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New Calendar Proposal

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the something-to-think-about dept.

News 796

belg4mit writes "An astronomy professor at Johns Hopkins is pushing for the adoption of a new, static, calendar. The press release is written better than his site but a little short on details. Interestingly he claims this should be easy to implement and points at the hoops coders must jump through for the Gregorian calendar." Nobody is taking my 10 hour day plan seriously either.

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Sounds like a nut. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11147445)

"Wouldn't it be convenient if your birthday, Christmas, and the Fourth of July--not to mention most other major holidays--all fell on the same day of the week, year after year?"

No? What if your birthday is on a Monday? Nobody wants that. Everyone wants a Friday or Saturday birthday.

"Newton Week would pop up irregularly: 2009, 2015, 2020 and 2026"

Yes, that's far easier than keeping track of months with different numbers of days... not. I'd rather have 13 28-day months, with the extra day or two rotated through the calendar. I'd also like to see if we could slow down the Earth to create 30 hour days.

Re:Sounds like a nut. (4, Funny)

abburdlen (131870) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147524)

birthday on a Monday? feh.
Worse is if you're born during a Newton week.

Re:Sounds like a nut. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11147557)

Don't worry about that. People wouldn't be allowed to have sex for 6-10 months leading up to a Newtown week to avoid it.

Riddle me this, Batman... (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147447)


Timely and semi-related riddle.

Q - Why do computer geeks celebrate Halloween on Christmas?
A - Because OCT 31 equals DEC 25.

Thank you, thank you. I'm here all week.

Re:Riddle me this, Batman... (1)

lightdarkness (791960) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147474)

That is by far the coolest thing ever.

Re:Riddle me this, Batman... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11147483)

HAHA!

How is this redundant? (1, Insightful)

HawkinsD (267367) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147531)

The parent is funny. Even if you think it's stupid, though, how could it get moderated "redundant"?

With all respect, I submit that the moderator is smoking crack.

Re:How is this redundant? (0, Troll)

Jackhamr (25067) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147563)

Maybe because I have read that same comment under three different articles in the past week.

Re:How is this redundant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11147614)

liar, liar, pants on fire.

Re:How is this redundant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11147686)

Why don't you provide us with links to those comments to back up your claims? I've been reading every day for the past couple of weeks and have not seen this joke posted...

Re:How is this redundant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11147667)

The parent is funny. Even if you think it's stupid, though, how could it get moderated "redundant"?

Because this little chestnut has been around since at least 1994 that I know of and more than likely earlier than that.

so.. (5, Insightful)

monkey_jam (557265) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147449)

..you want to reorganise the entire western hemispheres calendering system because the new one is easier to code?

Out with the old....

Re:so.. (2, Interesting)

Frymaster (171343) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147585)

you want to reorganise the entire western hemispheres calendering system because the new one is easier to code?

well, let's face it: if the current time keeping system were software we'd seriously be considering a rewrite.

my personal favourite for easier time systems is the swatch "internet time" [swatch.com] beats. basically, the day is divided into 1000 "beats" (about 90 seconds each) and the current beat count is global. by being global the annoyance of time zones is eliminated. you just have to remember that you go to work 350 in switerzerland and 600 in michigan and that hocky night in canada is on at 120, 145 in newfoundland.

simple.

Re:so.. (4, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147697)

You can do that with the current system, just by eliminating timezones and standardising on GMT.

The problem with that is that while it'd be fine for me (in London), other people would suddenly have to adjust to getting up at say 2am GMT rather than 9am local time. No, it wouldn't make any practical difference, but it would require changing the way you think, and *that* is the biggest problem of all.

Seriously, changing the way that hundreds of millions of people measure time just to make the lives of a few thousand coders a little easier is insane.

Re:so.. (4, Insightful)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147666)

Yeah, but you have to remember... its tons easier to work mathematically with the metric system, but we STILL haven't switched over yet....

FIRST POST! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11147450)

w00t 1337 haxxorz pwn j00!

Re:FIRST POST! (0, Offtopic)

drfindley (657462) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147540)

Silly anonymous coward. First Posts are for campers.

Nothing to see here (1)

Locdonan (804414) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147457)

Nothing to see? Must have been the wrong day, DAMN THIS CALENDAR!!

Some parallels... (5, Insightful)

VE3ECM (818278) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147459)

Getting the world to switch calendars will prove to be as hard as getting the USA to switch to metric...

Freakin' hopeless.

Re:Some parallels... (1)

pe1rxq (141710) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147503)

Especially since this calendar starts on a sunday..... Try getting that accepted....

Jeroen

Re:Some parallels... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11147669)

technically the day of rest should be at the end of the week, not the beginning, ie Saturday not the sunday as we have it.

10 hour day (4, Funny)

mackman (19286) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147461)

Nobody is taking my 10 hour day plan seriously either.

Actually, it was the one hour of work that your boss didn't like.

Re:10 hour day (4, Interesting)

P-Nuts (592605) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147537)

10 hour day

Pah! Real men have a 28-hour day! [dbeat.com] Actually, I tried this for a while and found it worked, but was too impractical as the rest of the world didn't try it.

Re:10 hour day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11147629)

Real men? Since "Men are from Mars", according to a book, shouldn't Real Men have a 25 hour day?

Re:10 hour day (1)

Ulysses (27994) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147702)

I did something similar when I was working a rotating shift at an operations center. I just made my day about an hour longer than normal, and I was able to smoothly shift my sleep cycle to match my work schedule.

I was the only person in the op center who didn't feel half dead the first day or two of a new work week.

decimal hours (0)

AmericaHater (732718) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147465)

bloody good idea. 10 hours a day. 100 minutes an hour. 100 seconds a minute.

Re:decimal hours (1)

JWW (79176) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147541)

100 seconds a minute.

We couldn't still call them seconds. They'd have to be called centons!

I can hardly wait!!! ;-)

Re:decimal hours (1)

pe1rxq (141710) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147542)

Especially since the new seconds will closely match the old ones (0.864 old seconds)

Jeroen

Re:decimal hours (1)

caramelcarrot (778148) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147588)

But the second is strictly defined in SI. You can't go round changing the length of the second :P

Re:decimal hours (1)

aaronmcdaid (771190) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147567)

No amount of fiddling with calendars will change the fact that there are about 365.25 days in a year.

If we could alter the orbit of the earth or increase the rate at which it turns perhaps we could make 1000 days in a year. Only then would it make sense to try to decimalize time.

Re:decimal hours (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11147684)

Shorten days to 6 hours.

There are five 100-minute hours in my week (5, Funny)

Lucas Membrane (524640) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147578)

Lunch hours.

Re:decimal hours (2, Informative)

isny (681711) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147602)

Swatch recently tried to market something like this. Unfortunately, their site is flash, but go to here [swatch.com] and search for ".beat". The idea was based on 1000 "beats" per day, all starting at 0 in Zurich, if I remember correctly (rather than Greenwich). Interesting idea to keep everybody synchronized, but not helpful if you want to know what time lunch is.

Re:decimal hours (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11147628)

No it's not.

Wow (-1, Offtopic)

robyannetta (820243) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147468)

Three posts and the site's already slashdotted. This must be some kind of record.

Re:Wow (1)

hsmith (818216) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147593)

how do you convert the new time into slashdot time?

you have been slashdotted in less than 10000 new seconds!

Re:Wow (1)

jaguar5150 (822144) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147633)

You're new here, aren't you?

Excellent! (1, Funny)

wombatmobile (623057) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147469)

I'm going to write to my congressman and ask him to lobby the standards organizations to study this.

Straight away!

change (5, Insightful)

Legato895 (788993) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147471)

no matter how good of an idea it is, something thats been used for hundred of years won't change out of convenane, thats just the way it is

but heck, im all for metric time

Re:change (1)

mOoZik (698544) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147620)

Well, duh! That's what makes this whole thing to sad. The author of this calendar wants everyone to adopt this in one year. Either he is nuts or he is more connected than any of us, but judging by his website, I think this is going the way of Esperanto.

Re:change (1)

Lobishomen (810898) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147698)

Once Bush becomes Emperor of the World I expect him to demand a 13th month named in his honor. He has a precedent to keep, and all.

Not going to happen, ever (5, Insightful)

PktLoss (647983) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147472)

I will tell you what, once he manages to drag the American government and populace over to the metric system (kicking and screaming no doubt), then maybe, just maybe the world can have a listen. But realistically I don't see this ever happening, for a few reasons:
1) It being the same time and day everywhere still isn't that useful. Sure it's 3:00pm over in China right now, because it's 3:00pm here, but that doesn't tell me that the people there are in fact awake?
2) Frequent use of the term 'forever more' on his website. I think a lot of the problems we have with systems today are caused by the failure of the original designers to see A) any other possible use or improvement for the system, and B) Not designing the system to allow for other uses or improvements because of A. Perhaps once we are jumping from one planet to another in our space ships some changes will need to be made, who knows? Will this require a change to the calendar? Will it always be the same time on this other planet that has a shorter day, shorter year?

And finally, the big one

3) People don't like change.

What about the older one? (1)

fireboy1919 (257783) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147473)

I'm wondering why we ever stopped using this one. [robinlionheart.com]

Is anyone else getting load errors from slashdot? I think we're slashdotting it.

He's clearly stolen the idea from Gene Ray (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11147476)

http://www.timecube.com/ [timecube.com]

You are educated stupid and evil -
and too dumb to comprehend it.

looks like it's already /.ed (1)

Uptown Joe (819388) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147477)

oh well. probably should be working anyways.

7 Posts... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11147485)

and Slashdotted into oblivion.....

I want my birthday to change! (4, Insightful)

teiresias (101481) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147486)

What about all those people born on Febuary 29th? What about them I ask!


4.) What happens to my birthday?

If, for example, your birthday is March 7, it will ALWAYS fall on a Wednesday, for evermore.
Christmas Day will always fall on a Sunday, which will be pleasing to Christians,
but, will also be pleasing to companies who currently lose up to two weeks of work to the Christmas/New Year's annual mess.
New Year's Day will always be on a Sunday, too.


Also, I enjoy the relative randomness of my birthday changing days. Since my birthday is in January there is the occasional bonus of a snow day on my birthday (has happened twice in recent memory). I suppose you could prove that having it on one day is just as likely as having it on random days but I like my odds the way it is :)

Re:I want my birthday to change! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11147581)

Its a fair point.

We all hate having to go to work on our Birthday - imagine being told you will be going to work on your Birthday for the rest of your working life.

I can just see the people rushing to support this

Re:I want my birthday to change! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11147590)

Christmas Day will always fall on a Sunday, which will be pleasing to Christians,
but, will also be pleasing to companies who currently lose up to two weeks of work to the Christmas/New Year's annual mess.


So hip, hip, hooray, I will lose up to two and a half vacation days on most years. Sure I will support this initiative.

This won't please YHWH/Allah/insert deity here (1, Offtopic)

Mal-2 (675116) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147489)

Unfortunately, any effort to replace the current calendar will be met with grave opposition by the hyper-religious, who seem inclined to believe that a box on a chart MUST correspond with their chosen Sabbath (be it Friday, Saturday, or Sunday). This is why I prefer the Discordian calendar with five day weeks, it screws everyone up equally. It's also why I'm supposed to eat a hot dog every Friday. :)

Mal-2

Re:This won't please YHWH/Allah/insert deity here (2, Informative)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147560)

It doesn't break the 7 Day Week. All it really is a 364 Day Year. And every 5-6 Years therre is an extra week. So It will not mess wih their Sabbath.

Re:This won't please YHWH/Allah/insert deity here (2, Informative)

harvardian (140312) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147622)

If you RTFW, he has large font that explains:
the C&T Calendar Fully Respects the Fourth Commandment of the Bible

You can but... (1)

mr.newt (244023) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147652)

just make sure it's on a bun with no condiments, or Hank won't be best pleased.

-michael

Site melting: (3, Informative)

Ckwop (707653) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147498)

So view here [google.com] instead.

Hrm... (1)

JossiRossi (840900) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147500)

Knowing that part of our calendar is based on religious dogma makes me a little uneasy about our current calander and the new one.

Also this guy probably should have given a bit more warning. I mean the holiday vendors don't have time to print up the modified Girls of Hooters gift wall calendars.

Re:Hrm... (1)

JossiRossi (840900) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147566)

Damn... ok no one will likely see this, but it's in a full year that the calendars synch for a quick change. So that's a bit of time, not enough if you ask me though. Which of course no-one did.

Re:Hrm... (3, Funny)

Zog The Undeniable (632031) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147619)

What's so complicated about the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox? Otherwise known as Easter Sunday ;-)

why not go metric first? (0, Redundant)

jxyama (821091) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147504)

let's try going metric first, which is at least partially implemented in the united states. (i.e. sciences) if americans can't even switch to the metric system, i see no reason to think something as inherent as the calender system can be switched.

Re:why not go metric first? (1)

Jahf (21968) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147592)

We tried that in the 70's ... notice how well it worked out?

Ah (1)

Manan Shah (808049) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147516)

Could be very positive. It has lots of pros but the problem is to get everyone to use it. That's not happening. If we can't even use the metric system like 99% of the world, you really think we are going to change our calender system? THe problems that would occur when changing from American to Metric would be much worse with calender.

It Stays Exactly the Same, Year after Year! NOT (4, Interesting)

mcg1969 (237263) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147519)

On this page [jhu.edu] , he makes the claim about the calendar: "It Stays Exactly the Same, Year after Year!"

Only, it doesn't. About every 5-6 years or so he inserts an extra week [jhu.edu] in the calendar between June and July.

No, it's not every 5 years, and no, it's not every 6 years. It's sometimes 5, and sometimes 6. You'll just have to ask him.

So will someone tell me why this is any less difficult than what we currently use?

Milliseconds since 1970 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11147520)

Interestingly he claims this should be easy to implement and points at the hoops coders must jump through for the Gregorian calendar."

I just use unix time (milliseconds since Jan 1, 1970). I heard it'll run out of milliseconds in 2038 unless I switch to 64 bits though.

So yeah I just use milliseconds since 1970 for any and ALL logging or storage (i am paranoid of when the time goes back one hour for daylight savings etc cause you get teh same hour repeating).. for displaying back to the user in an informal non offical manner .. only then I use a data converter.

Re:Milliseconds since 1970 (1)

igb (28052) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147656)

Unix time is seconds since 1970. Multics time
was microseconds since 1900 (stored in a
fixed bin(71)).

However, neither approach copes well (oh, OK,
at all) with leap-seconds, meaning that
intervals have indeterminate length. Unix and
Multics (and, I think, almost everything apart
from some versions of *BSD) treat leap seconds
as corrections, not part of the timescale.

ian

Yeah, this'll be great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11147522)

I mean no one paniced about what would happen when 1999 rolled over to 2000, so a tiny change in the calendar system such as completly altering it will just flow right through every system smoothly

Another static calendar proposal (3, Informative)

swm (171547) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147523)

Another proposal along the same lines

http://world.std.com/~swmcd/steven/rants/calenda r. html

Hrm (1)

CmdrMooCow (213594) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147525)

It could work, but making every day land on the same day of the week could result in some days being perpetually reserved at the country club or high school, for instance; that leaves little room for a change of dates to shake things up.

OT: DRM on my favourite movie site :-( (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11147536)

i like very much watching cinema films from cohf.com

but now I cant see the videos because Ray Guhn has implemented DRM, it wont work under GNU/Linux

But ... (2, Funny)

sir lox elroy (735636) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147554)

That would do away with the little rhyme I use to remeber how many days are in a month. :-D

I'd prefer... (1)

Oscaro (153645) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147556)

... 13 months of 4 weeks each (13 times 28 days = 364) plus one or two extra sundays. That way you can have all months starting on the same week day.

Thank you for your submission, but... (5, Funny)

waynegoode (758645) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147568)

Dir Sir/Madam:

Thank you for submitting your idea for calendar reform. However, we must reject it for the following reasons:

  • ( ) It changes the seven day week or adds days outside the week.
  • ( ) It has a day or days that are not in a month causing problems for writing dates, etc.
  • (X) It has an unusual number of months in all or some years making it hard to divide a year into quarters.
  • (X) One or more months have significantly more or fewer days than the others causing problems for monthly fees, etc.
  • (X) The number of days in a year varies greatly from some years to others.
  • (X) Some months are only in certain years and therefore the number of months in a year varies from year to year.
  • (X) The number of days between a date in one year and the next varies form year to year.
  • (X) It makes people keep clock time that does match the daytime, i.e. sunrise at midnight or noon.
Congratulations on getting 5 out of 7!

I meant 6 of 8 (1)

waynegoode (758645) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147603)

Sorry, that should have been "Congratulations on getting 6 of 8!"

Google Cache (2, Informative)

northcat (827059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147576)

google cache [216.239.63.104]

I have a dream... (1)

CortoMaltese (828267) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147577)

...that one day we'll all use the same date format at least.

Even this guy messes it all up, saying: "Whether you adopt C&T or not, PLEASE don't write dates as 01/02/03 any more! What the heck does that mean? Instead, on your check stubs, and everything else, from now on, ONLY use: 2003/01/02, if in fact you mean: 2003 January 2. This is the ISO standard! [mdspacegrant.org] "

The page he refers to is correct, but he still goes on to ignore 2003-01-02, which is the correct ISO format.

I wouldn't be too optimistic if I were him...

Ask the world to change? (1)

at2000 (715252) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147579)

2006 January 1 Sunday ...is the target date for the universal adoption of the Common-Civil-Calendar-and-Time: C&T
How can you ask the world to change to C&T if some countries still aren't even using to Gregorian calendar?

Re:Ask the world to change? (1)

mOoZik (698544) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147655)

Fuck them. Besides, what difference would it make? They're not using the "current" system, anyway, so nothing would change. This is not to say this will be adopted. This is just stupid.

Yes, but the question is, (3, Funny)

Omicron32 (646469) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147584)

Is it digitally signed?

Week long month? (1)

{Hecubus} (62076) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147596)

I think that sometimes inserting a 13th month called 'Newton', that is only a week long, is MUCH more inconvenient than anything in the current calendar.

He says that the new calendar will be good permanently... except on these years.

So whats the advantage then?

He could have at least called the new month 'smarch'

Re:Week long month? (2, Funny)

cosinezero (833532) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147659)

I just KNOW my landlord will be looking for the Newton rent check...

Data type error... (1)

cosinezero (833532) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147597)

I suppose COBOL programmers have to have SOME way to make money in Y3K...

Perpetual calendar (2, Informative)

hrld1,kon (652383) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147599)

J.R.R. Tolkein had a perpetual calendar for the Evles and Hobbits. They were outlined in some of the appendicies. Of course, there were only six days in a week, and some days fell outside of months.

Oct 31st gone? (1)

mahdi13 (660205) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147601)

The bastard got rid of Halloween!! This will never work out!

Let's do it! (1)

BMonger (68213) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147609)

Then my birthday will always be on a Saturday. I vote yes on this.

It's not a vote... awwwww crap.

Birthday (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11147612)

I don't want my birthday on a Wednesday every year.
What about the poor saps that have it on Sunday ( so much for celebrating)

Problems with changing... (2, Insightful)

Rahga (13479) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147613)

1) Aggies (Texas A&M) would need to switch from the "12 pairs of underwear" system.
2) The once-a-year event of celebrating the arrival of the same paycheck for working 14/15th the time will disappear. The French wouldn't notice this.
3) Doesn't fix the problem of daylight savings time... As Paul Harvey once described it, it's a bit like cutting off the top of your blanket and using it to cover your feet.

30..30..31 (1)

dantheman82 (765429) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147617)

I notice the 30/30/31 day trend which repeats every 3 months. It looks really convenient, and you can much more easily correspondence between day of week and date on the calendar this way.

article text (1)

hajmola (82709) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147623)

Just In Time for New Year's: A Proposal for a Better Calendar;
No more "30 days hath September, April, June and November"

December 2004

Wouldn't it be convenient if your birthday, Christmas, and the Fourth of July--not to mention most other major holidays--all fell on the same day of the week, year after year? Wouldn't it make life--or at least planning--easier, for instance, to know that Dec. 17 would always fall on a Saturday or that January 1--New Year's Day--would always be celebrated on a Sunday?
Richard Conn Henry, professor in the Henry A. Rowland Department of Physics and Astronomy at The Johns Hopkins University, thinks it would. He has designed--using computer programs and complex mathematical formulas--a new calendar that would make it happen.

Under Henry's plan, each new 12-month period is identical to the one that came before. Each month has either 30 or 31 days. January, for instance, would have 30 days, as would February, April, May, July, August, October, and November. March, June, September, and December would all have 31 days.

Henry, a physicist who also directs the Maryland Space Grant Consortium, says his new calendar would have "profound economic and practical benefits" if adopted worldwide. He is waging a Web-based campaign to make this happen by Jan. 1, 2006. Henry points out that this transition date is ideal, because New Year's Day 2006 falls on a Sunday on both the old and proposed calendars, facilitating a seamless transition.

"Just ask yourself how much time and effort are expended each year in redesigning the calendar of every single organization worldwide to accommodate the coming year's calendar, and it becomes obvious that my calendar would make life much simpler and would have noteworthy benefits economically, especially for businesses and other institutions," Henry said.

"With my plan, we can have a stable calendar that is absolutely identical from year to year and which allows the permanent, rational planning of annual activities, from school to work holidays."

Called the "Calendar-and-Time Plan" (C&T) because it also advocates the worldwide adoption of a 24-hour, universal time scale (more on that later), Henry's innovation promises to improve on what he sees as the "defects" of the dozen or so rival reform calendars that have been proffered by various individuals and institutions in the past 100 years.

"Calendar reform has always failed before, and for a simple reason: All major proposals involved breaking the seven-day cycle of the week, which has always been--and probably will always be--completely unacceptable to humankind because it goes against the Fourth Commandment of the Bible about keeping the Sabbath Day," Henry said. "C&T never breaks that biblical cycle."

What's more, the C&T calendar is "far more convenient" than is the current Gregorian calendar, which has been in place for more than 400 years--ever since Pope Gregory, in 1582, modified a calendar that was instituted by Julius Caesar in 46 BC.

To bring Caesar's calendar into sync with the seasons (one of the main reasons for reforming it), the pope and his scholars removed 11 days from the calendar during that October, so that Oct. 4 was followed immediately by Oct. 15. The need for that kind of adjustment derived from the same problem that makes designing an effective calendar a challenge today: the fact that there is an uneven number of days in an Earth year: 365.2422 days, to be exact.

Our current calendar tackles this challenge by instituting "leap years" every four years. Henry thinks he has found a better solution: drop leap year entirely and institute, instead, a one-week "mini-month" between June and July every five or six years. In honor of his personal hero, Sir Isaac Newton, Henry has dubbed this seven-day period "Newton." His computer calculation ensures that "Newton Week" brings the new calendar in sync with seasonal changes as the Earth circles the sun.

Newton Weeks would bring with them benefits not enjoyed under the Gregorian calendar, Henry said.

"If I had my way, everyone would get Newton Week off as a paid vacation and could spend the time doing physics, or other activities of their choice," he said, only half jokingly . "You can't say the same of leap years."

Newton Week would pop up irregularly: 2009, 2015, 2020 and 2026, for instance, would all need a Newton Week to keep the calendar as close to the cycle of the seasons as possible. As a result, the new calendar is never more than five days off the seasons. In fact, after Jan.1, 2006, the C&T calendar would be identical to the current calendar 15 percent of the time, and only one day different 29 percent of the time.

Henry has established what he calls the "International Association for 2006," an online organization aimed at rallying support for his plan. He serves as president of the organization, and Jess Cully, a calendar reform enthusiast from Portsmouth, England, is now vice president for that country.

In addition to advocating the adoption of the new calendar, Henry also urges everyone to simultaneously switch to what is called "Universal Time" (formerly known as Greenwich Mean Time). Doing so would synchronize the date and time the same worldwide, streamlining such things as international business and exchange.

"We would quickly get used to the fact that sunrise and sunset henceforth occur at what seem to us unusual hours by the clock," Henry said. "My late mother, for example, successfully switched from Fahrenheit temperature to Celsius, telling me on one occasion, 'It's a very hot day--30 degrees!' That shows me that people are adaptable if benefits are there. The C&T benefit is much greater than that resulting from the change from Fahrenheit to Celsius."

From a country that can't adopt the metric system (1)

Deviant (1501) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147624)

Many of the same arguments could be made for the US adopting the metric system. I am sure that there are many applications that would be easier to code if we did. It would make alot of people's professions easier, would make us in sync with the rest of the world and would have saved certain Mars-bound space craft if we would have done it by now. Yet the US hasn't done it and likely never will. And that is a system of weights and measures that we have shown can be at odds with the rest of the world without too much trouble. Can you imagine some countries changing the calendar while others didn't? That sort of all or nothing proposition for changing something that is universal over the entire human race and has existed in it's current form for centuries with so little benefit is never going to happen.

Re:From a country that can't adopt the metric syst (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147694)

the Muslim world already does not follow a gregorian calendar....

so, you were saying?

Newton Week (2, Interesting)

Satertek (708058) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147631)

What's the difference between having the newton week and Leap years on the current calandar? Seems more complicated to me.

OK, i get it but (1)

PrvtBurrito (557287) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147638)

I understand this, I think it is cool and I wish we used it. That said the whole easier to code thing is total *BS*. Can you imagine the coding nightmare that would ensue if we all decided to switch to a new calendar? Old devices, new devices, calendar translators, it would be the worst of both worlds and hell for all.

No.

Please.

Nutcase (3, Insightful)

photon317 (208409) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147640)


This guy hasn't a prayer of getting his calendar implemented. He's a nutcase, and his calendar is riddled with practical problems (which he even notes on his site amongst the "FAQs", and then brushes aside with illogical retorts). As further proof of his unfitness as an architect of serious systems for human use, in another part of his calendar site, he gives code examples in Fortran. Anyone who, when given the chance to write a code example in order to explain a simple calendar concept, immediately goes for Fortran as his language of choice, is not someone I want designing anything that might affect my life.

13 Month Calendar (5, Interesting)

SuperQ (431) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147642)

This whole 30 day calendary is silly.. if you're going to re-shuffle everything, make it a simple 13 month, 28 day calendar.

the month is exactly 4 weeks

There is only 1 spare da a year (a real new-years-day)

You still probably need to do leap-years.. but that's less of a big deal, just make new-years 2 days.

You also get the bonus of being more in-sync with lunar changes. (which is easier to keep track of my gf's moods ;)

13 Month (2, Interesting)

fk319 (321841) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147651)

Many Resturants use a 4 week, 13 month calender to watch there sales from year to year. Every few years, Month 13 had 5 weeks instead of 4 weeks.

no shortage of bad ideas (5, Informative)

supernova87a (532540) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147662)

for you all who're having trouble getting to the actual info page, here it is. [jhu.edu]

To give you some inside information, the guy behind this idea is kind of a crackpot -- he's a guy who has lots of weird thoughts, but hasn't exactly done much serious research in a while.

And that's why although this may make a good press release, any professional astronomer (or even amateur) knows why we have the calendar we do -- so that each year, the calendar days you are familiar with correspond to approximately where the stars lie in the sky, and the weather season, etc. Ie. every September, the vernal equinox coincides with the rising parallel, the length of the day, etc. etc. Leap days are the way to distribute the extra 1/4 of a day per year into a reasonable interval (once every 4 years).

This scheme of having one calendar with a leap "week" is just another way of shifting around the leap days, and is exactly what an astronomer would NOT want! And his rationale for not having to print different calendars is obviated by having to remember that leap "weeks" occur in years 2015, 2020, 2026, 2032, 2037, 2043, etc...

The current calendar gives some consistency and familiarity -- you can predict how long the day is, what stars are in the sky (within a day or so b/c leap days), and approximately if you're going to need a heavy jacket to go outside in the cold. Under this crackpot new calendar, you have to recompute all these things based on what year it is. Crackpot.

Um, some questions... (1)

mogrify (828588) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147665)

  1. How do you put these phrases on the same web page and expect people to take you seriously? ...greatly facilitating international understanding... but those folks live in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. They don't care what day it is anyway!
  2. Why is consulting a massive list of arbitrary years with no rule for predicting them easier than the leap year system?
  3. And... January 1, 2006... really?

Newton Week? (3, Informative)

mshiltonj (220311) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147673)

That's stupid.

For more information on calendar reform in general check Calendar Reform [ecu.edu] . I'm partial to the World Calendar [ecu.edu] .

No dec25th on sunday, please! (1)

fimbulvetr (598306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147676)

"Wouldn't it be convenient if your birthday, Christmas, and the Fourth of July--not to mention most other major holidays--all fell on the same day of the week, year after year?"

I was born on Dec 25th, I was raised catholic. Every time we got our new calendar when I was groing up, I frantically checked the day my bday fell on, hoping it wasn't on a sunday. Catholic Christmas mass sucks holy balls, and it's even worse when it's on sunday. You spend half of your friggen bday in church, yawning, smelling old people, and trying to get away from your family.

When I lived in Denver, it was nice that there were actually bars open on Christmas, but now I live somewhere where they are not.

Anyways, you can static your calendar, just don't put dec25 on a Sunday, I wouldn't wish that bday on any kid. BTW: I am no longer christian.

Fun Topic (1)

Jungle guy (567570) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147681)

Why the "It's funny. Laugh" topic icon [slashdot.org] is not on this story? The whole western world is locked-in to the current calendar. All the reforms were made centuries ago because few people cared about calendars, and all you needed was to persuade the Pope and a few kings.

He wants a change for 2006. Forget it. It is not going to happen.

Just don't see it happening... (1)

CMiYC (6473) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147689)

So, I don't see the calendar changing at all. I definitely do not see it changing to this method. Firstly, I don't have outstanding confidence in someone who answers questions like this: "Aww....you've spotted the big defect in the new calendar. Isn't it terrible?" (question #8)

Secondly, what problem is this calendar solving? As other slashdotters have pointed out, maybe getting America to move to the metric system would be a good first step. That would solve more problems than the changing current calendar.

3rd: People aren't very smart. I think Slashdot can agree with me here, the majority of our neighbors are dumb. This new calendar means changing something that few people will want to bother learning.

4th: This one really gets me. Each date falls on the same day every year. Now I like to drink. As do many other people. I like looking forward to having my birthday on a weekend. It may never happen for some people.

The whole "newton year" thing is kind of silly as well. Anyway. Let's just change to stardates. They tell the day and time with only 5 or 6 digits!

To summarize: (1)

handelaar (65505) | more than 9 years ago | (#11147699)

What a fucking twat.
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