The Bureau of Meteorology’s Australian Weather Calendar, 2014

Tuesday, 3 December, 2013

The 2014 edition of the Australian Weather Calendar, compiled by the Bureau of Meteorology, has been published. There’s some incredible imagery there, to be sure.

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The months on Mars are eclipsed by its moons

Thursday, 29 March, 2012

Since we could be living on Mars one of these days a time keeping system will be necessary. But with the Martian day longer than Earth’s, and the year almost twice as long, how is the best way to go about this?

Just as an aside, while we’re talking about organisation of time, you can forget about Mars months or a Gregorian calendar. The Martian moons, Phobos and Deimos, careen around their planet so quickly that there’s no point dividing up the calendar according to their phases. Instead, scientists mark the calendar using the longitude of the sun. The year begins when the sun stands directly above the Martian equator, moving north as viewed from Mars – the start of spring. Northern winter starts when the sun is at 90 degrees, and so on.

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A year of immovable feasts, mark them on your calendar

Thursday, 5 January, 2012

An astrophysicist, Richard Conn Henry, and applied economist Steve Hanke, have created a calendar made up of 364 days per year that perpetually keeps occurrences such as birthdays, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day, tied to exactly the same day of the week each year.

Every third month on the new calendar would have 31 days, with the rest of the months having 30, for a total of 364 days. They would drop the quadrennial 366-day leap years entirely in favor of an extra week at the end of December every five or six years. The pair say their calendar is different from other alternative calendars proposed in the past because it keeps each week at seven days.

The idea certainly has its merits (such as that occasional extra week at the end of December, especially if it means extra holiday time) in that we’d always know exactly what day of the week certain festivities occur. New Year’s Day, for example, might always fall on a Saturday, an arrangement that would probably suit many revellers.

The only drawback might be when it comes to birthdays, and for some people the prospect of never seeing their birthday fall over a weekend might be deflating. I foresee a rise in birthday related leave applications should this fixed day calendar ever be adopted.

Imagine being born during the extra December week though, your birthday might only come around once every five or six years, but who knows, if this errant week happens to be incorporated into the year end holiday you’d potentially have a week to celebrate it.

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Going full cycle: Dimitre Lima’s 2012 lunar calendar

Tuesday, 20 December, 2011

2012 lunar calendar by Dimitre Lima

The 2012 lunar calendar, by Brazilian designer Dimitre Lima, which follows on from the 2011 version. Even if moon phases aren’t your thing this still makes for one striking, eye catching, calendar.

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Here’s a calendar listing the red letter dates in time travel stories

Thursday, 3 November, 2011

US designer Alex Griendling is in the process of creating a calendar that will aggregate dates from time travel stories, movies, games, and the like, and place them all on one timeline.

The calendar collects time travel events from films, comics, TV shows and videogames and puts them on a single timeline that plays out over the year. You’re getting about 2.6 billion years of time travel in 12 months.

I dare say there won’t be a day of the year where a time traveller wasn’t/isn’t somewhere doing something.

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A lunar calendar for 2011 designed by Dimitre Lima

Tuesday, 28 December, 2010

2011 lunar calendar by Dimitre Lima

Dimitre Lima’s awesome lunar calendar with dates of the Moon’s various phases for 2011… more of a work of art than a calendar though.

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The end is still nigh but has been postponed for a while, maybe

Tuesday, 26 October, 2010

The Mayan calendar which somewhat ominously does not extend beyond 2012, subsequently giving rise to all sorts of end-of-the-world portents of doom – may not have been correctly synched with the Gregorian calendar, meaning the date the world will end cannot now be accurately ascertained.

A new critique, published as a chapter in the new textbook “Calendars and Years II: Astronomy and Time in the Ancient and Medieval World” (Oxbow Books, 2010), argues that the accepted conversions of dates from Mayan to the modern calendar may be off by as much as 50 or 100 years. That would throw the supposed and overhyped 2012 apocalypse off by decades and cast into doubt the dates of historical Mayan events.

The event may occur in 50 years, or even 100 years time, or, of slightly more concern, may have already passed… which I’m sure, once word gets out, will give rise to whole another set of conspiracy theory type possibilities.

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A new Star Trek series means a new way of calculating stardate

Wednesday, 30 June, 2010

There are several methods of calculating the current Stardate, the time keeping system used in the various Star Trek TV shows and movies, however as conventions for determining Stardate differed from series to series, there is no one standard way to ascertain what today’s Stardate would be.

A Stardate calculator based on The Next Generation (TNG) format says the current “time” is 63958.3 (as of time of writing), but that value would change using the The Original Series (TOS) format.

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220 dates the world (might) end on, one of them has to be right

Monday, 10 May, 2010

The problem is the prophets of doom are using timelines and calendars that are conflicting, so how I do know for sure that the outfit I’m giving millions of dollars to can actually guarantee my salvation?!

An untold number of people have tried to predict the Lord’s return by using elaborate time tables. Most date setters do not realize mankind has not kept an unwavering record of time. Anyone wanting to chart for example 100 BC to 2000 AD would have contend with the fact 46 BC was 445 days long, there was no year 0 BC, and in 1582 we switched from Julian Years (360 days) to Gregorian (365 days). Because most prognosticators are not aware of all these errors, from the get go their math is already off by several years.

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The Blue Moon this December has been re-scheduled

Wednesday, 23 December, 2009

If you thought December was a Blue Moon month because there are two full Moons, you’re going to be disappointed. A Blue Moon is actually the name for a slightly different lunar occurrence:

The article that told me I was wrong about what “blue moon” means (and hilariously refers to that definition as “trendy”) explains that the “two full moons in a month” definition is due to a misreading of the Maine Farmers’ Almanac: the real Blue Moon is the third full moon in a season that has four full moons. Why the third? The first full moon of the season is particularly significant; e.g., the Easter moon. The moons before and after have names as well – the Lent Moon precedes the Easter Moon, whether it’s the third or fourth moon of the winter – so the third moon of four is the extra one. By this definition, 2009 does not have a blue moon, since the full moon on December 31st is after the solstice and belongs to next year’s winter.

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