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Calendar: old, new and ultramodern

29 December 2011

If this proposal gets of the ground, we are perhaps in for a three-way split: Old Calendrists, New Calendrists, and Ultra-modern Calendrists: Time for a change? Scholars say calendar needs serious overhaul

Using computer programs and mathematical formulas, Richard Conn Henry, an astrophysicist in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, and Steve H. Hanke, an applied economist in the Whiting School of Engineering, have created a new calendar in which each new 12-month period is identical to the one which came before, and remains that way from one year to the next in perpetuity.

Under the Hanke-Henry Permanent Calendar, for instance, if Christmas fell on a Sunday in 2012 (and it would), it would also fall on a Sunday in 2013, 2014 and beyond. In addition, under the new calendar, the rhyme “30 days hath September, April, June and November,” would no longer apply, because September would have 31 days, as would March, June and December. All the rest would have 30. (Try creating a rhyme using that.)

I have serious doubts about this, not least because, if their calculations say that Christmas would fall on a Sunday in 2012, then their calculations are seriously wrong already, before we’ve even started with their proposed new New Calendar. Old Calendar Christmas falls on a Monday in 2012/13, and New Calendar Christmas falls on a Tuesday in 2012. If they start with a wrong assumption, how much else could go wrong?

But even apart from the possibility of errors, how boring it would be if Christmas always fell on the same day of the week, or if Pascha always fell on the same day of the month?

But I’m sure bureaucrats will ove it. Life should, after all, be as monotonous and predictable as human science can make it.

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