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Ticking Clock: Sound Effect, Episode 33

A person wearing latex gloves holds two small wooden birds from a antique clock.
Brie Ripley
Seattle horologist Brittany Nicole Cox repairs an antique clockwork singing bird automaton.

Sound Effect is your weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place we live. The show is hosted by KNKX's Gabriel Spitzer. Each week's show explores a different theme, and this week we ponder the relentless passing of time; the ticking clock.  

To start off the show, Gabriel Spitzer talks with Andy Pratt about the inevitable demise of his business, Deluxe Archive Solutions. Pratt has worked for decades as a film cutter, with a hand in a few movies you may have heard of: Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Dirty Harry, among many others. DAS is one of the last big negative-cutting houses in the country, but with the industry almost completely digital now, it won't be long before Pratt's passion and livelihood are obsolete.

A man unrolls a roll of negatives inside a warehouse.
Credit Gabriel Spitzer
Andy Pratt's negative-cutting business, Deluxe Archive Solutions, is on the clock as digital media threaten film cutting with obsolescence.

From a dying technology to a dead one (or is it?): clockwork. Back before electronics, clockwork was the state-of-the-art technology, spawning precise instruments, exquisite art and even proto-robots and artificial intelligence. Brittany Nicole Cox is an antiquarian horologist in Seattle, specializing in repairing, restoring and preserving complex timepieces and automata. She'll explain what it feels like to bring these elegant machines back to life, and how her degree in philosophy and epistemology prepared her well for this line of work. 

If you had your own time machine, when would you travel to, and why? That's one of the questions filmmaker Gisella Bustillos put to people in her forthcoming documentary, A Brief History of Time Travel. You can hear her own answer, and what she learned about our age-old obsession with time travel from an eclectic group of scientists, artists and thinkers. 

And finally, KNKX's Matthew Streib brings us a tale of two businessmen waging a cold war over marijuana on Capitol Hill. There are partnerships gone bad, a free family arcade and of course a displaced cobbler. It's downright operatic, and the end result is a standoff as the clock ticks on.

Joining us to break down the week's under-reported stories are Joanne Silberner, Derek Young and RachelLerman.