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by Abigail Van Buren

Magic Johnson Sets Standard for National Response to Aids

DEAR ABBY: I am hoping you can help with a research project we are doing at school. Almost all watch advertisements have their watches set at 10:10. (Digital as well as standard watches.)

I was told years ago that this was to commemorate the bombing of Hiroshima, as it was at this exact time. Well, that theory is false. Hiroshima was bombed at 8:15 a.m.

Can you or anyone else answer this question for us? Thank you! -- G. TAYLOR AND THE FOURTH-GRADE CLASS, TRAFTON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, ARLINGTON, WASH.

DEAR G. TAYLOR AND THE FOURTH-GRADE CLASS: According to the Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (Columbia, Pa.), the clock industry has been using that setting since the 1850s to illustrate sales catalogs. Their spokesperson said it is not true that the clocks are set to commemorate the bombing of Hiroshima -- or the time that President Lincoln was supposed to have been shot, either.

Watches and clocks are set at 10:10, and sometimes 1:50, because it looks good and presents a balanced face that is easy to read.