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Move the prime meridian

Make it the antipodal line bisecting the Bering Strait
(+7, -7)
  [vote for,

Back in the 19th century when the whole "Prime Meridian" thing was being worked out, it was considered a matter of national pride to have zero degrees longitude run through the center of one of your cities. Greenwich, Paris, Rome, Washington D.C. (and now "internet time" proposals from Biel, Switzerland and Silicon Valley, California) believe they should be the standard by which all other locations on earth are measured.

If we can agree that the International Date Line should run directly through the center of the Bering Strait, why not define this as the 180 degree line? Our lines of longitude would shift eleven degrees to the east (plus or minus a bit). The Prime Meridian would then run through the center of the E.U. (Germany, Austria, and Italy), but not directly through any national capitals, so the "losers" wouldn't grumble so much. A bit of juggling with the time zones -- maybe adding the Atlantic time zone to the Eastern, Central, Mountain, and Pacific the U.S. already has -- and we'd be set.

mrouse, Apr 02 2002

Prime Meridians http://greenwichmea.../prime-meridian.htm
Some cities used as prime meridians [mrouse, Apr 02 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]


       Isn't it a little late to switch horses now?
lumpy, Apr 02 2002

       What's so wrong with the present system that means we should change?
calum, Apr 02 2002

       Oh no, no, no! Big fat fishy for this. The meridian runs right through my office building. It's the only interesting thing about it.
DrBob, Apr 02 2002

       wow, you learn something new every day , this longitude line thingy certainly hits Greenwich but I didn't realise it squiggled about going through Paris and then whayhah over to Rome and then where was it again? thanks for that mrouse.
po, Apr 02 2002

       It's more of an aesthetics thing -- I hate those big zigzags in the IDL (Ok, so you still might need one for the Aleutians). Well, that and I think that if Swatch is going to promote internet time, they at least might go to the trouble of putting the date line through the middle of the Pacific. Plus I like the idea of avoiding France altogether ;-)
mrouse, Apr 02 2002

       now Rods, that is sheer genius. UB is tomorrow and the rest of are today. don't we have to get the world to change the way it revolves though. minor matter, nit pickin' as usual.
po, Apr 02 2002

       I dated a Canadian
thumbwax, Apr 02 2002

       was she very old thumb? was that carbon dating?
po, Apr 02 2002

       Bristol used tob e used when keeping time on a ship and Paris was used when drawing maps. It seems that it is onyl recently that Greenwich is being used as the meridean for everything.
[ sctld ], Apr 02 2002

       I hesitated to bring this up in the other discussion, but now that you mention it, I've always wanted to move the prime meridian - at the speed of light. Just to see what it would do to time on earth. Reportedly, the direction wouldn't matter.
beauxeault, Apr 02 2002

       Hey! Why don't we share custody? We can take turns hosting the Prime Meridian. Everyone gets a week or so (we'll divvy up the holidays) before passing it on to the next in line.
phoenix, Apr 02 2002

       The French used to be very upset that the British were top seafaring nation and thus got to choose where the meridian went. The British naval maps of course showed the meridian going through the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. The French naval maps were identical but instead of marking 0° as "Greenwich Meridian", it was marked as "Paris Meridian plus 6°".
hippo, Apr 03 2002

       Hmm, Tintin said it was plus two...
[ sctld ], Apr 03 2002

       Why not link the prime meridian to the sun. 0 is in the middle of the side that is pointing towards the sun. This way everybody would get an equal share of the honour of hosting the meridian.
herilane, Apr 03 2002

       And it's always noon.
angel, Apr 04 2002

       Link it to the Moon. Call it the Lunatic Meridian.
neelandan, Apr 04 2002

       Is there a secondary meridan? because if not then everyone who feels left out can have one... (well - if you can have more than one secondary something anyway...)
RobertKidney, Apr 04 2002

       "...Plus I like the idea of avoiding France altogether..."   

       Is there some way that we could re-route the date lines so as to effectively leave France in the 1900's permanently? Make it a perpetual Monday.
RayfordSteele, Apr 04 2002

       Hey! The British were here first, so they get to keep the line, k? For a start it'd mean all the major shipping companies having to buy loads of new maps, and then GPS would be screwed for a while until they updated all their computer banks. Actually, seeing all those people with their flash cars with GPS crashing into lamposts etc... maybe worth thinking about. I like the France idea as well.
Furniss, Apr 04 2002

       Call me a thicko but how can the Greenwich Meridian run through Washington DC? It's impossible!
ferret, May 04 2002

       Quite right ferret. It would be mugged and stripped naked before it had gone ten feet.
DrBob, May 04 2002

       Wait a few 10 million years. They'll have to make some changes, perhaps to the prime meridian, to keep up with plate tectonics. Maybe by then France will have done the Atlantis thing.
ThotMouser, May 05 2002

       we can only hope - did I really say that! naughty po.
po, May 05 2002

       I've always been taken aback by the expression "Greenwich Mean Time." I say, if they're going to be mean about it, then to hell with them! Move the date line -- those bastards in Greenwich deserve it!!
wesweswes, May 29 2002

       Dont put it in France, they mess everything up... Even though they have there own, which never got used..
cookra, May 31 2002

       ..and don't put it in Afghanistan, either - even if it's in a US base the Americans will still have bombed it into submission within 20 minutes.
NickTheGreat, Jul 03 2002


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