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Frederick The Monk
57634.  Tue Mar 07, 2006 5:31 am Reply with quote

Question: Why do astronomers make bad witnesses?

Forfeits: They're asleep all day

Answer: They have trouble getting the date right. For modern astronomers(and ancient Egyptians) Noon is the start of the day. Hence on, say , what we would call 6th march, they would call any time after noon 7th March.

Notes:
For astronomers, the day begins at noon, which conveniently avoids dividing the night's events between two dates. Astronomers' dates are 12 hours ahead of the civil date; an occurrence on the afternoon of May 8 would have happened on May 9 as astronomers see it. This method of reckoning is known as the 'Reduced Julian Day'. The Julian day or Julian day number (JDN) is the number of days that have elapsed since 12 noon Greenwich Mean Time (UT or TT) on Monday, January 1, 4713 BC in the proleptic Julian calendar.

The Roman historian Tacitus claimed the British reckoned time in nights rather than days (non dierum numerum ut nos, sed noctium computant). hence two weeks was 'fourteen nights' or, as we say, a fortnight.

It depends who and when you are./ Noon - Lunchtime

For Jews the new day traditionally begins at sunset, as was the case for Ancient Greeks and the Chinese.

Modern greeks, ancient Babylonians, Syrians and Persians consider the day to begin at sunrise.

For Romans and most modern western peoples it's midnight.

Links to: Days/ Datum lines

Sources:
BP&F
http://www.sizes.com/time/day.htm
D. D. McCarthy and J. D. H. Pilkington (eds.) Time and the Earth's Rotation.
1979.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proleptic_Julian_calendar
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_day

Pictures/Props:

Researcher: JP

 
Frederick The Monk
57635.  Tue Mar 07, 2006 5:33 am Reply with quote

And as a supplementary:

Question: Which is the odd one out - day/ week/ month/ year?
How many months are there in the International Fixed Calendar?

Forfeits: day/ month/ year

Answer: Week. All the others are fixed by reference to the rythmns of the natural world whereas the duration of a week is a pure matter of convention.

Notes: The fact that weeks are based simply on convention produces a couple of problems:
- There is not a whole number of weeks per month. So the first of January and the first of February are not the same day of the week,
- There is not a whole number of weeks per year. So some holidays, like Christmas Day or birthdays, fall on different days of the week each year. Other holidays, like May Day, stay the same day of the week but change date.

So would there be a better answer? Not really.
The problem with weeks is that 7 is not a factor of 365. So we could try 5 day weeks as 5 is a factor. Then we'd have 73 weeks in a year but as 73 is a prime number we couldn't then divide those weeks equally into months.

What if we leave one day off the calendar? Factoring 364 = 2 * 2 * 7 * 13, so we could have 13 months of 28 days -- that's 4 7-day weeks. This is the "International Fixed Calendar" and is one of the most widely proposed designs. It would add a month named "Sol" between June and July. The extra day would be a holiday, as would leap day in leap years. Of course 13 months do not evenly divide into half-years or quarters.

The "World Calendar" would split the year into 4 quarters of 13 7-day weeks = 91 days each. Each quarter is then divided into three months, two with 30 days and one with 31 days. Each quarter always starts on a Sunday and there are 3 different possible arrangements of day-number with weekday -- 3 different calendar pages! January, April, July, and October would be 31-day months starting on Sundays. February, May, August, and November would be 30-day months starting on Wednesdays. March, June, September, and December would be 30-day months starting on Fridays. The extra day is a holiday called "World Day".

Links to: Days

Sources: http://pumas.jpl.nasa.gov/PDF_Examples/04_29_97_1.pdf

Pictures/Props:

Researcher: JP

 
Frederick The Monk
57636.  Tue Mar 07, 2006 5:33 am Reply with quote

And again:

Question: Why don't British Monarchs like Sundays?

Forfeits:

Answer: In the medieval theory of 'Days Fatal to Kings' it's the most dangerous day of the week.

Notes: Mediaeval superstition counted 'Days Fatal to Kings' by adding up how many monarchs had died on which days of the week. By calculating the most fatal days measures could then be taken to provide extra protection for monarchs on dangerous ones.

Sunday - Hen I, Ed III, Hen VI, Jam I, Wm III, Anne, Geo I (7 TOTAL)
Monday - Stephen, Ric II, Hen IV, Hen V, Ric III, Geo V (6 TOTAL)
Tuesday - Ric I, Ed II, Cha I, Jam II, Wm IV, Victoria (6 TOTAL)
Wednesday - John, Hen III, Ed IV, Ed V, Geo VI (5 TOTAL)
Thursday - Wm I, Wm II, Hen II, Ed VI, Mary I, Eliz I (6 TOTAL)
Friday - Ed I, Hen VIII, Cha II, Mary II, Ed VII (5 TOTAL)
Saturday - Hen VII, Geo II, Geo III, Geo IV (4 TOTAL)

So the safest day for monarchs is Saturday, the most dangerous Sunday.

According to the RAC the Day Most Fatal to motorists is Friday:

Frustrated Fatal Fridays

Motorists travelling on a Friday evening between 4 and 7pm on busy motorways are more likely to be killed or seriously injured and should be prepared for longer delays as this is the most dangerous and congested time to be on the roads, according to RAC Foundation research released today during National Motorway Month.

Those on the western section of the M25 should be prepared for even longer delays - as this is the most congested time and place on the UK motorway network.

National Motorway Month is a joint initiative by RAC Foundation, Auto Express Magazine, IAM and BSM to encourage safer driving on our motorways. The campaign will run through the busy holiday month of August.

The RAC Foundation has analysed the Government’s "Road Casualties Great Britain Report:2003" and found that more car users are killed or seriously injured on Friday late afternoon / early evening than at any other time during the week. The figures show that on Fridays:

Between 8 – 9 am 95 car users killed or seriously injured

Between 9 – 10 am 115 car users killed or seriously injured

Between 4 –5 pm 205 car users killed or seriously injured

Between 5- 6 pm 175 car users killed or seriously injured

Between 6 – 7 pm 182 car users killed or seriously injured.

The average numbers killed or seriously injured between 4 – 5 pm Monday – Friday is 158, which is 25 per cent lower than the Friday figure. This "fatal Friday phenomenon" may be due to motorists switching off early, fatigue after a long week and lack of concentration due to the: "Thank God It’s Friday" effect.

The RAC Foundation and Trafficmaster have found that: the worst days of the week for congestion are:
Friday
Thursday
Wednesday
Tuesday
Monday
Sunday
Saturday


Links to: Days

Sources:
BP&F
http://www.racfoundation.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=294&Itemid=35

Pictures/Props:

Researcher: JP

 
eggshaped
57641.  Tue Mar 07, 2006 5:42 am Reply with quote

Quote:
Week. All the others are fixed by reference to the rythmns of the natural world whereas the duration of a week is a pure matter of convention


Link here to the possible fact that the weather is starting to work in 7 day cycles thanks to human interference.

 
Frederick The Monk
57669.  Tue Mar 07, 2006 6:48 am Reply with quote

Nice bit of feedback - we have such an influence on the world that it's starting to respond to the arbitrary cycle of weeks that we have invented.


Last edited by Frederick The Monk on Fri Mar 10, 2006 11:40 am; edited 1 time in total

 
Flash
57681.  Tue Mar 07, 2006 7:04 am Reply with quote

Maybe the question is something as simple as:

What's the best / worst day of the week?

with this material and James' thing about the 7-day weather cycle as the notes.

 
MatC
57699.  Tue Mar 07, 2006 8:02 am Reply with quote

"For modern astronomers(and ancient Egyptians) Noon is the start of the day. "

Ah, that explains it - I was looking at a biodynamics (“planting by the moon”) calendar, and noticed that their “days” (recommended days for sowing roots, for instance, or planting fruit) change over at noon.

 
Gray
57711.  Tue Mar 07, 2006 8:27 am Reply with quote

Q: Who had to work an eight-day week?
A: The Romans...

Quote:
The word "planet" is derived from the Greek for "wanderer". Originally there
were seven "planets": Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter, plus the
Moon and the Sun. It is from this seven that we derive the seven-day week
(through reinforcement, during the Exile, of the evolved
Judaic sabbath cycle with the planetary week of Babylonian astrology).

This was brought back by the Jews to the Near East, hence Egypt, and from there
(post-Pompey and Julius Caesar) it came to the Roman domain, where it
gradually replaced the earlier eight-day week (the nundinum). The legal
basis of the seven-day week comes from an edict by Constantine the Great,
early in the fourth century AD. The seven-day week was certainly in common
use in parallel with the eight-day cycle by the time that the city of Pompei
was buried (AD 79).

http://abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk/ccc/cc020101.html

 
Gray
57712.  Tue Mar 07, 2006 8:29 am Reply with quote

From Britannica:
Quote:
Once the day is divided into parts, the next task is to gather numbers of days into groups. Among primitive peoples, it was common to count moons (months) rather than days, but later a period shorter than the month was thought more convenient, and an interval between market days was adopted. In West Africa some tribes used a four-day interval; in central Asia five days was customary; the Assyrians adopted five days and the Egyptians, 10 days, whereas the Babylonians attached significance to the days of the lunation that were multiples of seven. In ancient Rome, markets were held at eight-day intervals; because of the Roman method of inclusive numeration, the market day was denoted nundinae (“ninth-day”) and the eight-day week, an inter nundium.

 
Frederick The Monk
58012.  Wed Mar 08, 2006 7:35 am Reply with quote

Flash wrote:
Maybe the question is something as simple as:

What's the best / worst day of the week?

with this material and James' thing about the 7-day weather cycle as the notes.


Absolutely. Gives plenty fo scope for general banter along the lines of 'why I hate Mondays' with Stephen then chipping in the factoids as and when.


Last edited by Frederick The Monk on Fri Mar 10, 2006 11:41 am; edited 1 time in total

 
MatC
58705.  Fri Mar 10, 2006 10:37 am Reply with quote

Here’s a list of “Days” in the USA, including National Hugging Day, Common Sense Day, and National Pencil Week.

www.stayfreemagazine.org/archives/13/holidays_list.html

 
MatC
58706.  Fri Mar 10, 2006 10:38 am Reply with quote

Daresay you could find one for each transmission date, if known.

 
MatC
58708.  Fri Mar 10, 2006 10:41 am Reply with quote

Ooh, and here are some more - all health ones. Some dates seem double booked ... will their be fights between National Youth Violence Prevention week and A Day To End Sexual Violence?

www.healthfinder.gov/library/nho/nhoyear.asp?year=2006

 

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