Mathematical error in seasons of love

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barysnikov
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Mathematical error in seasons of love

Postby barysnikov » Fri May 09, 2008 6:48 pm UTC

I heard that song "seasons of love" from the movie "rent" and it starts out with "525,600 minutes" and they say that is the number of minutes in a year. However, this is not true, because 525,600/24=21900, 21,900/60=365.00, which is technically, not the exact number of days in a year!

Why do i say this? Leap year, which is to account for the fact that a year is technically 365.25 days, but leap year is every fourth year, and gives is a 366 day year every fourth year.

As such, i did the math, and technically the song should say "525,960 minutes" and don't give me any BS about how that wouldn't have the same tempo, just say "nine sixty" instead of "nine hundred sixty".

Thoughts?

Link to a video with the song: http://youtube.com/watch?v=hj7LRuusFqo

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Torn Apart By Dingos
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Re: Mathematical error in seasons of love

Postby Torn Apart By Dingos » Fri May 09, 2008 7:49 pm UTC

That's not entirely accurate either. Every 100th year is not a leap year, but every 400th year is a leap year. But that doesn't tell the whole story - there's such a thing as leap seconds too: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leap_second

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jaap
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Re: Mathematical error in seasons of love

Postby jaap » Fri May 09, 2008 7:55 pm UTC

Reminds me of this:

Wikipedia wrote:On 30 September 2005, Melua came under criticism in The Guardian from writer and scientist Simon Singh for the lyrics of the track "Nine Million Bicycles". Melua's disputed lyrics were:
We are 12 billion light-years from the edge. That's a guess — no-one can ever say it's true, but I know that I will always be with you.


They were interpreted by Singh as an assault on the accuracy of the work of cosmologists[39] which sparked a series of letters from other Guardian readers, agreeing or disagreeing.[40] On 15 October, Melua and Singh appeared on the BBC's Today programme, and Melua unveiled a re-recording of the song which included Singh's tongue-in-cheek amendments to the lyrics:
We are 13.7 billion light-years from the edge of the observable universe, That's a good estimate with well-defined error bars, Scientists say it's true, but acknowledge that it may be refined, And with the available information, I predict that I will always be with you.

Both sides amicably agreed that the new lyrics were less likely to achieve commercial success, amidst a discussion about scientific accuracy versus artistic licence. Melua said that she "should have known better" because she used to be a member of the astronomy club at school.[41]


But maybe that should go in the science forum rather than maths...

barysnikov
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Re: Mathematical error in seasons of love

Postby barysnikov » Fri May 09, 2008 8:46 pm UTC

I fail to see how when the leap years are is relevant. The fact is that leap years are corrections to the calendar that occurs every four years.

The reason for the corrections is the proof that song is flawed, a year is 365 and 1/4 days long, but we don't want to bother waiting 6 more hours to drink our new years mixed drinks.

maninblack
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Re: Mathematical error in seasons of love

Postby maninblack » Fri May 09, 2008 8:55 pm UTC

barysnikov wrote:I fail to see how when the leap years are is relevant. The fact is that leap years are corrections to the calendar that occurs every four years.

The reason for the corrections is the proof that song is flawed, a year is 365 and 1/4 days long, but we don't want to bother waiting 6 more hours to drink our new years mixed drinks.


No...the point is that the year is not exactly 365 and 1/4 days long....and no....leap year does not occur every four years....Every 100th year (1800, 1900, 2000) is thrown out unless the year is divisible by 400.....because a year is not exactly 365.25 days long. A quick google search reveals that 1 year = 365.242199 days. Thus not exactly 365 days...nor exactly 365.25 days either.

Please if you're going to correct someone please do it right....correctly...which ever.
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bellannaer
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Re: Mathematical error in seasons of love

Postby bellannaer » Sat May 10, 2008 1:02 am UTC

I'd say it depends on what kind of year you're talking about. If you're talking about it in an astronomical/scientific sense then yes it is about 365.25 days long. However, if you're talking about a calendar year, it is either 365 or 366 days long.

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Nimz
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Re: Mathematical error in seasons of love

Postby Nimz » Sat May 10, 2008 7:38 am UTC

If you really want to be pedantic, you have to specify whether we are talking about a sidereal year, anomalistic year, or tropical year.
LOWA

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Macbi
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Re: Mathematical error in seasons of love

Postby Macbi » Sat May 10, 2008 9:46 am UTC

Of course the problem is here that the whole idea of a year made up of a certain amount of days or minutes or anythings is a really stupid plan, since there's no reason why the orbit time would be rational with respect to your mesurement.
A better plan would be to add in a day just whenever it was needed to keep the equinoxes still.
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SpitValve
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Re: Mathematical error in seasons of love

Postby SpitValve » Sat May 10, 2008 2:25 pm UTC

It really does depend on what kind of year they're talking about. Sometimes a year is 365 days. A Julian year is exactly 365.25 days, and that's what's used for light years.

Also, I think it's quite reasonable to refer to the median or mode year, rather than the mean year.

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BeetlesBane
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Re: Mathematical error in seasons of love

Postby BeetlesBane » Sat May 10, 2008 6:39 pm UTC

In the (the third) intro thread, Molly Millions says "I am approximately 94 Mercurian years." This makes the length of a year more obscure.

TheCoelacanth
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Re: Mathematical error in seasons of love

Postby TheCoelacanth » Sat May 10, 2008 8:37 pm UTC

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year#Summary_of_various_kinds_of_year
Take your pick.

The average Gregorian year has 525,949.2 minutes.

barysnikov
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Re: Mathematical error in seasons of love

Postby barysnikov » Sun May 11, 2008 5:40 pm UTC

>_> wow, i feel distinctly...average now. Because i'm smarter than most people at school, yet when compared to the people on this forum, i'm an idiot, but using means that puts me at average.

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Charlie!
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Re: Mathematical error in seasons of love

Postby Charlie! » Sun May 11, 2008 7:05 pm UTC

sidereal year ftw!



P.S. not capitalizing sentences ftl!

P.P.S. use of abbreviatiosn ftl!

P.P.P... aw, forget it.
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BeetlesBane
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Re: Mathematical error in seasons of love

Postby BeetlesBane » Sun May 11, 2008 8:47 pm UTC

barysnikov wrote:>_> wow, i feel distinctly...average now. Because i'm smarter than most people at school, yet when compared to the people on this forum, i'm an idiot, but using means that puts me at average.

What showed up in this thread isn't how smart you are compared to the other posters; rather it's how much the various posters (including you) know about some specialized topics.

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McHell
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Re: Mathematical error in seasons of love

Postby McHell » Mon May 12, 2008 6:49 pm UTC

BeetlesBane wrote:
barysnikov wrote:>_> wow, i feel distinctly...average now. Because i'm smarter than most people at school, yet when compared to the people on this forum, i'm an idiot, but using means that puts me at average.

What showed up in this thread isn't how smart you are compared to the other posters; rather it's how much the various posters (including you) know about some specialized topics.


What's mostly wrong with Barysnikov's intuition/feeling is that no representational bias is taken into account: the hordes of forum users that have no idea or opinion on this topic just don't post --- see difference between "views" and "posts" on any topic --- which is frankly a relief, as people come here to see interesting remarks. Basically, you hope that people who cannot add anything will not post. And thus you get a smarter-than-average topic. As it should be. But if you don't take that bias into account, you easily feel dumb.

On topic and trying to help that average down:
the Rent count is correct because they're civilians (not mathematicians) so they speak about a calendar year, and the median calendar year is most definitely exactly that many seconds: (*roughly) 3 out of 4 years have exactly 365*24*60*60 seconds. And when you say mean you should normally be using&saying median, e.g. average income is not so interesting and rarely used (but often said) compared to median income.

Off topic, I prefer the musical Lease (in the Team America film) over Rent, most definitely, since I hate musicals in general and this one comes to the point very quickly [but my partner loves Rent though (and staged it and sings and plays it on the piano)]. I guess that's because I'm not average, I'm mean.

(*= the mentioned exceptions for 100-folds etc)

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Macbi
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Re: Mathematical error in seasons of love

Postby Macbi » Mon May 12, 2008 7:11 pm UTC

Is there a median year length? How would you define median on an infinite set? Is it even right to say they're using the mode?
    Indigo is a lie.
    Which idiot decided that websites can't go within 4cm of the edge of the screen?
    There should be a null word, for the question "Is anybody there?" and to see if microphones are on.

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BeetlesBane
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Re: Mathematical error in seasons of love

Postby BeetlesBane » Mon May 12, 2008 9:31 pm UTC

Macbi wrote:Is there a median year length? How would you define median on an infinite set? Is it even right to say they're using the mode?

With the current calendar leap calculations median would be the same over any 400 year period. Of course the current calendar hasn't yet been in use for 400 years.
Mode =365 days since that accounts for over 3/4th of the years.

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Nimz
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Re: Mathematical error in seasons of love

Postby Nimz » Tue May 13, 2008 8:08 am UTC

Macbi wrote:Is there a median year length? How would you define median on an infinite set? Is it even right to say they're using the mode?

It isn't really an infinite set, though. From the moment the earth became recogniseably THE EARTH to the moment the earth ceases to be is a finite period, and only finitely many time divisions can be made in that period (a year is presumably larger than the Planck time). If you restrict to ending at present day and if you reckon from when the concept of year was introduced to the minds of men and women, the number of years that have passed is on an intelligible scale (i.e. no need even for scientific notation to concisely write the number). So surely a median exists, and it presumably coincides with the mode at a length of 365 days. There have been thousands of 365 day years and hundreds of 366 day years (and a handful of years that had a somewhat smaller number of days due to the different times at which the Gregorian calendar was adopted). I'm not so sure how many 360 day years there have been, but they would only help secure 365 as the median by balancing out the 366's.
LOWA

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gmalivuk
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Re: Mathematical error in seasons of love

Postby gmalivuk » Wed May 14, 2008 4:05 pm UTC

BeetlesBane wrote:Of course the current calendar hasn't yet been in use for 400 years.

2008 - 1582 = 426 years, actually.
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BeetlesBane
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Re: Mathematical error in seasons of love

Postby BeetlesBane » Wed May 14, 2008 6:14 pm UTC

From the Wiki writeup (although available elsewhere) "Britain and the British Empire (including the eastern part of what is now the United States) adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1752."
Indeed non-Catholic Europe didn't start adopting the Gregorian calendar until the 1700s.

Wiki URL http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregorian_calendar#Adoption_in_Europe

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gmalivuk
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Re: Mathematical error in seasons of love

Postby gmalivuk » Fri May 16, 2008 9:32 pm UTC

Well Russia didn't adopt it until the 20th century. But it started being used in 1582, which is more than 400 years ago, was my point.
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BeetlesBane
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Re: Mathematical error in seasons of love

Postby BeetlesBane » Sat May 17, 2008 12:13 am UTC

True enough.
I didn't bother to check the implementation date but relied on my memory of an article from the early 70s that said Washington regularly wrote his birth date as February 11th 1731 os. The different year because prior to the Gregorian calendar adoption the English speaking world used March 21 (approximately vernal equinox) for new years.


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