Native Plants, Habitat Restoration, and Other Science Snippets from Athens, Georgia

Wednesday: 31 December 2008

Goodbye 2008  -  @ 06:15:09
It's been more than a year since I suggested a change in calendar, and no one's done a thing about it:
This brings up Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars Trilogy and the “timeslip”, a charming idea. Mars' day is a bit over half an hour longer than Earth’s. To keep, for his colonists, a synchrony with the admittedly arbitrary 24-hour timekeeping standard, Robinson invented the midnight timeslip. At midnight, all clocks stop, for that 30+ minute period. Afterward, they resume again at 00:00:01. He does a great job of mystifying that half hour, something we here won’t ever experience.

Of course by adopting the inflexible 24-hour standard when the Earth day is just shy of a minute under 24 hours long, we accumulate our own timedebt. We resolve it once every 4 years with a leap day. And what do we do with that accumulated time? We treat it like any other day. I sense evil capitalism here. February 29 should be a holiday - why do we continue to let this work til you drop crap continue? Of *course* capitalism would take advantage of that with greeting cards, timeslip gifts, and such, *that's* not what’s particularly evil. Capitalism just doesn’t want us to have an extra day of fun once every four years. *That's* what’s evil.

Now that I think of it, Earth’s revolution period of 365 days (plus the 0.25 days each year) is awfully inconvenient for a 12-month calendar. That’s why we have different numbers of days in various months. As King of the World I say make each month 30 days (except Feb 31, once every four years). Those extra five days? End of year timeslip, and free for all. From Dec 30 to Jan 1. New Year’s Day would remain unchanged.

I'd point out that if people had listened to me, then today would be the first day of a 5-day paid holiday, after which we'd have January 1. Now that's change you can believe in, right?

Right on!

The last few days have been amazingly warm, and the sky very very clear. On Monday, at 5:20pm, I noticed that the tops of many of the pines were so yellow in the setting sun that they looked like they had been struck by lightning and died.

I idly took a few photos, and then yesterday began watching around 5pm for the phenomenon for a hopefully better recording. It didn't happen. Apparently there were just enough wisps of cloud on the horizon to diffuse the last of the sunlight, and it wasn't sharp enough to light up the trees properly.

Happy New Year!

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