Posts Tagged ‘united nations’

Today I read an article at Miller-McCune on an astronomer and an economist who want to dump the calendar we all use (Gregorian) in favor of something completely new.

It reminded me of my late friend Doc Howe, who was commissioner of education under Lyndon Johnson and who often spoke of an idea for a calendar that he learned about in his Ford Foundation days. (It might have been the World Calendar seen here, but I’m not sure. Like invented languages, new calendar systems keep popping up.)

Writes Emily Badger at Miller-McCune, “The ever-changing calendar, with its periodic leap years and mouthful of monthly mnemonic devices, has irked timekeepers almost since the system was introduced in the 1500s.

“ ‘It’s a very accurate calendar,’ says Richard Conn Henry, a professor of astronomy at Johns Hopkins University. …

“That said, he wants to get rid of the thing. He and Johns Hopkins economist Steve Hanke are now lobbying to replace it with their invention, the Hanke-Henry Permanent Calendar. In the long tradition of calendar reformers, they believe they’ve settled on the elusive solution to the Gregorian calendar’s floating days of the week: one calendar that remains constant every year, where New Year’s Day falls without fail on, say, Sunday every single time.

“The big advantage to such a system is that nobody — businesses, the NFL, universities, beleaguered governments — would have to go through the exercise every year of rewriting holiday schedules, course calendars or sports seasons.”

Henry and Hanke believe it preferable to insert “an entire extra week onto the end of December every five or six years. … The rest of the calendar would remain constant with four equal quarters of 91 days each, with two months of 30 days and a third month of 31.”

Does this solution speak to you?

Read more on the Hanke-Henry Permanent Calendar here.

(Read more about Doc Howe in the Cincinnati Enquirer obit.)

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Happy International Peace Day!

A woman from the public works department placed flags of all nations in special sidewalk holes in Concord at 5:30 this morning and will take them down tomorrow. I told her I always liked seeing them, and she agreed they are “festive.”

According to the International Day of Peace website, Peace Day “provides an opportunity for individuals, organizations and nations to create practical acts of peace on a shared date. It was established by a United Nations resolution in 1981 to coincide with the opening of the General Assembly. The first Peace Day was celebrated in September 1982.”

There is also a United Nations Day, in October, and Concord’s collection of flags will come back for that.

During her years heading up a local group of U.N. supporters, Charmaine’s mother made sure that Concord had flags. But the town seems to have fully embraced the idea of displaying them, so up they go and down they come two times a year. I often wonder if they get updated, given that nations reinvent themselves so often these days.

Here’s a word from Ban Ki-moon, secretary general of the United Nations.

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Some mornings when I take my walk, it is still dark out. There is not much going on. Few cars — maybe just the newspaper delivery van, the bakery truck, or town employees flushing out the holes in the sidewalk where the flags go for special events like Earth Day or United Nations Day.

Most often, the other walkers are three elderly gentleman. One walks a King Charles Spaniel. One used to check all the bins for recyclable cans and bottles but has retired from that pursuit. One was a slow jogger a couple years ago but is now just a fast walker.

Then there is the lady on the bicycle. The lady on bicycle has a helmet, a bell, and a bicycle light. Also, she bikes on the sidewalk.

One dark morning I was walking along when I heard the screech of bicycle brakes behind me and turned to find the lady on the bicycle glowering. “I nearly ran into you!” she exclaimed indignantly. “You should wear a reflector vest when you go out in the dark!”

Now I take my walk in the street. There are no bicycles in the street at 5:30 a.m.


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