In a exercise specious reasoning unseen since Lisa sold Homer a tiger repelling rock, Russia is dropped two timezones. Why? “[T]o breathe new life into business activity,” President Medvedev said. Why would this be? Well China and the United States both have fewer timezones, and they’re doing better than Russia, so obviously it’s the timezones and not the rampant corruption.
While I like timezones in general, I’ve always found the actual implementation of of the timezone system frustratingly stupid. The whole reasons why there are timezones is because the planet rotates 15 degrees per hour. The planet rotates East to West, and yet you can gain/lose an hour by moving North or South! Why is India, and the Australian Outback half an hour off? That doesn’t even make sense!
If there are 24 hours in a day, there should be 24 timezones, not 35 (formerly 37).
Medvedev ironically holds China up as an example of a country that knows how to use timezones, but Beijing has decreed that the entire country is one timezone, not three.
It’s not that hard to set up timezones. Every 15 degrees draw a line from pole to pole. Frob the line so that towns don’t fall on the boundary, and you’re done. Granted, you approach the poles, the 15 degree rule breaks down, so you’d have to just pick a timezone (say UTC+0) for convenience.
What really bugs me about the system, is that it will never be fixed, if for no other reason than misguided nationalism.