December 28, 2011
Researchers Propose New 12-Month Calendar
Researchers at John Hopkins University have come up with a new, simpler 12-month calendar.
The team used computer programs and mathematical formulas to create the new calendar in which each new 12-month period is identical to the one before.Under the new calendar, if Christmas fell on a Sunday in 2012, it would also fall on a Sunday in 2013, 2014 and beyond.
Also, the months September, March, June and December would have 31 days, while the rest would have 30.
"Our plan offers a stable calendar that is absolutely identical from year to year and which allows the permanent, rational planning of annual activities, from school to work holidays," Richard Conn Henry, an astrophysicist in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, said in a press release.
"Think about how much time and effort are expended each year in redesigning the calendar of every single organization in the world and it becomes obvious that our calendar would make life much simpler and would have noteworthy benefits."
They said the new calendar would also be convenient for birthdays and holidays by making them fall on the same day of the week every year.
Steve H. Hanke, an applied economist in the Whiting School of Engineering and an expert in international economics, also said that the economic benefits would even be more profound.
"Our calendar would simplify financial calculations and eliminate what we call the 'rip off' factor,'" Hanke said. "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 researchers said that their calendar is an improvement on the dozens of rival reform calendars offered by individuals and institutions over the past 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 explained. "Our version never breaks that cycle."
Henry said that his team's version is more convenient, sensible and easier to use than the current Gregorian calendar. Pope Gregory altered a calendar that was instituted in 46 BC by Julius Caeser.
The pope removed 11 days from the calendar in order to make Caeser's calendar more in synch with the seasons. It has been used since 1582.
On the Net:
- John Hopkins University
- Krieger School of Arts and Sciences
- Whiting School of Engineering
- Hanke-Henry Permanent Calendar
- January 2012 Global Asia article about calendar reform