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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Quadrennial quirk

Sunday, 2 March, 2008

Quadrennial quirk

The intricacies of Leap Day, or 29 February, explained:

The Gregorian calendar, devised in the 16th century, is a refinement of the Roman calendar reform of Julius Caesar. Both recognised that since the annual movement of the earth and the sun took slightly longer than 365 days, a small adjustment was needed every so often to ensure that the seasons and the civil calendar did not go their separate ways. The Julian system had an extra day every four years, but over centuries even this was not precise. For greater accuracy, the Gregorian version works on the basis that years exactly divisible by 100 are not leap years unless they are exactly divisible by 400.

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