Saturday 1 January 2011

Trilogy of Terror:
im Verlauf der Zeit

At departure it's already 2011 at destination.
Oblique midnight rendezvous?

As an ominous ode to the destiny of the passing of events, I preset the publishing of this pre-scribed reflection to coincide with my own advance into the arriving year. But you can pretend that I'm writing it live, or even as you read. And who's to say I'm not!?

But where (and when)?

A desire to answer this question results from the realization that an airline-coordinated Countdown to the New Year while dancing over the Atlantic at several thousand feet is a meditation morbidly titillating enough, but in the Bermuda Triangle? Simply too delicious!

The following calculations are not scientific in the strictest sense. Indeed, they're almost as anecdotal as the legendary, afore-alluded to dalliance with doom. Still, submitted for your approval:

The allotment between takeoff at Tocumen Intl. in Panama City (19:40) and landing at Schiphol in Amsterdam (11:45) is a few minutes over ten hours. Over this period the machine advances another six. This maps the journey's movement through time three-fifths or six-tenths or 0.6 faster than the duration of the flight itself; we're flying an hour and thirty-six minutes for every hour of those of you idling on Earth (relatively speaking, of course).

Using the cursor as a pointer on the above photo, one can bisect the flight's planned trajectory and then bisect the the resulting bisection on the left and use that second middle point to locate the position that corresponds to a quarter of the trip (at least as far as distance is concerned). My eye tells me that this is just a bit more than a tad on the destination-side of the triangle.

If we multiply the two-and-a-half hours (150 minutes) representing that segment of the passage by the one-plus-six-tenths of time travel, we get four hours. Adding that to the departure time puts the aircraft at that location at roughly 11:40pm. This reckoning seems supported by this, which indicates the straddling of time zones (i.e. and ergo, splitting the difference between an additional one or two hours seems to make sense).

I realize that all this doesn't account for the thirty minutes it takes to reach cruising speed and altitude. On the other hand, there is the other end of the journey to consider, which may just balance things out.

Anyway, the result has me considerably removed from the reaches of the southeastern tip of the triangle at countdown, which, for me, is slightly farther (and further) out to sea.

But who knows? Maybe we'll have been delayed.