Arrival 2021: Around the World: Great Britain and Ireland


Let’s go on an advent journey around the world. We travel west and hit the void in Greenwich.

Where should you start traveling through 24 time zones other than the Prime Meridian? And since the observatory at Greenwich, through which the imaginary line of zero is drawn, is located west of us, the forward direction of travel is also determined. Always face west until you get home on Christmas Eve. So let’s hurry…

It’s a question of math: there are 24 hours in a day and 360 degrees in a circle – the number system based on 12 and 60 is of Babylonian origin – so one hour corresponds to 15 degrees. In other words: at a place which is 15 degrees to the west, it is noon an hour later. Since the railroads brought the world closer together in the mid-19th century, only one time zone has been needed. It is noon in Munich and Berlin at roughly the same time, but not in Dresden and Düsseldorf. At least the clocks in Germany are at 12 at the same time, in Poland, France, Spain and most other EU countries. Only the British – who are no longer in the EU, but in Europe – and the Irish are leaving again. It is almost the same time as noon in Le Havre and London, but Big Ben does not sound the chimes until an hour later at 12 o’clock. In theory speaking, an hour ago, every 15 degrees of longitude there is a new time zone. We always find exceptions in our travels, right here. Only Portugal is an hour behind our time in the European Union along with the British Isles.

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But let’s look at London as the center of the world, with some justification at the time when time zones became necessary. The Prime Meridian runs through the district of Greenwich, the time applicable in the former colony of Great Britain and Ireland being Universal Time, i.e. UTC (Universal Time Coordinated) or GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).

From Apple’s point of view, the center of the world could be somewhere else, in a circular building in Cupertino. But the islands in the UTC ± 0 time zone have always been a stepping stone to Europe. Think back to the year 2005, when the first Apple Store in the European Union (yes, still the EU!) was opened on Regent Street in London. Or long ago when the still young computer maker was looking for a country in which, firstly, it could produce cheaply and secondly, the way to lucrative markets on the continent was no longer far off. In 1980 the election fell to the Republic of Ireland, at that time not in the European Union, a low-wage country and which encouraged large companies to settle with tax rates, which kept the word “oasis” on the tongue. The idea that it is better to amass too little than too much profit from nothing is becoming a problem for nation states in an increasingly globalized world.

However, we are not sure whether Apple will get back €13 billion in taxes deposited into an escrow account in Ireland after the legal process ends, or whether the additional payment required by the EU was true and fair. We ask you in our quiz: In which Irish city did Apple settle 40 years ago and still do business there today?

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About the Author: Forrest Morton

Organizer. Zombie aficionado. Wannabe reader. Passionate writer. Twitter lover. Music scholar. Web expert.

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