A2 Basic US 10 Folder Collection
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This is Samoa.
Samoa is an independent island country in the Pacific lying about 1,700 miles North
of New Zea… wait a minute… this is Samoa.
Samoa is an independent island country in the Pacific lying about 1,700 miles North
of New Zealand and in 2011, it didn't have a December 30th.
But first some boring history.
Between the 15th and early 20th century, a bunch of European countries got really into
claiming and colonizing all the non-Europe parts of the world.
You might have even heard of a few of these former colonies like the United States, Brazil,
and Australia.
Samoa, being so isolated, was colonized relatively late in 1900 when the Germans came along.
This period of German rule was actually fairly productive for the nation during which time
they saw significant economic development.
In 1914, however, this rule came to an end since Germany was having some, um, issues
back home.
New Zealand was at the time an independent country but it was still loosely part of the
British Empire which meant that it was part of the Allies which meant that Germany was
its enemy so, when World War One broke out, they sailed up to Samoa, kindly asked the
Germans to leave, and raised the Union Jack on the small island nation.
That rule continued until 1961 when Samoa became independent, so there's your historical
background, but now for some more background.
Samoa is in a bit of an awkward position geographically—it's almost exactly on the opposite side of the
world from Britain.
Since Britain invented time, all time zones were more or less established relative to
the mean solar time at the Greenwich Observatory in London.
At this observatory is the line marking the prime meridian which lays about 334 feet away
from actual prime meridian—seriously look it up—and the exact opposite of this line,
the antemeridian, falls just a few hundred miles west of Samoa.
This line—the international date line—is supposed to more or less follow that line
but it doesn't sort've like how this line is supposed to more or less be funny but it
The international date line is the separation between the timezones that are the furthest
behind greenwich mean time and those furthest ahead of greenwich mean time, but each and
every country can choose what time it is in their territory.
If Iceland decided they wanted the sun to rise at 7pm and set at 7am they could—not
because they control the sun, but because they control the time.
Plenty of countries get into time-zone shenanigans because of political reasons.
China, for example, only has one time zone as a symbol of unification even though it's
as wide as the United States.
For this reason, in June, sunrise will be at 7:30 AM in Kashgar, China while it's
at 3:30 AM in Harbin, China.
North Korea also created an entirely new time zone eight and a half hours ahead of Greenwich
in a move that they basically admitted was only to be unique.
All the countries around the antemeridian, however, each have to make a choice on whether
they want to be ahead of the rest of the world or behind it, and that's a big choice.
For much of recent history since even before the Germans came around Samoa has been at
GMT -11—three hours behind California.
That made it easy to conduct business with the United States which was, at the time,
Samoa's biggest trading partner but it made it hard to conduct business with Australia
and New Zealand since there were only three overlapping business days each week.
On Monday in New Zealand it was Sunday in Samoa while on Friday in Samoa it was Saturday
in New Zealand.
In the past century during New Zealand rule Samoa became culturally and politically closer
to Australia and New Zealand than the US and so the prime minister, Tuilae…the prime
minster decided to make some changes.
There were 23 hours of time change between Samoa and Auckland before 2011 but, just after
11:59 pm on December 29, 2011, the clocks in Samoa advanced to 12 midnight on December
31, 2011 therefore entirely skipping December 30th and putting the country only one hour
ahead of Auckland.
Unfortunately this meant that they missed out on International Bacon Day that year,
but it was all worth it for the sake of getting closer to New Zealand.
If you want to get closer to New Zealand, you'll need a flight, but they can get expensive,
however there are some tricks you can use to find cheaper flights which you can learn
in courses like this very one on skillshare.com.
As you've heard before, Skillshare is an amazing place to learn what you want to learn
because they have over 17,000 classes about anything you want to learn.
They even now have a class taught by the senior motion designer of Kurzgesagt on motion graphics.
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Why Samoa Skipped December 30, 2011

10 Folder Collection
Taka published on February 25, 2020
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