New Calendar?

Twenty-eight days hath September, April, June and November. And December, January, February. Heck, throw the rest of the year in there too. Including that 13th month.

That's how the rhyme might go if the self-proclaimed "human calculator" has his way in replacing the Gregorian calendar most of the world relies on with a new version he wants to begin in January.

"The human calendar will start on Jan. 1, 2001, and it will be the end of time as we know it," Scott Flansburg grandly proclaimed in a telephone interview this week. "The calendar will make sense to our minds, our bodies, our budgets, our accounts," said the Phoenix, Ariz., resident.

Flansburg, a mathematical savant who has a page in the 2001 Guinness Book of World Records for his calculator-defeating counting ability, believes great things will happen when the calendar goes into effect: "Paychecks will always fall on the right day. Women will be able to make natal calculations. People will be able to keep up with their natural cycles. And people will finally understand time."


And the best part, the math whiz added, is that it's all based on numbers and drastically improves on the old calendar, established by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582.

Flansburg's calendar has 13 months of 28 days each, adding up to 364 days. Making New Year's Day a monthless day, designated "00" brings the tally to the regular 365. And he eliminated unlucky 13 by counting up from zero instead of one, so that the year begins with Month zero and ends on Month 12.

Individual nations would decide what to name each month, under Flansburg's plan. And the seven days of the week would simply be named after numbers ? Oneday for Monday, Twoday for Tuesday, and so on. Flansburg suggested Sunday be Godsday, and each month be named after a virtue.

Under his system, every New Year's would be a Sunday. Christmas, always on a Monday, would always lend itself to a three-day weekend. Flansburg hasn't figured out how to handle leap years ? yet. But that's only a minor hurdle.

"As soon as you say, 'Let's meet next Fiveday,' we'll know exactly how far away that is," he said. "Businesses and clubs could meet exactly the 10th day of each month, and have it always be the same day of the week."

The calendar would also be more efficient, save people money and make public transportation run more smoothly.

"Factories won't have to shut down for holidays in the middle of the week; loans would be spread through 13 months so people would be saving on principle; paychecks will be more consistent, budgets easier, school schedules, airline schedules, radio schedules, train schedules, baseball schedules ? there's no end!" Flansburg said. "What boggles my mind is how much the list of positives outweighs the list of negatives."

'Fear of Change'

At the top of that list of negatives: Fear of change.

Flansburg hasn't quite figured out how to handle the fierce skepticism he encounters as he tries to peddle the human calendar idea to everyone from Microsoft to greeting-card companies. None of the corporations or governmental agencies he's talked to has given him the time of day.

"It's crazy trying to change the calendar," he said. "Everyone says it's a great idea, they just don't think it's possible. Hallmark won't return my calls. Bill Gates won't return my calls."

Princeton University astrophysics associate professor Michael Strauss says that's understandable.

"People are very, very slow in changing their ways of doing everyday things. When I was learning the metric system as a kid they kept telling [me] I had to learn this because everyone in the U.S. was going to start using it soon, and now my kid is in school learning the metric system, and he's being told the same thing."

Beyond mere stubbornness, Strauss said sciences that require accurate day counts have already worked their way around the Gregorian calendar. Astrophysicists, for example, merely count the days from Jan. 1, 1900, when they record events.

In the spirit of compromise, the human calculator suggests the world adopt the human calendar alongside the Gregorian calendar, instead of simply replacing one with the other.

"I think businesses will use it first and then it will be adopted by society," he said. "I'm just one mathematical miracle away. If something happens on New Year's, or with the Dow Jones or the presidential ballots, this whole thing will really be brought to the surface."

Leave A Reply - 5 Replies
Gale Daniel 2005-09-24 04:11am - - Logged IP:

I've been thinking about this since 1969 when I was ten and Captain Kirk was entering his log "Stardate time, blah. blah. blah." What can I do to help implement changes?

Ron 2006-02-19 11:32am - - Logged IP:

You might consider contacting some Wiccan-associated publishers. Wiccans understand the significance of the 28-day lunar cycle already, so they might be more responsive to your calendar.

Bill Clark 2006-05-27 08:25am - - Logged IP:

This idea makes sense. This idea shows the way to wisely using time -- we are already starting to do it! The time that we use for our schedules is set, via averaging, every day. We have a standard scale for the metric system, don't we? Here in the USA we are using more of the metric system than we ever did when I was in high school.

Flansburg makes the point when he reminds us that the Gregorian calendar isn't used by everyone. There are other calendars that folks keep pace with. One of them is the Julian calendar, where January 1 is 001, and December 31 is 365. It just about can't be beat for accounting purposes. The other one that I have personally used is the Jewish calendar. The wife and I get a couple of those every year before the High Holy Days. My wife (a retired accountant) thinks it is quaint. I like the artwork. Otherwise, we would leave it close to the shredder.

Further, the idea of a 13-month, 28-day calendar, would give us a world-wide way to speak to each other, regardless of what calendars anyone uses within his or her own compelling environment. We already use seconds, minutes, and hours.

Lastly, Flansburg is correct when he speaks of numbers being an international language. A logical calendar, such as is proposed by Flansburg, would be an easy model to visualize, the same way we do it when we want to know how many pennies make a dollar.

Well, that be my thoughts. I welcome yours.

Bill Clark, Fort Worth, Texas

Crystal 2008-03-15 12:37pm - - Logged IP:

I think this is a great idea. I get paid every month on the 3 RD. I am on Social Security and I always have to look at the Calendar to see what day I am getting paid. This way I would get paid on the same day each month which would be Wednesday. I really want to do this. Then I would get 13 check a year instead of 12. Of course Social Security would have to average out the money where I would get less each month but thats OK with me. I would love to know the date of the week every week just by memory. I hope you can get this through. By the way I used to be a Flansburg. Are we related? Write me please. Crystal

Code Hinter 2012-12-01 04:42am - No Email - Logged IP:

First of all, Flansburg isn't self-proclaimed but rather self-evident of being a real Human Calculator.

The idea of using the 13 month calendar is an efficient way of counting dates, but not with historical dates. It's one of the greatest reason why changing calendar system is not cherished.

However, the best way to start introducing this calendar system is by using it alongside with other calendar systems.

It only had to reconsider naming of the days. No jokes, no religious-influenced or superstition-based biases.

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