Calendarnitall anyway!

Are you still having to stop and remind yourself to write 2012 instead of 2011?  Does it bother you that the day/month/year is used some places  even though we always say month/day/year, while filing systems are much more efficient using year/month/day? How we name and record our days is an interesting topic and one that really matters! Today is Friday the Thirteenth … just another TGIF, a day surrounded with superstition and dread, or a good excuse to bike to Port Dover?

What would you think of a proposal to change the whole calendar?  If you remember the shift from imperial measure to metric, you will probably be groaning. Teaching grade school math, I had to make the switch very quickly.  Now I can’t imagine what the opposition was all about, and really dislike using the old system for fabric purchases, quilt patterns, and recipes from American sources.  But the calendar?

Check out the proposed Hanke-Henry Calendar, which stays exactly the same, year after year. I found out about it on the Science Daily website.  This website works much like Arts and Letters Daily.  Although it is a cluttered mess to look at, there are often quirky and thought-provoking articles.

According to Hanke and Henry, their calendar is an improvement on the dozens of rival reform calendars proffered by individuals and institutions over the last century.

“Attempts at reform have failed in the past because all of the major ones have involved breaking the seven-day cycle of the week, which is not acceptable to many people because it violates the Fourth Commandment about keeping the Sabbath Day,” Henry explains. “Our version never breaks that cycle.”

Henry posits that his team’s version is far more convenient, sensible and easier to use than the current Gregorian calendar, which has been in place for four centuries — ever since 1582, when Pope Gregory altered a calendar that was instituted in 46 BC by Julius Caesar….

In addition to advocating the adoption of this new calendar, Hanke and Henry encourage the abolition of world time zones and the adoption of “Universal Time” (formerly known as Greenwich Mean Time) in order to synchronize dates and times worldwide, streamlining international business.

“One time throughout the world, one date throughout the world,” they write, in a January 2012 Global Asia article about their proposals. “Business meetings, sports schedules and school calendars would be identical every year. Today’s cacophony of time zones, daylight savings times and calendar fluctuations, year after year, would be over. The economy — that’s all of us — would receive a permanent ‘harmonization’ dividend.”

But we would have to break a meme so entrenched in our thinking that the suggestion, however rational, seems too ludicrous even to contemplate.  There would be no gradual phasing in… everyone, every where would have to change at the same time.  BC and AD have been replaced by BCE and CE; we would need another notation.  And we would still need to change the year on our cheques!



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