Lost in Translation

10 more days.  10 very long days, but a very short week before I fly out.  Time passes very slowly, yet days pass very quickly.  I was looking over my flight reservation and itinerary and noticed that I leave LAX on the evening September 12th and land in Manila in the morning of September 14th.  September 13th, a day lost in translation.  I know my flight isn’t 24 hours long…at least I hope it isn’t.

When I was younger, I used to imagine that time travel was possible.  That is, if one took a Mach-6 plane (6x speed of sound) and flew it around the globe from west to west, that is, over the pacific and the date line, then back around, one would be able to travel in time.  Theoretically, if you flew fast enough, you should be able to land on the same day you took off, at an earlier time.  My older sister disabused me of that notion by factoring in time spent in the plane.  Now, armed with my degree in geoscience, I once again ask what if?

What if a Mach-6 plane flew around the world from west to further west, but instead of doing it at the equator where the circumference is the largest, instead did so at 80˚N latitude, where the circumference of the Earth is much smaller.  I still don’t think it would work, but if I had the money, I would try it.  What is the date at the North Pole?

Intrigued by the International Date Line (henceforth called IDL), I looked it up on Wikipedia.  There I found out that in prior to 1845, the Philippines (image below)  were located west of the IDL so that they could be on the same day as Spain’s other New World colonies.


All this talk of dates and calendars remind me of the power they have over our lives, even though calendars aren’t some cosmic force in themselves, merely a tool created by Men to measure time.  Maybe the next I, Robot  will be I, Calendar,  Apple can get in on that and we can call it ICal.  Will Smith can still star.

All joking aside, I’m glad my flight doesn’t leave on September 8th, because then the day I would lose in translation would be my birthday…

The power ICal has over me.


One thought on “Lost in Translation

  1. Fysh Phoenix

    Solid. I sometimes have to remind myself that we’re all at the same point in time– and how is that measured? As you implied, at the North Pole it is difficult to measure time by the Earth spinning.

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