A mercator projection and a temporal milestone

16 01 2008


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By milkfish, shot with HP Scanjet G3010 at 2008-02-02
Palau, Souvenir sheet, 2000

Oh, to return to the carefree days when all we had to worry about was whether our computers would lose their wits because of a programming shortcut and what we should bring to our gala party. “End of the millennium,” it was called, even though pundits all agreed that the new millennium was really going to begin a year later. I have a bunch of these souvenir sheets*, this one being issued by the South Pacific nation of Palau (known chiefly as the host of the tenth season of the reality series Survivor) and showing the march of time across the time zones. Or, something like the time zones, since the real time zone map does not follow the meridians anywhere near so strictly, owing to the man-made realities of national boundaries.

I remember exactly what I was doing the night the lefthand digit clicked over: I was home in bed with the flu. I had been planning to be helping staff the Tech Support lines at my old company in case there were any Y2K bugs we hadn’t caught, but a real live millennium bug took precedence for me, and it turned out that there were no software glitches at all that evening.

*Let me know in the comments if you want to see any of these, or, really, any other requests you might have.

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