Last year, Russia cut back from eleven time zones to nine. These guys argue in favor of cutting back to zero:
[W]e recommend the abolition of all time zones, as well as of daylight savings time, and the adoption of atomic time — in particular, Greenwich Mean Time, or Universal Time, as it is called today. Like the adoption of a modern calendar, the embrace of Universal Time would be beneficial.
For example, the adoption of Universal Time would give new flexibility to economic management in the vast East-West expanse of Russia: everyone would know exactly what time it is everywhere, at every moment. Opening and closing times of businesses could be specified for every class of business and activity. If thought desirable, banks and financial institutions throughout the country could be required to open and to close each day at the same hour by the world time. This would mean that bank employees in the far East of Russia would start work with the sun well up in the sky, while bank employees in the far west of Russia would be at their desks before the sun has risen. But, across the country, they could conduct business with one another, all the working day.
Then again, the Chinese (does anybody else?) really know what time it is: the whole enormous land mass is considered to be in a single time zone (UTC+08:00), though it’s wide enough for five.
Messing with the clock, however, isn’t quite enough:
We propose a new calendar [pdf] that preserves the Sabbath, with no exceptions. That calendar is simple, religiously unobjectionable, business-friendly and identical year-to-year. There are, just as in [George] Eastman’s calendar, 364 days in each year. But, every five or six years (specifically, in the years 2015, 2020, 2026, 2032, 2037, 2043, 2048, 2054, 2060, 2065, 2071, 2076, 2082, 2088, 2093, 2099, 2105 … which have been chosen mathematically to minimize the new calendar’s drift with respect to the seasons), one extra full week (seven days, so that the Sabbath is unaffected) is inserted, at the end of the year. These extra seven days bring the calendar back into full synchrony with the seasons. In place of Eastman’s 13 months of 28 days, we prefer 4 identical quarters, each having two months of 30 days and a third month of 31 days.
Is this extra week to be dubbed December 32 through 38, or is it just, you know, there?
Of course, the true horror of this scheme, from my point of view, is that it makes February even longer, and who the hell needs that?
(Via Fausta’s blog. Title poached from the Firesign Theatre.)