Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What time is it in Antarctica?

I noticed this today about settings on Blogger. You're meant to specify which time zone you're bloggging from, and they have multiple city options for each time zone. If you're in a narrow country like New Zealand, you just take the city they've got for New Zealand and shut up. If you're in a wide country like Australia, you pick the city you're closest to, I assume. For example my time zone, GMT + 12:00, has as options Auckland, Fiji, Funafuti and Kwajalein, as well as two very unexpected locations:

"Antarctica/South Pole"

Um, ay?

Soooo, apparently if you are at the South Pole, your watch should be set to New Zealand time.

I was incredulous at this suggestion, so I consulted the source of all knowledge, Wikipedia:

From "South Pole": In most places on Earth, local time is more-or-less synchronised to the position of the sun in the sky. This line of reasoning fails at the South Pole, which has 'days' lasting for a whole year. Another way of looking at it is to note that all time zones converge at the pole. There is no a priori reason for placing the South Pole in any particular time zone, but as a matter of practical convenience the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station keeps New Zealand time. This is because the US flies its resupply missions out of Christchurch, New Zealand.

Well. The South Pole is on New Zealand time. Fancy that.

Now I'm considering the possibilities of blogging from the South Pole. I read a book about blogging recently that featured on the front cover a man sitting in a snowy landscape, dressed like an (insert-politically-correct-term-for-Eskimo/Inuit/etc-here), with a laptop. And it was a photo, too. I inferred from this that he was meant to be somewhere near the North Pole.

Trouble is, I don't think the South Pole has wifi. But if it ever gets wifi, I'll go down there and blog.

And I won't even have to change my blog's time zone.

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