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Half an hour later in Newfoundland: The origin of Canada’s 30-minute time zone

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A black and white cartoon of men in top hats gathered around a cannon, fixing their watches.

Prior to the widespread availability of trustworthy timepieces, individuals depended on public signals such as church bells, factory whistles, or time balls to ensure they were maintaining the accurate local time. To signal noon, officials fired gunshots at St. John’s, Halifax, Quebec City, and Ottawa. (News Canadian Illustrated)

“Watch it tonight at 6:30 p.m. in Newfoundland, or 6 p.m.”

As a concession to the odd 30-minute time zone near the tip of the continent, it’s a common phrase among Canadians.

Given that the majority of the province lies between the 55th and 65th meridians west, it should be on Atlantic Time by default. However, if the province’s capital city hadn’t also been its most easterly point, it might have been.

Communities used solar time prior to time zones; high noon was observed when the sun was directly overhead. People continued to set their watches by the sun even after the introduction of mechanical clocks. Consequently, there were as many as 144 micro time zones in North America, causing the time in nearby places to vary by tiny amounts.

When trains were introduced, the disparities didn’t really matter because travel was done slowly and on a small scale. However, this changed when trains became more commonplace. Train companies had difficulty converting between the different local times, and passengers were confused as a result.

At times, it even resulted in catastrophe. On August 12, 1853, a train headed for Providence, Rhode Island, collided with another train headed for Worcester, Massachusetts, killing fourteen persons.

A train collision on August 12, 1853, between Providence and Worcester arose from conductors’ timepieces being set to various local times. Among the first wrecks to be photographed was this one. Museum George Eastman

The conductor of the Providence-bound train mistook his watch for the other conductor’s and believed he had stopped the train long enough for the Worcester train to pass him. The trains shared a track. As the two engines rounded a blind corner, they crashed together.

Since 1848, British railway companies had been operating on the astronomical time recorded at the Greenwich observatory in London. However, the breadth of the continent made it difficult to implement a single, standard time across the entire continent in North America.

The idea put out by Scottish-Canadian railway engineer Sandford Fleming was to divide the world into 24 time zones, each measuring 15 degrees of longitude and separated by one hour, with Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) acting as the global zero hour.

Following Fleming’s suggestion, North American railroad companies established five time zones in 1883: Pacific, Mountain, Central, Eastern, and Intercolonial (now known as Atlantic) time. The following year, representatives at the International Meridian Conference suggested that Fleming’s plan be applied globally.

There were dissenters even though many states and towns willingly approved ordinances endorsing this “Standard Railway Time” scheme. Despite being 24 minutes and 16 seconds behind Atlantic time, Saint John persisted on using local solar time. Detroit and Savannah, Georgia, in the United States, both adhered to local time.

With only a short railroad on the Avalon Peninsula at the eastern end of the island, Newfoundland was a British dominion with an independent government at the time. It also hadn’t sent a representative to the International Meridian Conference and wasn’t connected to the railways of mainland North America.

The Newfoundland Railway connected Sydney, Newfoundland, to the island by ferry by 1899. The railway followed the period of St. John. (Internet Archive/Newfoundland Railway Schedule 1899)

Nevertheless, it became more and more sensible for communities under the same political jurisdiction to maintain a common time in this new era of high-speed transportation and telecommunications. The noonday gun on Signal Hill in St. John’s was already being used by some outporters to time their clocks, according to a budget discussion in the House of Assembly in 1870. It is likely that telegraphs were used to notify nearby towns like Carbonear, Trepassey, and Placentia of the shot’s scheduled time.

St. John’s time was utilized for official purposes throughout the island by the end of the 1800s. If you find a half-hour time zone strange, consider this: in 1899, St. John’s time was three hours, thirty minutes, and forty-nine seconds behind GMT.

However, some Newfoundland communities opposed standardization, much like Saint John, Detroit, and Savannah did.

All of the messages at Heart’s Content, the location of the transatlantic telegraph cable that connects Newfoundland to Europe, were timestamped using the local time, which is three hours, thirty-three minutes, and thirty-three seconds behind GMT.

The people who live in Cape Ray, on the west coast of Newfoundland, were accused of being especially fast and loose with time in a 1917 St. John’s Daily Star article.

The author stated, “The people of Cape Ray have such a mixture of ‘times,’ that the compilation of a comparative time table would prove beneficial, especially to the stranger.” In addition, the author noted, “the vagaries of the different clocks, which are quite familiar even to people in town where the mid-day gun announces the hour dicernally.”

Time zones adhere to both geographic and political rationale. Iceland observes Beijing time regardless of its size, but operates one hour ahead of its geographical position to be closer to European time. (World Factbook, CIA)

The postmaster followed local solar time, which was 26 minutes behind, the lighthouse keeper followed daylight time, which was one hour ahead, some locals used St. John’s standard time, and the wireless officials followed eastern time, which was one hour and thirty minutes behind, in order to correspond with their head office in Montreal.

The Standard Time Act, which fixed the standard time across the dominion to 3.5 hours behind GMT and as near to St. John’s solar time as practicable, was not passed by the Commission of Government of Newfoundland until 1935. Dozens of nations continued to use local solar time variations in the 1930s. The majority of the world took more than a century to adopt coordinated hourly time zones based on GMT.

For example, Uruguay and Suriname used to be in the same time zone as Newfoundland. Subsequently, in 1942, Uruguay lost half an hour, and in 1984, Suriname gained half an hour. Currently, Newfoundland time is one of only eleven time zones on the planet that differ by less than an hour from GMT (coordinated global time).

However, don’t hold your breath waiting for a change. Two efforts to shift the province to Atlantic time in 1951 and 1963 were thwarted by public outrage, and we’ve become accustomed to our nightly call-out on national television.

Get CBC Newfoundland and Labrador push alerts by downloading our free CBC News app.To view our landing page, click this link.

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Israeli Power Company Reports Employee Fatally Struck By Attack From Lebanon

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Israeli Power Company Reports Employee Fatally Struck By Attack From Lebanon

Shalom Abudi, a 56-year-old employee of an Israeli power firm, was murdered by an anti-tank missile strike that came from the other side of the Lebanese border.

The Israel Electric Corporation acknowledged that the event happened in the Dovev area, about half a mile (800 meters) from the border between Lebanon and Israel.

The bombing increased hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah, a militia supported by Iran.

The region has experienced heightened confrontations, especially between Israel and Hezbollah, in the aftermath of Hamas’s October 7 onslaught from the Gaza Strip.

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Base station antennas produce six signal beams

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Base station antennas produce six signal beams

With the changing needs of carriers in mind, MatSing has made its new 6-beam MBA product set generally available. In order to provide 4×4 MIMO support, greater beam separation, and significant signal gain increase, the high-performing antenna solution is made to deliver the best possible coverage and capacity for 4G LTE and 5G networks.

The whole low- and mid-band spectrum is covered by MatSing’s extensive 6-beam lens antenna portfolio, which supports frequencies from 600 MHz to 4200 MHz. Some of the new Gen II antennas that are perfect for capacity relief and macros are as follows:

For all forms of connection, including 4G LTE and 5G, the new 6-beam panel lens antenna portfolio offers an instant capacity relief alternative with scalability supplied in a highly economical manner. The performance of the 4G LTE networks has to be improved continuously, even as 5G deployments around the world continue to move quickly and are predicted to continue expanding over the next ten years. Carriers’ primary objective continues to be connecting more devices to the network at the same time while improving customer happiness.

See also: RF Engineers Gain Access To Technical Data And Simulation Models Through Modelithics And RFMW Collaboration

The enhanced coverage and increased capacity that carriers have been requesting are met by the new 6-beam MBA product set. The new Gen II antennas provide the best coverage and capacity option for 4G LTE and 5G networks due to their significant signal gain improvement, improved beam isolation, and support for 4×4 MIMO. These features are in response to the growing need for connection.

The extensive portfolio of 6-beam lens antennas covers all low- and mid-band needs, supporting frequencies from 600 MHz to 4200 MHz. The new antennas are perfect for macros and capacity relief since they offer a scalable, instantaneous solution at a very low cost for all connectivity types, including 4G LTE and 5G.

The ideal coverage and capacity solution for 4G LTE and 5G networks is offered by MatSing’s new 6-beam panel lens antenna portfolio, which is designed to offer significant signal gain enhancement, greater isolation between beams, and support for 4×4 MIMO. With quick capacity relief and scalability offered in a highly economical way for all forms of connection, including 4G LTE and 5G, the new Gen II antennas are perfect for macros and capacity relief.

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Indonesia Receives Almost 200 Rohingya Refugees, Reports Local Official

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Indonesia Receives Almost 200 Rohingya Refugees, Reports Local Official

The largest group of Rohingya refugees to arrive in Indonesia’s westernmost region in months, approximately 200 people, including women and children, did so on Tuesday. The Rohingya, a marginalized ethnic group from Myanmar, frequently embark on risky maritime expeditions, enduring protracted and costly voyages in delicate vessels in an attempt to reach Malaysia or Indonesia.

Local navy commander Andi Susanto claimed that the 196 refugees landed in the Pidie region of Aceh Province, in a remote place.

Some of the evacuees left right away after arriving inland; accounts vary as to how many of the ten or seven who made their way to the neighboring hills sought safety. A representative for the local fishing community, Marfian, surmised that these people might have been middlemen who brought refugees to the area on purpose.

Residents and local authorities helped the refugees by bringing food and drink to those who were left stranded on the shore.

Images sent to AFP showed exhausted refugees—including mothers holding small children—waiting for assistance on the shore. With around 200 Rohingya reported dead or missing during such treacherous sea crossings last year, the UN refugee agency predicts that over 2,000 Rohingya have tried the dangerous trek to Southeast Asian countries in 2022.

There is a pattern to the Rohingya migrants traveling by water to Indonesia, which is followed in this episode. 184 Rohingya refugees were forced to swim ashore after being abandoned at sea before arriving in the town of Peureulak in eastern Aceh in March. The difficulties and dangers Rohingya refugees encounter on their journey to safety and a better life in Southeast Asia are brought to light by their continuous arrival.

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