Friday, May 20, 2011

now he only eats guitars

yikes! just as you were gearing up for some good post-rapture looting tomorrow, it turns out that the rapture will actually start tonight:
The end of the world will be at exactly 6 p.m. on May 21, 2011, says Camping, who along with his organization, Family Radio, are behind those billboards across the country forecasting the Rapture this Saturday. The Rapture, the Last Days, Armageddon and the Final Days of Judgment are all interchangeable. It's when God will destroy the Earth to show his love for humanity.

Is that Eastern Standard or Pacific Standard Time?

Neither, says Camping, whom I interviewed recently for my online news show TYT Now. The Rapture is at 6 p.m. on May 21, 2011, where ever it's 6 p.m. first, with the "fantastically big" world-ending event taking place on a time zone by time zone basis.

That means we can expect the Rapture to start when it hits 6 p.m. at the International Dateline at 180 Longitude -- roughly the between Pago Pago, American Samoa, and Nuku'alofa, Tonga. We'll know it's Judgment Day because there will be an earthquake of previously unprecedented magnitude, Camping predicts.
but if the rapture comes on a time zone by time zone basis, there are going to be some pretty weird jumps in the rapture's progress, especially in the middle of asia. the time zones skirt around borders for political reasons. the soviet union packed a whole bunch of extra time zones into siberia as a propaganda move to make it an 11 time zone empire. the time zone lines are not always nice equal slices along the earth's longitude lines.

(click to embiggen)

as the rapture progresses from east to west across asia, it will move unevenly, subject to the whims of local politics as much as the relative position of the earth and sun. all of china, for example, is on beijing time, even though that country is nearly as large as the continental united states. when you cross the border between china and pakistan, you move from GMT+8 to GMT+5, a three hour difference. so as soon as the rapture hits the easternmost bit of china, it will simultaneously hit all of china. but if you step over the border to pakistan just before it hit, you could rest easy for three whole hours right next to the rapturing across the border.

and what about daylights savings time? countries away from the equator tend to have it, whereas tropical countries tend not to. countries that have sprung forward will be raptured one hour earlier than countries that have not.

on the other hand daylight savings time is a product of legislation. if the rapture follows daylight savings time, doesn't that give us a loophole to escape judgment day? all the u.s. would have to do is pass a quick bill through congress resetting the time zone for the entire u.s. to be GMT+10 (eastern australia time) effective immediately. if congress passes the bill and president obama waits to sign it until 5:30pm eastern daylight time on May 21st, it would instantly become 7:30am on May 22, 2011, skipping over the rapture entirely. a few days later, when we're sure the coast is clear, congress could pass a new bill putting our old time system back. if the local time never hits 6pm on may 21, 2011, we might be okay.

that's assuming the bill doesn't get filibustered by the GOP. with their evangelical base, they might prefer the rapture.