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Old 10-12-2019, 11:48 AM
lissener is offline
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What did the original use of the phrase "seven seconds" refer to?


I'm sking this here and not in Café Society because I'm not referring to the Netflix series--although the popularity of that show has made it impossible to search the net for any other meaning.

I think the first time I heard the term was 1994, on Ryuichi Sakamoto's track "7 Seconds."

https://youtu.be/x-K_6awb3Zg

It cropped up a few more times for me--enough to convince me it wasn't random but referred to something specific. At one time I had a vague inkling that it had something to do with the atomic bomb, or bomb testing, but I have no remaining memory of what that link was.

Does anyone have a clue as to why this measurement of time seems to resonate more than (randomness)×(confirmation bias) would seem to account for?

(Wikipedia only lists secondary cultural references and makes no mention of any original reference point.)

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Old 10-12-2019, 12:11 PM
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Here's Wikipedia's disambiguation page for "7 Seconds" (which the OP has probably already seen) and excerpts from each article that discuss the reason for the name, where available:

• 7 Seconds (band), a punk rock band from Reno, Nevada formed in 1980:
Quote:
"...I was ordering The Dils single "198 Seconds of The Dils" from Bomp and I wrote it on a desk and the ink it said 97 Seconds; and then we saw this movie Day of the Jackals or something and all through it there were references to 7 Seconds, and the Dils were like our idols... So we were looking for a name and we were looking at this racing book and it said 7 seconds and we said, 'fuck it, must be an omen,' so we picked it. It's a short, intense name."
• "7 Seconds" (song), a 1994 song by Youssou N'Dour and Neneh Cherry
Quote:
The title and refrain of the song refers to the first moments of a child's life; as Cherry put it, "not knowing about the problems and violence in our world".
• 7 Seconds (film), a 2005 film
Quote:
The title refers to the timers at the beginning of the film, which are set at 00:07 (7 seconds).
• Seven Seconds (TV series), an Netflix crime drama

• "Seven Seconds", an episode of Criminal Minds

Other:

• Seven Second Summits, the second-highest mountains of each of the seven continents

• 7 Seconds of Love, a ska band

So no unifying reason yet...
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Old 10-12-2019, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
and then we saw this movie Day of the Jackals or something and all through it there were references to 7 Seconds
Looking at the movie script for Day of the Jackal, there is only one mention of "seven seconds". A Youtube video shows that this is said at the start of the movie as part of a voiceover describing a fictionalized version of a real-life assassination attempt on Charles de Gaulle:
Quote:
"The time elapsed from the first to the last shot was seven seconds. In all, more than 140 shots were fired. Several bullets pierced the president's car. One came within an inch of his head. But, as if by a miracle, neither he nor anyone else was hurt."
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Old 10-12-2019, 02:47 PM
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In one of Sean Connery's James Bond movies he's diffusing a bomb. The counter is ticking down and he succeeds when it reaches 007. Appropriate, no?
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Old 10-12-2019, 03:04 PM
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Maybe seven seconds is how long it took to fire the whole nine yards of a machine gun ammunition belt.
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Old 10-12-2019, 04:17 PM
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My only point of reference for "7 seconds" is the 7 second broadcast delay.
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Old 10-12-2019, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Walken After Midnight View Post
Maybe seven seconds is how long it took to fire the whole nine yards of a machine gun ammunition belt.
Assuming negligible air resistance, it's also the time it would take to fall 240 m, which is almost exactly the height of the Woolworth building.

I'm not claiming this is more than a coincidence.
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Old 10-15-2019, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Peanuthead View Post
In one of Sean Connery's James Bond movies he's diffusing a bomb....
Was that some kind of Harry Potter/007 crossover?
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Old 10-15-2019, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhiannon8404 View Post
My only point of reference for "7 seconds" is the 7 second broadcast delay.
Also referenced in the The Nightfly by Donald Fagen.

I'm Lester the Nightfly
Hello, Baton Rouge
Won't you turn your radio down?
Respect the seven-second delay we use
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Old 10-15-2019, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Walken After Midnight View Post


• "7 Seconds" (song), a 1994 song by Youssou N'Dour and Neneh Cherry


This is it for me. It's catchy as hell and now I feel old realising it's 25 years old.
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Old 10-15-2019, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir View Post
Harry Potter/007 crossover?


...I'd watch that.
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Old 10-15-2019, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir View Post
Was that some kind of Harry Potter/007 crossover?
I've never read a Harry Potter book or seen a Harry Potter movie. Does 007 have a significance in the stories?
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:41 PM
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Hand grenades? Pull the pin, count to five, throw, explosion on impact. . . sounds about right.

Last edited by TruCelt; 10-15-2019 at 11:41 PM.
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:46 PM
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Nope:

Quote:
https://www.globalsecurity.org/milit...-23-30/ch3.htm
. . .
b. Aboveground detonation is especially critical when engaging bunker-type emplacements. To achieve aboveground detonation or near-impact detonation, remove the grenade's safety pin, release the safety lever, count ONE THOUSAND ONE, ONE THOUSAND TWO, and throw the grenade. This is called cooking-off. Cooking-off expends a sufficient period (about 2 seconds) of the grenade's 4- to 5-second delay. This causes the grenade to detonate above ground or shortly after impact with the target. Do not cook-off fragmentation or white phosphorous hand grenades when in training.
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:48 PM
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Time we have to make a first impression: https://www.shannonpolly.com/first-i...7-eleven-rule/
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Old 10-16-2019, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lissener View Post
I'm sking this here and not in Café Society because I'm not referring to the Netflix series--although the popularity of that show has made it impossible to search the net for any other meaning.
Yeah, this is swamping google searches. My hazy memory, which I haven't been able to confirm, is that Seven seconds to Midnight represents the timing of an event if the whole (evolutionary?) history of the earth is presented as a twenty-four hour clock.

And no, I'm not referring to the Doomsday Clock. At least, not knowingly.

j
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Old 10-16-2019, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peanuthead View Post
I've never read a Harry Potter book or seen a Harry Potter movie. Does 007 have a significance in the stories?
https://www.merriam-webster.com/word...fuse-vs-defuse
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Old 10-16-2019, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peanuthead View Post
In one of Sean Connery's James Bond movies he's diffusing a bomb. The counter is ticking down and he succeeds when it reaches 007. Appropriate, no?
1. The film is Goldfinger.

2. He fails! An American saves the day and just switches it off. Sadly, the hero is only known as "the atomic specialist".

(3. The clock on the bomb is highly variable. Jumps ahead quickly then runs at a snail's pace. And apparently "3 more ticks" is 7 seconds to Bond. Ah, missed script changes.)

Other than this film, I have no recollection of 7 seconds being of significance in general.

The aforementioned Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' Doomsday Clock has never been lower than 2 minutes (which is also its current setting).
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Old 10-16-2019, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Bear_Nenno View Post
You learn something new every day. Thanks!
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