Thursday, September 07, 2006

#29 Crossing the Line

Sometime within the last 24 hours we earned the Order of the Golden Dragon.

According to Wikipedia, “The International Date Line (IDL), also known as just the Date Line, is an imaginary line on the surface of the Earth opposite the Prime Meridian which offsets the date as one travels east or west across it. Roughly along 180° longitude, with diversions to pass around some territories and island groups, it corresponds to the time zone boundary separating +12 and -12 hours GMT (UT1). All lines of longitude meet at the poles.”

To satisfy all those Indianans (or Hoosiers, if you prefer) who are devoted to the study of time zones, here’s a recap of our time zone journey so far… we have crossed from Eastern Time, to Central Time, to Mountain Time, to Pacific Time, to Alaska Time, to Hawaii Time, to Midway Island Time, and finally, to International Date Line.

Today should have been September 7, but in crossing the Date Line, our calendar changes from September 6 to September 8.

The US Navy marks the crossing of lines with a ceremony. For instance…
• Sailors who cross the International Date Line are awarded the Order of the Golden Dragon.
• Sailors who cross the Arctic Circle are awarded the Order of the Blue Nose.
• Sailors who cross the Antarctic Circle are awarded the Order of the Red Nose.
• Sailors who pass through the Panama Canal are awarded the Order of the Ditch.
• Sailors who pass through the Suez Canal are awarded the Safari to Suez.
• Sailors who cross at 0 0 degrees off the coast of West Africa (where the equator crosses the Prime Meridian) are awarded the Royal Diamond Shellback.

Yours in appreciating my Order of the Golden Dragon but dreaming of the Royal Diamond Shellback,

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