TNB Night Owl – What Time Is It?

Favre-Leuba alarm clock. Image by R2212xx.

For those who carefully monitor such things it may seem as if the Owl is late.  In reality, however, the Owl is never late… it simply exists on another time scale.

That may seem impossible; time is a fairly stable concept, and the differences in time across the globe are established in one hour intervals, a construct agreed upon throughout the world.  Twenty-four hours in a day, twenty-four time zones, as simple as that.  It’s called Coordinated Universal Time in English and is typically abbreviated UTC.

But it’s not quite that simple, even with accepting the odd Spring Forward / Fall Back shift due to Daylight Savings Time.  There are completely different time zones in some countries, for different reasons.

India and Sri Lanka both use Indian Standard Time, which has a half-hour offset from UTC.

Afghanistan and Iran, not to be outdone by India, use Afghanistan Time and Iran Standard Time respectively, also offset to the half hour.  Myanmar does the same with Myanmar Time.

Most of Canada uses the normal time zones.  Newfoundland just has to be different, using a half-hour offset.  But we love them anyway, because Canada’s a fantastic neighbor.

So, half-hour offsets are used in some places, that does it, right?  Not so much.  Because then you get to the Aussie side of the world.  Specifically, the Chatham Islands, which use a forty-five minute offset.  

At this point, you might start wondering just how spurious time really is.  If you’re truly curious, just take a drive across Australia, the nation / continent of odd time.

The Northern Territory and South Australia have a half-hour offset.  New South Wales doesn’t… except that one of its towns, Broken Hill, has decided to break from the rest of its territory and have a half-hour offset.  Lord Howe Island uses an hour offset… but only sets clocks back a half hour for Daylight Savings Time, so it’s at a half-hour offset for part of the year.  And the small town of Eucia in Western Australia has a forty-five minute offset.

So, no, the Owl is not late.  It’s just on Owl Time, with an appreciative nod to M.A. Foster.

Question of the night: have you ever been memorably late or early for a scheduled event?

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About AlienMotives 1991 Articles
Ex-Navy Reactor Operator turned bookseller. Father of an amazing girl and husband to an amazing wife. Tired of willful political blindness, but never tired of politics. Hopeful for the future.