Andrew Hearst of the Panopticist noticed that the digital clock that appears before and after commercials on 24 behaves strangely. For one thing, the numeral 1 has a serif. For another, the numeral 1 is kerned to prevent the big gap between characters usually seen on LED clocks.
And that's how I stumbled onto this weird pattern: The clock never shows a 0 turning into a 1, and it never shows a 1 turning into a 2. (There are some very rare exceptions, which I explain below.) Check it out the next time you watch the show, if you watch it. The clock will display a sequence like "04:42:24, 04:42:25, 04:42:26, 04:42:27, 04:42:28," then stop, or "04:21:16, 04:21:17, 04:21:18, 04:21:19," then stop. I've only been watching for this pattern for six or eight episodes, so I don't know if it's been like this since the first episode of the first season—but I'm betting that's the case. The onscreen time sequences are dictated partly by the typographic limitations of the clock font.Andrew also reminds 24 viewers to check their TiVo's recording times for tomorrow's episode:
Don't forget to configure your TiVo or VCR to compensate for the speech by Mr. 29 Percent tomorrow night. According to Fox, 24 will start about 20 minutes late in the Eastern and Central time zones.Link
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. Come and hear Mark speak at the ALA conference in Chicago on July 1.