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Tired of moving dates around every year? How about a New Calender!

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  • Tired of moving dates around every year? How about a New Calender!

    Widgets Magazine
    Is it Time to Overhaul the Calender? (MSNBC link; for reference: Gregorian calender.)

    Forget leap years, months with 28 days and your birthday falling on a different day of the week each year. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland say they have a better way to mark time: a new calendar in which every year is identical to the one before.

    Their proposed calendar overhaul — largely unprecedented in the 430 years since Pope Gregory XIII instituted the Gregorian calendar we still use today — would divvy out months and weeks so that every calendar date would always fall on the same day of the week. Christmas, for example, would forever come on a Sunday.

    "The calendar I'm advocating isn't nearly as accurate" as the Gregorian calendar, said Richard Henry, an astrophysicist at Johns Hopkins who has been pushing for calendar reform for years. "But it's far more convenient."
    It would be far more efficient and convenient in post-information-age world. Managing time off around holidays, dealing with paychecks and bills, etc., would all be simplified. Asking "what day of the week is that?" would no longer be needed.

    But it would also be more boring, I think.
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  • #2
    Re: Tired of moving dates around every year? How about a New Calender!

    Funny you should bring up the topic of calendar reform. I was just reading about the Jalali calendar of Iran which corrects for the year being slightly *under* 365.25 days, by having every eighth leap year cycle have five years instead of four. On an ongoing basis, it's more accurate that the Gregorian calendar correction, which is to include no leap year at all every 100 years, except for every 400 years.
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    • #3
      Re: Tired of moving dates around every year? How about a New Calender!

      Having looked at the proposed calendar now, though, I don't like the idea. Every calendar reform in history until now has been designed to make the calendar more astronomically accurate. This would be the first calender reform in history to make it *less* accurate: the solstices and equinoxes could vary by a full week from year to year. I don't like losing accuracy for the sake of convenience.

      Besides, it eliminates Halloween, and that just plain sucks.
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      • #4
        Re: Tired of moving dates around every year? How about a New Calender!

        I'm sorry, but I have to reject this idea flat out. First, I don't want to have to get used to a new system. Second, I like having my birthday fall on a difference day each year. It's also amusing how for example my father can sometimes have his birthday fall on fathers day and my late mother sometimes had hers fall on mother's day. Under their system this would either always happen or never happen. Third, it sounds boring. Fourth, we're sacrificing enough accuracy as it is.

        As such I summon the void and shall send this terrible idea into the world of nothingness.
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        • #5
          Re: Tired of moving dates around every year? How about a New Calender!

          Originally posted by Sigma UFO View Post
          Besides, it eliminates Halloween, and that just plain sucks.
          Ok, that just proves the people making this Calendar are working for the forces of evil. As someone born during the night, I will not stand for this. Down with the heartless calendar.
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          • #6
            Re: Tired of moving dates around every year? How about a New Calender!

            Oh, the poor dear! He has to revise his syllabus every semester, since the class meeting days fall on differently numbered days!

            Oh, please. Give me a break. You do some simple editing of the master document one week before the semester begins, and after a number of years, every single day and number combination is probably achieved and you can recycle.

            If it were a reform to make the calendar more accurate (difficult to do since the daily rotation cycle and solar orbit cycle don't play nice, and the week--which is an arbitrary construct--doesn't play that nice with the others), perhaps there would be merit, but just to make it more convenient for the lazy…pffft. More trouble than it's worth (and I'm fairly lazy).

            Calendar reforms to make the system more rational have been tried before. But it seems that they don't make it better enough for everyone to bother.
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            • #7
              Re: Tired of moving dates around every year? How about a New Calender!

              His website has a FAQ section, and he estimates the cost and difficulty of making this change to be equivalent to the Y2K fixes.

              ...you mean the fixes that took over a decade and is estimated to have cost north of $300 billion (not adjusted for inflation)?
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              • #8
                Re: Tired of moving dates around every year? How about a New Calender!

                Originally posted by Sigma UFO View Post
                Having looked at the proposed calendar now, though, I don't like the idea. Every calendar reform in history until now has been designed to make the calendar more astronomically accurate. This would be the first calender reform in history to make it *less* accurate: the solstices and equinoxes could vary by a full week from year to year. I don't like losing accuracy for the sake of convenience.
                I do agree with that. Especially as my birthday, as it stands now, is on the Winter Solstice, and I like that.

                Besides, it eliminates Halloween, and that just plain sucks.
                Hadn't thought of that. Boo!
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                • #9
                  Re: Tired of moving dates around every year? How about a New Calender!

                  If, for example, your birthday is March 7, it will ALWAYS fall on a Wednesday, for evermore.
                  However, if you want to celebrate your birthday on the preceding or following weekend, why of course you can!
                  And if your birthday falls on a weekend, you can celebrate on the preceding or following weekdays!

                  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.
                  Yet companies will still take a few days off before or after those Holidays. Who wants to go back to work right after New Year?

                  This scheduling might work for some applications, but I don't see how it would benefit long-term. Admitting this proposed calendar is not as accurate, yet 'adequately accurate, but convenient' isn't the best way to convince the scientific communities that rely on accuracy to make specific calculations. And it looks like the week of July 4 could be considered a holiday week? Plus, who the hell wants to be born on 'XTR'? Leap year is one thing, but at least that's designated with February. And what kind of horoscope will these XTR-born people have? "XTR 1-7, Week of the Syllabus/ This week you'll discover you have less time, but don't worry, convenience befalls you. Your lucky numbers are 1,2,3,4,5,6, oh, and 7."

                  Seriously, I doubt societies have been 'inconvenienced' long enough without so much of a problem to implement this kind of change. 400+ years? As for the Y2k bug, making comparisons to that is questionable since that doesn't account for the costs that will affect calculations based on the changes in retail sales, mortgages/loans, etc. It'll be more of a problem not just on the social reform aspect.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Tired of moving dates around every year? How about a New Calender!

                    I saw this calendar and thought it was a pretty good idea personally, but I don't see it taking off because the Gregorian calendar has been around for so long.
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                    • #11
                      Re: Tired of moving dates around every year? How about a New Calender!

                      You know, one thing that really annoys me about this calendar redesign is that, even if you assume that all of the changes it represents are necessary and need to be made, it makes *pointless* changes.

                      The year in this calendar is 364 days long, divided into quadrants 91 days long apiece.

                      Well, for the first half of the year, it's almost like that already with no changes necessary: If we have February 29th (which we have 1/4 of the time anyway), then the first three months are 91 days long. With absolutely no changes necessary, the next three months are already 91 days long. Yet this redesign takes days that already exist out of January and May and adds days that don't to February and June. Why? Why make changes that are completely unneeded?

                      And the most ridiculous part of the whole exercise is, in order to figure out which years need the "Xtra" week... you need the Gregorian calendar.
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                      • #12
                        Re: Tired of moving dates around every year? How about a New Calender!

                        Originally posted by Sigma UFO View Post
                        And the most ridiculous part of the whole exercise is, in order to figure out which years need the "Xtra" week... you need the Gregorian calendar.
                        Wow, that makes the whole thing seem even more pointless than I had already assumed it to be.
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                        • #13
                          Re: Tired of moving dates around every year? How about a New Calender!

                          Originally posted by Momoka Kibi View Post
                          Originally posted by Sigma UFO View Post
                          And the most ridiculous part of the whole exercise is, in order to figure out which years need the "Xtra" week... you need the Gregorian calendar.
                          Wow, that makes the whole thing seem even more pointless than I had already assumed it to be.
                          all because the professor couldn't get a T.A. to do the menial updates on his syllabi.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Tired of moving dates around every year? How about a New Calender!

                            Sorry for dwelling on this, but reason after reason on why this is a terrible idea keep coming to me.

                            So, every 5 to 6 years, we have an "Xtra" week. So that year, instead of 364 days long, needs to be 371 days long.

                            So... for people who get paid, not by the hour or the week, but by the month or year--do you think your employer will happily pony up an extra week of pay for that week?

                            So... for people who pay rent, do you think your landlord will not charge you extra for that month?
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                            • #15
                              Re: Tired of moving dates around every year? How about a New Calender!

                              Originally posted by Sigma UFO View Post
                              So, every 5 to 6 years, we have an "Xtra" week. So that year, instead of 364 days long, needs to be 371 days long.
                              The Xtra week does make the whole thing sound like a joke. (Plus the need to reference the Gregorian calender.) If it wasn't.

                              This is as interesting a topic as I thought it might be. I never really followed calender reform proposals before I saw this, but if a change was needed (because...I don't know...our new alien overlords demanded it, say) what would be a good overhaul?

                              There are a number of options. (I'd take calenders that are fixed which add a couple days, like the World Calender, before things like this with their leap weeks.)
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