Almost exactly 10 years after the UK smoking ban came into force, I’m trying to get a prototype new kind of smoky-drinky bar off the ground, to get round that obnoxious piece of legislation.
It’s a sort of Wright Brothers’ enterprise. And the Smoky Drinky Bar has been been hopping and skipping along the sands at Kitty Hawk, getting off the ground for a few hours or minutes, before falling back to ground again. What I want is a sustained flight with only the very occasional landing. I want to see the Smoky Drinky Bar flying for days on end.
The Smoky Drinky Bar touches down onto the ground when it has zero or one bar-goers in it. And it gains height as it acquires more than one. I want to get it to the point where it’s always got two or more people in it.
Unlike all other bars, the Smoky Drinky Bar can have customers from all over the world. People from New Zealand can (and do) visit it at the same time as people from England, on the other side of the world. Last night I was talking to people from Germany, USA, and New Zealand in the Smoky Drinky Bar. Ordinary bars draw their clientele from a small geographic area, maybe less than a mile around them, maybe with only a few thousand people in it. But a smoky drinky bar’s clientele can come from anywhere in a world in which 7 billion people live.
If the problem right now is to just get a smoky-drinky bar off the ground for long enough for it to be regarded as having “taken off”, the problem thereafter is likely to be what to do when the attendance exceeds 12 people, the maximum number of seats available in the current Smoky Drinky Bar.
But the highest attendance so far has only been eight people. So we’ve yet to see what happens when it reaches its maximum altitude.
I was thinking this morning that if the Smoky Drinky bar has any location, it’s at the North or South Pole of the Earth. And its clientele is drawn successively from successive geographic longitudes as the Earth spins, with the direction of the succession always moving westwards. So if the first east coast (UTC-5) American customers start entering the bar at 0 hours UT (Universal Time, also known as GMT) the last Americans will start arriving at UTC-10.
And then the Russians will start arriving, and remain present (in gradually mounting numbers) for the next 11 hours, because Russia has 11 time zones, running from UTC+2 to UTC+12.
And then the Europeans at UTC+0 and UTC+1 will show up.
There seem to be two gaps in the time zones, the Atlantic ocean gap between UTC-1 and UTC-4, and a Pacific ocean gap between UTC-10 and UTC+12.
Americans go to bed when Russians get up. Perhaps this was (and still is) the cause of the Cold War, because they seldom get to meet each other:
Cory Doctorow, scifi author and BoingBoing co-founder, once wrote a scifi novel called Eastern Standard Tribe (available free). It was fun read but what I enjoyed most was his idea that people would belong to a “tribe” based on their time zone. In Doctorow’s world, your loyalties lie not with the country of your birth but with the people who are up when you are. (includes world time zone map)
The Pacific ocean time zones are the world’s “night”, because when the the Sun is over the Pacific between UTC-10 and UTC-12, more or less everyone in the world is asleep. And 12 hours later, at “noon”, the world takes a short siesta.
Peak time zone populations are UTC+8 (China), UTC+6 (India) and UTC+1 (Europe).
I’m thinking that I may adapt my orbital simulation model, which has a spherical spinning Earth map, to find out how many people might be likely to visit the Smoky Drinky Bar at any one time, by using the above populations, and the assumption that most people want to meet up and talk in bars in the evenings after work. I might also be able to find the dominant language at any one time.
I could also find out how English waxes and wanes over every 24 hours, using information like this:
About a third of Russians (30 percent) speak English to one degree or another: 20 percent can read and translate using a dictionary, 7 percent are familiar with colloquial language, and 3 percent are fluent speakers, according to Romir research holding.3 Dec 2015
I might then be able to find how many people are needed to keep the Smoky Drinky Bar busy all day, and only closing during the Pacific Night.
Spinning Earth in my Orbit3D.java model, shows the Pacific Night when the Sun viewpoint is above the Pacific ocean at 0:02 and 0:17 seconds in: