BMEWS
 
When Sarah Palin booked a flight to Europe, the French immediately surrendered.

calendar   Saturday - December 31, 2005

Calendar Trivia

We people in Western Civilization (a.k.a “Christians") are preparing to celebrate the start of another year ... according to the Gregorian Calendar. This calendar is the Western Civilzation’s second attempt to keep track of the Earth’s rotation and have some consistency in when seasons start and end. The first attempt to standardize the calendar was done by none other than Julius Caesar in 46 BC. The old Roman calendar was hopelessly inaccurate and had already been modified many times. Here’s the story:

The Roman calendar originally started the year with the vernal equinox and consisted of 10 months (Martius, Aprilis, Maius, Junius, Quntilis, Sextilis, September, October, November, and December) having a total of 304 days. The numbers still embedded in the last four months of the year are the fossil of this (September, October, November, and December, contain the Latin roots for the numerals seven, eight, nine, and ten, but now fall on the ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth months of the year). The 304 days were followed by an unnamed, unnumbered period in winter. The second Roman king Numa Pompilius (715-673 BC) introduced February and January (in that order) between December and March, increasing the length of the year to 354 or 355 days. Then in 450 BC, February was moved to its current position.

Julius Caesar (100-44 BC) changed the number of days in the months to achieve a 365 day year. He and his nephew (Augustus Caesar) also managed to have their names imprinted on two months: July and August. In order to “catch up” with the seasons, he also added 90 days to the year 46 BC between November and February. The Julian calendar consisted of cycles of three 365-day years followed by a 366-day leap year. Around 9 BC, it was found that the priests in charge of computing the calendar had been adding leap days every three years instead of the four decreed by Caesar. As a result of this error, no more leap years were added until 8 AD. Leap years were therefore 45 BC, 42 BC, 39 BC, 36 BC, 33 BC, 30 BC, 27 BC, 24 BC, 21 BC, 18 BC, 15 BC, 12 BC, 9 BC, 8 AD, 12 AD, and every fourth year thereafter. Fortunately, Caesar met an untimely end in 44 BC and never lived to see the mess they made of his new calendar.

Needless to say, after a few dozen centuries the calendar was once again in a mess and starting to get out of sync with the seasons again. Then the Catholic church stepped in and decided to fix it once and for all. Pope Gregory XIII (1502–85 AD) woke up one fine Christmas morning and happened to notice that the days had started getting longer several weeks earlier, which meant Winter had already started long ago and that just wasn’t right because Christians had specifically stolen the Winter Solstice Festival of the heathens to celebrate Christ’s brithday. Gregory decided to fix things up. That is when the fun started and the dust didn’t settle for nearly four hundred years.

Using medieval clocks (sun dials) and lots of time spent worrying over historical textbooks, Gregory decided that the calendar was ten days slow. Quickly realizing that he had no way to push human time forward to catch up to the correct date, Gregory decided to chop off the calendar by ten days ... and then all hell broke loose. Pope Gregory XIII decreed that the day after October 4, 1582 would be October 15, 1582 (Popes had that kind of power back then - even more than most Kings).

The switchover was bitterly opposed by much of the populace, who feared it was an attempt by landlords to cheat then out of a week and a half’s rent. The Catholic countries of France, Spain, Portugal, and Italy complied (they had a choice: either go along or be excommunicated). Various Catholic German countries (Germany was not yet unified), Belgium, the Netherlands, and Switzerland followed suit within a year or two, and Hungary followed in 1587.

In their infinite wisdom, the Protestants decided to thumb their noses at the Pope and so the rest of Europe did not follow suit for more than a century. The Protestant German countries adopted the Gregorian reform in 1700. By this time, the calendar trailed the seasons by 11 days. England (and the American colonies) finally followed suit in 1752, and Wednesday, September 2, 1752 was immediately followed by Thursday, September 14, 1752. This traumatic change resulted in widespread riots and the populace demanding “Give us the eleven days back!”

Sweden followed England’s lead in 1753. Russia, however, did not follow suit until 1918, when January 31, 1918 was immediately followed by February 14th. In fact, however, Russia is not on the Gregorian calendar, but on a more accurate one of their own devising. The Russian calendar is designed to more closely approximate the true length of the tropical year, thus has one additional rule for when a year is a leap year. It will remain in synchronization with the Gregorian calendar for thousands more years, by which time none of us here will really give a damn what day it is.

Now you know. Aren’t you glad you asked? Now you can go forth tonight and astound everyone with your knowledge of the calendar and impress your date with how smart you are. Then again, maybe you just better get drunk and hide your brilliance from the masses ... and from the Chinese, the Muslims, the Jews, the Hindus and several billion other people on the planet who have entirely different calendars and celebrate New Year at other times during the year ... but that’s another story for another day ....

Source: Wolfram Research.


avatar

Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 12/31/2005 at 07:11 AM   
Filed Under: • History •  
Comments (3) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  
Page 1 of 1 pages

Five Most Recent Trackbacks:

Once Again, The One And Only Post
(4 total trackbacks)
Tracked at iHaan.org
The advantage to having a guide with you is thɑt an expert will haѵe very first hand experience dealing and navigating the river with гegional wildlife. Tһomas, there are great…
On: 07/28/23 10:37

The Brownshirts: Partie Deux; These aare the Muscle We've Been Waiting For
(3 total trackbacks)
Tracked at head to the Momarms site
The Brownshirts: Partie Deux; These aare the Muscle We’ve Been Waiting For
On: 03/14/23 11:20

Vietnam Homecoming
(1 total trackbacks)
Tracked at 广告专题配音 专业从事中文配音跟外文配音制造,北京名传天下配音公司
  专业从事中文配音和外文配音制作,北京名传天下配音公司   北京名传天下专业配音公司成破于2006年12月,是专业从事中 中文配音 文配音跟外文配音的音频制造公司,幻想飞腾配音网领 配音制作 有海内外优良专业配音职员已达500多位,可供给一流的外语配音,长年服务于国内中心级各大媒体、各省市电台电视台,能满意不同客户的各种需要。电话:010-83265555   北京名传天下专业配音公司…
On: 03/20/21 07:00

meaningless marching orders for a thousand travellers ... strife ahead ..
(1 total trackbacks)
Tracked at Casual Blog
[...] RTS. IF ANYTHING ON THIS WEBSITE IS CONSTRUED AS BEING CONTRARY TO THE LAWS APPL [...]
On: 07/17/17 04:28

a small explanation
(1 total trackbacks)
Tracked at yerba mate gourd
Find here top quality how to prepare yerba mate without a gourd that's available in addition at the best price. Get it now!
On: 07/09/17 03:07



DISCLAIMER
Allanspacer

THE SERVICES AND MATERIALS ON THIS WEBSITE ARE PROVIDED "AS IS" AND THE HOSTS OF THIS SITE EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ANY AND ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO WARRANTIES OF SATISFACTORY QUALITY, MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, WITH RESPECT TO THE SERVICE OR ANY MATERIALS.

Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.

THE INFORMATION AND OTHER CONTENTS OF THIS WEBSITE ARE DESIGNED TO COMPLY WITH THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. THIS WEBSITE SHALL BE GOVERNED BY AND CONSTRUED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND ALL PARTIES IRREVOCABLY SUBMIT TO THE JURISDICTION OF THE AMERICAN COURTS. IF ANYTHING ON THIS WEBSITE IS CONSTRUED AS BEING CONTRARY TO THE LAWS APPLICABLE IN ANY OTHER COUNTRY, THEN THIS WEBSITE IS NOT INTENDED TO BE ACCESSED BY PERSONS FROM THAT COUNTRY AND ANY PERSONS WHO ARE SUBJECT TO SUCH LAWS SHALL NOT BE ENTITLED TO USE OUR SERVICES UNLESS THEY CAN SATISFY US THAT SUCH USE WOULD BE LAWFUL.


Copyright © 2004-2015 Domain Owner



GNU Terry Pratchett


Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
free counters