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I just got the And I Feel Fine hat which states "post or vote on December 21".

Does SE have a time machine now?

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1  
I just earned this hat now. :) –  hims056 Dec 20 '12 at 12:08
11  
While it's 21st December somewhere, it's definitely not 21st December UTC. –  ChrisF Dec 20 '12 at 12:08
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I think it's an off by 12 hours error. It's just gone noon here in the UK –  ChrisF Dec 20 '12 at 12:09
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This is going to be a fairly highly upvoted question as all you have to do to get the hat is upvote it! –  ben is uǝq backwards Dec 20 '12 at 12:13
    
so really do have a time machine ... i have got too –  NullPoiиteя Dec 20 '12 at 12:15
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Probably trying to do as much as possible before the end of the world tomorrow! ;) –  Shadow Wizard Dec 20 '12 at 12:24
    
@Sha Wiz Dow Ard today* :p –  Travis Dec 20 '12 at 12:25
    
@Travis oh my! <going to buy some water> –  Shadow Wizard Dec 20 '12 at 12:26
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Who cares, can't be a bug if it gives you more hats –  Asad Dec 20 '12 at 12:31
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Amazing how everyone are now wearing it, as if fearing it will disappear! –  Shadow Wizard Dec 20 '12 at 12:33
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Thanks to that hat, now the Beatles song is stuck on my head. –  bfavaretto Dec 20 '12 at 12:41
    
FWIW, each day exists somewhere on Earth for a whole 50 hours. (Dec 21 2012 starts in time zone UTC+14 at 10:00 UTC Dec 20 and ends in time zone UTC−12 at 12:00 UTC Dec 22). –  R. Martinho Fernandes Dec 20 '12 at 12:52
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This is probably preemptive, since they wont be able to actually give it out after the world explodes. –  AviD Dec 20 '12 at 12:54
    
It is a play around the number 12: Change position to the digits of 12, and you get 21; the hat has been awarded 12 hours before the time... –  kiamlaluno Dec 20 '12 at 13:06
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@bfavaretto wat. Beatles? Not R.E.M.? –  Aarthi Dec 20 '12 at 21:11

11 Answers 11

up vote 62 down vote accepted

So, the official answer is: we over-awarded the hat so that people in Auckland / Tokyo / Shanghai / Vanuatu wouldn't have to wait until their midday to receive it.

You're all mostly programmers, so you should be reasonably familiar with how much of a headache timezones can be sometimes. Since Stack Exchange is run on UTC, we have to leave a +/- 12 hour buffer so that the nations around the International Date Line have just as much opportunity to grab hats as people along the 0 longitude.

This behavior will also occur for the other hats that are date-sensitive. This included L'Chaim, and will include Tis the Season and the New Year's Eve Hat / Auld Lang Syne.

Basically: Don't panic! It's a feature, not a bug!

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Phew... I can feel the panic leaving my body ;) –  Oded Dec 20 '12 at 20:44
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"You're all mostly programmers" - No need for insults. –  Yannis Dec 20 '12 at 20:45
    
@Yannis YANNIS. –  Aarthi Dec 20 '12 at 20:46
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Cheers, but don't forget the towel! –  Shadow Wizard Dec 20 '12 at 20:47
    
Yeah, calling @Yannis a programmer. Bundling the rest of us with the likes of him. –  Oded Dec 20 '12 at 21:04
    
@Oded to be fair, I called him "mostly" a programmer. –  Aarthi Dec 20 '12 at 21:09
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@Oded if you accept this answer, then Gamecat gets the pirate hat. Help a fellow meta-er out. :P –  Aarthi Dec 20 '12 at 21:10
    
Hehe... this being the official story (um. answer)... Not a problem. Just as soon as I get my "Buddy Breathing" :) –  Oded Dec 20 '12 at 21:11
    
@Oded yay he got it! –  Aarthi Dec 20 '12 at 21:43
    
Always happy to help out a fellow Meta-er... even if he isn't wearing any hat ;) –  Oded Dec 20 '12 at 21:44
    
Wait... That means that I should have gotten the LChaim hat as I did post/vote on the morning of December 17th EST. No? @Aarthi –  amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A Dec 24 '12 at 14:28
    
Hmm, we may not have had the extended window for L'Chaim. I shall ask. @amanaplan –  Aarthi Dec 24 '12 at 16:41
    
@Aarthi kk let me know if there is a conclusion ^_^ –  amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A Dec 24 '12 at 18:23

When tomorrow is today, either time has ended, or we are too bored to care about dates.

Yup this post gave me the hat too. Feature confirmed.

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6  
My head asplode –  Andrew Barber Dec 20 '12 at 12:11
    
Seeing as the SO timemachine posted from the 21st, I think we will survive. –  Oded Dec 20 '12 at 12:11
    
It is already Dec 21 in the Pacific Ocean. –  nhahtdh Dec 20 '12 at 12:11
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@nhahtdh - but Stack Exchange usually operates on UTC and it's not 21/12 here. –  ChrisF Dec 20 '12 at 12:12
    
@ChrisF: Just offer the most logical explanation that I can think of, that doesn't make this a bug. –  nhahtdh Dec 20 '12 at 12:13
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@ChrisF - not this time, we're intentionally +/-12hr with the hats on time ranges since over-awarding is better than feeling left out, festive! –  Nick Craver Dec 20 '12 at 12:15
    
@NickCraver - fair enough. I can't complain. –  ChrisF Dec 20 '12 at 12:16
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Nice hat trick. –  Toon Krijthe Dec 20 '12 at 12:16
    
@NickCraver i love this hat thing ... it was totally unexpected –  NullPoiиteя Dec 20 '12 at 12:30
    
@Nick you are not over-awarding enough! en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UTC%2B14 –  R. Martinho Fernandes Dec 20 '12 at 12:57
    
@R.MartinhoFernandes - I had very little to do with the hats...I just stumble around our code and read it (sometimes), before making crazy changes. –  Nick Craver Dec 20 '12 at 12:58
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@NickCraver You should post this as an answer. –  ypercube Dec 20 '12 at 13:23

Nah, The Mayans weren't prepared for the confuddling time zones. So hopefully the end of the world will be delayed by a few millenia while they are mired in bureaucracy trying to untangle tricky issues like:

  • Should the end of the world be phased in over a 24 hour period to ensure doom happens on the correct day for everyone.
  • How should leap seconds and the move to Gregorian calendar be accommodated?
  • Should the next stone calendar be carved using a Stardate datum?
  • How to deal with pesky loose ends like time dilation
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2  
And don't forget daylight saving time. –  nikoshr Dec 20 '12 at 14:09

As per current time zone it is 21st December in Auckland. So the description of this hat is correct.

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"So the description of this hat is correct.".. in Auckland. –  Asad Dec 20 '12 at 12:26
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So it is friday in Auckland... –  Toon Krijthe Dec 20 '12 at 12:26
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UTC (GMT/Zulu)-time: Thursday, December 20, 2012 The Mayan Calendar finishes one of its great circles in December 2012. Some believe this is a sign of the End of the World. In Auckland this happens on Saturday, December 22, 2012 at 12:11:00 AM. –  Travis Dec 20 '12 at 12:28

StackOverflow is preparing for the DOOMSDAY, so distributing the hats right away before we face a scary day tommorow...Chill out guys users with maya hat are safe ~Cheers~

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This is a live post from India and it's almost 21st December 2012 and no harm till now.

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Well, it should happen "during the day" so we'll have to sit and wait. :-D –  Shadow Wizard Dec 20 '12 at 12:32
    
The Maya's lived in South America, so we probably have to wait a couple of hours. –  Toon Krijthe Dec 20 '12 at 12:32
    
it doesn't matter if its happen or not but i believe in living like there's not tomorrow... –  Dipesh Parmar Dec 20 '12 at 12:34

It appears to be 12 hours out from UTC. SO does run on UTC doesn't it? Funny, I got the hat on SO but not on Meta.

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You just earned it on meta too. Needed to wait because .......... –  hims056 Dec 20 '12 at 13:12
    
@hims056 Ah. Thanks! –  flem Dec 20 '12 at 13:48

This effect also occurs with regards to the winterbash-2013 hats.



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And they continued to peck away at their keyboards, unaware of hats with power beyond their comprehension were already being set in motion....

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They're just hedging their bets. If the world really does end tomorrow, we won't get those badges. Status-as-designed.

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20/12 here and I got my hat. We must be, ahem, Out of Time.

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