THE IRON PEN by Daniel Hite

December 30, 2011

Time Travel: Samoa leaps into the future

Filed under: Uncategorized — danielhite @ 7:01 am
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Yes, you read it right. Samoa is skipping Friday to join its major trade partners on the other side of the International Date Line. No joke…Samoans went to bed last night–which is Thursday there–and woke up on Saturday on the western side of the date line.  In fact, they would have really missed Friday if they were awake at 11:59 pm on Thursday, and a minute later, poof!…it was Saturday! Although Samoa will not be any closer to its nearest neighboring islands of Tonga and Fiji or its biggest trading partners of New Zealand and Australia, it now shares the same day with them all, reversing 120 years of sharing America’s side of the date line. Samoa is now three hours ahead of eastern Australia rather than 21 hours behind it.  Instead of being the last country on earth to enjoy a day or a new year, Samoa now becomes the first to see those new days dawn. For many, time zones and time changes have always been a challenge to understand, but to cross over the international dateline?…that’s a greater challenge altogether! If you happen to be an American landing in Samoa at this writing, sorry. You have already missed Friday, and if you stay 24 hours, it will be gone forever.  You won’t get this day back when you come home unless you come home now! Go figure. Hey, one more thought…the island of American Samoa, Samoa’s nearest eastern neighbor, will now become the last place on earth to experience the day’s sunset in the South Pacific–Samoa’s former claim to fame. If you take the short trip today back and forth from American Samoa to the nation of Samoa, then you will be skipping a day altogether, several times, but only today, whichever day that is.  Well, anyway, you figure it out.

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