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Twelve months? Really? - Hurtling Butt-First Through Time [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Phrembah (a potato-like mystery)

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Twelve months? Really? [Aug. 24th, 2015|07:19 pm]
Phrembah (a potato-like mystery)
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There are 365.242 days in a year.  If you divide that by twelve, you get a very messy 30.4368333333333, which is why we have some months with thirty days and some with thirty-one and one with twenty-eight and a quarter.

You can get a lot more regular intervals by dividing 365.242 by 13.  You get 28.0955384615385, which is very close to 28.  It turns out that if you have thirteen 28-day months, you only have 1.242 days left over at the end of the year.  You could call that New Year's Day and have a big celebration.  New Year's Day would not be part of a month.  It would be like its own deal, like Washinton, DC or the ACT or something.  That still leaves 0.242 days per year unaccounted for, so every four years, you have a two day-long New Year's celebration and have a real blowout.  But . . .

By adding an extra holiday every four years you compenstate for 4 x 0.242 =  0.968 extra days by adding a whole day.  To make up for that exquisite little inconvenience, you must skip a holiday once every thirty years.  If you can find your way past the politcal implications of that, you get a lot closer, but you're still a day off every 120 years, so every 120 years you need to skip two holidays.  And, it turns out, if you want to be gnat's-ass right on, you need to skip a third holiday once every 3000 years.

It sounds more complicated than it is.  Mostly you just celebrate New Year's Day every year, really celebrate it every four years, and skip it once every thirty years.  Many people would never see the extra day skipped at 120 year intervals.  And, if you happened to be alive for one of the 3000 year skips, you could predict the end of the world.  When the world didn't end, you could just nurse your hangover for a couple of days and you're good for another 3000 years.

In the meantime, there are always twenty-eight days in a month, there are always four weeks in a month and months always start on a Monday.  Simple.  Right?

Oh, and somebody gets to name a new month.  Damn, that could be bloody.  The liberals will want to call it Kennedy or maybe Roosevelt.  The Republicans will want to call it Reagan.  The Hollywood folks will want to call it Michael Jackson or Elvis.  I actually like Elvis, but I think we should call it Pluto to make amends for downgrading Pluto to dwarf planet status.  I think we would all feel better deep down.
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