bookmark_borderCrazy time zones

A map of US time zones.
A map of US time zones.

Given the width of the USA, it’s no wonder that the country is divided into several time zones.

However, in my European naïveness I had assumed that it worked by each state deciding which time zone it wanted to be in.

This is not at all the case, however. Time zone borders run through the middle of many states (click on the map for details), e.g.:

CST/MST boundary

  • divides the southwest portion of North Dakota from the rest of the state
  • divides South Dakota roughly in half
  • divides the western third of Nebraska from the rest of the state
  • divides a very small portion of extreme western Kansas bordering Colorado from the rest of the state
  • follows the border between New Mexico (west) and Oklahoma (east)
  • follows the border between New Mexico (west) and Texas (east)
  • divides El Paso County and Hudspeth County from the rest of Texas

I guess this is to a large extent a result of the randomness of US state borders.

bookmark_borderWhat others are saying

my notes taken…
Originally uploaded by arimoore

You might have noticed that I’ve added a new feature in the top right corner of my blog: What others are saying.

It’s using the homonymous WordPress extension, but I had to make a couple of modifications.

First of all, I wanted the most recent postings, whatever their source, not just one per blog, so I needed to comment out a break, but this was easy as it was already explained in the source code (but I think it should have been an option so that you wouldn’t have to mess around with the source code).

Secondly, for some bizarre reason it would at first only read the feeds for Phyllis and Dougie’s blogs, not for any other sites. I spent several hours last night trying to find the bug, but to no avail.

Today I found a solution: It turns out the RSS reader module included with WordPress is out of date, but one can get an updated version out of the FeedWordPress extension.

Thirdly, I needed to add some code to downcase Phyllis’s feed to make it match the rest.

Now I just need to convince John Wells to fix his feed. 🙂