Eight years ago Samoa skipped a day on the calendar, owing to the International Date Line and some business involving its key trading partners. There just wasn’t a December 30th, 2011 there! Plus: why break your back shoveling snow when you can design a radio-controlled snowplow to do the work for you?
Samoa to skip Friday, lose December 30th 2011 forever (Christian Science Monitor)
In Samoa, today is the eighth anniversary of literally nothing!
This story involves the International Date Line, the line of longitude where each new day begins first.
It runs from the north pole to the south pole across the Pacific Ocean, but it’s not a straight line. It zigzags around national boundaries, like between eastern Russia and the Aleutian Islands, which are part of Alaska.
Samoa is about 20 miles away from the International Date Line, and back in 1892 it decided it would consider itself to be on the eastern side of the line, so it would be more in sync with clocks and calendars in the United States, an important trading partner.
Crossing the international date line sends you back in time (if you go west) or forward (if you go east). That meant in Samoa, July 4th, 1892 was followed by… July 4th, 1892.
Fast forward to 2011, when Samoa’s key trade partners were other Pacific countries, like New Zealand, Australia and China.
The country decided it wanted to re-sync its clocks and calendars to be closer to the ones in those countries, by recognizing Samoa on the other side of the International Date Line.
To do that, the country held December 29th and then skipped right past the 30th and on to New Year’s Eve.
Theoretically if someone had been in labor with twins late at night when this switch happened, they could’ve had one kid on the 29th and the other two days later.
Shoveling out after a winter storm takes time and energy, while hiring someone to do it for you takes money.
YouTuber Bill Lowe figured out a better option: set up a radio controlled snowplow to do it.
His RC plow clears a good-sized driveway in under 10 minutes, with no backaches and no overexertion, just hitting a few buttons and pushing all the snow right out of the way.