Trivia answer

questions
I asked:
So, what covered Venezuela for just over half of the twentieth century, and returns this month (or possibly at the end of December) after more than forty years?
secritcrush  got it right. The answer is:
The UTC -4:30 Time Zone.
This was Venezuela's official time zone from 1912 to 1964; since then it has been on UTC -4 hours, the same as much of the Caribbean, Paraguay, Chile, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and most of Labrador. But now the clocks are to change by half an hour - though there has been some confusion about exactly when that will happen.

Though I must say that some of the other answers you suggested were pretty funny.

Time zones and Ireland

ireland
This is a response to dherblay's fascinating post about time zones and autopope's Singularity Sky. (Hat-tip, as so often, to yhlee.)

Ireland was 25 minutes behind Great Britain until 1916, "Dublin Time" being based on the meridian of Dunsink Observatory. In the wake of the Easter Rising of that year the clocks went back only 35 minutes in the autumn rather than an hour, thus putting Ireland on the same time as England, Scotland and Wales. In 1919 a couple of the early meetings of Dáil Éireann, the revolutionary parliament, kept minutes in both standard and "Irish time", but this did not survive into the era of independence.

Once independence had arrived and the civil war was won, the Dáil got around to passing a new Summer Time Act in 1923. The debate, precisely 83 years ago today, featured proposals for going back to the old Irish summer time in summer only, and also for local councils to possibly opt in or opt out.

In the 1960s Ireland decided that it would be on Central European Time in the summer, and Central European Time minus an hour in winter. Completely different from the UK, which of course is on Greenwich Mean Time in winter and British Summer Time in summer.

The choice of time is obviously political in other parts of Europe. the entirety of the Benelux countries and almost all of France are west of the 7°30' longitude which should really be the cut-off point for Central European Time; most of Spain, indeed, is west rather than east of Greenwich, but they have all opted to go with the Germans, Swiss, Italians and neighbours further to the east.

The 45° line, which should give you three hours' difference from the UK, cuts through Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, but after independence all three kept the Soviet practice of putting the clocks another hour ahead anyway. After the 2003 revolution in Georgia, President Saakashvili moved the country an hour to the west, so they are now in line with Moscow and Iraq, and the shift at the Turkish border is only one hour instead of two. (This doesn't seem to have been picked up by on-line sources.)

There is a nice animation of world time zones here.

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