Leap Weeks

This is kind of a neat idea: The Hanke-Henry Calendar. If, instead of having a 365-day year with a leap-day inserted every 4-ish years, you have a 364-day year with a leap-week inserted every 6-ish years, you end up with a 12 month calendar where every day/month pair lands on the same day-of-the-week every year. The error between calendar day and solar day stays about the same.

There's not a chance, of course, but it's a neat trick. It's the Dvorak keyboard of calendars -- worse, because everyone would have to change at once. The switch from Julian to Gregorian took two centuries.

Sadly, the combination of the author's 1992 web design, and the fact that he also wants to eliminate time zones and put everyone on GMT, puts him firmly in the "internet kook" category.

Also. Previously.

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28 Responses:

  1. harryh says:

    Personally I've always thought we should stick with 365 days per year (with a leap day every 4 years) but instead of 12 months of varying lengths have 13 months of 28 days (exactly 4 weeks) each. You then get 1 bonus day per year that's not part of a week or a month. It exists outside of the regular calendar. Leap day would also work like this.

    • Yup, that's my preferred method too. New Year's Day just doesn't have a day or a month, but is a thing unto itself. And every four years we have Hogmanay, as an extra extra day!

      • MZ MegaZone says:

        This is my preferred approach as well. Dumping the seven day week would be even harder to pull off than changing the calendar, and harder to justify. At least with a seven day week, four weeks per month, thirteen months per year, you get a lot of regularly. You can have a week always begin on Sunday and end on Saturday (or Monday-Sunday, whatever.) Months always begin on the 1st and end on the 28th. Holidays are easy enough to move - most of them are artificially placed anyway. And you have the option of keeping them on the same month/day or re-mapping them based on the day of the year to the new month/day in the new calendar, if one works better than the other - or just making something up if need be. Birthday's I'd map by day of the year to the new date.

        Every year is Null Day, or whatever, which exists outside of the other 13 months. We have an extra Null Day for Leap Year. Or we can adopt this guys concept, which isn't too bad, and save them up and have a Null Week (Null Set?) periodically. Could be some kind of global holiday week.

        Not that I think this will ever happen.

  2. sherm says:

    Sadly, the combination of the author's 1992 web design, and the fact that he also wants to eliminate time zones and put everyone on GMT, puts him firmly in the "internet kook" category.

    I was going to go with, "his example algorithm for leap-week years is written in Fortran," but I suppose those are good reasons too.

  3. Roger says:

    This is even more insane than the notion you should measure things in units of ten with easy conversions between volume, weight, dimensions, energy etc. Along with Liberia and Burma I'd expect the US to remain years behind adoption of any sensible calendar, just like Russia was with earlier calendars.

  4. Joe Crawford says:

    I feel conflicted about the fact that a main justification of his is: "The Hanke-Henry Calendar NEVER, EVER breaks the seven day cycle of the week."

    Which I read as: "6 days of work, 1 day of rest is the CORRECT BIBLICAL REPEATING WEEK SEQUENCE." Adding a leap day every 4 years screws up the Divine Plan.

    I think this dude has some serious built up agita about experts screwing with his Sabbaths.

    That said, it seems like a less stupid system than the current one.

    • jwz says:

      You may be right about the TIME CUBEyness of it, since while he took care to put Christmas on Sunday, Halloween is forever relegated to Monday.

      • steen says:

        It's a conspiracy to reduce the number of Deathguilds!

      • Lun Esex says:

        Who is this guy to pick which days are always going to be on a particular day of the week?

        NYE and Bonfire Night (U.K., 5 Nov) always on a Saturday night: Ok.
        April 1st always on a Sunday? There goes the fun of pulling pranks on classmates, teachers, and coworkers.
        4th of July on a Wednesday? Now THAT'S a day that deserves to be on a Sunday (in the U.S.).

        Never mind that with a February 29th every year, leap year babies are going to start aging 4x as fast! :P No more October 31st! He's clearly got something against Halloween. Not to mention no more January, May, July, or August 31st. No more birthdays for people born on those days.

        And I do NOT want my birthday to be permanently stuck on a Thursday.

        Right now we can't even all agree whether daylight savings time is still (or was ever) a good idea. (Fun fact: A big argument against adopting daylight savings time year round is: "noon is always supposed to be when the sun is at its highest point in the sky, goddamn it!" As if: A) It really matters, and B) Due to time zones there are only two days a year when the sun is at its highest point in the sky at exactly noon in any particular location, anyway. ["You know how many time zones there are in the Soviet Union?"])

        • ELEVEN
          How many time zones do we have in the US?
          (++ for Negativland reference)

        • Ben Brockert says:

          Not just due to time zones, also due to physics. Check out an analemma; the most times the sun can ever be high noon at noon in one location is 4, unless you move minute-based timezones every day.

        • Nathan Roberts says:

          The point of DST (as I understand it) is: Since the sun rises earlier in the summer, people end up sleeping through a full hour or more of daylight in the morning. So let's KICK 'EM ALL OUT OF BED AN HOUR EARLY AND PUT THAT DAYLIGHT TO GOOD USE, HEALTH EFFECTS BE DAMNED.

          • Here in Brazil people actually like the DST, if you get out of the work with an hour or two of daylight you can get to a beach and relax in the end of the day. :-)

          • Lun Esex says:

            The point? The POINT?? It's not about the point! It's about where the sun is in the sky at noon, gorram it!

            That and the power it takes to turn on your lights earlier in the evening being offset by the power needed to run air conditioning units. It the end the total power consumed is just about a wash. But I just HAD to mention power, because:

            "power, and all that, that's power, we got so much power, that's... ridiculous."

            (Oh no, I did it again :)

  5. I dunno, I like the fact that everybody gets their birthday on the weekend sometimes in the current calendar.

  6. DaveL says:

    Has no one sympathy for the calendar industry? All these schemes of repeatable day/month coordination are designed to put them out of business. Think of the lost jobs.

  7. J. Peterson says:

    Are you sure you'd want to give up October 31st?

  8. Gryazi says:

    Glad I don't have a link to my favorite calendar-reforming furry's page available.

    But if it's The Future, why can't we compromise and shove another day in the weekend without shortening the week? That even leaves room for equal-length months plus a codified 5-day winter holiday, but I care more about the vaguely-increased time off and the idea that longer weekend shifts would be great for part-timers - probably increasing employment by getting more people in to cover the 3 days rather than pushing people to work 6 or 7/7.

  9. Mildred Bonk says:

    This guy's website on the topic is more extensive and slightly less crankish.

  10. BeSlayed says:

    Traditional Hindu calendars have occasional "Leap Months": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_calendar#Extra_months

  11. Lloyd says:

    The proposal misses a benefit of the current system: error checking is built right in. If you claim 'Tuesday the 22nd of January 1962', a check can be made to see if that was indeed a Tuesday. Redundancy and error correction are good things.

    • jwz says:

      Very true -- as I discover old DNA Lounge flyers from the 80s, I have to take advantage of the checksumming to figure out what year it was from, since the dates on flyers rarely include the year. Usually -- but not always -- I can make an educated guess as to whether "Sun Dec 20" means 1987 or 1992.

  12. Jon says:

    I thought this was wistful until you mentioned the GMT thing.

    I've often wondered if large international companies preferred sysadmins who live away from GMT, since those in GMT have far less experience of timezone problems.