Monday, April 21, 2008

Who Will Own Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)?

At the conference, "Mecca, the Center of the Earth, Theory and Practice," Muslim scientists and clerics called for a change to make Mecca the time reference for the world. They argued that the holy city in Saudi Arabia is the center of the Earth and should be the reference point for world time, not Greenwich (pronouced "Gren-itch"), England.

Greenwich, England was originally chosen because its longitude is 0 degrees, 0 minutes, 0 seconds. Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) has been the standard time since 1884.

GMT is also sometimes known as "Zulu" time, particularly by aviators. Some people mistakenly believe that the term "Zulu" is related to GMT's Zero-Hour time reference since "Zulu" is the phonetic reference for the letter "Z." I have it from a reliable source, however, that the people of Greenwich were very much impressed with the 1986 ABC mini-series, Shaka Zulu, and lobbied with airline pilots unions, under the promise of "change" to get pilots to coin the new terminology.

Now that the Muslim community has lobbied for Mecca to be the new Mean time, other religions have gotten on board. Rumor's have it that the Pope was caught on audio tape in a private conversation with American priests lobbying to make Vatican City the new standard.

The Dalai Lama has begun preliminary discussions on making Tibet the new standard for time. A theory there is that by moving the central time reference for the planet into China perhaps the Chinese government would cut them some slack. The Chinese government is not amused. The Chinese are fine with equating England with a lot of zeroes.

And finally, Tom Cruise has a taken different tack in an effort to make Scientology the religion that owns time. Tom has gone into negotiations to buy the town of Greenwich with the plan to move it into his backyard in Beverly Hills. Of course he will make pretenses of trying to get the local government to fund a new stadium deal that he knows won't go through so that he can move the time zone "with a clear conscience." He hopes that his efforts will allow the world to retain the "Greenwich" name by changing it slightly to Greenwich Cruise Time.

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