13 month calender?

I was watching MSNBC the other day and saw a story on ‘The Human Calculator’. This guy could do all sorts of mathematical problems in his head faster than a person on a calculator. And I’m not talking about just easy 2+2 stuff, this guys would do cube roots, 3 digit multiplication stuff (i.e. 123 * 234), and he could teach this stuff to 4th graders.

What struck me as odd here is the fact that he had an idea of a 13 month calender, where each month had 28 days, thus 4 weeks of 7 days, with each month starting on a sunday and ending on a saturday. The more I thought about it, the more I realized this guy was onto something.

Does this stand a chance of taking over the Julian Calander (that is what we’re using now, right?)?

I’d like to hear the pro’s and con’s on this, and I’m curious to find out if anyone else has heard of him. Any thoughts on what the 13th month’s name should be?

“I may be crazy, but at least I’m not as crazy as you.”-- Calvin and Hobbes
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I seem to remember that basically the long multiplication had to do with simple multiplying and adding. For example 123234 would break down as (100234)+(20234)+(3234). Breaking it down this way would make it easier to do in your head I would think.

As for the 13 month calander, I’m sure that has been around longer than he has.

I’ve heard of a calendar like that before, it’s called the “International Fixed Calendar”. The 13th month is “Sol”, and is between June and July. June gets an extra day on leap years, and there is a day that is not part of any month–“Year End Day”.

BTW, we’re using the Gregorian calendar now.

Hmm…(gets out calculator)…13 months of 28 days each would give 364 days, so there would have to be one 29-day month to make it 365 days (two of them in a leap year).

It sure beats that “30 days have September” crap :). But, I wouldn’t want to be the one to try to convince everyone to change their calendars. And boy, the transition period would be confusing…

“I had a feeling that in Hell there would be mushrooms.” -The Secret of Monkey Island

28 days x 13 months = 364 days. What did he propose to do with the extra 1 1/4 day left over at the end of each year? I think it would be a good idea to “clean up” our present calender.

Bad juju! Thirteen is an evil number. People would not like it.

Also, if your birthday fell on Year End Day, that would sound sucky. That’d be worse than having February 29 as a birthday.

Personally, I think we ought to switch to having the horoscope signs as our months. Scorpio the 6th sounds neater than October the 28th. :slight_smile:

Cabbage posted before me. The “International Fixed Calendar” has a few problems. First, the name “Sol” just won’t work. We need something longer and more euphoneous. Second, what’s this “Year End Day” nonsense? Just tack a 29th day on to the new month, stick the month wherever (perhaps at the end of the year, so as not to scramble things up too much) and keep the leap year day in Feb., where everyone already expects it to be.

Oh yeah…we’ll call it The Diceman International Calendar :wink:

“I had a feeling that in Hell there would be mushrooms.” -The Secret of Monkey Island

It would be tough remembering which day of which month each season started. Nowadays it’s somewhere between 21 and 23 day of the month, 13 months instead of 12 sort of messes that up.

Um…. metric system anyone?

There are only two advantages that I can think of to this 13-month calendar:

(1) Each day of the month will always fall on the same day of the week. For example, the 1st, 8th, 15th, and 22nd will always be on… hmmm… well, some will want them on Sunday, and others for Monday.

(2) Every month will have the same length. This will simplify life for statisticians who find it unfair to compare what happened in February (28 days) with what happened in January or March (31 each). Of course, we’re presuming that those statisticians don’t care what happened on Year End Day, and that they’re prepared to avoid any type of chart that divides the year into four 3-month groups, and so on.

Bottom line: There is virtually no benefit to this plan, and an incredible amount of adjustment would be needed to implement it.


If every month started on a Sunday, there’d be a Friday the 13th every month! 13 times a year! Super Bad Juju!!

Yeah, I think that’s the way it was intended–every month starts on Sunday, every year, so every month would have a Friday the 13th. (Year End Day would not be considered as a Sun., Mon,…, it would just be its own day).


You forgot one other benefit to the 13 month calander: One more month on a bathing beauty calander :^)

Seriously, though…
It would not suprise me if the 13 month calandar was thought of a long time ago and somone nixed it because of the 13 months (bad luck number) and each month have a Friday the 13th (More bad luck).

Plus that would mean that all of our national holidays would have to be re-adjusted to fit the new calandar.

“If God had meant for man to eat waffles,
he would have given him lips like snowshoes”
-Rev. Billy C. Wirtz

Well, I like that International Fixed Calendar.

But I would have the following changes:

a) The year should start on a Monday, not a Sunday. For most purposes Monday can be considered as the first day of the week. Heck, we already call Saturday/Sunday the week-end.

b) The 13th month, instead of being called Sol, should be call “Novus” for new.

c) The day without a month is very appealing. I would eliminate leap days however, with the following scheme: The remaining 6 hours and change would be tacked on at the end of every year, and would be not part of any day. That gives you 6 hours more for celebrating at New Year’s Eve parties!

Anyone with me for the “new, improved International calendar”?

La franchise ne consiste pas à dire tout ce que l’on pense, mais à penser tout ce que l’on dit.
H. de Livry

This 13 month calendar is interesting, but how could every year begin with the same day? As has been pointed out, a year contains 52 weeks and one day (or two days in a leap year). Would we have two Sundays in a row or would “Year End Day” just not have a day of the week associated with it?

As I asked in the earlier string on a related topic, why bother to change things that little? What’s so attractive about four-week months? If we’re going to turn everything upside down, why not change to 26 months of two weeks each? That’d give us 14 more pin-ups per year. Why worship the moon?

I do like the suggestion about the quarter day not being part of any day. If months and years can start on different days of the week, why can’t days start at different times of the day? Hey, they’ve invented the lightbulb. Man doesn’t have to stay in his cave between dusk and dawn anymore.

If we switched to the 28-hour day, which experts consider more efficient, everyone could periodically enjoy being up halfway between sundown and sunup, as we Straight Dopers do now.

Check out the “Calendars for the Earth and Moon” page, at http://www.jps.net/gangale/mars/earthcal.htm . There are links there for general calendar information, 10, 12, 13, 16, 18, 19, “Weeks Only Solar”, Lunisolar and Lunar calendars. I wrote one of the calendar proposals, but I’ll be a bit coy as to which one (since I prefer to remain anonymous here).

About 50% of the population would benefit from a calendar with 28 day months. Write me if you need me to tell you what I mean.

“That’s entertainment!” —Vlad the Impaler

So we’d have a November and a Novus? Too confusing.

How about “Undecember”? “Elevember”? “Omegust”? “Susan”?

Back off, man. I’m a scientist.

I’ve always like the idea of a 13 month year, but the extra day being New Year’s Day. Pure holiday, not attached to anything. I’m sure it would drive our structured world crazy though. We could have it be the zero day of zero week in zero month. Since we can’t seem to handle a zero year, that should pretty well wipe things out.
Then in the middle of the summer every 4 years we have a Leap Day, another pure holiday.
I like calling the extra month “whatever” as in November, December and Whatever.