arts and sciences magazine header graphicjohns hopkins university logo
The online edition of the magazine published by The Johns Hopkins University, Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences
KRIEGER SCHOOL HOME CURRENT ISSUE PAST ISSUES CONTACT US

Research

Time for a New Calendar?

photo

Richard Conn Henry

PHOTO BY WILL KIRK/hips

Physics and Astronomy Professor Richard Conn Henry wants your birthday to fall on the same day every year. His, too. Everyone's, for that matter.

Henry has designed a new calendar in which each new year is identical to the one before it. No need to buy a new desk calendar every year, and no more figuring out what day of the week a certain holiday will fall on. If the world followed his plan, which has received widespread attention, months would be either 30 or 31 days long, and leap years would be no more, but every five or six years there would be a week-long "mini-month" to keep the calendar as close to the cycle of the seasons as possible.

Henry sees huge economic and practical benefits to his proposed reform, which he calls the Calendar and Time Plan (it also advocates a 24-hour, universal time scale-no more time zones). "Calendar reform has always failed before, and for a simple reason: All major proposals involved breaking the seven-day cycle of the week, which has always been-and probably will always be-completely unacceptable to humankind because it goes against the Fourth Commandment of the Bible about keeping the Sabbath Day," he says.

Taking to the Web, Henry has established what he calls the "International Association for 2006," pushing for the calendar reform to start next year. Support for the cause has grown since Henry (who also directs the Maryland Space Grant Consortium) presented a paper on the proposed calendar at last year's American Astronomical Society meeting in Atlanta.

 


 

 

SPRING/SUMMER 2005
Features
Conquistadors of Cotopaxi
Child on the Wing
Ten Issues We Can't
Afford to Ignore

 

Departments

Dean's Letter
News
Research
Teaching
Alumni
cover graphic small