Rubén Rivero Capriles

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Time Zones and their countries

 

An essay by Rubén Rivero Capriles

Rivero & Cooper, Inc.                RROOPSTR

Time zones have the function of fixing the time at any point in the planet within just 24 hourly zones, one per each hour on the day. Due to the roundness of Earth, all time zones begin at the North Pole, they widen to a maximum on the Equator, and they narrow back until converging at the South Pole. Hence their shape is similar to a spindle or an orange cross section.

Over a century ago every city used to have its own solar time, assigning to the midday (12 noon) the moment when the sun would be at its highest point or zenith. Such system brought issues concerning railroad transit since it was not possible to publish timetables, schedules and itineraries with precision, as cities relatively close to each other were several solar minutes apart.

A major legacy from the former British Empire is the widespread adoption of the Greenwich meridian, passing through London, as the zero meridian. The zero meridian begins at the North Pole, passes through Greenwich and the Equator, ends at the South Pole, and divides planet Earth in two hemispheres: Eastern and Western. Any point on Earth nowadays is measured at a given number of degrees of longitude East or West of Greenwich. Caracas is located 67 degrees west of Greenwich, Asunción is 57 degrees west of Greenwich, Djakarta is located 107 degrees East of Greenwich, and Moscow is 37 degrees East of Greenwich.

The equator line is a circle whose distance to the North Pole is equal to its distance to the South Pole. Unlike the zero meridian, the equator is not an arbitrarily designed line, it is derived instead from the Earth's rotation movement. The equator divides the Earth on two hemispheres: South and North. Any point on Earth is measured at a given number of degrees of latitude North or South of the Equator. Caracas is located 10 degrees North of the Equator, Asunción is 25 degrees South of the Equator, Djakarta is located 6 degrees South of the Equator, and Moscow is 55 degrees North of the Equator.

All circles are divided in 360 degrees. Therefore the Earth's equator, whose latitude is zero degrees, or any line parallel to the equator whose latitude may reach up to ninety degrees North or South, are all divided into 360 degrees of longitude. Each one of those degrees represent a specific meridian which perpendicularly cuts the equator or ant parallel of higher latitude. Hence 180 degrees are located to the East of Greenwich, on the Eastern Hemisphere, and the remaining 180 degrees are located to the West of Greenwich, on the Western Hemisphere.

After dividing the 360 possible degrees between the 24 hours of the day, we obtain that each time zone has a width of 15 degrees. Due to its shape, the width of any time zone close to the equator is about 1,665 kilometers wide, and that width is reduced to 1,085 kilometers in such places as central Canada, Europe or the far South of Argentina and Chile. This is because on the equator the Earth's movement occurs more quickly as the solar disc takes one hour to travel those 1,665 kilometers. At the higher latitudes of Canada and Chile the Earth's movement occurs more slowly as the solar disc also takes one hour to travel only 1,085 kilometers.

Due to sovereign nature of nations, the limits of the time zones may be modified upon convenience. Due to political and commercial motives, and even because of the change in seasons, the standard 24 time zones in practice have been increased to approximately 40. A number of jurisdictions are ruled by intermediate time zones, differing either half an hour or a quarter of an hour with respect to the original time zone.

The international date line is at the other extreme of the planet, opposed to the Greenwich meridian. It corresponds to the 180 degrees East meridian which is actually the same as the 180 degrees West meridian. It is the place where East meets West and vice versa. Ideally it corresponds to a time zone twelve hours ahead of Greenwich (GMT+12). From now on we will refer to each time zone according to its abbreviation: GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), the plus sign and a number corresponding to the hours and minutes ahead of the time in Greenwich; or instead GMT, the minus sign and a number corresponding to the hours and minutes behind the time in Greenwich.

The Republic of Kiribati, in the middle of the equatorial Pacific Ocean, spans three time zones due to the enormous distances between its various atolls consisting in several tiny islands. Kiribati's capital, Tarawa, on the Gilbert islands to the West of the country, rests on the GMT+12 time zone. In order to unify the date throughout the whole national territory, since 1995 the international date line was shifted eastward, and now the Phoenix islands, to the center of Kiribati, are located on the GMT+13 time zone and the Line islands, in easternmost Kiribati, are on the GMT+14 time zone. Inhabitants of the Line islands are always the first ones in the whole planet to celebrate the arrival of the new year.

Prior to 1995 the Phoenix islands were regimented by the GMT-11 time zone, and the Line islands were on the GMT-10 time zone. This meant that when in Tarawa it was 8 am on September 27, 1994, on the Phoenix islands it was 9 am on September 26, 1994, and on the Line islands it was 10 am on September 26, 1994. Due to the eastward shift of the international date line within Kiribati's territorial waters, nowadays these islands conserve their time as the previous time is increased in 24 hours, but the date is changed to the following day, so that the date is the same as in the capital, Tarawa. The Line islands (GMT+14) also have the same time as the Hawaii islands (GMT-10), as will be detailed later on, but the date in the calendar is always one day ahead.

The kingdom of Tonga, in Oceania, is also located on the GMT+13 time zone. Other nations regimented bu the GMT+12 time zone are Nauru, Tuvalu, Fiji, the Marshall Islands, as well as the U.S. island of Wake.

The Chatham islands, off the east coast of New Zealand, also shifted the International Date Line forty-five minutes ahead. During the austral winter they are on the GMT+12:45 time zone and during the austral summer they shift further into the GMT+13:45 time zone. The rest of New Zealand, during the austral winter, is on the GMT+12 time zone, and during the austral summer the country forwards into the GMT+13 time zone.

Due to its location in the Southern hemisphere, midway between the equator and the South Pole, the difference in solar lighting between the austral winter (from June through September) and the austral summer (from December through March) is substantial. During the austral winter, the sun rises approximately at 7 am and sets around 5 pm. During the austral summer in New Zealand, they advance their clocks one hour ahead, so the sun rises at 6 am but sets at 9 pm. This time shift ahead is mandated in order to save electricity during the austral summer evenings.

Antarctica is crossed by every single time zone, all of which progressively narrow down to converge at the South Pole. The South Pole is no longer as remote as it was during the 20th century, there is a building for a modern U.S. scientific base where hundreds of people live together. At the South Pole it is daylight during the six months that elapse between October and March and it is nighttime during the following six months between April and September. The only noontime during the whole year happens in December and the only midnight occurs in June. For this reason at the South Pole it is irrelevant to choose any time zone in particular in order to count the hours and minutes corresponding to any arbitrary 24-hour period of either continuous daylight or continuous darkness. In spite of this, at the South Pole scientific base a convention was adopted to adjust clocks according to the GMT+12 time zone during the austral winter and according to the GMT+13 time zone during the austral summer. This convention of following the New Zealand time was adopted because the supplies transported by air to the South Pole come from the McMurdo base on the Northeastern Antarctica coast. In turn, the McMurdo base is directly to the South of New Zealand, the country where those supplies are ahipped from, by either air or ocean.

Moving westward, the Solomon islands, the Republic of Vanuatu and the French New Caledonia share the GMT+11 time zone during the whole year. The Republic of Papua New Guinea, Micronesia and the U.S. islands of Guam, Saipan and Northern Marianas share the GMT+10 time zone throughout the whole year.

Australia is a continent spanning three time zones. During the austral winter (from June through September), Sydney in eastern Australia is located on the GMT+10 time zone, Adelaide in central Australia is on GMT+9:30 and Perth in western Australia is on GMT+8. The major cities within Central Australia are close to the boundary with the Eastern Australia time zone, thus it was decided that they would be half an hour behind the Pacific coast and one hour and a half ahead of the Indian Ocean coast. In Australia clock are also forwarded one hour ahead during the austral summer (from December through March). As a consequence, during the austral summer Sydney forwards its time zone into GMT+11, Adelaide in turn forwards it into GMT+10:30 and Perth forwards it into GMT+9.

However, in the state of Queensland in Northeastern Australia, due to its tropical location closer to the equator, the GMT+10 time zone is maintained throughout the whole year. Similarly, in the Northern Territory the GMT+9:30 is maintained all year long.

In Japan, North Korea and South Korea, in the Northern hemisphere, they are always set nine hours ahead of Greenwich (GMT+9). In these countries clocks are not forwarded one hour ahead during the boreal summer (from June to September); instead, they maintain their time zone corresponding to the boreal winter (from December through March) throughout the whole year. Thus all year long they share the GMT+9 time zone with Southern hemisphere locations such as the Democratic Republic of Timor and the western section of the island of New Guinea which belongs to the Republic of Indonesia.

The time zone that regiments the greatest amount of population is GMT+8 by far. Billions of people living in such densely populated locations as Brunei, the central islands of Indonesia, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Taiwan, Mongolia and the People's Republic of China share this time zone.

China is a country which theoretically could span four time zones due to its enormous territory. However, the entire country is regimented by the time zone that corresponds to its easternmost part, eight hours ahead of Greenwich (GMT+8). In this area are located its most populous cities. Similarly to Japan, China does not observe boreal summer daylight savings time.

In Tibet, located in western China, during the boreal winter the sun rises at 9 am and sets at 7 pm. During the boreal summer in Tibet the sun rises at 7 am and sets at 9 pm. In Shanghai, located in Eastern China, during the boreal winter the sun rises at 7 am and sets at 5 pm. During the boreal summer in Shanghai the sun rises at 5 am and sets at 7 pm.

Most of Southeast Asia uses the GMT+7 time zone, including Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and the islands of Java and Sumatra in Western Indonesia. The neighboring Myanmar uses the GMT+6:30 time zone. Bangladesh, Bhutan and eastern Kazakhstan are regimented bu the GMT+6 time zone, while Nepal uses the GMT+5:45 time zone.

India's case is similar to China's. The official time is five and a half hours ahead of Greenwich for the whole country during the entire year (GMT+5:30). Due to the extensiveness of its territory, there are also wide differences between the time of sunrise and sunset if we are located in eastern cities such as Calcutta, where sunrise and sunset occur earlier; or if we travel westward towards Bombay, where sunrise and sunset occur later.

In Pakistan during the boreal winter the GMT+5 time zone is used, and during the boreal summer it is forwarded ahead to GMT+6. In this exceptional case despite traveling westward the clock is forwarded. Even though Pakistan is located to the West of India, Pakistan is half an hour ahead of India during the boreal summer. The Republics of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, as well as Western Kazakhstan use the GMT+5 time zone during the whole year. The Republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan also use it during the boreal summer. During the boreal winter both Republics switch their clocks back to GMT+4.

Russia, the world's largest country, is spanned by eleven time zones, all of which are narrow due to Russia's geographic location close to the North Pole. In Moscow the boreal winter time is GMT+3, and the boreal summer time is forwarded ahead to GMT+4. In Vladivostok the boreal winter time is GMT+10 and the boreal summer time is forwarded ahead to GMT+11. The variations of the sunlight period depending on the seasons are quite noticeable; however, due to the quite rigid compliance to the time zone boundaries, unlike India or China, the Russian noontime generally occurs between 1 pm and 2 pm official time. This is due to the fact that Russia decided to add, on average, an extra hour to each of its original time zones during the boreal winter. Russia consequently decided to add, on average, two extra hours to each of its original time zones during the boreal summer.

The trend for many countries to forward their clocks ahead of their original time zones, we may recall, is due to many people's desire to postpone sunset time in order to save energy during those early evening hours. As a consequence, an artificially late sunrise is noxious for children who must wake up early and travel to school in darkness.

It is interesting to notice that during the boreal summer, the city of Vladivostok (GMT+11), in Easternmost Russia, is two hours ahead of Japan (GMT+9), and during the boreal winter Vladivostok (GMT+10) is one hour ahead of Japan (GMT+9). This fact is curious if we observe that Vladivostok is to the west of Japan, so we would have expected that this part of Russia would be behind the Japanese time zone. We should remind ourselves that it is not an official policy in Japan to forward the clocks ahead for energy savings reasons.

When comparing the summer and winter times between the Northern and southern hemispheres, we may also notice a few curious facts. For example, during December Vladivostok (GMT+10) is one hour behind Sydney (GMT+11), and during June Vladivostok (GMT+11) is one hour ahead of Sydney (GMT+10). This is due to the fact that the boreal summer occurs simultaneously with the austral winter, and conversely the austral summer occurs along the boreal winter.

Iran and Afghanistan both share the GMT+4:30 time zone. However, Iran forwards its clocks one hour ahead (GMT+5:30) during the boreal summer. We also observe here the peculiar case that during the boreal summer, in Iran the time is ahead of Afghanistan's, even though Iran is located to the West of Afghanistan.

In the Arabian peninsula, the countries to the East such as Oman and the United Arab Emirates share the GMT+4 time zone. The former Soviet Republic of Georgia also uses the GMT+4 time zone during the whole year.

The rest of the Arabian peninsula, including Bahrein, Qatar, Yemen and Saudi Arabia, shares the GMT+3 time zone. Further North, the Republics of Irak and Kuwait also share the GMT+3 time zone. None of these countries observes boreal summer daylight savings time.

Neuralgic points in the Middle East such as Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Palestine and Jordan also share during the winter the GMT+3 time zone in accordance with the rest of the region. However, during the boreal summer the forward their clocks one hour ahead and located themselves on the GMT+4 time zone. This situation, as we previously observed, is identical as in Moscow, Russia.

Due to the presence of the equatorial line on African soil, almost all of the continent is regimented by uniform time zones throughout the year. Only Egypt (GMT+2) and Tunisia (GMT+1) observe the boreal winter time while Namibia (GMT+2) observes the austral summer time. During the other half of the year, Egypt (GMT+3) and Tunisia (GMT+2) observe the boreal summer time while Namibia (GMT+1) observes the austral winter time.

The majority of East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Madagascar and the eastern portion of the Democratic Republic of Congo) is regimented the whole year by the GMT+3 time zone. Most of Central Africa (Angola, the Western portion of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, the Central African republic, Nigeria, Benin, Chad and Algeria) switch directly their clocks two hours behind towards the GMT+1 time zone during the whole year. That is, when crossing the border between some countries in Central Africa and East Africa, the clock must be adjusted for two hours instead of one, as it would be usual.

The intermediate time zone in Africa is GMT+2, and takes a hold throughout the year only in Southernmost countries such as Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho and the Republic of South Africa. Finally, countries in West Africa such as Togo, Ghana, the Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Senegal, Mali, Mauritania, Western Sahara and Morocco share with Greenwich the base time zone GMT+0.

Due to its small territory, Europe is spanned by just three time zones. All European countries observe boreal winter time and an additional hour during the boreal summer. Easternmost Europe (Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey and Cyprus) all share with Egypt the GMT+2 time zone during the boreal winter and the GMT+3 time zone during the boreal summer. Another valid comparison would be that these countries during the boreal winter share their time zone with the Southern African countries and during the boreal summer they share their time zone with most Arabian peninsula countries.

Almost all countries in Western, Central and Eastern Europe share with Tunisia the GMT+1 time zone during the boreal winter and GMT+2 during the boreal summer. Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, Albania, Italy, the Vatican City, San Marino, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Monaco, Andorra and peninsular Spain, including the Balearic islands, share their time zone with Southern Africa (GMT+2) during the boreal summer and they share their time zone with Central Africa (GMT+1) during the boreal winter.

Only the United Kingdom, Ireland, Portugal along with the Madeira islands, and Spain's Canary islands are regimented during the boreal summer by the base time zone GMT+0, but during the boreal summer they forward their time zone ahead to GMT+1. Therefore, these three countries share their time zone with the countries of Western Africa (GMT+0) during the boreal winter and these three countries share their time zone with the countries of Central Africa (GMT+1) during the boreal summer. Iceland, in turn, is regimented by GMT+0 during the whole year as is the case of Western Africa.

The following time zones belong to islands located on the Atlantic Ocean. GMT-1 is used in Cape Verde throughout the year, as well as in the Azores islands and easternmost Greenland during the boreal winter. The Azores islands and easternmost Greenland forward their time zone ahead to GMT+0 during the boreal summer. The South Sandwich islands, as well as the Brazilian island Fernando de Noronha, are located on the GMT-2 time zone, as well as most of Greenland during the boreal summer. During the boreal winter, most of Greenland switches its clocks back toward the GMT-3 time zone. The island of Newfoundland during the boreal winter is on the GMT-3:30 time zone and during the boreal summer forwards its clocks ahead towards the GMT-2:30 time zone.

Southeastern Brazil is the country's most populous region. During the austral summer they are on the GMT-2 time zone. There are located Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre and Brasilia. During the austral winter their clocks are switched back one hour in order to arrive to the GMT-3 time zone. During the austral summer Southeastern Brazil (GMT-2) is two hours behind the United Kingdom, which in turn is experiencing the boreal winter time zone. As seasons are opposite in the Southern and Northern hemispheres, during the austral winter Southernmost Brazil (GMT-3) is four hours behind the United Kingdom (GMT+1), which in turn is experiencing its boreal summer time zone.

Northeastern Brazil maintains its GMT-3 time zone throughout the whole year. There are located Salvador de Bahia, Recife, Fortaleza and Belém. The Republic of Suriname and the French Overseas Department of Guyane also share this GMT-3 time zone. Northwestern Brazil, bordering Venezuela, Colombia and Peru maintains the GMT-4 time zone throughout the whole year. There are located the cities of Boa Vista, Manaus and Rio Branco. Southwestern Brazil, specifically the states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul, as well as the Republic of Paraguay, observe the GMT-4 time zone during the austral winter and they forward their time zone ahead to GMT-3 during the austral summer.

The province of San Luis in Argentina uses the GMT-4 time zone during the austral winter. That is the only part of the country where the solar time corresponds with the official time set for the time zone. During the austral summer clocks in San Luis are forwarded one hour ahead towards GMT-3. The rest of the provinces in Western Argentina use the GMT-3 throughout the whole year, which results in the solar noontime occurring around 1 pm. The most densely populated part of Argentina, to the East, as well as the Eastern Republic of Uruguay use the GMT-3 time zone during the austral winter and forward their clocks toward the GMT-2 time zone during the austral summer. As a consequence, solar noontime in the cities of Buenos Aires and Montevideo during the austral summer really occurs around 2 pm.

In Chile the time zone coincides exactly with San Luis Province in Argentina. They are both regimented by GMT-4 during the austral winter and by GMT-3 during the austral summer. However, since Chile is to the west of Argentina, the solar noontime in Chile is analogous to that of Buenos Aires, because the sun reaches its zenith at 1 pm during the austral winter and at 2 pm during the austral summer. Both in Chile and Argentina these clock forwarding policies are motivated by energy savings issues. Easter Island, a Chilean territory on the Pacific Ocean, is always two hours behind continental Chile, therefore they are regimented by the GMT-6 time zone during the austral winter and during the austral summer they are regimented by the GMT-5 time zone.

The Republics of Bolivia, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, Barbados, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and the Dominican Republic; as well as Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles of Curacao, Bonaire and Saint Marteen; the French Overseas Departments of Guadeloupe ans Martinique; the British possessions of Montserrat, Anguila and the British Virgin Islands; the U.S. associated commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, all share the GMT-4 time zone throughout the whole year. The Atlantic Provinces of Canada, as well as the British posession of Bermuda also use this time zone during the boreal winter, but they forward their clocks ahead towards the GMT-3 time zone during the boreal summer.

The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has established its legal time the one corresponding to the GMT-4:30 time zone. This happens because the 67 degrees and 30 minutes meridian West of Greenwich, which constitutes the ideal boundary between the GMT-4 and GMT-5 time zones, happens to divide our national territory in two almost equal halves. Therefore the solar time at the Center of the country is now quite similar to the legal time. In Caracas the solar noontime happens at around 11:55 am. throughout the year. We have already noticed that this case is not a common occurrence in the rest of the planet, where there is a widespread tendency to shift most time zones eastwards. In Eastern Venezuela the solar time does not exceed being half an hour ahead of the legal time, and in Western Venezuela the solar time does not exceed being half an hour behind of the legal time. Due to the country's proximity to the equatorial line, the difference in sunlight between the various months of the year is small, therefore a forwarding of the legal time is not justified for energy savings reasons.

The Republics of Colombia (including the San Andrés archipel), Ecuador, Peru, Panama, Haiti and Jamaica, as well as the British possession of the Cayman islands, all share the GMT-5 time zone throughout the year. The Republics of Cuba and the Bahamas, as well as the British possession of Turks & Caicos and Eastern United States of America and Eastern Canada all share the GMT-5 time zone during the boreal winter and forward ahead to GMT-4 during the boreal summer.

The Republics of Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Belice, as well as the Canadian Province of Saskatchewan, all share the GMT-6 time zone throughout the year. Most of the Mexican United States, the Central United States of America, the provinces of Manitoba and the Western portion of Ontario in Canada also use the GMT-6 time zone during the boreal winter and forward their clocks one hour ahead towards GMT-5 during the boreal summer.

The Mexican state of Sonora and the U.S. state of Arizona maintain the GMT-7 time zone throughout the year. The Mexican states of Nayarit, Sinaloa, South Lower California and Chihuahua, the U.S. states close to the Rocky Mountains with the previously mentioned exception of Arizona, the Canadian province of Alberta and the easternmost portion of British Columbia and the Canadian Northwest Territories all share the GMT-7 time zone during the boreal winter and forward their clocks ahead towards the GMT-6 time zone during the boreal summer.

The British possession of the Pitcairn islands on the Pacific Ocean uses the GMT-8 time zone throughout the year. The Mexican State of Lower California, the U.S. Pacific coast and Nevada, most of the Canadian province of British Columbia and the Canadian territory of Yukon all share the GMT-8 time zone during the boreal winter and they forward their clocks one hour ahead toward GMT-7 during the boreal summer.

The archipelago of the Gambier islands, within French Polynesia uses the GMT-9 time zone throughout the year. The U.S. state of Alaska (excepting the Aleutian islands) uses the GMT-9 time zone during the boreal winter and forward their clocks one hour ahead to the GMT-8 time zone during the boreal summer. The Marquesas islands, also belonging to French Polynesia, use the GMT-9:30 time zone throughout the year.

The French Polynesia islands of Tahiti and Bora-Bora, the New Zealand islands of Cook and Tokelau, and the insular U.S. state of Hawaii all share the GMT-10 time zone throughout the year. The Aleutian islands of Alaska also use the GMT-10 time zone during the boreal winter and forward their clocks one hour ahead towards the GMT-9 time zone during the boreal summer.

Before crossing again the international date line, we finally arrive to the last established time zone, GMT-11. No other part of the world has its date and time any earlier. In this area of the Pacific Ocean, the U.S, islands of Midway and Samoa, as well as the New Zealand island of Niue, share this time zone throughout the year. These islands are close to the Phoenix islands in Kiribati (GMT+13). When in Midway, Samoa and Niue it is April 22nd at 2:30 pm, on Kiribati's Phoenix islands, as well as in the Kingdom of Tonga, it is also 2:30 pm. but the date is one day ahead, on April 23rd.

In our today's globalized world, we can see the differences between all the aforementioned time zones as an opportunity to distribute the time in the whole planet to the benefit of the entire humanity. For example, the software creation teams in California (GMT-8 or GMT-7, according to the season), during the early evening communicate with their colleagues in Bangalore (GMT+5:30) while in India it is early in the morning, so they may exchange information. Then the Indian engineers follow up on the work and meet again through teleconferencing at the end of the afternoon with the Californians, who are in turn arriving to their workplace in the morning. Thus many companies may double up their productivity because their global workforce is on duty 24 hours a day. While some people are resting, the others are perfecting the task and pass the baton again every 12 hours.

Due to Venezuela's geographic location, the most convenient schedule for us to communicate with Europe, Africa and the Middle East is during the morning, since our remote partners are working their afternoon shift. The most convenient time for us to communicate with Western North America is during our afternoon time, because for them it is the late morning. Our communication with Oceania is optimized when the sun is setting for us, because it is already the mid morning for Oceanians. Our communication with East Asia is more challenging, we must plan our conferences with them either during our sunrise, when the Sun has already set for East Asians; or alternatively we must wait until our evening when in East Asia the Sun is just rising. Even though adapting our local schedule for global relationships may proved uncomfortable, the benefits we reap through an interconnected world are worth the effort of transcending different time zones, climates, languages and cultures.

Rubén Rivero Capriles

Spanish original completed in Caracas, on April 23, 2009.

English translation completed by the author in Caracas, on July 14, 2009.

Rivero & Cooper, Inc.                      RROOPSTR