Table of Contents

Time & Calendar

1. 24-Hour Time Should Be Standard

24-hour time should be the standard form of time kept worldwide. The AM/PM system should be abolished due to needless confusion.


2. Abolish Daylight Saving Time

Daylight Saving Time should be abolished.


3. The International Date Line Should Also Be the Prime Meridian

The Prime Meridian should be placed at the International Date Line. The International Date Line/Prime Meridian would then be redefined as 0&deg longitude. Greenwich would be at 180&deg longitude.


4. Simplify Time Zones

All non-standard time zones should be eliminated. Also, in the US, all of Oregon should be on Pacific Time, Idaho on Mountain Time, all of ND, SD, NE, KS, and TX should be on Central Time, and every state entirely east of the Mississippi River should be on Eastern Time.


5. Countdown Clocks

Countdown clocks for space shuttle and rocket launches should smoothly and continuously countdown without any planned pauses or stoppages. If something unexpected occurs or a problem is found, then pausing or stopping the countdown clock would be understandable. But stopping the clock at T-3 minutes, for example, for a planned 5- minute hold and a routine systems check is not understandable.


6. Redefining & Simplifying Units of Time

Decimal Metric Time

The most logical division of time would be decimal metric time with its divisions of deciday (2.4 hours) and centiday (14.4 minutes). A decimal second (0.864 second) or 100,000th of a day, would also be used.

Swatch Internet Time

As an alternative. with some modifications, Swatch Internet Time could be adopted as the global standard method of time keeping, for both international and local usage. The next best thing would be to at least adopt it as the standard international time used worldwide instead of the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), or Zulu Time (Z) systems. Swatch Internet Time (or beat time) divides the day into 1000 parts called “.beats”, each beat lasting 1 minute 26.4 seconds. Because this form of time keeping is decimal based, subunits such as centibeats could easily be created. Time keeping and calculation is greatly simplified because there are no hours or minutes with their non-logical, non-decimal numerical nesting. There are only beats and their decimal derivatives.

Additional simplification could be realized because time zones everywhere would be eliminated since no geographical area on the planet would ever be at a different time under this system. Furthermore, a thoroughly universally established time-keeping system would be immune to pressures to institute concepts like Daylight Saving Time since it would be counterproductive to people in the opposite hemisphere and the rigid nature of such a system would make it impractical to make local exceptions.

One major modification needed to make this a more thoroughly logical system would be to move the reference point for 000 .beats from the Central European Time zone (or UTC+1) to the International Date Line running down the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The International Date Line is the most logical place for beginning global reference systems due to the relative lack of closely neighboring, highly populated areas that would fall immediately to either side of the divide.

A couple of minor modifications to the Swatch Internet Time formatting may make it less confusing. Instead of writing the time as @730 or 730 .beats, for example, it may be better to use T 730 (the “T” being an indicator that the following number is a time) or 730 beats (without the “.” immediately before the word “beats”). Perhaps an entirely new symbol for “beats” could be developed so that just that symbol could be displayed, serving a purpose much like the $ sign for US currency.


7. Adopt the 13-Month Calendar

Unfortunately, it seems to be impracticably complex to devise a true lunar month calendar in which each month averages 29.5 days (the amount of time it takes the moon to orbit the earth). In such a system every month would alternate between having 29 and 30 days. The main problems are that there is no clean and simple way to include 12.37 of these lunar months into one 365 day year while maintaining the consistency of season start dates and the simple predictability of constant month lengths. The World Calendar is another attempt at calendar simplification by having the first month of each quarter of the year contain 31 days and always begin on a Sunday and all successive months containing 30 days, respectively beginning on Wednesdays and Fridays. An additional off-calendar day would be added each year to bring the total up to 365 days. However, this calendar would still contain a significant number of the same type of problems associated with our current calendar.

The simplest and next most logical calendar system would be the 13-month calendar. Each month has 28 days (4 weeks) and each year has an extra day not associated with any month or day of the week. It would be an off-calendar day. In addition, there would also be an off-calendar leap day (once every 4 years). Each month would always begin on a Sunday and would always end on a Saturday, exactly 28 days later.

A huge benefit resulting from this calendar system is that each numerical date will always be the same day of the week. Never again would anyone need to ask, “What day of the week does the 12th fall on this month?” Countless missed appointments, misunderstandings, confusion and frustration could be avoided. The largest potential drawbacks are that each year would have an uneven number of months, possibly making multiplication and addition a little more confusing and, with 13 months, such an ‘unlucky number’ may make many people feel uneasy. Each month would also contain a Friday the 13th. But people should ‘grow up’ and get used to it. Or, to avoid the Friday the 13th dilemma, we could have the months begin on a Monday and end on a Sunday. This way, there would always be a Friday the 12th and a Saturday the 13th. An additional benefit is that Saturdays and Sundays could then be accurately called the “weekend”.


8. Before the Present (BP) Redefinition & BC/AD Zero Year Adjustment

Before the Present (BP) is currently based on the year 1950 AD. When they constructed this dating system in the early 1950s, they should have been a little more forward-thinking and should have chosen a much nicer, rounder number like the year 2000 AD to use as a reference point. Using this millennial number as a reference point instead would have resulted in less mental overhead when attempting to accurately perceive an event’s distance from the present.

Nevertheless, a fundamental requirement to creating a timeline is to determine which point on that timeline to use as a beginning reference point. There is nothing particularly special about the years 1950 AD or 2000 AD other than that they are nice round numbers.

It would be logical to use, if one could be found, a single, fairly recent, unique, and instantaneous event in human history as a reference point (zero point) for a timeline on which all other years would be based. No fairly recent, natural events in human history such as the discovery of fire, the invention of the wheel, the development of agriculture or anything else readily appears to qualify as an event fit to function as a precise and unique reference point for the timeline of history. Looking to the supernatural world, something as significant as God intervening in the natural world would definitely be a significant time marker for history. In fact, we currently use a variation of this theme (the birth of Jesus Christ) as the basis of the current BC/AD dating system. Jesus’ birth, however, was only the necessary prerequisite for His ultimate purpose–His death and resurrection. Ideally, Jesus’ resurrection should be the reference (zero) point of history because that event marks the point at which God finished the purpose for His supernatural intervention on this planet. But because there is currently as much confusion about the exact date of His resurrection as there is about His birth, it may not be worth the hassle of shifting our calendar system over by 30 or so years unless we get a higher confidence on a more specific date.

Regardless of whether or not we choose to change the reference point of our current timeline, there is still a significant problem related to the the absence of a zero year on this timeline. Every properly built number line must include a zero point between negative and positive numbers. Thus, when counting years across this BC/AD transition, it is not possible to simply add the BC years to the AD years because the sum would always erroneously include an extra year. For example, 2 BC + 2 AD appears to equal 4 years, but really adds up to only 3 years. To fix this problem and make our timeline a true number line, it would be necessary to add a zero year immediately following the reference point event. Therefore, the 365 days immediately following the reference point (such as the Resurrection) would be called the year zero, or Y 0. The following year would be year 1 or Y 1. And the year immediately preceding the reference point would be year negative 1 or Y -1. All subsequent years would naturally follow a normal number line. In fact, because this new system is basically a normal number line, we could do away with the BC/AD tags and just refer to years by their numbers alone, for example, 2005AD could be the year 2005 or Y 2005 (the “Y” would signify that the following number refers to a year). Counting back in history across the transition would be less confusing than it is currently because it would be a simple matter of adding the negative and positive year numbers.


9. Weeks Should Begin On Mondays, Not Sundays

Weeks should begin on Mondays not Sundays. This is more logical because then the weekend could accurately be defined as the end of the work week–Saturday and Sunday. Also, it is easier to think about working for the first five days and resting on the last two days of the week. Calendar publishers and others (especially academic institutions) should redesign their calendars and other information and materials to reflect a Monday start day for the week.


10. Memorial Day/Veteran’s Day/Election Day Holiday

Every national Election Day should be a national holiday. This would encourage people to study election issues and give them more time to vote.

Also, Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day are very similar, perhaps too similar to have two separate holidays, even though they fall so far apart on the calendar. Therefore, both Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day should be merged into one holiday. In fact, this combined holiday could be observed on the same day as the Election Day holiday. What better way is there to commemorate veterans than with doing an activity most fought to protect?

If the population just cannot accept the fact that they are losing one paid holiday per year, maybe we can designate the Monday preceding the Election Day holiday as the merged Memorial Day/Veteran’s Day holiday.


11. Halloween Holiday Transformed

There should be a day of the year (preferably Halloween) in which kids can dress up as what they want to be when they grow up while adults can dress up as what they still want to be in the future or as what they wished they would have become as adults when they were a kid. This should not be a work or school holiday, just a recognized day. It would be nice if Halloween could be changed over from a scary kind of event into this type of festivity.

In addition, this same day could be used as a Mentor’s Day in which people of all ages, but especially children dress up as, or at least honor the person or people they most admire and, possibly, hope to be like.


12. Last Day of Decade Holiday

The last day of each decade (Dec. 31, 1999, 2009, etc.) should be a national holiday, just like New Year’s Day. At the very least, the last day of each century should be a national holiday.

To give such a day a little more significance than just being a holiday for the last day of the year, perhaps it should be dedicated as a national day for cleaning and organization so that everyone would be encouraged to clean and organize their possessions, such as homes, cars, clothes, equipment, papers, etc., before the year is out and be ready for the new year when it arrives.