man whose name was forgotten long ago. Most of the clock is deep inside the mountain, below the ridgeline. To get there, you hike for days through the heat; the only sounds are the buzzing of flies and the whisper of the occasional breeze. You climb up through the brush, then pass through a hidden door into the darkness and silence of the clock chamber. Far above your head, in the darkness, a massive pendulum swings slowly back and forth, making the clock tick once every 10 seconds. No one knows who built it, or why. They built it well, and even now it keeps perfect time. All we know of these strange people is that they were obsessed with the future. Why else would they build something that had no purpose except to mark time for thousands of years? [Continue reading this story on] Robotic Stone Saw testing and simulation from The Long Now Foundation on Vimeo. The giant robot arm that will cut 500 feet down into the rock and automatically carve out the stairs to the Clock One Project, over a period of a year.