Imagine that you have a birthday on a Monday. ‘Fine’ you sputter on that Monday morning ‘at least I have almost equal odds of getting a birthday on a Sunday or a Saturday’. But you’ve been hearing rumours of a new leap week calendar system that begins next year. So you go online to discover that next year’s birthday will be on a Monday. And the year after that and the year after that. You hate Mondays because that is the beginning of the work week and thus a lousy day for your birthday. And now the world has locked you into this in perpetuity.
Let’s say you have a birthday on a 13th of the month. Now you’ve sometimes had that day as a Friday, and thus the unlucky Friday the 13th. But you take the lumps as they are infrequent. But now you might discover that your birthday is a Friday the 13th every year. What do you do?
The year as we know it has 52 weeks and about 1 ¼ days in it. That ¼ day has roughly meant leap years every 4 years (with the exception of century years unless they are every 400 years).
That 1 ¼ extra day that’s not in a week can be used to form leap weeks if we add them up over 5 or 6 years. Thus we have the leap week calendar.
Right there we have another disadvantage to leap weeks – it’s more complicated to remember. You could have some scheme where leap weeks are 6 years then 5 years then 6 years then 5 years then 6 years apart, whereupon you could start at the beginning again with 6 years. This gives a calendar that presumes the year is 365 and exactly ¼ days long. I.e. this is not as accurate as the Gregorian calendar we use now. So to attain that accuracy this calendar must be even more complex.
Rumour has it that every 400 years there is an even amount of weeks – so maybe that might help in making this new calendar as accurate as the Gregorian one.
The possibility of being damned to a birthday on a Monday for every year of your life is absolutely possible.
Friday the 13th could be avoidable, depending on how you make your months. If you make your months have a whole amount of weeks, Friday the 13th could become an impossible to have day. But surely the movie franchise would sue any body that would eliminate that date. And in my area, bikers invade the great lake port of Port Dover on Lake Erie every Friday the 13th. Businesses in that area would lose money on those large tourist days. Similarly, they might sue.
And what about the easy to remember number of 21 for the day, in months that start a new season. Granted, the date of each season starter can be off by as late as the 23rd, but with the leap week calendar it could be off by up to 6 more days. Nasty.
I want my birthday to always be a holiday. Failing that, I might be satisfied with a weekend day in the leap week calendar.
Because of the birthday thing, I expect this calendar will never be reality. Those people with birthdays on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday outnumber the prime birthdays on the weekend.
Then again a case might be made for wanting a birthday on hump day (Wednesday). And is Thursday such a bad day to have for a birthday night? I remember many people at University made their schedule in such a way that they had Fridays off. Thus Thursday became the party night.
Still, I imagine the Monday birthday people would murder enough people to make the vote outcome become no to the leap week calendar. Yes, those Mondayers care that much about their birthday. It’s a 1 in 7 chance in picking the calendar for your birthday to be a Monday. Don’t you care that much?
Calendar reform has already started, but in a small way: Scientific American reports that Leap Seconds May Disappear.
Today, seconds. Next year, whole days…
Stopping leap seconds is a blow to some astronomy. Meanwhile the leap week calendar pushes the primacy of the week and thus the religions the week is important in. But this seemingly pro religious stance hides the fact that the week is astronomical – a one quarter phase of the moon is very close to a week.