Medvedev has power to grant own wishes, reduce number of time zones

President Dmitry Medvedev had a dream, and on November 12, in his address to the country’s political elite, he dropped it on them, non sequiter style: why not reduce the number of Russia’s time zones from 11 to something that would no longer hamper communication and economic development?

And now, the great dream becomes a reality. Early this Sunday morning, the country will switch to summer time. (Incidentally, this in itself has triggered a massive debate over the deleterious health effects the switch could have on a population whose physical well-being seems to be inversely proportional to the barometric pressure.)

Here’s the plan, which took months of planning by expert commissions: when everyone switches, two regions won’t. This will shrink the number of time zones to nine. Zing!

My prediction? This move will zoom the country right into “fully developed” status, as impulsive decisions like this tend to magically fix the problems inherent in tying together a hastily gobbled-up landmass with flimsy infrastructure. Also, judging by China’s experience in just having one time zone, people will still behave as if the time differences exist, probably because they physically do.

Second prediction: lots of health complaints on Sunday.

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