Monday 14 December 2009

A Decimal Calendar

I have created a decimal calendar. One might ask what do I mean by a decimal calendar. Making things decimal started from the time of French Revolution. They wanted to change everything to a sacrilegious, scientific and inspired by the enlightenment movement in modern philosophy. They knew the most natural and easy type of division and multiplication can be done if all numbers be in radix or base of ten, using only ten symbol for counting, based on the fingers on a human hands. Before that the roman scales and measures with differences were used in the world. Things such as pound or yard or mile. First they decided to make a right angle from ninety degree to hundred units and they called it hundred grads. So round a circle becomes four hundred grads. And any circle round the earth, including the equator circle, will also be four hundred grads. Then they divided a quarter of that great circle of equator in fractions of ten until it became near the size of a yard. To do that one should divide that right angle length into ten million. They created a rod of platinum in that size and called it one meter. They created units of decimal fractions of one meter and units of decimal multiplication of one meter. They made a cube of water with length at each edge equal to one tenth of meter (one decimeter) and called it one kilogram and made a platinum block of that weight as the new standard. One gram is a cube of water one centimeter in each edge.
Division of a circle into 360 degrees is due to Babylonians. They noticed that the sun rotating round the earth in three hundred and sixty days and night to go back to its last year position in heaven at the dawn. They recognized it was more than that a bit, but 360 had all the divisors from one to ten except seven, and it was good enough. They could not find a number that can add seven to other divisors and be near to 365 solar days. That brought the idea from ancient time that seven should be a sacred number exempted from being a divisor and an exception to that celestial rule. Babylonian further divided each degree of 360 degree into sixty "minutes" and each minute into sixty "seconds" for further precision of their calculations. They had to do calculations in cumbersome 60 radix. To reward the resilience of seven they created "Week" which is "Seven" solar days and seven got its own and unique position of honour among the "ten" numbers.
French revolution could not change number of solar days to 400 days and make the calendar decimal. They wanted to make things more precise not less. Hence, they left it as before. Day is divided into twenty four hours in accordance to idea of Babylonian such that each quarter of day be six hours and each hour be sixty minutes and each minutes be sixty seconds.
As astronomers were dealing with solar 365 days they were reluctant to abandon 360 degrees and adopt the French revolution 400 grads and its decimal fractions. Changing astronomical and naval tables and charts of the world at that time was a formidable task if not impossible. Geometers and trigonometers who were actually workers of astronomers also followed the old Babylonian style of 360 degrees for the circle. Most of the times they even do not need that and they use an intrinsic measure of angles called "radian." Still, all the calculators and computer programs are able to work with any of these three units of angles, though rarely one might find "grad" of any usage.
In my decimal calendar I have not divided the year into 400. I have divided it into twenty months. Each season has five months and year is consistent with real solar day from spring equinox to next spring equinox. Further I have divided each solar day into 20 hours instead of twenty four hours. Then I have divided each hour into 100 minutes and each minuets into 100 seconds. Hence my minutes and seconds are shorter and more consistent with modern usage of more precision in time. In this way each solar day is equal to 200000 seconds of my proposed clock instead of difficult to remember, 86400 seconds of conventional clock. You see in sports, for instance, that many fractions will not need to be used anymore in this way. I also created a five days "Week" that consolidate the sacred day of Christians -Sunday-, Judaism -Saturday-, and Moslems -Friday- in a single common day.
You can download a decimal clock of mine from my Google Code page, or click here. There is also a software for conversion of Gregorian to Decimal calendar for dates after spring of 2000, at the same place, or click here. You can see the length of each months and more details of the calendar by clicking here.

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