John Hawkins
john.Information john.Journal

Dr John Hawkins

Welcome to my bit of the Maison de Stuff, home to a huge load of pictures, and my daily blog.

My email address is as above - I've put it in an image in a vein attempt to reduce the amount of spam I get.

John's Journal / Blog
Main Index
John's Pictures
Main Index
Main Index (text only)
Recent Updates
John's Travel
Main Index
Other Related Sites:
Maison de Stuff

Time Difference

Posted on 2003/01/03 09:56:14 (January 2003).

As I write here in Japan, I've just had my evening meal (to avoid any dinner/tea North/South confusion) which is odd as you lot in England have not long since had breakfast I imagine. I can't get used to the time difference. The day before yesterday, we had a whole nine hours worth of 2003 here whilst you lazy good-for-nothings back in England were still lolling around in 2002. More to the point, people on the west coast of the USA, clearly utterly devoid of any kind of enthusiasm, didn't get around to making it into 2003 for a whole 17 hours after we did in Japan. In fairness, it probably wasn't particularly worth hurrying. 2003 seems almost deceptively similar to 2002. That aside, I do find the whole concept of time differences very odd indeed. I wonder, if you owned a sufficiently fast plane, if you could fly round the world on New Year's Eve and enjoy midnight in every time zone on the planet. Or could you somehow take advantage of time differences to string out your birthday a bit longer?

Comment 1

New from ACME Industries!
Earn a longer life (technially) by taking advantage of our super new space plane.. we fly constantly around the globe (stopping only for refuelling and toilet breaks) at supersonic speeds, thus stretching out your days. Live to be a hundred.

* Not suitable for vegetarians.

Posted by rowanboy at 2003/01/03 10:36:40.

Comment 2

This was actually something that Lewis Carroll wrote about as a puzzle.

Suppose that, at midDAY on New Year's Eve, you got in a superfast magic plane and flew right around the planet, remaining always directly underneath the sun. If you do that, then it's always exactly midday in every time zone you fly across. When you get back to where you started, it's midday on New Year's Day. But when did the New Year start?

Posted by Mark at 2003/01/06 15:08:40.

Comment 3

I don't know, but I have a feeling it has something to do with the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. Which is apparently just a specific case of the Cauchy-Schwarz inequality.

Posted by John at 2003/01/07 18:28:18.

Comment 4

And it is something to do with the mismatch between a discrete model being imposed on a non-discrete system. I.e. time zones shouldn't really occur in the big steps they do, but time should alter continuously as you go east or west. Although, in practice this would be sodding awkward.

Posted by John at 2003/01/07 18:30:56.

Comment 5

...but would give me an good excuse for being late into the pub..

Posted by rowanboy at 2003/01/10 18:08:19.

Post a comment