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Time Zones
Time Zones

If you've found this page, chances are you've seen the funny looking 4 digit figure after the time on the menu bar and wondered what that's all about.

Well, that's known as a "timezone". Timezones are areas of the world where it is the same time, but the time is different in a different timezone. Now, your immediate reaction to this is going to be, "That's ridiculous! How can it be a different time somewhere else?"

The sad reality is that this is true. For example, you can be in London at 7 o'clock in the morning but it can be 3 o'clock in the afternoon in Hong Kong - at the same time! The reason for this is the ludicrous shape that the earth has been made into. It's a sphere, for Christ's sake!

Now, anyone with any sense wouldn't even consider making a round world, but the reasons why the world is the shape it is are, like so many other reasons, historical. In 1492, an avid tea drinker by the name of Christopher Columbus became increasingly pissed off by the long distance he had to travel to India to get a decent cup of tea that he petitioned the Vatican for an easier way to get there.

"If we were to make the world round," he explained to the pope, "I could just nip round the back way without having to go that arse about route round Africa, and bring back lots of really nice tea."

The pope being a tea drinker himself concurred and in his next board meeting with God, they drew up plans for a new, totally spherical earth which God put into action with immediate effect. But God is a mischievous little so-and-so and although He did indeed offer Christopher Columbus an alternative route to India, He plonked a bloody huge new continent in the way which was an even bigger bugger to get round than Africa.

But the redesign of the earth had further consequences. Instead of dropping off the edge of the world, explorers now had the problem that if they went to the bottom bit of the world, they'd naturally fall off anyway. It wasn't until the invention of gravity by Sir Isaac Newton that explorers could sail to places like Australia.

And of course another problem is the one we see here, where people from different parts of the world can visit this web site but it's a totally different time, and sometimes a totally different day, from what it is here in Stuff Today. This is why when you see the time displayed on the menu bar, it could very well appear to be wrong to you. But it's actually right to us, because we're in the timezone shown on the menu bar but you could be in a completely different one.

So, here at Stuff Today, we're putting forward a two stage plan to resolve this problem. Stage One: we will allow you to set your own timezone on our site so that it displays the right time for you. This, of course, is not the most ideal solution as it requires manual input from yourself our client, when we should be perfectly capable of doing something as simple as telling you the time. Also, this is prone to error and open to abuse - what if someone enters the wrong timezone!

Stage Two: we will flatten the earth out again. Naturally, this is a long term project and that is why we need to implement Stage One as a temporary solution. But we think you will agree that this is necessary. Nobody had any of these timezone problems on their web sites before 1492 and we don't see why anyone should have to put up with it here in the 21st millennium. Also, that continent that got in Christopher Columbus's way is of no value to the rest of the world, so we'll get rid of that in the process.

Reflattening the earth will be a huge project and we would welcome any help we can get. If you wish to help, whether you're good at digging or would like to join our campaign for a flatter earth, please write to us at this address:

stufftoday@shite.org

Together we can knock the world back into shape.


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