But the most fascinating aspect of stories like these is what they do to our perception of time. They wow us because they seem to break the rules. They put the impossible on display, and they expose just how brief and fleeting all our lives seem to be in the face of history. Time might move at the same speed for all of us, but if we break the rules we risk inviting dangerous consequences.
In the latest episode of the Lore podcast, host Aaron Mahnke takes the time to tackle temporal matters. He opens with an informative account of time measurement (discussing, for instance, the religious influence on the creation of clocks, and explaining how such devices got their name). Naturally, the narrative turns to that ever-fascinating subject of time travel, and besides referencing classic works of fiction (by the likes of Washington Irving, Mark Twain, H.G. Wells, and Jack Finney), Mahnke shares the real-life story of two woman who claim they stepped back through time and encountered a famous French historical figure while touring the gardens of the Palace of Versailles in the summer of 1901. The most entertaining bits of lore, though, are reserved for the closing segment: an account of the Orloj, a medieval clock (pictured above) in Prague that has acquired an ominous reputation over the years. All told, “Time Will Tell” is well worth the investment of a thirty-minute listen.