You’ve possibly heard about the incredible complications that took place when various countries retired the ancient Julian Calendar and adopted the somewhat more advanced Gregorian Calendar back in the 16th century…entire days and months were leaped over, and vanished, in order to get everyone back on the same calendar page. Here in the future, that kind of thing has been replaced by the occasional “Leap Second” tacked onto the ends of certain years to keep all the instruments synchronized correctly. However, this week…in fact today…there’s a large scale time correction going on…in the Pacific Island nation of Samoa. Samoa does considerable industrial business with Australia and New Zealand…but because of its position relative to the International Date Line, it currently is always a different day in Samoa than it is in Australia. When it’s Friday in Samoa, it’s Saturday in New Zealand, thus you lose a business day, and when it’s Sunday in Samoa, it’s Monday in Australia, and you lose another one. So at midnight tonight in Samoa, the country will skip over Friday entirely and it’ll become Saturday the 31st. American Samoa…100 miles East of Samoan Samoa…will continue on the other side of the International Date Line…and there it’ll still be Friday…which will definitely be confusing, as when you make the one hour flight between American Samoa and Samoa, you’ll land there the next day. Since you’re bound to ask, workers in Samoa will be paid for the nonexistent day, but if you’re staying in a hotel, you won’t be charged for the extra night that didn’t exist. If it sounds confusing, it might help to note that it’s Samoa’s own fault. Back in 1892, Samoa elected to change sides on the international date line to ingratiate themselves with American Businesses. Back in that year they had July the 4th…twice. Guys…make up your minds, will you?
Album Notes: Grateful Acknowledgments to Mike Koenig, and Drum 8. “One Sly Move” Written and Performed by Kevin McLeod, Licensed under Creative Commons “Attribution 3.0″ http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ and used here by permission, and with appreciation and thanks. Some audio may be used under the Fair Use Doctrine.