I’m predisposed to look for patterns and there are times when they come together better than others. This is one of those times although it may seem to have a bit of a stream-of-consciousness feel to it.
I left for Dulles Airport on Monday morning for a week of work in San Diego, California. As I rode in the taxi I heard a story on the radio about Samoa. They are planning to change to the other side of the International Date Line, aligning themselves more with Australia than the United States. When that happens their calendar will lose a day. I jotted a note into my mobile phone so that I would remember to mention something on 12MC when I arrived in San Diego. I didn’t figure I’d dwell on it because it was likely to get extensive press and blog coverage elsewhere but I also couldn’t let such a momentous geo-oddity event pass unnoticed on these pages either.
I arrived, checked my email, and regular reader Greg was already on the case, letting me know about an article on CNN. One of the benefits of the switch, apparently, sounds a lot like my article called Celebrate the Day Twice except that the locations are a lot closer and a lot more feasible: Samoa and American Samoa. Nobody will be able to experience January 1, 2000 again but it might be fun for a random birthday or anniversary.
As I was responding to Greg, I received an email from loyal reader Steve at Connecticut Museum Quest. He was letting me know of a tweet from another favorite blogger, DataPointed. If I had a Twitter account I suppose I’d re-tweet this, but since I don’t, let me copy the text verbatim:
Random GeoFactoid: Runway 01L-19R at Dulles International is closer to the State of West Virginia than the White House. http://bit.ly/mRAt2z
This brought three things to mind beyond the self-evident coolness factor of that statement:
- How did DataPointed even dream up such an amazingly obscure factoid?
- Why didn’t I learn about this six hours earlier when I was in the cab heading towards Dulles so I could impress (or not) the cabbie?
- What does county-counter extraordinaire Fritz Keppler, who works right over by Dulles, think about this?
San Diego is so much more enjoyable than some of my typical destinations. I even had an opportunity to wander around the city a bit thanks to all the hours I picked-up flying west into the Pacific Time Zone.
I walked down the waterfront at the Port of San Diego and received a visual reminder that the world is about to end. I don’t generally question peoples’ beliefs — people are free to believe what they want to believe — but I do think it’s worth mentioning that doomsday prophesies and various predictions of the End Times don’t have a particularly good track record. If the rapture happens on May 21, 2011, as some seem to believe rather fervently, then this will be one of my final blog entries. I won’t be motivated to blog during the brief period between the rapture and the fiery destruction of the earth on October 21, 2011, either. Just sayin’.
On a happier note I came across a tribute to Bob Hope as I wandered past the USS Midway aircraft carrier museum. depicting one of his countless USO tours in support of the troops for more than fifty years from the Second World War through the Persian Gulf War. I particularly enjoyed the interplay between bronze figures of his military audience members and the flesh-and-blood modern tourists who wandered through the statuary. When I returned to the hotel I then noticed a blog entry from Catholicgauze of Geographic Travels and his tribute to the USO. Welcome back from Afghanistan, Catholicgauze.
If I were to choose between a frightening doomsday prophesy or this iconic image of a better tomorrow from the conclusion of the Second World War, well, I don’t think there’s really much of a choice at all. I’m an optimist.
Anyone have any other San Diego suggestions before the world ends (bearing in mind that I’ll be on foot)?