Tuesday, 18 August 2009

"New Scottish Time" - Hoax? Or legitimate finding?

News has broken on the interwebs of a possible geographical miscalculation from back when time zones were designated, meaning most of our clocks are out by 20 minutes.

Read the PR release here: http://www.prlog.org/10312906-edinburgh-researcher-discovers-time-is-more-relative-than-we-thought.html

Right now, social networks are all a-Twitter with the story and the hashtag "#watson24hour", the Twitter page of Mark Watson's 24 Web Show. #stephenfry is also credited with early posts: "The source for new information on time appears to be #watson24hour" (3 Hours Ago) and "Can it be that it's 20 mins earlier than we thought it was? That GMT has to be recalculated in light of new evidence? So I'm hearing..." (4 Hours Ago).

So far, the claim has not been verified as legitimate, and even Wikipedia is maintaining a page on "New Scottish Time" as marked for "speedy deletion" if it turns out to be a "blatent and obvious hoax".

Sticky Media will continue to keep its collective ears to the social media wall.

[Update] Further to our thoughts of a hoax, anyone digging to Mark Watson's 24 Show, will find the following posts and a reference to the tasks page -

By: admin
Posted: 18 Aug 2009 12:24 UTC

The show has begun! Welcome to all.

We are currently deciding what to do about the fact that the show started 20 minutes late.

By: admin
Posted: 18 Aug 2009 01:42 UTC

We have decided to change the world's reference time zone to New Scottish Time. This time is 20 minutes behind the current reference time, GMT. See the tasks page for more information.

A hoax after all. But a clever one at that. We're off to catch up 20 minutes of work.

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  1. Is it really that impossible that someone made a mistake? I mean, the calculations for figuring out the imperfectly spherical earth would be rather complex. Science has come a long way however people make mistakes. Who knows whether this really is the true value of our time zones. Perhaps more real research would be appropriate rather than just blowing it off as a hoax straight away. Think about the students in NZ who found ribena truely didn't have all the qualities it was boasting. We could be onto something here...

  2. Well sure Caitlin, we all make mistakes. :)

  3. a "clever hoax"?!

    a 24 hour long comedy show started 20 minutes late, so they wanted to know how to schedule their usual hourly celebrations and what to do with the odd 20 minutes

    it's all on the hash tag, it aint rocket science sister

  4. And yet look at how many people are still retweeting it on Twitter:


    And his Twitter Follower increase since yesterday isn't to be sniffed at either:


    Seems clever to us.