Do time zones confused the world?

The concept of time is quite confusing today. In the past, morning was measured from the time the sun rises, midday by the sun reaching the highest point in the sky and night by sunset. This changed with cross country railway systems in 19th century USA. Each town would set their own timings making it confusing for passengers and train operators before they minimised the time zones across the region. Eventually this strategy evolved into the Greenwich Mean Time which is largely recognised around the world.

The standard systems of time are nominally set to coincide with the revolutions of the Earth however the onus is on each nation to make their own rules. China for example has only one time zone or Beijing time. This decision is political to foster a sense of national unity however in provinces such as Xinjiang, there are times in the summer when the sun can be seen at midnight. There are a wide variety of reasons for countries to switch time zones with Samoa crossing over the International Date Line to come in line with neighbours Australia and New Zealand. Being a day behind was administratively cumbersome and so on the 29th of December 2011, they skipped a day and never experienced the 30th of December 2011 as a nation.

To add to our worries, we have also tried to add time zones to the moon. Astronomer Kenneth L Franklin created a watch based on Lunar Standard Time based on its 29 day orbit around the sun. The watch was created after the initial 1969 moon landing and was perhaps perpetuated by the hope of regular travellers which did not come to pass.