Have you ever wondered who invented Time Zones?
Well, I have. And in the process, I have solved all the world’s Big Problems – like poverty. Takes a bit of explaining, but follow along on this…
One week ago, Elaine and I took off on this adventure to the Pacific Northwest where we are living for a full month. Mostly it’s business, but lots of kid time, too, including the dinners out with family and so forth.
And that’s where Ures truly turns into a wet dish rag party-pooper: I am still getting up at 2:30 AM (local time, 4:30 AM (indicted governor time in Texas) to write my column. So (local time) I like the idea of going to bed about 5 PM. Being married in this time zone? Ain’t ever gonna happen.
Same guy, same country, same snarfy markets comments, and – as far as the circadian rhythms of the body are concerned, the same body clock. UrbanSurvival is a more institution. (Comments welcome on whether it would be useful any other time of day…)
People of the Left Coast don’t seem at all bothered by the fact that they (rather arrogantly) can’t tell Washington, DC time…and DC’toninians live (as a result) displaced from the prevailing reality of the Right Coast. Ever place in-between (like Ferguson) is screwed up.
Is it any wonder we are a deeply conflicted country?
So, I got to thinking (in a moment of Dementia/Minutia Disease, perhaps), who’s the sonovabitch who decided we should have one voting country and 11 clock countries involved in the Superpower America brand of products?
Bet you didn’t know that US outposts Baker and Howland Islands are at one end of the US Time Zone conspiracy while Wake Island in the western Pacific and McMurdo research station down in the Antarctic are 12-hours off, did you?
Turns out, that “local time” has its roots in what else? Industry…sayeth Wikipedia here:
Local solar time became increasingly awkward as rail transport and telecommunications improved, because clocks differed between places by an amount corresponding to the difference in their geographical longitude, which varied by four minutes for every degree of longitude. The difference between New York and Boston is about two degrees or 8 minutes, the difference between Sydney and Melbourne, Australia, is about 7 degrees or 28 minutes. Bristol is 2°35? W(est) of Greenwich (East London), so when it is noon in Bristol, it is about 10 minutes past noon in London. The use of time zones smooths out these differences.
The first adoption of a standard time was on December 1, 1847, in Great Britain by railway companies using GMT kept by portable chronometers. The first of these companies to adopt standard time was the Great Western Railway (GWR) in November 1840. This quickly became known as Railway Time. About August 23, 1852, time signals were first transmitted by telegraph from the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. Even though 98% of Great Britain’s public clocks were using GMT by 1855, it was not made Britain’s legal time until August 2, 1880. Some old British clocks from this period have two minute hands—one for the local time, one for GMT.
The increase in worldwide communication had further increased the need for interacting parties to communicate mutually comprehensible time references to one another. The problem of differing local times could be solved across larger areas by synchronizing clocks worldwide, but in many places the local time would then differ markedly from the solar time to which people were accustomed. Time zones were a compromise, relaxing the complex geographic dependence while still allowing local time to approximate the mean solar time.
But, of course, now that we have the Internet, there is only one time…and that is Internet Time. Except we still have two days going on at the same time which – again – makes no sense when you try to explain it to a child. Yes, it’s tomorrow morning in Tokyo right now kid…and maybe that’s why America gets its ass kicked in Asia trade. And yes, maybe the date line should be moved to the middle of the Atlantic…
For your munching and crunching enjoyment this morning, however, consider that the old “time conspiracy” will soon have to implode as the new World Order will shortly come to a problem of global job creation and time zones could either become a new industry OR they could all disappear (with good reason).
Imagine waking up some morning to discover that the world doesn’t have enough jobs for everyone who lives here. How would you “create an industry” overnight?
We have some examples: The 9-11 attack, for example, created millions of jobs by simply bringing back the Crusades which had been over and done with until the latter part of the last century.
History students note: This is called ReMarketing an old product.
LIHOP/MIHOP a series of attacks and presto: You’ve got three or four shades of Middle East War, a new shot in the arm (poor choice of words perhaps) for the Defense Industry, and you’ve got an ongoing War on Terror (WoT) that keeps Americans easy to over-tax and control.
As I have told you a thousand times (you’re a bit slow and I like to write): Without 9-11 the whole global economy would have been flushed down the crapper in 2001-2002 but we “broke the glass” and pulled the Emergency Lever on that one, and so we now have millions of jobs to fight the evils of (whatever you want to label it).
What to do, if too many people wake up – and all at the same time? If everyone on Earth begins to “get it” then we’ll be in a heap of trouble. But with continued conflict and strife, we can keep TSA, the drone industry and all the “new and improved” security features of Life. But let’s say that doesn’t work out: What then?
We need a new “Emergency Lever to pull and it dawned on me that a global change of timekeeping would be the answer.
My candidate is to change the present global time system to a Base-10 system, so there would only be 10- times zones in all. We’d call this Metric Time.
What are now hours would also have to become Base-10 numbers, and what used to be minutes would be something else. Make up some new units of time measuring, too: Say 100-Ures per NewHour. 100-seconds, too, but we’d have to honor some Dead Dude in name, in order to bring on the total confusion necessary to create global full employment.
100 Ures = 0.6 OldSeconds
(Seems premature to name these after myself, but taxes are gonna kill me sooner or later, and by the time agreement to my scheme comes along, I’ll be pushing up daisies…)
Consider how it would ripple:
- All clocks would need to be rebuilt.
- That means a million engineers for all the electronics.
- All books would need to be rewritten.
- All teachers would need retraining.
- The SAT and other tests would need to be tossed and redone with NuTime/MetriTime.
- Cars would have to be updated with the right clocks in the dash.
- All microwaves, TV’s and PVR’s would be obsoleted…
(Is this a great scheme, or what? Why, it’s almost as good as stealing a country’s money supply and leasing it back to the country at interest…)
Computer operating systems would have to be updated…and my list of instant jobs goes on and on.
OK, enough fun. “Surely, Mr. Ure is joking,” you are beginning to wonder.
No, I am not.
The United States has 11 time zones.
Russia has 9.
China has one.
When I look at which country is buying up resources (and industrial property and setting up “ports” in places like Idaho), I notice that the country with one time zone is eating everyone else’s lunch. And they have a 5,000 year civilization track record.
Thus, when I asked this morning “What TIME is it?” only one word came to mind.
The rest (2:16 AM PDT EI EI O) didn’t make any sense at all.
Yes Virginia, Deflation is Really Here
I get emails – and one this morning from an outfit lovingly labeled Fried Electronics by my email routing system – reports they are having a sale wherein you can buy a 1080p 40-inch LED TV for $269…
Do you realize that 25-years ago that wasn’t event a dream in a lab?
Jeez…wireless of ANY kind is just over 100-years old.
We know that technology-change causes economic displacements and Depressions, so the next one should be the Mutha Giant.
But not till we “break the glass” again and try another scam on the sheep. Fear Factor meets the movie Patton.
Elaine and I are insulated. I’m doing an update on the concept of The Adjustment Bureau and I call it Lobotomy Men…. They go around at night under the cover of (time zones) and make up phony circumstances to keep us all living in fear.
Like on the next sunny day when Al Gore gets wheeled out for his latest rendition of “See, this is global warming…” speech.
(Can you tell I’m on dark chocolate morsels and coffee instead of my usual meds this morning?)
A Few Work Notes
Next week, or the week after, we will be sitting down with our former White House sound whiz to capture some real ”old school” insights into audio engineering for our not-quite-secret project of building a dandy audio engineer school online – and on the cheap for the cheap.
The idea is to teach people how to do professional-level recording on a budget. Which is not to say that spending $10,000 to $70,000 on a professional recording school education isn’t nice – if you have the time and money.
BUT where this project is slotted is in the middle ground between overpriced education with student loan sharks in financial aid offices and grants on the one hand, to randomly getting partial answers by playing what I think of as “YouTube Roulette”.
Don’t get me wrong..YouTube is probably the finest short-course school out there if you are trying to solve one thing. (Like how to swap out the icemaker which has malfunctioned, that I went through a couple of weeks ago.)
But when you want to broadly learn a field of study, that takes a plan, logical steps of development and so forth. It really comes down to differentiation between “task solutions” (Instructables.com and other sites are great, too) versus “programs of study” which teach multiple skills and weave that into whole cloth…
Now, speaking of weaving…
Home Handy-Bastard’s Notebook
Not to do a free plug for Family Handyman magazine, but they have a pretty good article on inexpensive ways to theft-proof your home over here.
I’d remind you, what this being Friday and all, that it’s on the weekends that we each have an opportunity to work for ourselves and our own wonky designs and plans.
Yet an amazing number of people opt to do nothing, go into “couch-lock” and do pretty much nothing. Think of ity at TVola disease or Acquired Video Deficiency Syndrome (AVDS).
All of which, in turn just sets the lazy class of sheep up for another week of having to work for the man or labor for the machine.
We’ll be nose-counting Monday, but if you do some particularly cool project over the weekend, it would be nice to hear about it. You know, sort of like an AA meeting….
“My name is George and I used to be a couch potato…but I bought a table saw…and since I’ve been coming to meetings, I’ve learned how to dado new cabinets….”
Although money is one of the key ingredients to a “better” (more upscale) life, there’s a surprising influence personal initiative and hard work. Or, putting more directly, people with poor between the ears will still live like trash, no matter how much money you give them. But people with initiative, hustle, and brains can turn even the worst situation into a cool place to live and a unique lifestyle.
Think of it as “The War Between the Ears.” We talk about it at Workaholics Anonymous meetings.
Traffic Circle Jerks
So wraps our first week in a strange New Land where traffic circles have replaced stoplights. And instead of signs, the Pacific Northwest is littered with incomprehensible hieroglyphics that make no sense at all to a non-visual person.
I think all traffic signs ought to be posted in multiple languages:
- The graphic language (for the driving archeologists)
- Common English for idiots like me.
- C# or Java for Redmond, WA or Cupertino drivers
- Braille for Google drivers who are testing product.
Someone told me (a long time ago) – and I have never checked this out – that traffic circles were invented in Mexico. I would have guessed ISIS-held former Iraqi lands or Brazil, but I’m no good at this stuff. “Al Qaeda invented traffic circles” pass it on.
After spending 11-minutes going around one yesterday, I’ve decided that not only have public roads been hijacked and are being resold to stupid voters (as toll roads) but now, traffic engineers are out to kill off any survivors off and make body shop owners rich. Now we’re talking grand jury material.
Why? Because that will lead to higher profits for insurance companies.
All of which is a long way of saying if you see a lizard near a traffic circle, run over it.
Ya’ll come back Monday because one of our high muckety-muck corporate sources tells us the Big Boyz are getting worried about the world ending (financially) next year.
I’d write it up this morning, but I have another Nondestructive Pillow Test scheduled as soon as headlines are done so off you go to crash into the car in front of you. Or see the new galleries on the one porn site that IT hasn’t blocked yet…
Write when you break even… (Blood pressure 122/73 pulse 56 – must be Friday, huh?)