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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Time After Time

Apologies, dear readers, for being out of touch. But between television appearances in New York City, an article for The Washington Post, a project for National Geographic (sorry, name-dropping is a DC institution), and trying to avoid exhaustion while playing tennis in the 95 degree heat, my attention has been elsewhere.

However, I have come across some engaging facts that I would like to share with you. Some of you may know that Indiana is split (not evenly) East/West between the Eastern and Central Time Zones. But do you know the only state that is split between times zones on a North/South basis? As you ponder, I have my eye on you, you little spud. Any IDeas? It's Idaho! The southern part of the state is on Mountain Time, while the northern part of the state is on Pacific Time. The dividing line is marked by the Time Zone Bridge in Riggins.

Speaking of time zone trivia, let me share a few other tidbits I learned in Googling the topic. I knew that Hawaii and Arizona do not observe Daylight Savings Time. But the Navajo Nation, located geographically within Arizona's borders, does give the sun its due in the summertime. U.S. territories including Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands stay on standard time all year long. But with those island climates, who needs summer time?

Internationally, Argentina decided to skip DST last summer (October, 2009-March, 2010) in order to save energy. China, in a normal world, would span at least five time zones. But after the Communist Party took over the country in 1949, it reverted to one common time zone (UTC +8), helping the trains run on time (oops, that was Mussolini) and leaving the poor farmers in Xinjiang and Qinghai provinces in the dark most of the morning. The PRC doesn't not observe DST. Only three countries on the continent of Africa (Egypt, Morocco and Namibia) follow Daylight Savings Time.

I don't know how Vanilla Ice, Ice Baby feels about Daylight Savings Time, but Iceland and Antarctica are officially frozen on standard time all year long (although some bases and stations on the tundra stay consistent with their home territories). If you are hanging out at the South Pole though, you can walk through 24 standard time zones in a matter of seconds.