Saturday, September 15, 2007

A Short Hop Over the Pond

I’m hoping someday to make friends with a private pilot here in Alaska. I would love to fly to Nome, then off the coast towards Siberia. I’ve heard that in Alaska, private pilots can fly to Siberia without any visas or major international issues, because so many native families have long-standing ties on each side. It’s only since Alaska was purchased by the U.S. that it was added to the Western Hemisphere. The divider between Eastern and Western Hemisphere is the International Dateline, and until recently history, Alaska used to be in “yesterday,” with the date line going along the Western edge of Canada. Indeed, the land of Alaska used to be part of Russia, and thus the far Eastern side of the world. We used to be the first point on earth to see the light of day, and now we are nearly the last. Now that the dateline has been moved, we are followed in sunset only by Hawaii (+1) and the Samoans and Pacific Islanders (+2 and +3), before you hit the “zero” mark.
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