Fun_People Archive
24 Apr
Join us as we decide whether to start the day at noon or at midnight.

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Thu, 24 Apr 97 16:53:21 -0700
To: Fun_People
Subject: Join us as we decide whether to start the day at noon or at midnight.

[This is certainly a contender for the prize of most-roundabout prologue
 to an event announcement...  -psl]

Forwarded-by: Keith Bostic <>
Forwarded-by: Per Persson <>
Forwarded-by: Tami Friedman <>
From: Oded Maron <>
Subject: GSB -- today at 5:30

In October of 1884, representatives from 25 countries around the world
gathered in Washington, DC for the International Meridian Conference.
The attendees included the Hon. W. D. Alexander from Hawaii, Mr. William
Coppinger from Liberia, and Capt. John Stewart (no relation to the talk
show host) from Paraguay.  After much drinking, they decided to have the
prime meridian (a big line drawn across the globe from the north to the
south pole -- longitude 0) go through the Greenwich Observatory in
Greenwich, England.

After they sobered up, the French realized that they had an observatory
which was just as good in Paris.  Why not have the prime meridian there?
Miffed, they refused to acknowledge the conferees' decision, and decided
that for French time-keeping and navigation purposes the prime meridian
will go through the Paris Observatory.  In fact, until 1978 the French
were required to refer to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) as "Paris Mean Time,
retarded by 9 minutes 21 seconds".

What is the moral of this story?  I'm not sure, but I salute the French
resiliency in the face universal anti-nationalism.  I only hope that when
the time comes, we as a lab will have the intestinal fortitude to stand
up to the world and declare Java to be "Lisp, retarded by 21 years and 6

Join us as we decide whether to start the day at noon or at midnight
during this week's

  G   I   R   L      S   C   O   U   T      B   E   N   E   F   I   T

7th floor playroom
April 18, 1997
5:30 pm

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