Thirty days hath January, February…

With the New Year rapidly approaching, this article caught my eye.

Richard Henry, a professor of applied physics, and Steve Hanke, a professor of economics at Johns Hopkins University are proposing that we change our calendar to “simplify it”.  As an example of the current “complexity”, New Year’s day falls on a different day each year, as does the Fourth of July.  This peskiness results from the fact that it takes our earth 365.2422 days to orbit the sun.

Currently, we solve this dilemma by accumulating those .2422 days, and every 4 years adding one extra day a year (February 29) to our calendar.  Actually, over this 4 year period we’ve only amassed .9688 days, but I suppose that is close enough.

The Hanke-Henry proposal does away with that.  Under it, each 12 month period is exactly like the last 12 month period.  So, using this year as an example, December 25 was a Sunday, as it will be next year, and the year thereafter, etc.  To accomplish this, the proposal calls for March, June, September and December to have 31 days, while all the rest will have 30 days.  A calendar year will then be 364 days.  I am not sure what happens if you were born on say, January 31, as January will only have 30 days, but, I can only assume that this detail will be worked out later.

However, we still have the annoying problem of the earth taking 365.2422 days to orbit the sun.  The proposal solves this as well.  Every 5 or 6 years a “leap week” will be added to the calendar at the end of December.  I can’t tell what dates this leap week will hath…December 32 through 38?  Or, perhaps, January -6 through January 0.

Messrs. Hanke and Henry are also proposing a reform dealing with the elimination of time zones and the establishment of a universal time to be used throughout the globe.  So, for those of you who imbibe “a bit early”, you will no longer be able to say, “it’s five-o-clock somewhere in the world”.  Under the proposal it will be five-o-clock everywhere in the world at exactly five-o-clock.

Just curious…will this simplify your life?


31 replies
  1. Kelly
    Kelly says:

    First of all, I PRAY TO THE LORD, for our Jim to be healthy when he comes back & also prayers for his family, especially his Mom & Children…SOS, you are so special & I know you will keep things together…but the hearts of the above have got to be breaking.?
    Now, for this post?? How much longer do we have to put up with STUPID?

  2. gpantone3
    gpantone3 says:

    Amazing how much press “Stupid” can get.? surprised some legislator hasn’t already proposed a bill to accomplish this.? although it is probably in the works at the UN….

  3. sammy22
    sammy22 says:

    Calendars have changed in the past, we could manage that. How have we managed to deal with people born on Feb. 29?

  4. gillie28
    gillie28 says:

    Hey, then we can all wear the same “uniform,” eat the same food at the same time, go to the bathroom together in universal comradeship,?etc. etc.? By the way, if time is the same across the globe, who has dibs on working during daylight??????

  5. winnie
    winnie says:

    Um, excuse me:? When exactly will Halloween fall if they take away Oct. 31st?? I find it interesting that they overlooked *that* day.? As for the elimination of time zones:? who are these freaks?? Which time zone exactly is the best time zone?? I can’t even imagine the total chaos that would ensue.? I have a hard enough time staying awake during these short winter days…I can’t wrap my mind around the possibility of the noon hour being pitch black.? There are some of us who would not be able to function.
    Anyhoo, I’m not too worried…I just don’t see this happening.? It’s a test shot…doomed to miss its target.

  6. Fish
    Fish says:

    As probably the nerdiest person in the room, I must address your statement about the calculations for leap years:
    “Currently, we solve this?dilemma by accumulating those .2422 days, and every 4 years adding one extra day a year (February 29) to our calendar.? Actually, over this 4 year period we?ve only amassed .9688 days, but?I suppose that is close enough.”
    How it is actually calculated is: a year must be divisible by 4 but NOT divisible by 100. So 2008, 2012 are leap years but 2000 was not.

    • Sal
      Sal says:

      Fish 2000 was a leap year becuase you could divide it by 400 evenly.2100 2200 2300 wont be leap years but 2400 will be a leap year ?not that we have to worry about remebering that LOL

  7. JBS
    JBS says:

    Lynn, you are probably right. But, again, this is more than likely the result of too much coffee in the faculty lounge and too many “adult beverages” in the faculty restaurant, both the result of academics “working too much.”
    The universal time concept has been around for long time. It is Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), Zulu (military) and is also called Universal Time. There may be another name. Hey, it eliminates the pesky 12 hour a.m./p.m. thing.?
    As for the 30-day calendar, why bother? These guys must be Dems as they are proposing a “solution” for a non-existent problem. Their “solution” only makes other problems. One of them must have been born on February 29th and are looking for a yearly birthday entitlement. Halloween on a Monday? Egad, all of those kids amped-up on carbohydrates on a Tuesday morning? Shudder to think of that! (Teachers, think of that!)
    It sounds like more implementation of (O.K., groan now) Sustainable Development/ Agenda 21 ( Those folks (the U.N.) want us to be “all the same.” Yo! Problems with the dollar? Let’s all use the Euro! What? There’s a problem with the Euro?

  8. cherwin
    cherwin says:

    Was this an Obama idea? How about if we just leave things the way they are. We have bigger problems to deal with.

  9. ricbee
    ricbee says:

    I just wanna know who is funding these saps,Hopkins? My cousin goes there,I will be sure to embarrass him with this.

  10. GdavidH
    GdavidH says:

    ?I did not realize that Christmas, new years, and?4th of July being on a different day each year was such a mind bender.

    ?Good to know that all the Applied physics and economics questions and dilemmas? have been solved.?

  11. sammy22
    sammy22 says:

    Too bad most of the post presents excerpts out of context and says nothing of the advantages in the global world we live in. If you had business dealings with the Far East, you might have experienced some of the difficulties due to the time zones/daylight vs standard times. Airline schedules and associated costs of semi-annual changes would be lower. Even US farmers would like it.

    • Lynn
      Lynn says:

      Sammy, I appreciate you giving us the other side of the coin, but do you have any links of global businesses having difficulty due to time zone differences?? Actually I know several people who travel at least bi-weekly to China or Europe and they have never complained about this problem. They have problems with circulation problems in their legs from sitting on a plane for so many hours, but nothing with time zones. There would have to be major problems for me to think it would be worthwhile to make these changes.

  12. Plainvillian
    Plainvillian says:

    Pilots have dealt with a universal 24 hour clock for a long time since weather data and scheduling are dated and timed using Universal Time (the old UK based GMT).? Since time demarcation and time zones are completely abstract concepts, I’ll bet the unwashed masses could get used to going to work at 1300 hrs instead of 8AM.? Much of the world already functions on a 24 hr clock so the US probably could too.
    As to the monthly changes, I think more study needs to be conducted.? Sounds like a job for the intellect of Joe Biden.

    • pauldow
      pauldow says:

      That was my thought. We should go metric:

      100 seconds per minute

      100 minutes per hour

      10 hours per day.

      10 months per year.

      We would still need the same number of days per year unless we set off a bunch of strategically placed atomic bombs to alter earth’s orbit.

      What could go wrong?

  13. gillie28
    gillie28 says:

    Sammy, it is as alien (I hate the metric system-continental Europe just did it to?look superior to the Brits!!!!!).? How are you going to possibly account for it being?9 a.m. in the UK and being in broad daylight, and the same?9 a.m. in the US being what “used-to-be” 4 a.m., and in the dark.? There’s a reason for time zones!!!!? Traders learn to deal with it and international businesses can do video-conferencing at mutually-convenient times, but don’t impose that crap on all of us.

  14. Linda Mae
    Linda Mae says:

    Dare I point out that the Chinese calendar is lunar and sometimes has a leap month!!!
    I wish I had so little to worry about.

  15. Moe
    Moe says:

    I believe the leap year is “skipped” three days every four hundred years (e.g., 1900, ?2100, 2200, ?2300, 2500) to bring the calendar close to being ?back on track.
    Somehow, I think the world would be a better place if these two professors would give up their present jobs and set up a roadside lemonade stand.

  16. Edmondo
    Edmondo says:

    The idea does have some merit. ?The arguments against making any change are: it’s tradition; we’re used to it the way it is, so why bother; and so on. ?Eventually we will become more like the planet Vulcan, and adopt something that is logical. ?

  17. winnie
    winnie says:

    My aversion to this idea has nothing to do with “tradition”…it’s purely common sense-based.? Can anyone imagine the mass depression that would come with having to adjust lifelong circadian rhythms?? While the *brains* came up with this ridiculous idea, it is our brains which would rebel against it if they ever tried to implement it.? While someone once said, “It’s the economy, stupid” I’d like to rephrase that to, “It’s biology, stupid”.

  18. gillie28
    gillie28 says:

    I’m sorry, am I missing something here?? When it’s 3 p.m. in CT and in daylight, it’s 8 or 9 p.m. in Europe and in darkness.? That’s just 2 time zones (well, Portugal and UK are an hour behind rest of Europe – even over here they can’t coordinate!).?? So, those “pro” this idea are fine with it being 3 p.m. all over the world: with more than half working nights and sleeping in the daytime?? Yeah, that’ll work, especially in farming communities. It’s INSANE!

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