Space-Time Singularity

Copyright 2016 by Paul Niquette.  All rights reserved.

The inspiration for this puzzle was The Strange Story of the SS Warrimoo, an anecdote that took place on New Years Eve in 1899 during the voyage of a passenger steamer across the Pacific Ocean from Vancouver to Australia.  

The captain of the SS Warrimoo intentionally diverted course toward the south-east and adjusted speed so as to reach the position depicted in the sketch precisely at midnight...

Warrimoo 

Quoting from the reference cited above...
The consequences of this bizarre position were many. The forward part of the ship was in the Southern Hemisphere and the middle of summer. The stern was in the Northern Hemisphere and in the middle of winter. The date in the aft part of the ship was 31 December 1899.  Forward it was 1 January 1900.

This ship was therefore not only in two different days, two different months, two different seasons and two different years but in two different centuries-all at the same time.
With apologies to astrophysicists of the world, we have appropriated in our title the expression space-time singularity for informal use in examining the claims that appear in the anecdote's conclusion, as summarized in this table...

 

SS Warrimoo

Categories

Bow

Stern

1

Hemispheres

Southern

Northern

2

Seasons

Summer

Winter

3

Hour of the Day

Midnight

Midnight

4

Day of the Week

Monday

Sunday

5

Date

1st

31st

6

Month

January

December

7

Year

1900

1899

8

Century

20th

19th

 
Categories 1 and 2 pertain only to locations in space -- oh, all right, locations on the surface of the earth -- and, being the same for all locations along the equator, their entries in the table were incapable of defining a singularity.

Category 3 pertains only to time as measured by time pieces independent of their locations in space; presumably the chronometers on board Warrimoo were synchronized throughout the vessel, so they were also incapable of defining a singularity.

Categories 4 through 8 all pertain to both time and space in compliance with the International Date Line; accordingly, their entries in the table, taken together, defined the singularity, which is described as "this bizarre position" in the anecdote. 

Exactly one century later, there was an opportunity for a commemorative voyage to create a new
Space-Time Singularity.  Not aboard the Warrimoo, however (she sank in 1918).  Over-flight by jet would have been most convenient, of course.

How would you tabulate the Space-Time Singularity for 1999?

GO TO SOLUTION PAGE