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March 10, 2003

Sometimes it’s interesting to take a step back and consider how ordinary the extraordinary has become.

I have a box. In this box, I keep a collection of things that have some meaning to me; photographs, drawings, maybe the odd story or essay I’m proud of. This box is a collection of my treasures, and rather than hide it behind a tile in the wall, I’ve chosen to store it safely in public.

And people see it. Some of them wander by and crack the lid. A brief glance is all they take, and they keep wandering. Others are more curious, and browse around the box and see what I’ve chosen to store in it. The occasional one will call a few of their friends to come and see what’s in this box they found. What’s amazing to me is from how far away these people travel to see my collection. Some come from Europe, others from the Middle East.

Before the advance of the telephone, this would seem impossible. A hundred and fifty years ago, no one on the planet would believe my story. Even 50 years after Mr. Graham Bell made his famous call, the idea would still have seemed far–fetched. Only today when we have a world–wide network of information could this possibly seem mundane, ordinary even.

I make this post to commemorate that today marks the last time zone. For all its faults, Sitemeter has a great feature that tracks time zones of the last 100 users — the usual suspects (GMT, EST, PST) have been out in full force all along, but the less–populated and less–developed (GMT+4, -12, and -2 for example) have eluded me. Thanks to a spike this morning, I’ve now collected all 24 of the major on–the–hour zones (:30’s haven’t been tracked). Which is commonplace for most of you, no doubt, but blows my mind.

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