1061: EST

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(Explanation: Better explanation for the 24h4m day; plus there's no such thing as English Standard Time)
(Explanation: Some enhancements and wiki links.)
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This comic is a reference to the paradox in complexity theory that if you attempt to simplify a system of problems by creating a new system of evaluation for the problems you have instead made the problem more complex than it was originally.
 
This comic is a reference to the paradox in complexity theory that if you attempt to simplify a system of problems by creating a new system of evaluation for the problems you have instead made the problem more complex than it was originally.
  
The year 1958 is relevant because January 1, 1958 is the epoch (time zero) in International Atomic Time (TAI), which is part of the basis for Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). (The main difference is that TAI doesn’t have leap seconds).
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[[Randall]] advertises his idea for an "Universal Calendar for a Universal Planet". He combines {{w|calendar#Calendars in use|calendar}} definitions with {{w|Time zone|time zone}} definitions. The abbreviation ''EST'' is a joke on the American {{w|Eastern Time Zone|Eastern Standard Time}}.
  
"24 hours 4 minutes" makes the days longer to compensate for the fact there are now only 360 in a year.
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*"24 hours 4 minutes" makes the days longer attempting to compensate the fact there are now only 360 in a year. Four days are still missing in this calculation.
  
"Run clocks backward" a possible reference to the leap second.
+
*Running the clock 4 hours backwards after every full moon, giving 8 additional hours at each full moon, twelve times  in a year. This fills the gap from before. This also makes the time between full moons close to 30 "days" (in real life it's 29.5 days).
  
"0.9144" because 1 yard = 0.9144 meters
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*The {{w|Epoch (reference date)|Epoch}} at EST matches the {{w|Julian calendar}} which was superseded by the actual {{w|Gregorian calendar}}. The Julian calendar is currently 13 days behind the Gregorian calendar.
  
"triple 4 hours after every full moon" = add on an additional 12 hours every full moon, to make the time between full moons exactly 30 "days" (in real life it's 29.5 days).
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*The different zone for the United Kingdom is because 1 yard is equal to 0.9144 meters. A pun on using {{w|imperial units}} instead of the {{w|metric system}}. At the United States the metric system is the official one, but the imperial units are still widely used.
  
The one obvious reference is to Narnian time, which is a reference to the fictitious world of Narnia in CS Lewis's The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. In Narnia, time passes much more quickly than in the real world. You could be in Narnia for several days and only a few minutes would have passed in the real world.
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*The one obvious reference is to {{w|Narnia (world)|Narnian time}}, a fictitious world of Narnia in CS Lewis's {{w|The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe}}. In Narnia, time passes much more quickly than in the real world. You could be in Narnia for several days and only a few minutes would have passed in the real world.
 +
 
 +
*The year 1958 is relevant because January 1, 1958 is the epoch (time zero) in {{w|International Atomic Time}} (TAI), which is part of the basis for {{w|Coordinated Universal Time}} (UTC). (The main difference is that TAI doesn’t add leap seconds).
 +
 
 +
*The Gregorian calendar does not include the year "0", after "1" BC the next year is "1" AD. Randalls invention fixes this according to correct Mathematics.
  
 
==Transcript==
 
==Transcript==

Revision as of 19:33, 9 October 2013

EST
The month names are the same, except that the fourth month only has the name 'April' in even-numbered years, and is otherwise unnamed.
Title text: The month names are the same, except that the fourth month only has the name 'April' in even-numbered years, and is otherwise unnamed.

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect:
Please include the reason why this explanation is incomplete, like this: {{incomplete|
reason}}
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.

This comic is a reference to the paradox in complexity theory that if you attempt to simplify a system of problems by creating a new system of evaluation for the problems you have instead made the problem more complex than it was originally.

Randall advertises his idea for an "Universal Calendar for a Universal Planet". He combines calendar definitions with time zone definitions. The abbreviation EST is a joke on the American Eastern Standard Time.

  • "24 hours 4 minutes" makes the days longer attempting to compensate the fact there are now only 360 in a year. Four days are still missing in this calculation.
  • Running the clock 4 hours backwards after every full moon, giving 8 additional hours at each full moon, twelve times in a year. This fills the gap from before. This also makes the time between full moons close to 30 "days" (in real life it's 29.5 days).
  • The different zone for the United Kingdom is because 1 yard is equal to 0.9144 meters. A pun on using imperial units instead of the metric system. At the United States the metric system is the official one, but the imperial units are still widely used.
  • The one obvious reference is to Narnian time, a fictitious world of Narnia in CS Lewis's The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. In Narnia, time passes much more quickly than in the real world. You could be in Narnia for several days and only a few minutes would have passed in the real world.
  • The Gregorian calendar does not include the year "0", after "1" BC the next year is "1" AD. Randalls invention fixes this according to correct Mathematics.

Transcript

XKCD Presents
EARTH STANDARD TIME
(EST)
A Universal Calendar for a Universal Planet
EST is...
Simple * Clearly Defined * Unambiguous
Free of Historical Baggage * Compatible with Old Units
Precisely Synced with the Solar Cycle * Free of Leap Years
Intermittently Amenable to Date Math
UNITS
Second: 1 S.I. Second
Minute: 60 seconds
Hour: 60 minutes
Day: 1444 minutes (24 hours 4 minutes)
Month: 30 Days
Year: 12 months
RULES
For 4 hours after every full moon, run clocks backward.
The non-prime-numbered minutes of the first full non-reversed hour after a solstice or equinox happen twice.
[Epoch]
00:00:00 EST, January 1, 1970 = 00:00:00 GMT, January 1, 1970 (Julian calendar)
[Time Zones]
The two EST time zones are
EST and EST (United Kingdom). These are the same except that the UK second is 0.9144 standard seconds.
Daylight saving: Countries may enter DST, but no time may pass there.
Narnian Time: Synchronized.
Year Zero: EST does have a year 0. (However, there is no 1958.)
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Discussion

"24 hours 4 minutes" because the period of rotation of the Earth is 24 hours MINUS four minutes.

EST = Eastern Standard Time (USA) or England Standard Time (UK); there's no easy way to disambiguate this since it is a common time zone for English speakers in the USA and UK.

"Run clocks backward" a possible reference to the leap second.

"0.9144" because 1 yard = 0.9144 meters

"triple 4 hours after every full moon" = add on an additional 12 hours every full moon, to make the time between full moons exactly 30 "days" (in real life it's 29.5 days). 75.103.23.206 21:44, 7 December 2012 (UTC)

Erm, just like to say, as a UK resident for all my life (five decades, adult and child), that I've never heard of "English Standard Time". GMT is Greenwich ('Gren-itch') Mean Time, which is for most purposes the same as UTC (which officially took over in the early 70s, but most lay-people still say 'GMT') and all the various other prime standards in use (give or take leap seconds, planetary rotation/orbitting adjustments, adherence to atomic clocks, etc) and BST (British Summer Time, i.e. GMT+1)has just taken over for this sun-tilted part of the year. A brief check of the usual reference sites reveals no sign of EST existing any time since any form of standardised "Railway Time" was originally instituted in the days of the Industrial Revolution, but I might have missed it.
Anyway, as such, the two ESTs is surely a constructed part of the joke not (as I read it) some fact from RL that needs explaining. Yes, there's EST (Eastern Standard Time) for the US (and versions for Australia and elsewhere?), as well as main Egyptian time-zone and European Summer Time (actually a over-term for the three varieties: Western, Central and Eastern). (The UK roughly matches up to Western European Time and Western European Summer Time accordingly, but that's by no means official except possibly by convention/shared heritage of definition.) But I think the joke with the two 'EST's is purely to do with something like the whole Yard/Metre(/Meter) thing. Although initially I imagined it might be something to do with UK/US Gallon differences, albeit that we now tend to have to use Litres. Or, if you prefer, 'Liters'. ;) 178.99.20.83 21:49, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

I seem to recall that Narnia time ran usually much faster but sometimes much slower than real-world time. 130.160.145.224 20:51, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

I always thought that Taiwan, Province of China missed a golden opportunity here to establish propaganda that they founded it. Instead they are known as a township in the US. 66.88.136.254 20:01, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
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