Tag Archives: UK

As Promised: Time Zones

Time zones are a social construct. They don’t exist in any real sense, but are convenient for coordinating activities in regions where noon occurs at about the same time (that is, the sun is highest in the sky at about the same time). Standardized time zones occur in multiples of hours (with the occasional 30 or 45 minute difference) from Greenwich Mean Time also known by its official name, Coordinated Universal Time (aka UTC). Time zones are usually notated as UTC+d where d is the time difference between the time zone and UTC. For instance, UTC+0:00 contains Liberia, Ghana, Greenland, Portugal, Iceland, Ireland and the UK, UTC+3:30 contains Iran, UTC+4:30 contains Afghanistan, UTC+8:45 contains part of Western Australia, and UTC+12:00 contains New Zealand. UTC+D means that a location is D hours ahead of UTC, while UTC-D means that the location is D hours behind UTC. For instance, Brazil, Argentina and Suriname are in UTC-3:00, United States Eastern Time is UTC-5:00, United States Pacific Time is UTC-8:00 and the outlying Baker Island is in UTC-12:00.


Filed under Culture, Economics

Double Post Part 2: Places and Things With Long Names

So there are places with long names, there are people with long names and there are things with long names. Let’s start with some fun ones. The official name of the Thai city of Bangkok (Krung Thep Maha Nakhon) is actually a shortened version of its full ceremonial name: Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit. The full name of the UK is the United Kingdom of Great Britian and Northern Ireland. The Maori name of a New Zealand hill is Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is a town in Wales, Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg is a lake in Massachusetts and the full name of the protein titin is just short of 190,000 letters long.

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Filed under Culture, Language

Strange Laws

Disclaimer: The primary source for this post is a website of unknown reliability. Be aware that not all of the information may be correct. However,  I will make corrections as they come to my attention. Thank you, and enjoy the fun facts.

The following is a list of laws that are, in my personal opinion, silly, nonsensical or otherwise strange. Many of these laws may have valid reasoning and I in no way am supporting the repeal of any of these laws unless I otherwise state so.
Let’s start in my home state of Washington, in the United States, where it is illegal to harass any Bigfoot, Sasquatch or other related creature that is as of yet undiscovered punishable by a fine of $100,000 and/or imprisonment up to ten years. Slaying or capturing such a creature, all proceeds will be donated to state colleges for research and protection of said creature. In other primate-related law, it is illegal, in Massachusetts, for a gorilla to occupy the back seat of a car. Hawaii law bans billboards, Alabama law bans bear wrestling matches and Texas law bans the Encyclopedia Britannica on grounds that it contains a formula for homemade beer. Now let’s get international (the United States isn’t the only place with strange laws after all). In Germany, a pillow is considered a passive weapon. In the UK, Members of Parliament may not don armor. Bungee jumping and urinating in an elevator are illegal in Singapore, and electronic games are banned in Greece. Finally, in South Africa, it is illegal to buy a television without a license.

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Filed under Culture