Scientists Propose Drastic Calendar Change

Birthdays, Christmas would always land on same day

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    What if your birthday, Christmas and every other holiday fell on the same day every year?

    Two scientists at Johns Hopkins University -- Richard Conn Henry and Steve H. Hanke -- have proposed a new permanent calendar that would never change.

    They say March, June, September and December would all have 31 days, while the rest of the months would have 30.

    Christmas would always fall on a Sunday. Halloween would be moved to Oct. 30, and would always be on a Monday.

    And all the extra days created by the Earth's orbit would be taken care of by a "leap week" added on at the end of December every five to six years.

    Henry is an astrophysicist at the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, while Hanke is an applied economist in the Whiting School of Engineering.

    "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," said Henry, who is also director of the Maryland Space Grant Consortium, 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."

    The pair say their calendar is more convenient, sensible and easier to use than the current Gregorian calendar, which has been in use since 1582 when Pope Gregory altered a calendar that was instituted by Julius Caesar in the year 46 BC.

    They say the Hanke-Henry Permanent Calendar could save billions of dollars in scheduling conflicts and in the setting of interest rates.

    "Our calendar would simplify financial calculations and eliminate what we call the ‘rip off’ factor,” Hanke said in the release. "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."

    Hanke and Henry also are encouraging 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.

    But what about those people who are born on, say, Jan. 31, which would no longer exist on the new calendar? You're out of luck. Henry posted on his own website that they could celebrate on the "new" last day of the month -- Jan. 30.

    Check Henry's website for more of his answers to likely questions from those pondering the duo's new calendar system.