Q & A
- Why fool with the calendar?
There are enormous economic advantages to the proposed calendar. These benefits come because the new calendar is identical every year. Every five or six years, there is a one-week long "Mini-Month," at the end of December. This "Xtr" month brings the calendar into sync with seasonal changes due to the Earth's orbit. How much needless work do institutions, such as companies and universities, put into arranging their calendars for every coming year? From 2018 on, they do it once, and it is done forevermore.
- Surely you're not fooling with the clocks, too?
Yes, starting January 1, 2018, it is proposed that Universal Time, on a 24 hour scale, be used everywhere on earth. As a result of this, beginning January 1, 2018, the date and time will always be the same everywhere, greatly facilitating international understanding.
- Doesn't your innovation mean that, for some folks, the date changes when the sun is overhead?
Yes, but those folks live in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. As things stand, they have an International Date Line to contend with. With our proposal, that will disappear forever. So they gain that!
- What happens to my birthday?
If, for example, your birthday is March 7, it will always fall on a Thursday. However, if you want to celebrate your birthday on the preceding or following weekend, why of course you can!
- Do I have to wait until January 1, 2018 to adopt the new calendar?
No, you can adopt it right now, but you need to persuade your neighbors to agree on the date.
- Which years have an Xtr (Extra) "week-long month" at the end of December?
We are indebted to Irv Bromberg for pointing out that a simple way exists to test whether a year contains an Xtr month: if the corresponding Gregorian year begins or ends on a Thursday, that year contains an Xtr month.
These years were chosen to keep the new calendar as close as could be to the cycle of the seasons. The new calendar is never more than five days off from the seasons. After January 1, 2018:
Only 1.3% of the time are the dates different by five days, and never by more than that. The bottom line: 90% of the time, HH is off from Gregorian by 3 days or fewer!
- 15% of the time, the date is identical to the Gregorian date
- 29% of the time, it is one day off
- 27% of the time, two days off
- 19% of the time, three days off
- 9% of the time, four days off
- What happens to Daylight Saving Time?
Daylight Saving Time disappears, but it also stays as changes in working hours. Time zones, such as Eastern Standard Time, still exist exactly as they do now but are considered to be "working hours" zones. In Eastern Standard Time, a "9-to-5" job is defined as a 14:00-to-22:00 (14 o'clock to 22 o'clock) job. The next calendar day begins at what we now call 7 p.m. in Eastern Standard Time. On the west coast of the US, which uses Pacific Standard Time, the next day begins at 4 p.m. "Spring forward, Fall back" now means that on a chosen day, everyone changes their work hours by one hour, but the clock time stays the same. "See you tomorrow" refers to the sun being overhead, not a change in the calendar date.
- My birthday is January 31. But there will be no more January 31s! And I run a restaurant: there will be no birthday parties on February 30s since no one was born on them! I'll lose business!
And what about people who are born in the Xtr
(Extra) month? When is their birthday in non-Xtr years? Be like Queen Elizabeth: celebrate your birthday on a date of your choosing! For people born on the vanished 31st days of months, there's a simple solution. They were born on the last day of the month, so their birthday is on the last day of the month (which would be the 30th).
- Calendar Reform has always failed before. This will too.
Right, calendar reform has always failed before. The reason was that all the major proposals included breaking the seven day cycle of the week. That is completely unacceptable to humankind, and that will never happen. The HH Calendar does not break that cycle. The HH Calendar can be implemented by those companies that want efficiency whenever they please. Just do it! Countries can, too. Just do it, Mr. President! Just do it, Madame President!
- Hold on! You've forgotten the farmers! They can't be four days off in spring planting!
They don't need to be four days off in spring planting. They just check the date on their calendar that is painted on the wall (painted, since it remains identical from year to year), and then they check what the Gregorian Date is to see if it is planting day yet. The Gregorian Calendar does not cease to exist. It just isn't ordinarily used, except by agronomists.
- Why January 1, 2018?
Because in both the current Gregorian Calendar and in the new HH Calendar, that day is a Monday (the start of a 7-day cycle, which we call a "week.")
- Why was the start date moved from Sunday to Monday?
Everywhere in the world except USA and Canada, the week begins on Monday and ends on Sunday. This makes January 1, 2018 a perfect transition.
- Won't this whole exercise be costly?
It will be about as costly as the Y2K problem was. Remember that? But it is a one-time cost, and then we are safe until the year 10,000. Also, since we have just been through Y2K, we are in an ideal position to make a "second adjustment," having already located the software that needs to be adjusted and learned how to do it. Let's not get rusty on this again: strike while the iron is hot, or at least still warm!
- Well, I still say you are going to fail.
Oh yes? I vividly remember phoning my elderly mother, in my native Canada, some years before she died: and with astonishment hearing her quite casually say, "it was very hot today, 30 degrees."
What this shows is that a nice conservative old lady was able to totally adapt to an alien idea, the Celsius temperature scale. We are all adaptable! (This example perhaps will not be intelligible to someone who has never used Fahrenheit!)
It CAN be done, folks, and the decision is YOURS, not mine. Each of you.
- So, you are really just asking: do I want a very accurate but very inconvenient calendar (Gregorian), or do I want a more-than-adequately-accurate but VERY CONVENIENT calendar (HH)?