Archive for September, 2007

The Ultimate Dial-A-Story List?

Sunday, September 9th, 2007

I've been posting the numbers for libraries' dial-a-story lines for months, but just discovered, which lists hundreds of books that are available on dial-a-story lines across the country. It appears to show which stories are currently available at each number, along with a picture of each book (and a link to amazon to buy it.) I don't know how up-to-date the list is, though.

AT&T says: No More dialing for time

Monday, September 3rd, 2007

Pacific Bell SBC AT&T has announced that the phone numbers that tell the time will be discontinued later this month. The "Time of Day information service" has been in available in Nevada and California since the 1920s. AT&T says the 1960s equipment used is failing, and no replacement parts are available. (I guess it's beyond their tech savvy to hook up something new with a $199 PC.)

In some areas, the phone number for time is POPCORN; in the LA area it is 853-1212. Because the entire 767 and 853 exchanges are devoted to the time service taking the service down will free up some 300,000 phone numbers.

A funny quote from an LA Times article on the subject: "In the 1950s, a woman named Mary Moore emerged as the nation's leading time-teller. Her reading of hours, minutes and seconds was delivered in a distinctive if somewhat prissy tone. Moore's odd pronunciation of the numbers 5 ("fiyev") and 9 ("niyun") influenced a generation of operators, much as flying ace Chuck Yeager's West Virginia drawl is said to have been adopted by innumerable airline pilots."

Sure, there are a bazillion other ways to find out the time now, but dialing for the time is a, uh, time-honored tradition.

You can still call (303) 499-7111 to get the time from the National Institute of Standards and Technology's atomic clock.