Timekeeping (Clocks, Horology, Methods, Standards, etc.)

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#91
And now their campaign has moved to Ireland.

Stick with summer time and the living could be easier
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/wee ... 21730.html
Sat, Mar 26, 2011

If the UK decides to switch to Central European Time, writes CIAN TRAYNOR , would the Republic have any choice but to follow suit?

AS THE CLOCKS are put forward an hour this weekend, stretching daylight into the evenings, many are wondering why it can’t stay that way.

In the UK, the House of Commons has voted to consider the Daylight Saving Bill, which calls on ministers to analyse the potential benefits of keeping Central European Time and to test it out for three years. If the bill were passed, Ireland would have a decision to make: join in or face having a time zone that is different from Northern Ireland’s.

The idea is to keep putting the clocks forward in spring and back again in autumn, but effectively move an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening, when more people are awake. Those in favour argue that it would reduce energy bills, encourage children to exercise more and bring the country into line with EU trading partners.

Every March and October since 1993, the senator Feargal Quinn has pleaded for the Seanad to consider changing the time permanently, insisting Ireland should stop waiting for another country to make the decision for us.

“The only reason we haven’t moved on is because Britain hasn’t moved on it,” he says. “I argue that we should go ahead with it anyway, as very quickly they would follow us when they see the benefits. There are very few voices here expressing any serious concern that cannot be overcome.”

The main objection is darker mornings in winter. At that time of year the sun would rise just a couple of minutes before 10am in Dublin and 15 minutes later in Galway, according to Tom Ray, professor of astronomy at Dunsink Observatory, which provides lighting-up times for the entire country.

“From the point of view of science and astronomy, it makes no difference whatsoever,” Ray says. “But it wouldn’t particularly suit Ireland. If it were just left to ourselves, there would be no sense in it.”

A similar trial was conducted between 1968 and 1971 in the UK and Ireland. The main contention at the time was the effects of a later sunrise. One side claimed darker mornings increased the number of road traffic deaths and injuries. Others argued that by making the afternoon rush-hour lighter, those types of accidents fell in the evenings by a greater number. [A spokesman for the Road Safety Authority in Ireland said it was not an issue actively being considered.] Ultimately the advantages and disadvantages were deemed unquantifiable, due to the impact drink-driving legislation passed in 1967 was likely to have had on the figures, and the old system was reinstated.

Now, Quinn says, its time to try again, even if it means changing school hours between December and January, the darkest months. For one thing, he adds, it would give Irish tourism a much-needed boost.

It may not be a coincidence that the peak tourism season corresponds with the clocks being put forward in March and then back again in October, says Aidan Pender, director of policy and industry development at Fáilte Ireland.

“If we could get another hour or two in the evening, I’d say yes,” Pender says. “Some of the strengths of Irish tourism are around restaurants, pubs and hotels – the evening side of things. To that extent, more working hours could mean more jobs. Irish tourism would support [moving forward an hour] but we’re mindful there are a lot of other considerations to be taken into account.”

One of those considerations is agriculture. In the past, farmers in Scotland and Northern Ireland have spoken out against any proposed change to the time, claiming they suffer disproportionately during dark mornings. But earlier this month, the UK’s National Farmers’ Union said they would no longer oppose any such move and farmers in Ireland are indicating they would welcome brighter evenings.

Spokesmen for the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association, the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association and the Irish Farmers’ Association all suggested the extra hours of daylight could enable farmers to work more efficiently at certain times of year.

But then there are those who are just fed up with having to change clocks at all. Frances McCarthy, astronomer and education officer at the Blackrock Castle Observatory at Cork Institute of Technology, gets up at sunrise all year round. She says daylight saving has made her late for work and she tires of trying to keep track of all the time changes when making international phone calls.

“It’s a totally arbitrary, artificial event,” she says with a laugh. “Personally I’d love to get rid of it. We might as well move to summer time and stay on it. The hassle of remembering to change your clocks, losing that hour and being groggy for three or four days – it’d be easier if it was just the same all year round.”
 

rynner2

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#92
The world is going bonkers!
Cows will be calmer, doctors happier and crooks less active.
Yeah, right! Cows can't tell the time (not by clocks anyway)!

As for Ireland staying on summer time, there's even less justification for that than for Britain doing it, as Ireland is further west.

If half the hemisphere shifts away from Mean Solar time, then we move even further from our connections with nature.

Alternatively, leave the clocks as they are, and alter our working habits. Legislate for banks to open and close an hour earlier, and the rest of business and industry would have to follow suite. Which highlights the snag with putting the clocks on - it means everyone has to get up earlier, with all the problems that brings in winter.

:evil:
 

rynner2

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#93
A story of related interest:

Samoa to jump forward in time by one day

The South Pacific island nation of Samoa is to jump forward in time by one day in order to boost its economy.
Samoa will do this by switching to the west side of the international date line, which it says will make it easier for it to do business with Australia and New Zealand.
At present, Samoa is 21 hours behind Sydney. From 29 December it will be three hours ahead.

The change comes 119 years after Samoa moved in the opposite direction.
Then, it transferred to the east side of the international date line in an effort to aid trade with the US and Europe.
However, Australia and New Zealand have increasingly become Samoa's biggest trading partners.

Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said: "In doing business with New Zealand and Australia, we're losing out on two working days a week.
"While it's Friday here, it's Saturday in New Zealand and when we're at church Sunday, they're already conducting business in Sydney and Brisbane."

Samoa is located approximately halfway between New Zealand and Hawaii and has a population of 180,000 people.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13330592
 

rynner2

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#94
A new development:

Can the clock really be ticking for GMT?
A French plot to change the way we tell the time must be resisted – and not a moment too soon, says Clive Aslet.
By Clive Aslet
7:07AM BST 03 Oct 2011

Party conference delegates traditionally need a distraction, something to take their minds off the most contentious matters. And the Tories have been given one by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures. This organisation doesn't seek, as you might think from its title, to outlaw bendy bananas or impose a universal standard of sausage, but to do something altogether more sinister: to redefine time.

Not content with using the rotation of the earth, it wants to base the official calculation on an atomic pulse. Out goes Greenwich Mean Time. In comes something emanating – wouldn't you know it? – from Paris. "We want to decouple the world's time-keeping from its link to the rotation of the earth," says a spokesman for the bureau.

Call me paranoid, but I detect French fingerprints all over this proposal. Atomic, you see: we all know how the French love their nuclear power. And then it is so rational, so scientific. That's the French for you; never happier than starting from first principles. We Anglo-Saxons are quite prepared to accept the world as it is, a planet cheerfully spinning on its axis. We're traditionalists at heart. We're used to GMT. It has a ring to it.

Time is not only the medium of history, but it has a history of its own. At Greenwich, it goes back to Henry VII, who created a palace there called Placentia. In due course, it became the birthplace of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. etc...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/8803 ... r-GMT.html

In more detail:

Britain's GMT not accurate enough for timekeeping, claim French scientists

London, Oct 3 (ANI): Scientists have claimed that worldwide time couldn't be based on Britain's Greenwich Mean Time anymore because it's not quite accurate enough.
It has been the way the world measures time for almost 130 years, but this new claim means it could soon be consigned to the history books.

And to add insult to injury, the scientists behind the move hail from France - which failed in a rival bid for the world to run on Paris Mean Time when GMT was first agreed, The Daily Mail reported.
They have pushed for a plan, which would see worldwide time based on atomic clocks, without reference to the sun's journey across the zero-degree meridian that runs through Greenwich Park in London.

This method was introduced in 1884. But the Earth rotates at slightly varying rates, so the duration of each day can be fractionally different. To compensate, in 1972 scientists introduced a new form of GMT - Co-ordinated Universal Time.
It uses highly accurate atomic clocks, but is occasionally corrected by adding 'leap seconds' to keep it in tune with the Earth's rotational time, measured at Greenwich.

In the modern world of the internet and satellite-based GPS systems, however, greater accuracy is required than ever.
And every time leap seconds are added to atomic clocks and computer networks around the world, there is the risk of a small mistake that could cause havoc.

So the French-based International Bureau of Weights and Measures claims worldwide time should be based entirely on atomic clocks.
Advocates admit this means it would soon get out of kilter with variations in the rotation of the Earth, but say it could be realigned by adding a leap minute every 50 years - leaving less room for error.

"Britain has lodged the main objections but they are based on tradition, not science," said the BIPM's Elisa Felicitas Arias.
"It is very ironic since it was Britain that actually invented the atomic clock. But we need a modern system for timekeeping and since the definition of GMT is based on the Earth's rotation then GMT will become mainly historical," she added. vote on the issue will be held in January at the International Telecommunication Union in Geneva. (ANI)

http://in.finance.yahoo.com/news/Britai ... 8.html?x=0
 

Cochise

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#95
Surely if the day does actually vary slightly in length we want a system that accomodates that?

It's the old math-heads at work again trying to make the real world fit their axioms :twisted:
 

rynner2

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#96
Cochise said:
Surely if the day does actually vary slightly in length we want a system that accomodates that?
Actually the proposed system does accomodate the increasing length of days by the use of a leap-minute 'every 50 years'.

In practice this won't affect anyone's life at all - the sun will still rise in the morning and set in the evening. The sun's apparent movements actually vary throughout the year anyway, so that sundial-time can be up to 15 minutes different from GMT, which causes no problems:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equation_of_time

And the leap-minute would have to be applied less and less frequently as the Earth slows to tidally lock with the Moon, when the day and the month will be equal! However
....the slowdown to a month-long day would still not have been completed by 4.5 billion years from now when the Sun will evolve into a red giant and possibly destroy both the Earth and Moon. :shock:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tidal_acceleration
So, provided they haven't replaced their watches with the clocks in their mobile phones, Boy Scouts will still be able to use the sun and the hour hand of a watch to estimate which direction is south!
Finding south with a watch: Point the hour hand of your watch directly at the sun. Due south is approximately halfway between the hour hand and 12:00.

http://www.whmentors.org/saf/survtest.html
 

Quake42

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#97
This looks like it is going ahead. Slightly surprised as the previous trial didn't work out too well.

Clocks forward trial being considered

UK would adopt central European time, GMT plus one hour in winter and two in summer, if devolved governments agree


The UK-wide consensus is one of the amendments ministers want to make to the daylight savings private members bill. Photograph: Paul Hackett/Reuters
Clocks could go forward by an hour permanently subject to UK-wide consensus.

The government has decided to back the bid for a three-year trial that would see the UK join the central European time zone — but only if devolved administrations agree.

It would mean lighter evenings but darker mornings, especially in Scotland, where many people are strongly opposed. Campaigners believe, however, that moving to lighter evenings would reduce energy use and hence carbon emissions, cut road deaths and boost tourism.

British summertime ends this weekend when clocks go back on Sunday. If the trial went ahead, it would see Britain's clocks go unchanged. Clocks in winter would be set to GMT plus one hour (British summertime) and GMT plus two in the summer.

The stipulation for agreement across the UK is one of the amendments ministers want to make to the daylight savings private members bill, which is set to move to committee stage in early November.

The bill, first put forward by Conservative MP Rebecca Harris in 2010, calls on the government to conduct a cross-departmental analysis into the potential costs and benefits of moving the clocks forward to create lighter evenings.

If this review showed that the move would be beneficial, the government would then initiate a three-year trial to evaluate the impact of the change. David Cameron signalled that he was willing to consider the switch, but has said that the argument would only be won when people across the country feel comfortable with the change.

Time zones are the responsibility of individual EU member states and vary across the continent. The devolution arrangements for time zones also vary – responsibility is devolved in Northern Ireland, but reserved in Scotland and Wales.

Some have suggested that England could make the change alone, but Cameron has said that he wants a united time zone for a UK.

Edward Davey, the business secretary, said: "This is an issue which affects everyone across the country, so we cannot rush headfirst into this. As the prime minister has made clear, we would need consensus from the devolved administrations if any change were to take place. We have therefore tabled amendments to the current bill to make sure that it addresses these concerns.

"It is only right that we at least look at what the potential economic and social benefits of any change might be. Lower road deaths, reduced carbon dioxide emissions and improved health have all been argued over the years as possible benefits."

Harris said she was delighted with the decision to support the bill.

"There are so many conflicting arguments on both sides of the daylight saving lobby. I believe we need a comprehensive and objective assessment of them.

"Of course any eventual change to the clocks would affect everyone in the country so I do not believe it should be considered unless there is good evidence in favour of it and a broad public consensus, which would naturally include the devolved assemblies."
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011 ... ward-trial
 
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#98
I remember going to school in the dark, at half-past eight in the morning, back in 1969. That was in the South West of Scotland. It'll probably be pitch-dark at 10am, up in the Orkneys.

I'm rather surprised they intend to go through with it. Perhaps, it's a ruse and they intend to blame any bad reactions, publicity, or fall out, on Brussels?

:confused:
 

Quake42

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#99
I'm rather surprised they intend to go through with it. Perhaps, it's a ruse and they intend to blame any bad reactions, publicity, or fall out, on Brussels?
You could be right. I don't see there is much demand for this and, although I may be in a minority, I HATE going to work in the dark much more so than I do travelling home. Clocks going forward an hour will make this the norm in winter, even in the South of England.
 

rynner2

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I don't like repeating myself, but as it's sometime since I last made this point, I will:

If putting the clocks forward is so good for our well-being, what's to stop Germany putting theirs forward too... or Russia... or China... until we end up with a world where nowhere has clocks that match solar mean time anymore. And all because people can't come to terms with shorter days in the winter.

If we have to change anything, change banking and business hours and leave the clocks alone!
 

Mal_Adjusted

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I think Rynner has hit the nail on the head - leave the clocks alone and change the times people do things.
 

rynner2

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Stormkhan said:
I'll stick to GMT, thankyouverymuch!
I already do, in my digital camera - it stays on GMT all year round.
(In the unlikely event I need to know the BST time when I took a pic, it's easy enough to add an hour!)
 

Ravenstone

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To be honest, I don't understand this proposal at all. If it was to scrap BST, it would at least make some sense. But scrapping GMT? So what happens in Greenwich exactly???? There's just no logic to it.

As Ryn says, may as well scrap the time differences all over the globe so they have no meaning whatsoever.
 

rynner2

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Well, here we are, back on good ol' GMT again!

Enjoy it while you can, before the loonies take over the asylum!
 

rynner2

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Time-warp: The odd history of that extra hour in bed
Grumpy cows. Riots. Sibling rivalry. There's no end of odd effects that come from changing the clocks
Madeeha Ahmed, Emily Dugan
Sunday, 30 October 2011

As you bask in the well-rested glow of an extra hour spent in bed this morning, spare a thought for your poor counterpart in Russia. For the first time, residents in the former Soviet state will remain trapped in summer time after President Medvedev passed a law to keep the country on the same time all year round. He justified the new law because of health risks connected with the change. Despite an increasingly vociferous campaign to do the same in Britain – with the PM considering the change – the country is still getting an extra hour in bed, so The Independent on Sunday has gathered together 24 of the strangest things about the clock changes.

...

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/scien ... 77790.html

This has to be the strangest:

15.00 In November 2007, Laura Cirioli of North Carolina gave birth to Peter at 1:32 and, 34 minutes later, to Allison. As Standard Time starts at 2am, Allison became the older twin. :shock: :?
 

Ravenstone

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Ahhh.... back to good ol' GMT. I love it when the clocks go back. It always feels like coming home :)
 

OneWingedBird

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BRF: Is lane swimming on today?
Lifeguard: It doesn;t start until 12.00
BRF: Oh sh*t did the clocks go back or something?

:lol:
 

rynner2

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Ravenstone said:
I love it when the clocks go back. It always feels like coming home :)
I agree! Reminds me of my childhood, when I went to school in daylight, but the evenings got darker as Christmas approached, so you could enjoy the Christmas lights.
 

rynner2

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Mythopoeika said:
Where is the FTMB hosted?
The last couple of posts say it's the 31st already.
I guess the hosting computers haven't adjusted their time automatically.
Another example of the cock-ups caused by messing around with the clocks! :twisted:

(It's still the 30th here, according to Windows.)
 

Yithian

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Ravenstone said:
Ahhh.... back to good ol' GMT. I love it when the clocks go back. It always feels like coming home :)
Well put.

I'd like to think that on my deathbed, I'll imagine myself ten years old in the last week of October or the first week of November, walking home from cubs along the lane with my torch shining down but my eyes to the heavens.

As it is, I'll probably spend my last few minutes on earth lamenting the lumpiness of the mashed potato or accusing a nurse of having hidden my jar of pickled onions.
 

rynner2

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rynner2 said:
A new development:

Can the clock really be ticking for GMT?
A French plot to change the way we tell the time must be resisted – and not a moment too soon, says Clive Aslet.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/8803 ... r-GMT.html

In more detail:

Britain's GMT not accurate enough for timekeeping, claim French scientists

http://in.finance.yahoo.com/news/Britai ... 8.html?x=0
And in even more detail:

Changes to the world's time scale debated
By Rebecca Morelle, Science reporter, BBC News
[What is a leap second? Video]

Time, as we know it, could soon be in for a radical change.
This week, scientists at the Royal Society are discussing whether we need to come up with a new definition of the world's time scale: Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
And the main issue up for debate is the leap second - and whether we should abolish it.

The leap second came into existence in 1972. It is added to keep the time-scale based on atomic clocks in phase with the time-scale that is based on the Earth's rotation.

The reason for this is that while atomic clocks, which use the vibrations in atoms to count the seconds, are incredibly accurate, the Earth is not such a reliable time-keeper thanks to a slight wobble as it spins on its axis.
Rory McEvoy, curator of horology at the UK's Royal Observatory in Greenwich, explained: "Since the 1920s, it has been known, and previously suspected, that the motion of the Earth is not quite as constant as we'd first thought."

This means that time based on atomic clocks and time based on Earth drift ever further out of phase over time.
So every few years, before the difference has grown to more than 0.9 seconds, an extra second - called the leap second - is added to snap the two back into synch.
"The International Earth Rotation Service monitors the Earth's activity, and they decide when it is appropriate to add a leap second into our time-scale," said Mr McEvoy.

But the call to get rid of the leap second is causing a rift within the international time community, and it will come to a head at a vote at the World Radio Conference of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in January 2012 in Geneva.

An informal survey by the ITU earlier this year revealed that three countries - the UK, China and Canada, are strongly against changing the current system.
However 13 countries, including the Unites States, France, Italy and Germany, want a new time-scale that does not have leap seconds. But with nearly 200 member states, this still leaves many others that have yet to reveal their position.

The International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) in Paris is the international standards organisation that is responsible for maintaining the world's time. It thinks that the leap second should go because these one second adjustments are becoming increasingly problematic for systems that need a stable and continuous reference time-scale.

Dr Felicitas Arias, director of the BIPM's time department and co-organiser of the meeting at the Royal Society, explained: "It is affecting telecommunications, it is problematic for time transfer by the internet (such as the network time protocol, NTP) as well as for financial services.
"Another application that is really very, very affected by the leap second is time synchronisation in Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS).
"GNSS rely on perfect time synchronisation - and leap seconds are a nuisance."

One problem is that because the changes in the Earth's rotation are not regular, leap seconds are also erratic, and only six months' notice is given for each one.
But the countries that are against losing the leap second, including the UK, say the problems are being exaggerated.

Peter Whibberley, senior research scientist in time and frequency at the National Physical Laboratory, in Teddington, said: "When the UK government did a survey of government agencies, they couldn't find anyone who was concerned with leap seconds. So we don't see the evidence presented for the problems caused by leap seconds as being all that serious."

But decoupling civil time from the Earth's rotation could also have longer-term consequences.
Dr Whibberley explained: "[If you lost leap seconds] UTC would drift apart from time based on the Earth's rotation, it would gradually diverge by an increasing amount of time. Something would have to be done to correct the increasing divergence."

Over a few decades this would amount to a minute's difference, but over several hundred years this would mean the atomic clock time-scale and the time-scale based on the Earth's rotation would be out by an hour.

In 2004, the idea of swapping leap seconds for a leap hour in a few hundred years' time was proposed. But Dr Whibberley said most scientists agreed that this would be even more problematic.
He explained: "It was dropped quickly. The general feeling was that you could never implement a leap hour as they are much harder to do than the leap seconds, and if you can't cope with leap seconds, it would be much harder to cope with a leap hour."

One possible solution, if the leap second is abolished, could be to tie in any changes with daylight saving changes - even though this would take place in a few centuries' time.
"Countries could just accommodate the divergence by not putting their clocks forward in the spring, so you'd change your time zone by one hour to bring civil time back into line with the Earth's rotation," added Dr Whibberley
.

Dr Arias said it was looking increasingly likely that leap seconds may be voted out in January, but that the meeting at the Royal Society could help to thrash out ideas that could offset any problems this loss could cause.
"The point is we can find a compromise, there are possibilities of leaving the time open for synchronisation in the future," she said.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15546124
 

rynner2

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rynner2 said:
A story of related interest:

Samoa to jump forward in time by one day

The South Pacific island nation of Samoa is to jump forward in time by one day in order to boost its economy.
Samoa will do this by switching to the west side of the international date line, which it says will make it easier for it to do business with Australia and New Zealand.
At present, Samoa is 21 hours behind Sydney. From 29 December it will be three hours ahead.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13330592
More info:

A dateline in the sand on Stevenson’s treasured island
While living in Samoa, the 19th-century Scottish novelist experienced a 'double day' when the nation hopped over the date line. Tomorrow, it moves back again. Kathy Marks explores
Kathy Marks Wednesday 28 December 2011

Perhaps the most striking feature of Robert Louis Stevenson's house, situated on a hillside above Apia, the Samoan capital, is a brick fireplace. It was never used – not surprisingly, given the perennially steamy temperatures outside – but it reminded Stevenson of home. "His body was here, but his heart was always in Scotland," says Margaret Silva, who shows visitors around the plantation-style villa, now a museum.

The 19th-century novelist, poet and travel writer had spent three years wandering the Pacific before he and his family settled in Samoa in 1889. The warm climate agreed with Stevenson's health – he had been plagued by lung problems since childhood – and the culture provided rich fodder for his work. He and his American wife, Fanny, bought 300 jungle-smothered acres and built a two-storey timber home. They lived there with her two children, son-in-law and grandson, his mother and a maid. And they entertained Samoan high society with the help of servants clad in Royal Stewart tartan.

The family also had the uncanny experience of gaining a day while staying in one place. Until 4 July 1892, Samoa located itself on the western side of the International Date Line – even though its position suggested it should be on the east. This was because its strongest relations were with Australia. But gradually, San Francisco became more important, and pragmatically the authorities decided to side with the US.

The only way this could be accomplished was to have a double-day – and, with a nod to American sensibilities, Independence Day was chosen. Stevenson's mother, Margaret Isabella Stevenson, noted: "We are ordered to keep two Mondays in this week, which will get us straight."

Tomorrow, Samoa hops back in time to the side of the Date Line it originally occupied. From midnight tomorrow, Thursday 29 December, the clock will jump to 12.01am on Saturday, 31 December – leaving Samoans bereft of the final Friday of 2011 , but aligned with their most significant Pacific neighbour, New Zealand.

Just two years after that first date change, on 3 December (or was it 4 December?) 1894, the author of Kidnapped, Treasure Island and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was dead. Stevenson was aged 44. He had suffered a stroke while opening a bottle of wine. The Samoans, who called him "Tusitala" ("storyteller"), were grief-stricken. "Our beloved Tusitala, the stones and the earth weep," lamented one paramount chief, Tuimaleali'ifana.

etc...

http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/aus ... 81991.html
 

Anome

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Small quibble, it can't be three hours ahead of Sydney, as that would imply it was at GMT+14 (Sydney is currently at GMT+11). GMT+12 would normally be considered as far forward as you can go, due to the length of the day, with GMT+13 for Daylight Saving. NZ is at GMT+13 (due to Daylight Saving), but is normally at GMT+12 (although what "normally" means these days is debatable).

Also, given that Samoa in the last year moved from driving on the right to driving on the left (the first country to do so, all others have gone the other way). The reason given was that it was easier to import cars from Australia and New Zealand than from America. Clearly Samoa sees its future being more closely tied to us than to them.
 

rynner2

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Another report:

Samoa skips a Friday and goes back to the future side of dateline
No Friday 30 December this year as Samoa synchronises calendar with trading partners New Zealand and Australia
James Meikle
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 28 December 2011 18.30 GMT

Forget the Tardis or Star Trek. Samoans have a simpler answer to changing the calendar – and warping the dateline is so much easier than time travel.

But those who routinely thank goodness it's Friday in the Pacific islands state may be less happy. This year, 30 December is disappearing as Samoa skips the day entirely.

The country that has been able to say it sees the world's last sunset of the day is about to edge ahead of Tonga as the place where 2012 begins.

The decision to change Samoa's place in the world temporarily reflects a new business order. It will be on the same day as New Zealand, Australia and China.
"In doing business with New Zealand and Australia, we're losing out on two working days a week," the prime minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, said in April when the plan to push the clocks 24 hours forward was announced. "While it's Friday here, it's Saturday in New Zealand and when we're at church on Sunday, they're already conducting business in Sydney and Brisbane."

He suggested Pacific tourists could celebrate the same day twice, because American Samoa next door stays on the other side of the dateline.
"You can have two birthdays, two weddings and two wedding anniversaries on the same date – on separate days – in less than an hour's flight across [the ocean], without leaving the Samoan chain," the prime minister enthused. 8)

The Westpac Samoa bank had good news for its customers, too. "This is a very significant day in the history of Samoa and for some time now we've been planning and programming our systems to deal with the event," said Michael Mjaskalo, its general manager, according to the Samoa Observer.
"Customers can be assured that Westpac will not charge interest on credit and loan facilities for the missing day. However, we will pay the appropriate interest on interest-bearing deposits for the missing day even though we are not obligated by law."

Two years ago, Tuilaepa switched Samoan driving from the right to the left side of the roads, in line with Australia and New Zealand. The move meant expat Samoans could send used cars home to their relatives.

Samoa has crossed the international dateline before. In 1892, its then king was persuaded to fall in step with American ships sailing west to San Francisco. That shift gave the Samoan calendar an extra day that meant consecutive fourths of July.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/de ... 0-december
 

rynner2

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...and another! 8)

The country that's going to bed tonight and waking up on Saturday
The shift to a new time zone means that Samoans will never see Friday, 30 December – and they're not happy about it
Kathy Marks Thursday 29 December 2011

Businesses are grumbling about losing a day's takings while having to pay staff a full week's wages, and the 775 Samoans born on 30 December are understandably miffed. Such are the logistical problems facing the South Pacific nation as it prepares to hop over the International Dateline by pretending tomorrow does not exist.

Earlier this year, Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, decided that, so as to fall into step with its main trading partners, Australia and New Zealand, the country should swap timezones, becoming the first place where the sun rises, rather than the last. In order to do that, it had to skip a whole day, which Mr Tuilaepa decreed should be 30 December 2011.

Many Samoans were unhappy about the move, accusing him of failing to consider the practicalities involved. Samoa's Seventh Day Adventists have threatened to boycott the cancellation of Friday. "God won't accept that we simply erase a day out of the calendar," wrote one Adventist, Noeline Cutts, in the Samoa Observer. Until 1892, the island nation lay west of the dateline; it shifted east in order to trade more easily with California.

In the past century, its focus has switched to Australia and New Zealand, where many expatriate Samoans live – hence the decision to vault back over.
But the commercial argument does not wash with tourism operators, who say Samoa will lose its unique selling-point as the last place on earth to see the sun set. Some cartographers, meanwhile, believe that since the dateline is an international divider, countries should not be able to decide unilaterally where they sit in relation to it.

Samoans born on 30 December are having to celebrate their birthday a day early or late this year. The same choice faces the 43 couples whose wedding anniversary falls tomorrow. :shock:

The scrapping of Friday is problematic for Seventh Day Adventists, who celebrate the Sabbath on Saturday. "We will continue to worship on the seventh day of the week," insisted Ms Cutts, raising the prospect of the Adventist Sabbath switching to Sunday, in Samoa at least.

The timezone move has had international repercussions, with the tiny New Zealand territory of Tokelau, which lies just north of Samoa, obliged to follow it west. Tokelau, which has no airport, considers Samoa its gateway to the outside world.

It all seemed rather less complicated 120 years ago, when Samoa crossed the dateline by having two 4 Julys. The Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson was living there at the time with his family. His mother, Margaret, wrote: "We are ordered to keep two Mondays in this week."

The editor of the Samoa Observer, Keni Lesa, told Australian Associated Press that many locals regarded the latest move as "another idea from our crazy prime minister". However, Mr Tuilaepa – who has previously ordered Samoans to drive on the left rather than the right – is unmoved. His critics, he declares, are "stupid idiots".

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world ... 82492.html
 
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