Monthly Archives: December 2010

When and Where Will My Friend Arrive in 2011?

I have a friend who is flying from SFO to LHR on a flight that departs at 1800 (PST). We had dinner with him last night and he posed a question that he knew I would be interested in: When will he arrive in 2011? To state more clearly, when will the eastbound flight path of his aircraft intersect with the westbound path of the New Year progressing across the globe?

This kind of thing intrigues me, so when I woke up this morning at 0500 (I couldn’t sleep), I started crunching numbers. Pasted in below is the email I sent to my friend, his wife, and my wife this morning upon coming to the answer. Names have been changed to protect the innocent…

After our discussion last night at dinner, I stayed up all night doing complicated calculations of when the plane will arrive in 2011. OK, really I woke up at about 0500 and couldn’t sleep, so I pulled out my computer and started crunching numbers and maps.
The short answer to the question of when the plane will arrive in 2011 is: somewhere over Hudson Bay late in the 3rd hour of his flight.

I assumed that the aircraft will take off at 18:00 and cruise at an airspeed of 500 knots, which is about right for a Boeing 777-400, which is what Virgin Atlantic uses on most SFO-LHR flights. I also assumed a true great circle route. I didn’t include the time it takes to get up to cruising speed or flight delays….
The longer answer becomes more complicated because the border between the Central and Eastern Time Zones runs down the middle of Hudson Bay (see, so it’s possible that the plane could miss the crossing from 23:59 to 00:00 entirely because of a time zone change. Rather, it’s more likely that the plane will go from about 23:45 CST to 00:45 EST by crossing the border between the two zones. This will put him in to the new year, but he will have already lost 45 minutes of it….
Because my math teacher told me that showing my work was important, here’s a spreadsheet showing the time progression in hours of flight, PST, Local Time, and UTC.
Here are the sources I used:
Great Circle Mapper –

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#reverb10 – December 24th – Everything’s OK

the #reverb10 prompt for December 24th was: Everything’s OK. What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead? (Author: Kate Inglis)

The moment in 2010 that served at proof that everything is going to be ok occurred in June while my wife was away on a 10 day trip overseas. I was taking care of our then almost two year old son. I’ve blogged about it before, so I won’t go over the excruciating detail in this post, but I’ll give the highlights.

I was feeding my son breakfast, he said he was done and I wanted him to eat more because he hadn’t eaten much. It turned in to a battle of wills, with both of us firm in our positions and not moving. Suddenly, I realized that my desire for him to eat more had changed from a healthy parental thought to an, “I want him to eat more because I’m the parent and I said so” thought. Realizing this, I backed down from the fight and comforted my son. At the time, I didn’t look at this moment as an “Everything’s OK” moment, I looked at it as an “I’m a messed up father” moment. However, as time has passed, I’ve realized that it was the moment in 2010 when I grew the most and proved to myself that everything IS OK.

After I realized what was happening and backed down, I started beating myself up for being a bad father. I had engaged in a war of wills with an almost two year old for mo good reason. I wanted him to eat and he didn’t want to and I had to win because I am the parent. That’s not how parents should act. Parents are there to help protect and nurture their kids, but fight them for the sake of fighting. How could I have done such a thing?

With the benefit of time, I now look back and see not the war of wills, but my willingness to drop my arms and do the right thing. I backed down because I realized that I was in the battle for the wrong reasons. I stopped the war because I wanted to be the nurturing parent, not the irrational one. I ended the fight because I knew better and I was willing to admit that. Putting my child’s needs in front of mine is being a good parent. It’s helping nurture my son and teach him to grow into a caring person.

When I realized that the backing down from the fight was the important thing, I knew that everything is OK. I knew that I had made the right decision for me as a person and for me as a parent. I knew that I had a decent head on my shoulders and was, in all honesty, proud of myself for realizing this fact!

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#reverb10 – December 20 – Beyond Avoidance

The #reverb10 prompt for December 20 was: What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing? (Bonus: Will you do it?) (Author: Jake Nickell)

I’ve avoided building myself a flag pole this year. When I was a kid, I was given a flag pole by a neighbor. I’ve been collecting flags ever since and swore to myself that as soon as I owned my own house that I would build a flag pole and fly my flags. It’s been my dream that I have had for almost two decades and I’ve done nothing about it for the year (and three days) that I’ve been a homeowner. I took little steps towards doing so, tried to figure out this and that, acted like I was trying to get it done. I’ve used logistics as the excuse to not to build it. I couldn’t build it because it wasn’t exactly perfect. I couldn’t fly all my flags from the pole because I am height restricted in the flag pole I can build because there are utility wires above the location I want to put the flag pole in. This restricted me from flying my largest flags, which are a very small percentage of my overall collection. These were all excuses that I used to avoid actually getting the job done. I don’t know what my fear was, but I know that I’m over it.

I’m over the not being able to fly all my flags bit. I’m going to build it so I can fly the vast majority of the flags I own. It’s not going to take a long time to build, but I plan to do so within the next month or so. I’m really looking forward to flying my flags in front of my own house.

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#reverb10 – December 19 – Healing

The #reverb10 prompt for December 19th was:  What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011? (Author: Leonie Allan)

I was healed this year by two main things. First, knocking a couple of big things off my bucket list. As I’ve written about previously, probably ad-nauseum, I viewed the STS-131 launch from a mere six miles away, which was a life changing experience. I also visited the Johnson Space Center during the STS-132 #NASATweetup. These experiences healed me by allowing me to geek out on an interest of mine and to gain a community by doing so. They healed my by giving me experiences that I will never forget.

Second, I was healed by learning from my son and watching him learn this year. It’s been an amazing experience to watch my son grow into from a baby into a boy. He learns so quickly and watching him do so is an amazing process. It’s healed me by helping nurture my sense of wonder.

The healing has been over time, there has been no “Aha!” moment. I do better with this kind of healing. Small, constant reminders of the good in life and the world help me keep my perspective on the world and what a good place it is to live! In 2011, I hope it keeps the same pace!

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#reverb10 – December 15 – 5 Minutes

The #reverb10 prompt for December 15th was: Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010. (Author: Patti Digh)

The things I want to remember the most about 2010 all have to do with family and community. I want to remember how my family has grown together in the last year. How my wife and I have grown as a couple and how we communicate so much better than we have in the past. How we have helped our son keep growing into a brave, strong boy.

I want to remember the my wife and son’s smiles. Their laughs, the look in their eyes when they’re happy, when they’re sad, when they’re being mischievous, basically I want to remember their eyes. I want to remember the feel of their skin, their face, their hair, all of the things that make them unique. I want to remember their sense of humor and their love of learning.

I want to remember my experiences at the STS-131 launch and the STS-132 #NASATweetup. I want to remember the Space Tweep community that I’ve joined.

There’s 5 minutes!

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#reverb10 – December 14 – Appreciate

The #reverb10 prompt for December 14th was: Appreciate. What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it? (Author: Victoria Klein)

In 2010, the thing that I appreciate most is watching my son learn and grow. He started the year as a one and a half year old baby, and has grown into a two and a half year old boy who I can play with, converse with, and have fun with. He has always had such a great personality and it’s just grown this year. He’s funny and inquisitive and loves to learn. Watching him figure things out is amazing! He pays such close attention to how things work and asks such wonderful questions about the things he sees and learns. I my sense of wonder has been helped so much by watching him learn. All in all, it has been such a gift to watch him learn.

I express my gratitude for this by doing it as much as I can. When I play and learn with my son, we both seem to get a lot out of it, so I do it as much as I can!

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#reverb10 – December 12 – Body Integration

Today’s #reverb10 reads as follows: Body integration. This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn’t mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present? (Author: Patrick Reynolds)

For the most part, I don’t feel integrated with my body. My mind and body generally operate in parallel, going toward the same goal, but not being connected unless something is going wrong. I notice my interconnection with my body when I get over tired or hungry, because my function drops below a nominal level. I notice the interconnection with my body when I get sick and my thought processes get slower and less accurate. That’s when I notice the connectivity. Most of the time, I don’t feel like I should notice my body if it’s working within normal parameters. I don’t feel like I should notice my body when I’m operating at my peak. These days, using the last criteria, I don’t work at my peak often, if at all. I always notice the aches and pains in my body and I always feel like I’m running at a less than optimal level. It’s easier for me to separate my mind and body because there are things with my body that I don’t feel like I have any control of and that makes me mad.

As indicated in yesterday’s #reverb10 post, if I’m able to rid myself of the thing things I want to get rid of, I will be more present, more connected to myself, my body, and a more whole person.

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