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- This article is about the time zone. For the popular book that is rarely abbreviated for conventional speech, see Uncle Tom's Cabin.
“Does anybody really know what time it is?”
“Does anybody really care?”
“I'm on UTC. I get an extra 15 TAI nanoseconds per every second of every day.”
“I'm on GMT. My eight-hour workdays are four hundred thirty-two TAI microseconds shorter than yours.”
UTC stands for "Unusually popular Time format for Common use on the Internet". It was invented in the 1960s but not used until the 1970s. Shortly before its invention, no one had ever heard of it. Before the invention of this popular format, the world used GMT, which was basically the same with different letters. Since GMT was not invented on UTC time, no one really knows exactly when GMT was invented. Some scientists at Cambridge are working on figuring this out with your tax dollars. When this is learned, all of history will be documented using UTC instead of the Common Era notation which recently replaced the Anno Domini notation that is still in use in most parts of the world.
edit Some of the flaws with UTC
UTC is often criticized for not having 24 hours. Instead, it only has 23 hours, 59 minutes, and 59 seconds. Because of this flaw, the Time Force Defense League released a service pack including the missing second. Rather than calling it 24:00:00, it was erroneously misnamed 0 hours, 0 minutes, and 0 seconds. Adding 0:00:00 to 23:59:59 simply does not equal 24:00:00 in any way, shape or form. Mathematicians have not been able to file a successful lawsuit yet against the Time Force Defense League, but communists everywhere are begging for the second to be fixed. One proposal from the Ivy League has been to offer the communists a fifth instead as compensation for the faulty second.
Another flaw that usually goes unnoticed is the fact that even though "Internet" is capitalized, the "I" is left out of the abbreviation (critics say it should be called UTCI).
edit GMT's resistance
GMT has resisted the change from the get-go. It was only recently that UTC even found its way out of the patent office and into mainstream media. Since GMT is sexier, UTC has a hard time convincing the general public it is any better. Besides, the abbreviation "GMT" is so much more flawless in its correctness of abbreviation.
edit Zulu Time
The Time Force Defense League has long been at war with the Zulu tribesmen over what to call UTC. The Zulus wish they could show the world they are better than the Kenyans, but since their runners aren't able to afford the latest energy drink, the only way they have thought of so far is to call UTC Zulu Time instead. Kenya has recently noticed the uprisal and is pondering its next move.
edit "I'm on UTC" campaign
Recently, men from Greenwich launched an ad campaign with the slogan "I'm on GMT", in which a GMT user and a UTC user exchanged comments about their timekeeping systems. In these commercials, the UTC comments were specially constructed to sound downright stupid.
Recently, the Time Force Defense League has launched a new campaign to combat this ever-popular slogan, encouraging UTC users to buy clocks, bumper stickers, mugs, and lawn ornaments that say "I'm on UTC." "We want people to show some pride," says campaign manager Oscar Wilde. "There's nothing to be embarrassed about if you're using the latest timekeeping system. That shows your up-to-date."
The Zulu tribesmen, noticing how well these campaign slogans have caught on, began releasing their own ads designed similar to the "I'm on GMT" ads. These ads start out the same, but a hot chick shows up toward the end of the ad and says, "I'm on Zulu," and the GMT and UTC pushers then say, "I'm switching to Zulu!" The ads close with a screen that says "I'm on Zulu. When will you make the switch?"
edit Interesting events in the history of UTC
0 - Time is invented by either God, a collision of particles, the Invisible Pink Unicorn, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or some other intelligent architect, or else a combination of them. Once the folks at Cambridge figure out how to convert 0 to UTC, we might be able to research this further.
1 February 345 B.C. 6th hour - Time stands still. There is no proof this lasted for any amount of time, but lots of things happened before time continued again, and rumor has it the sun went up and down three times.
52 A.D. - Father Time is born and decides to invent the day.
1900s - A bunch of wars happen. Time moves slower.
1 January 61 0:00 UTC - UTC is invented.
70s - UTC is used.
80s - The Zulus declare war on the UTC pushers.
84 UTC - Big Brother.
2061 UTC - A space-time continuum ebb caused by a man with a paper clip, some rubber bands, and an old tuna salad sandwich (you don't want to know the details) reversed this and rewrote history, mostly the part that involved monoliths.
2000 UTC - Following the space-time continuum ebb, Microsoft forgot to finish redeveloping Windows Me from where it got ebbed back to and decides to release it early.
1 February 345 A.D. 6th hour - Whatever it was, it must have been important. Unfortunately, since the sundial had not yet been perfected, it is largely debated whether the important event here was stationed in Rome or in Sparta, and furthermore what exactly happened during that hour.
7 July 2007 7:77 UTC - Christians everywhere realize they should have done something to prepare for so many 7's. The minute went by rather largely unnoticed.
24 June 2010 2:51 UTC - An Asian dude named Rob saves the city of L.A. (or at least a few mice) from the impending doom of a couple tanks of acetylene gas near combustibles. This is critical because had this happened, a hole might have reopened the space-time-continuum again due to radioactive antimatter that might have been present, and dinosaurs might not be able to live in Rob's garage due to the carbon monoxide from his car. Spacemen have gas masks, so they would not be a concern.