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Seeing in the New Year

It's not 1899, and I'm not on board the S.S. Warrimoo, so I won't be straddling two different hemispheres, days, months, years, seasons, and centuries, all at the same time come New Year's Eve. But I'm nonetheless delighted to know of the clever Captain John Phillips who slightly altered the steamer's course and engine speed to bring the unique celebration to pass.


With a tip o'the link hat to Improbable Research and further info from the Fellowship of First Fleeters.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
holyoutlaw
Dec. 30th, 2010 12:57 am (UTC)
That's pretty cool.
kalimac
Dec. 30th, 2010 01:01 am (UTC)
... while staying in Mark Twain's cabin. (He had sailed on the Warrimoo a few years earlier.)
drpaisley
Dec. 30th, 2010 01:55 am (UTC)
A nice story, and a good try, but the 19th century didn't end until Dec. 31, 1900, there having been no year "0."
kalimac
Dec. 30th, 2010 03:30 am (UTC)
The century beginning with "18", however, did end in 1899, and it's just as legitimate a century as the so-called "19th," I say so-called because not only was there no year 0, there was no year 1 or even 100, the system not having been invented until much later.
dalesql
Dec. 30th, 2010 04:57 am (UTC)
This is a story I was told when I was in the navy. The only bit of background is that one of the catch phrases in the navy is "What are you gonna do now? Take away my birthday?" Usually spoken by a malcontent sailor whom has already received some or most of the minor punishments that supervisors can award to malcontents.

So, this malcontent sailor uttered this phrase while at Captain's mast. (UCMJ article 17 hearing for you landlubbers) A little bit later in the day, the captain found out that this particular sailor's birthday was coming up shortly, and about the same time that the ship was going to be steaming back to San Diego from the western Pacific. So the Captain did a little calculation with the charts, and called in the Executive Officer, shared this idea to a certain amount of chuckling. Then they agreed that yes, they did want to be just that way with this malcontent sailor.
So the Captain ordered the Navigator that the ship was to cross the international date line at exactly midnight, the day before this sailor's birthday. Thus jumping the calendar on the ship forward by one day, skipping the day inbetween. And that's how the navy can even take away your birthday, if you annoy the wrong people at the wrong time.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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