A CHRONOLOGICAL CONUNDRUM:
So here’s the thing: Auckland, New Zealand is, as far as I know, the first large city to celebrate the New Year, and Honolulu, Hawaii is the last. The two cities lie some 4,392 miles apart [that’s 7,072 kilometers for those of you of the metric persuasion] and in between them lies the International Date Line, a distance easily traversed today in the era of jet travel. Suppose you decide that you want to double your New Year’s pleasure and celebrate amongst the Kiwis first and then zoom off for Oahu to catch the tag end of the planet's New Year’s celebrations. At some point you will cross the International Date Line and go from the new year to the old year. At that point, what do you say? “Happy Old Year?” Would you have to forswear the singing of Auld Lang Syne
since, with your crossing of the date line, the present moment would be the auld lang syne the song goes on about? Could you make an old year’s resolution, content in the knowledge that whatever you resolved to do would be null and void only a few hours after you arrived in Hawaii, and what would be the point if you did make such a resolution? The Wright Brothers have wrought a terrible paradox, I fear.
Labels: New Year's Day, New York Times, Roberta Vasquez