A lecture or seminar can’t go on forever, although I’ve seen people try. The normal recommendation is to take a ten to fifteen minute break every forty minutes to one hour, but those breaks can be so boring, and letting everyone know how much time is left and getting them to return is never easy. As a free service to any presenters out there, I offer the following tool,  a web-based break timer that displays the words, “Time remaining until next lecture:” and a randomly selected quotation from my ever-expanding collection. More instructions on additional features below the fold. During the break, call up a browser window and display it for all to see. In addition to counting down the time remaining, the quotation changes every fifteen seconds. You can find the source for the quotations at my web site. The source file also includes a “fortune cookie” version of the display program, but not the break timer. Other features of the break timer are a bit of censorship to exclude some of the more controversial quotations from the collection, the ability to customize the duration (change “minutes=15” in the URL to whatever numerical value suits your fancy), and the ability to change the words “next” (change “nxt=next” to “nxt=the_next_exciting” where the underscores will become spaces) and “lecture” (change “lec=lecture” to “lec=show”). A preconfigured list of links and time values is also available.

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