Posts tagged ‘date’

Your Passport May Expire Before The Expiry Date

By Kyle Kurpinski

Expiration dates are funny things. For instance, if I take a swig from a jug of milk that expires next week, I expect to get a mouthful of milk, not sour gym socks. Unfortunately, expiration dates are occasionally imperfect, and the gym sock thing tends to happen from time to time. But when it comes to something non-perishable, like a coupon booklet or an driver’s license, these dates should be a little more concrete. Or so you would think, anyway.

My cousin was recently on her way to Malaysia when she encountered a bit of a snafu at the airport. For travel to Malaysia, it’s not enough to simply have a “valid” passport (i.e. one that has not yet expired). Rather, US citizens must have at least six months remaining before the printed expiration date. My cousin only had five. She actually made it all the way through security before the airport authorities realized their mistake and stopped her from boarding. Trouble is, she had already flown from Portland to San Francisco with her sorta-valid passport, and now she had no choice but to turn around and go back. Even if her trip to Malaysia was only going to last one day, travel regulations would still have forbade the journey without the six-month buffer. I’m sure there are plenty of logical reasons for such a requirement (contingency for an unexpectedly prolonged trip, prevention of illegal immigration or fraud, etc. etc.), but my cousin’s experience still seems like the travel equivalent of buying your milk in May only to discover that it already soured last Christmas.

To make things even more complicated, each country has its own unique rules regarding passport validity. Most countries simply abide by the given date, but some – such as Malaysia, Brazil, and India – require a six-month window, while others – such as Switzerland, Greece, and Denmark – require only three months. When exactly does this window start or end? That’s different for every country too. In some cases it’s calculated from the date of entry into the foreign territory, while in others it’s based on the return date. If you’re planning to travel abroad, you can find the specific rules for each country on the State Department’s website.

Keep in mind that passport renewals typically take about six weeks, so it’s always best to plan ahead when making your travel arrangements. If you’re just learning of these rules before an impending trip, you can apply for an expedited renewal, which takes only two weeks, but also costs an additional $60. If you’re already at the airport (like my cousin was) please have a safe trip back to your house.

Broken Secrets

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Photo: Amy Barker (cc)

Sources: Wikipedia , Joel Widzer, and The U.S. Department of State

February 18, 2011 at 2:00 am 7 comments

Why Most New Stuff Comes Out on Tuesday

By Chad Upton | Editor

It’s always exciting when your favorite band releases a new album. But, why do they always come out on Tuesday?

It’s because DVD, Bluray, CD and video game sales are tracked by SoundScan, a company that compiles sales data on these items. They’re like Nielson TV ratings, except for music, movie and video game sales. In fact, SoundScan is even owned by Nielson.

They measure the number of weekly sales starting on Tuesday through to the following Monday. Publishers release new items on Tuesday so the first week of sales data is seven days; that means sales from that week can be compared to sales data from following weeks in an accurate way.

New movies hit theaters on either Wednesday or Friday. Friday is popular for big movies because a lot of people want to see them on the weekend and it will make the three day ticket sales look more impressive, making the movie sound like a hit. Wednesday is popular for movies that don’t want to compete with the Friday blockbusters.

Here’s a list of popular media and the days they come out:

Movies: Wednesday and Friday (Theater), Tueday (DVD and Bluray).

Music: Tuesday.

Video Games: Tuesday.

Books: There is no standard, although Tuesday is fairly common since they are also tracked by Nielson. They are often on shelves before their official release date, unless there is a large advertising campaign that indicates a specific date.

Comic Books: Wednesday.

Broken Secrets

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Sources: Comic Books (Yelp), Music and Movies (Artists House Music), Nielson, Movie Scoop,

September 17, 2010 at 5:00 am 3 comments

There Are Only 14 Possible Calendar Configurations

At the beginning of every year, I get a tropical island wall calendar. During the winter, it makes the days seem warmer; during the summer, it inspires me to enjoy the long sunny days.

Until a few days ago, my January 2010 calendar was really small. I hadn’t bought a new calendar yet, so I was squinting at the tiny January 2010 layout in the corner of my December 2009 calendar.

If only I kept my 1999 calendar, I could have used that this year.

You see, there are only 14 possible calendar configurations. This year, January first was a Friday and next year, it’s a Saturday. In 2012 it’s a Sunday, but in 2013 it’s a Tuesday. (more…)

January 28, 2010 at 12:15 am 3 comments


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