Weekly Photo Challenge: Future Tense

Okay, I admit that I cheated a bit and did not take an actual photograph for this challenge – what I have to offer is a screen shot from my computer.  This is a shot of a world time website that displays the current, local times of many cities around the world.

It seems that the ‘future’ is taking place at this moment, all around the globe.  I am writing this at about 9:50 am on Wednesday, March the 27, but in other places, it’s Thursday, March 28.  The people in Shanghai are living a full twelve hours ahead of us – it’s almost ten o’clock at night this evening there.

Screen Shot 2013-03-27 at 9.40.45 AM

Now, on one level, this is all semantics.  There is only one moment that we are all living in, it’s just labeled differently on different points on the globe.  Sure, the people of New Zealand may be experiencing Thursday afternoon already, but globally, they are living in the same  instant that I am, just with a different time attached to it.

This gets truly trippy when air travel is involved.  For instance, a person leaving Toronto, on a flight to Auckland moves forward through time at such a pace that they literally ‘lose’ a day from the calendar.  If that person leaves Canada on March 28, 2013, and travels the approximate 24 hours that it takes to get to New Zealand from there, they will arrive in Auckland not a day later, but TWO days later.  They will land in Auckland on March 30, 2013.  March 29, 2013 never happened for them.

Everyone else on the globe that day will have a March 29, but the passengers on that particular plane (though still existing moment to moment) never experience it themselves.

This is the closest we have come to actual time travel.  It’s not as startling as jumping through decades or centuries, but it makes time a fluid and twisty thing where whole days can simply not be at all.

If you’re looking for a trip into the future, take a chance – book that flight to New Zealand.

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