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The Border That Stole 500 Birthdays

The Border That Stole 500 Birthdays | Geography Education |
The story behind the the International Date Line.


Not too long ago (Jan. 2012), the arbitrary International Date Line (roughly opposite the Prime Meridian) was moved to better accommodate the regional networks and economic geography of the area straddling the line.  American Samoa, although politically aligned with the United States, was functionally more integrated on the Asian side of the Pacific Rim when it came to their trade partners and their tourism base.  Dynamic economic networks, political allegiances and cultural commonalities create a beautifully complex situation near this 'border.'    

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 5:57 PM

This article covers an example of a border being drawn for seemingly little reason. This International Date Line is drawn without a straight path swerving around nations. This has lead to some people living with in these bulges to in turn lose time itself. These arbitrary lines can have unseen effects upon people and nations. 

Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, December 17, 2014 8:22 PM

I'm a bit confused at this article. Are the people who lost their birthdays a cause of a new border creation or a time zone?

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 17, 2014 10:18 PM

Makes you think about the political and economic influences on just about anything. What time or day it is is an important element to a global economy. Know when business deals can be made in an instance knowing what standards are most efficient can alter systems of dating. That is why instead of having a straight line the line is jutting out in spots. Usually we think of our time zones being dependent on where the sun in relation to our location but in this instance we see that it is merely a man made line that can be altered. 

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