The western world doesn't change the calendar very often. Julius Caesar straightened out the previous confusion of calendars in 46 BC. The Julian calendar continued unchanged for more than 1,600 years until Pope Gregory announced the Gregorian calendar in 1582 that handled some "extra days" that had crept in. The Catholic countries adopted the Gregorian calendar almost immediately but others held out. A few countries did not adopt the Gregorian calendar until the early twentieth century.
Now researchers at The Johns Hopkins University have proposed a new calendar and claim that it makes much more sense than the previous one.
Under the Hanke-Henry Permanent Calendar, for instance, if Christmas fell on a Sunday in 2012 (and it would), it will also fall on a Sunday in 2013, 2014 and beyond. Your birthday would fall on the same day of the week every year as would all holidays.
“Our calendar would simplify financial calculations and eliminate what we call the ‘rip off’ factor,” explains Steve H. Hanke. “Determining how much interest accrues on mortgages, bonds, forward rate agreements, swaps and others, day counts are required. Our current calendar is full of anomalies that have led to the establishment of a wide range of conventions that attempt to simplify interest calculations. Our proposed permanent calendar has a predictable 91-day quarterly pattern of two months of 30 days and a third month of 31 days, which does away with the need for artificial day count conventions.”
The Hanke-Henry Permanent Calendar would dropping leap years entirely in favor of an extra week added at the end of December every five or six years. This brings the calendar in sync with the seasonal changes as the Earth circles the sun.
Of course, it would be a headache for calculating those dates in old records made before the changeover. As great as the new calendar sounds, I wonder how we all would handle birthdays of children born in that "extra week added at the end of December every five or six years."
You can read more in an article on the Johns Hopkins web site at http://goo.gl/ta0nL
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