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Detail of the tomb of Pope Gregory XIII celebrating the introduction of the Gregorian calendar.

I think it is amazing that anyone would believe that you could get The World to agree on anything. But maybe you have heard that there is a proposal out there to get everyone to agree on a new calendar.

An astronomer wants to replace our Gregorian calendar (AKA the Western or Christian calendar) with a standardized system for The World.

Yes, the current one has issues – leap years, holidays that move all over the place, leftovers conventions from the 15th-century.

See if this makes sense. The proposed new one (known as the Hanke-Henry Permanent Calendar) would have eight months that have 30 days each and every third month would have 31 days. To compensate for the leftover time, a whole extra week would be added every few years.

According to a story from WIRED, thisProposed New Calendar Would Make Time Rational.

“Years would proceed with clockwork regularity, with no annual re-jiggering of schedules required. Each day would occupy the same position as it had the previous year and would in the next. Were this 364-day calendar, known officially as the , adopted on the first day of 2012, both Christmas and New Year’s Day would forever fall on Sunday.

“Change is possible,” said [Richard] Henry, formerly a NASA astrophysicist, who late one December early this millennium spent a full day adjusting his upcoming year’s teaching schedule to reflect the remainder left when dividing a 365-day calendar by a 7-day week. “I’d been doing this for decades. I thought, is this really necessary? And it’s not necessary.”

Irritated with inconsistency and beguiled by the possibilities of a steady-schedule world — “Every institution in the world has to change their calendar. Sports schedules. Every company. The dates of holidays have to be reset. And it’s all totally unnecessary,” he said — Henry went to work.”

It’s not just the calendar. This changes Time. As readers of this blog know, I have a long fascination with Time and our attempts to understand and manipulate it.

Wityh this calendar, all the world’s clocks would be set to Universal Time (AKA Greenwich Mean Time) and all those time zones we use would be gone, along with Daylight Saving Time.

This calendar is not a brand new idea. Did you miss the United Nations-denied World Calendar and the Raventos Symmetrical Calendar (13 months, three with 28 days) or the Symmetry 454 Calendar (no Friday the 13th’s) and the one closest to the new proposal, the 1996 “Reformed Weekly Calendar?”

Henry’s version added to the 1996 proposal that extra “Newton Week” so that things would sync up better with Earth’s 365.2422 day-long orbit around the sun. He figured that would make Sir Isaac happy, but he has decided to just call it the “extra week.”

The new calendar came up again in the news last month because Professor Henry has teamed up with fellow Johns Hopkins professor Steve Hanke, an economist. The economist likes that it would streamline financial operations. I’m not sure if you find it as annoying as he does that our current Gregorian calendar anomalies “make a muddle of interest-calculating conventions.” Having a Sunday-only Christmas and New Year’s holidays (as we had this past 2011) would then eliminate those pesky years when they show up mid-week and, according to Professor Henry, “the whole economy collapses for two weeks.”

Take a look:

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