Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 81.djvu/591

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585
REFORMING THE CALENDAR

the end of the second quarter. The year 1917 is recommended for making the change as allowing plenty of time for discussion and decision throughout the world, and as fitting in properly to start with the first day of the year coincident with the first day of the week.

On page 803 is a quotation from an article in Nature, by H. C. P., which relates that certain propositions for calendar reform have been unsuccessfully introduced in the English Parliament. One of these called for the simple arrangement above described by Mr. Clifford and others, while the second one calls for seasons of 28-, 28-and 35-day months. The author points out the absurdity of the second scheme, with its perplexities in arranging for monthly salaries of servants, etc.; and discourages any movement of the sort as unnecessary, and as interfering with the present continued succession of the 7-day weeks, fearing that any change could not be accepted on religious and sentimental grounds. The whole tone of his communication is perhaps a little too pessimistic to make it worthy of a serious place in an article upon reform.

On page 283 of the March, 1912, number of this magazine, Dr. Super, in an article upon "Time and Space," recommends the same simple and scientific arrangement of four 91-day seasons, etc., recommended by Clifford and others.

Referring in general to the schemes of the various authors above quoted, we certainly should not consider any of the 13-month projects, simply because thirteen is not divisible by four, the number of seasons that we have assumed desirable. Months of 28 days would be still more awkward, if some of them were rated as half-months, as suggested in one of the essays. The suggestion of four 12-week seasons, each followed by a holiday-week, would seem to be rather confusing as it would mix two different sorts of units, seasons and weeks.

The scheme for a temporary change for the next thirteen years, and then another change, making every fifth year a week longer than the others, would also be very inconvenient. We should try to make the years all as uniform with each other as possible, only varying them the one day at certain intervals as seems to be forced upon us by nature. Obviously, commercial values such as interest, rents, salaries, etc., based upon a 52-week year would not be suitable for a 53-week year. Another suggestion that we merely lengthen February and shorten some of the other months in an arbitrary and irregular way does not seem worth considering, as little real improvement would be effected.

The Dalziel Bill, which has been presented in the British Parliament having months with 28, 28 and 35 days for each season, seems utterly impracticable, especially in the matter of calculating monthly wages, rents, etc. The Pearce Bill, however, presented earlier in Parliament, with four 91-day seasons and an extra non-week day, etc., seems to be