We forgot to get an advent candle this year. And we didn't even realise until the 3rd, when it would have been a bit too late to start burning a conventional candle.
Fortunately, the nerd in the household (me) had a brilliant idea: I invented the binary advent candle. A quick Google search didn't turn up a single instance of the phrase 'binary advent candle', so I think I can actually claim it as an all-new, previously-unheard-of concept. I made my first BAC and started using it on the 4th.
The BAC is a bit of a misnomer really, because it isn't one candle, but five, numbered 1, 2, 4, 8 and 16, and instead of having to burn a specific bit of candle each day, you burn a specific combination of candles. The system is capable of displaying any integer value from 0 (no candles lit) to 31 (all of them lit) - which has the added advantage that you don't have to stop on Christmas Day; you can keep going right up to New Year's Eve if you want to.
And here it is:
The current setup is serving as a prototype, and has already revealed one major design flaw: we really should have used bigger candles. I made Mk. I with whatever candles I could get my hands on, and it turns out they weren't the best choices: each candle should, in theory, be burnt 16 times over the course of the month, but those 4 little red ones just don't have a long enough burn time to see out Advent, never mind the whole of December.
But in principle, it works! I'm already planning a new and improved Mk. II for next year.
Isn't that geeky?
- The Colclough