1061: "EST"

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bazza
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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby bazza » Tue May 29, 2012 6:10 am UTC

sla29970 wrote:
bazza wrote:There's a simple way of sorting out the leap second issue in UTC. Modify NTP to transfer a table of known and historical leap seconds. Update time functions in operating systems, basing them on the routines in the International Astronomical Union's SOFA library (pdf):


Much simpler to move the leap seconds out of the radio broadcasts and into the zoneinfo. All of the necessary bits are already deployed and testable. See a worked example at http://www.ucolick.org/~sla/leapsecs/right+gps.html


I guess that would do the job. The difference is that zoneinfo has to be updated regularly in order for the computer to stay correct. Binding time correction to the OS update process seems wrong. We don't do apt get to set a PC's clock... But we do run NTP all the time without any thought at all. Also it's clear that zoneinfo is inadequate for the task (Unix only? Never updated?), otherwise leap seconds would not be the problem they're often deemed to be. NTP is cross platform, so would be the better means for advertising leap seconds.

The SOFA library is a totally comprehensive approach to timescales. It deals seamlessly with UTC, TAI, and many more to suit every programming need. It's not especially simple, but then time itself is not simple. The programming community has generally ignored the issue, and reasonably so because there are few applications that need absolute accuracy. But I wish that glibc and it's equivalents were brought up to date to make it easier for those applications which do need the accuracy.

I followed your link - quite interesting stuff! It seems that NTP4 does have a leap second table broadcast mechanism, but alas it doesn't expose any of that data to programmers in an API so it's not very useful.
Last edited by bazza on Tue May 29, 2012 6:44 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

kkt
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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby kkt » Tue May 29, 2012 6:16 am UTC

DST favors morning people and so is a major pain in my ass as an evening person, because there is no way in hell I'm ever going to be awake early enough for it to maybe be still dark out if the clocks weren't pushed around an hour, but pushing clocks around an hour, together with the natural shortening of the days, means that in winter I basically never see the sun except from my car on my way to work in the morning. Without DST, I could at least catch the sunset after work.


One of us is confused, and I think it's you. DST puts daylight in the evenings instead of early mornings. In June here (Seattle) in standard time it would get light at 4 AM and get dark at 9 PM. With DST, instead, it gets light at a more reasonable 5 AM and dark at 10 PM. This favors evening people, not morning people.

Waking up when it got light is how people and animals have behaved for millions of years. There was a brief couple of decades after standard time was adopted that people did not shift when they woke as the dawn time changed during the year, but DST was adopted pretty quickly and approximates natural behavior.

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby bazza » Tue May 29, 2012 6:41 am UTC

radtea wrote:There needs to be a thing like that checklist for why your great anti-spam idea won't work.

First, anyone proposing a "simple" solution to a problem that has remained irritating and unsolved for decades is missing something.

Second, only that very small fraction of computers connected to the 'Net are addressed by your scheme, leaving out all the vast multitude of embedded systems, including the ones in watches.

I'm generally in favour of 12 months of 30 days each with a 5 day Saturnalia at the New Year, but I recognize it's never going to happen. Calenders have almost nothing to do with time--which is handled quite nicely by Julian Day Number--and everything to do with human convenience, and "what we have now" is almost always more convenient than "what we would really like to have plus all the work necessary to get there."


Firstly, the solution is simple because there's already a library out there (SOFA) which accurately converts between TAI (a timescale that we do all agree on) and a wide range of other timescales like UTC, GMT, UT1. It'll even do the time difference calculations for you. The complexity comes in persuading software and operating system developers to use it.

Secondly, the 'net isn't the only means of getting time. Ever heard of MSF, for example? There are watches out there that receive the time radio broadcasts like MSF (which incidentally has always had a means of conveying leap seconds). And if your device isn't listening to MSF, GPS or the net then it's probable that you don't care in the first place.

Thirdly, not even the French revolutionaries managed to change time-of-day. They managed to bring in the metric system of weights and measures but failed to metricise time. It lasted for such a short while that it's largely forgotten. So good luck with your 5 day saturnalia.

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby DavidF » Tue May 29, 2012 6:52 am UTC

Since the roots of the problem are that the Planck time, the SI second, the rotation of the Earth, the revolution of the Moon about the Earth, and the revolution of the Earth about the Sun don't match up too terribly well with each other, that the Planck time cannot currently be measured precisely enough to use as a time standard, and that the precise time of the big bang is as yet unknown, I propose that we simply forget about trying to reconcile these things, and use a new approach: simply write the date as the current best estimate of the number of SI seconds since the big bang, followed by the number of solar years since the epoch (April 4, 1995, at 3:57:24.9264), the number of synodic months since the epoch, the number of sidereal months since the epoch, the number of solar days since the epoch, the number of sidereal days since the epoch, the number of stellar days since the epoch, the number of seconds since the epoch, the numbers of SI hours, minutes, and seconds since the last midnight, the number of astronomical hours, minutes, and seconds since the last midnight, and finally a best estimate of the number of Planck times since the beginning of the last second.

As for the week, I have seen no evidence that it ever had anything to do with the month--the seven-day week appears to have been created by the Babylonians and/or Jews, and the notion of one of those days being always for rest is, as best I can tell, a Jewish innovation.

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue May 29, 2012 7:47 am UTC

kkt wrote:
DST favors morning people and so is a major pain in my ass as an evening person, because there is no way in hell I'm ever going to be awake early enough for it to maybe be still dark out if the clocks weren't pushed around an hour, but pushing clocks around an hour, together with the natural shortening of the days, means that in winter I basically never see the sun except from my car on my way to work in the morning. Without DST, I could at least catch the sunset after work.


One of us is confused, and I think it's you. DST puts daylight in the evenings instead of early mornings. In June here (Seattle) in standard time it would get light at 4 AM and get dark at 9 PM. With DST, instead, it gets light at a more reasonable 5 AM and dark at 10 PM. This favors evening people, not morning people.

Apparently you are correct. Winter time is Standard time, summer time is DST.

I guess what I was saying then, properly put, is that summer time should be the standard time, and we should never move off of it.
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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby sla29970 » Tue May 29, 2012 8:03 am UTC

bazza wrote:The difference is that zoneinfo has to be updated regularly in order for the computer to stay correct.


Getting that to happen dynamically is what TC TIMEZONE is all about. Read further
http://calconnect.org/tc-timezone.shtml
as they get close to a mechanism which can serve all the arbitrary bureaucratic decrees of getting up an hour earlier or later.

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby Arancaytar » Tue May 29, 2012 8:52 am UTC

I almost missed the "(Julian calendar)" note.

Apparently, today would be May 16.
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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby AvatarIII » Tue May 29, 2012 10:17 am UTC

caractacuspotts wrote:I think Randall missed the biggest calendrical problem of them all here. Weeks. The fact is a 7 day week is exactly the worst of all possible numbers of days. 5 days of work is too long and 2 days is too short a weekend. So we all walk around stress all the time and that's why we're so mean to each other.

The correct number of days in a civilised week is 6. Then you can have 4 days of work and a 2 day weekend - not stressful at all. You can even break it up into 3 day mini-weeks - 2 days on, 1 day off. Or if you're doing shift work you can do 3 on 3 off and your business doesn't need to have people absent on weekends at all - just stagger the work week. All of which is infinitely preferable to 5 on 2 off.

And then the calendar is really easy to do. 5 weeks in a month makes 30 days. 12 months makes 360 days. And you do a 5 day holiday called Yule at the end of the year. Slap in a 6th Yule day every 4 years instead of hacking February.

What a beautiful world we would live in if only a week was 6 days long. It would be a paradise. And such a simple change ...


it wouldn't work, it would reduce the number of working days in a year from 260 to 240, meaning either people would have their pay docked by 10% or to have 20 days less annual leave a year which means people would have to work 5/6 days a week for 4 weeks just to build up enough lieu time for just one week off, would you want to work 5 days on 1 day off for a quarter of the year just to be entitled to 4 weeks annual leave? more if you are giving everyone a free holiday at the end of December

Better would be 9 day week with a 3 day weekend. giving 243 working days a year, people would have the option of doing 3 on, 1 off, 3 on, 2 off, weeks, shift workers could do 3 on 3 off, and get every other full weekend off guaranteed, unlike your scheme in which one shift would always work weekends the other would always get them off. and to build up annual leave they could do 3 on, 1, off, 4 on, 1 off weeks to build up one day of leave a week they would only have to do it for 17/40 weeks to build up 20 days of leave, or alternatively 6 days on, a half day on 2 full days off. (or i guess earn 9% less to make up for the less time worked)
9 days weeks could give rise to 10x 36 day months, with 5 extra days, or 5x 36 and 5x 37 day months, (get rid of July and August so September, October, November and December are the 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th months again)

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby tsarna » Tue May 29, 2012 2:43 pm UTC

chenille wrote:
tsarna wrote:There will be 10 months: Monember, Divember, Trivember, Tetrember, Pentember, Hexember, September, October, November, and December

You're mixing Latin sept- and nov- with Greek


Yes, so? I use "hexadecimal" all the time, too :P

[Of course counting means you miss out on so many choices for more poetic names - February, Thermidor, Fogarious...


Don't forget the month of Turkmenbashi.

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby jqavins » Tue May 29, 2012 3:01 pm UTC

AvatarIII wrote:
caractacuspotts wrote:I think Randall missed the biggest calendrical problem of them all here. Weeks. The fact is a 7 day week is exactly the worst of all possible numbers of days. 5 days of work is too long and 2 days is too short a weekend. So we all walk around stress all the time and that's why we're so mean to each other.

The correct number of days in a civilised week is 6. Then you can have 4 days of work and a 2 day weekend - not stressful at all. You can even break it up into 3 day mini-weeks - 2 days on, 1 day off. Or if you're doing shift work you can do 3 on 3 off and your business doesn't need to have people absent on weekends at all - just stagger the work week. All of which is infinitely preferable to 5 on 2 off.

And then the calendar is really easy to do. 5 weeks in a month makes 30 days. 12 months makes 360 days. And you do a 5 day holiday called Yule at the end of the year. Slap in a 6th Yule day every 4 years instead of hacking February.

What a beautiful world we would live in if only a week was 6 days long. It would be a paradise. And such a simple change ...


it wouldn't work, it would reduce the number of working days in a year from 260 to 240, meaning either people would have their pay docked by 10% or to have 20 days less annual leave a year which means people would have to work 5/6 days a week for 4 weeks just to build up enough lieu time for just one week off, would you want to work 5 days on 1 day off for a quarter of the year just to be entitled to 4 weeks annual leave? more if you are giving everyone a free holiday at the end of December

Better would be 9 day week with a 3 day weekend. giving 243 working days a year, people would have the option of doing 3 on, 1 off, 3 on, 2 off, weeks, shift workers could do 3 on 3 off, and get every other full weekend off guaranteed, unlike your scheme in which one shift would always work weekends the other would always get them off. and to build up annual leave they could do 3 on, 1, off, 4 on, 1 off weeks to build up one day of leave a week they would only have to do it for 17/40 weeks to build up 20 days of leave, or alternatively 6 days on, a half day on 2 full days off. (or i guess earn 9% less to make up for the less time worked)
9 days weeks could give rise to 10x 36 day months, with 5 extra days, or 5x 36 and 5x 37 day months, (get rid of July and August so September, October, November and December are the 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th months again)

Personally, I like 10 day weeks, three of them each month, with a 3 on, 1 off, 4 on, 2 off work schedule. That's 36 weeks per year at 7 work days per week, or 252 working days per year. That's a loss of 8 days per year relative to the current week, which the world's economy could manage all right. (It's a mere 3% loss. If we even out the international norms for vacations, shut-downs, holidays, etc. we could hide those 8 days in the noise.)

The other five day days would fall "outside" any month or week and be holidays, as many have already suggested, but I would make them quarterly, on the average dates of the solstices and equinoces; that way there's a quarterly three day weekend. The leap day would would be added to the new years holiday, which is the winter or summer solstice, depending on one's hemisphere. (We can just flip a coin for which hemisphere gets the quadrenial four day weekend in which season.) All leap seconds are saved up through the year and added to the new year holiday.

The month names could remain as we are used to, or July and August (or any two months, really) could be moved to the end to fix September though December. The days could use the seven names we're used to plus Uranaday, Neptuday, and Pluday; Saturday and Sunday should still be the regular two day weekend, so it'd go Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday (off,) Friday, Uranaday, Neptuday, Pluday, Saturday, Sunday.

To give credit where credit is due, this is adapted from the calander in a friend's D&D world, which has exactly 364 days in a year. (And his month and day names are altogether different, and there are two moons which complicates lycanthropy quite a bit, but I digress.)

** Edit: Added the inadvertently omitted Friday to the weekly sequence.
Last edited by jqavins on Wed May 30, 2012 1:34 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby jqavins » Tue May 29, 2012 3:03 pm UTC

Arthur Dent wrote:I move that we drop Thursday. I never could get the hang of Thursdays.

Ooh, well done! At least I'm giving you Thursday off.
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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby Fire Brns » Tue May 29, 2012 3:28 pm UTC

I think 7 day weeks are fine we just need 6 week months.
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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby Carteeg_Struve » Tue May 29, 2012 5:09 pm UTC

My only recommendation to time tracking was to keep things the same except for two details:

1) Daylight Savings Time and all of its supporters should be burned at the stake.

2) Change the Leap Year rule to 1 extra day every 4 years except every 128th year. It seems to iron out all of the rest of the exceptions.

And if anybody wants "more daylight later in the day", then FREAKING JUST GO TO WORK AND LEAVE WORK AN HOUR EARLIER! Oh wait. You already are. Okay. Then just keep doing that and don't screw around with my clocks in the meantime.

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby Scott Auld » Tue May 29, 2012 6:04 pm UTC

XKCD: A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, language, and silliness.

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue May 29, 2012 7:15 pm UTC

Scott Auld wrote:XKCD: A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, language, and silliness.

...And an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope.
AMONG our attributes are romance, sarcasm....
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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby chenille » Tue May 29, 2012 7:44 pm UTC

tsarna wrote:
chenille wrote:You're mixing Latin sept- and nov- with Greek

Yes, so? I use "hexadecimal" all the time, too :P

Sorry, I guess I was thinking you would be a benevolent emperor.

Carlomagno
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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby Carlomagno » Tue May 29, 2012 8:25 pm UTC

People, really, the last time this sort of discussion came up, coming up with ways to "fix" the calendar, it destroyed Rome (okay, saying Caesar destroyed Rome is a bit much, but he started a slippery slope). Be careful! You never know what kinds of hell your calendar modifications may bring!

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby webdude » Tue May 29, 2012 8:45 pm UTC

Criminy. Time is merely a way to describe event sequences, as observed. The observations will vary based on your observation point. On Earth, latitude, longitude, height/depth and local climate and weather vary your time sense (other factors include fatigue, activity enjoyment, pharmaceuticals, etc.). Everyone has focused on Earth-based observations. What happens if/when we finally become a space-based race? And what happens when we learn to move between dimensions and/or into other universes, if they exist? Sure, we can base time units on atomic particle vibrations or light speed, but have they been constant since the Big Bang? Can you prove it? What if this universe is really a computer sim? How would we know when a new driver ended up causing severe lag, causing our apparent time to become much slower relative to the Great Programmers' time?

We might as well admit we're self-centered, and want time and other measurement units to reflect what's important to us - planting crops, traveling, spelunking, etc.

Also, no one has bothered to mention the biggest problem with UTC - it's based on rotational speed, which has varied since the planet was coalescing. Now the earth is slowing down, and the moon is moving farther away from us. Add gravitational wobbles and other problems, and you realize perfection of temporal mensuration is an illusion.

Chicago: Does anybody really know what time it is? Does anybody really care?

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby zAlbee » Tue May 29, 2012 8:51 pm UTC

tsarna wrote:To boost economic output and the education system, the new calendar moves from 7 day weeks to (mostly) six days weeks. This works out nicely with the 36 or 37 day months: Six weeks of six days each, and the weekdays don't shift around -- the 1st is always a Monday, for example.

The days of the week are named Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Holiday. Holiday occurs only on the 37th of the month, and subsumes all previous holidays -- no more Monday / weekday holidays. Monday through Friday are always work days, and Saturday is the day off.

Although there are less days off in the new system, as a sign of my benevolence, I am reducing the standard work day from 8 of the old hours to only 4 of the new hours. The special Tetrember Holiday, which occurs only in leap years, will celebrate this, and will be the new Labor Day.


:!: :!: :!: ALERT ALERT ALERT :!: :!: :!:

This tyrant "tsar-na" is not actually halving our work hours, but actually increasing our workday to 40% per day! Don't believe the lies! We must revolt! :twisted: "Remember, remember, the fifth of Hexember..."

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby bazza » Tue May 29, 2012 9:49 pm UTC

sla29970 wrote:
bazza wrote:The difference is that zoneinfo has to be updated regularly in order for the computer to stay correct.


Getting that to happen dynamically is what TC TIMEZONE is all about. Read further
http://calconnect.org/tc-timezone.shtml
as they get close to a mechanism which can serve all the arbitrary bureaucratic decrees of getting up an hour earlier or later.


Yes, that's getting closer. Thanks for the link! But not a lot seems to have happened there for two whole years, which is a pity. Maybe they're working out how to incorporate Randall's new timescale...

As I said before it seems that there is a collection of components and ideas out there that would significantly improve on how leap seconds and different time scales are handled. The problem is entirely organisational, and that's the hardest type of problem to solve...

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby Coyne » Tue May 29, 2012 10:07 pm UTC

My modest counter-proposal:

1 second: SI second

1 minute: 60 seconds except for the last minute of each hour, which is either 52 or 53 seconds as described below

1 hour: 61 minutes. More specifically, 60 x 60-second minutes + 1 x (52 or 53 second minute); totalling either 3652 or 3653 seconds. The odd-numbered hours except for 1 and 3 are 3653 seconds; hours 1 and 3, and all even hours are 3652. Numbering starts at 00 just like now.

1 day: 24 hours totalling 87658 minutes.

1 year: 360 days exactly, totalling 31,556,880 seconds, PLUS a "Cheer Time" of 72 seconds to allow for cheering for the New Year; then get back to work. This yields a grand total year of 31,556,952 seconds, which is exactly as long as the Gregorian year. So we don't have to worry about seasonal slip for quite a long while.

Yes, noon will tend to drift a bit, but then experience tells me that time is all mental anyway.
In all fairness...

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby cream wobbly » Tue May 29, 2012 10:25 pm UTC

Mercurywoodrose wrote:funny how we have a 7 day week, in honor of the bible

The 7 day week predates the bible and the material that was cribbed from by quite a chunk.
Mercurywoodrose wrote:the days are named after norse gods mostly.

The Romance languages typically use Roman gods, (e.g. mercredi = Mercury day); and Greek uses the Greek gods. Numbers and other counting words (like days of the week and months) are surprising consistent between languages, rather than being out of whack as in your perception.

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby cream wobbly » Tue May 29, 2012 10:29 pm UTC

webdude wrote:What happens if/when we finally become a space-based race?

You're still going to need an external cycle of roughly 24 hours (give or take 25%) of light approximating Sol's spectrum in order to manage the sleep cycle.

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby tsarna » Tue May 29, 2012 10:32 pm UTC

chenille wrote:Sorry, I guess I was thinking you would be a benevolent emperor.


Think again. :mrgreen:

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby VorpalAuroch » Wed May 30, 2012 12:23 am UTC

Why not switch straight to metric time?

1 ksec ~ 17 minutes.

100 ksec ~ 28 hours (replaces day)

1 Msec ~ 12 days (replacing weeks)

50 Msec ~ 19 months (replacing years)

1 Gsec ~ 32 years. 2.5 Gsec is almost exactly an average US lifetime.

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby neoliminal » Wed May 30, 2012 2:04 am UTC

http://www.php.net/manual/en/function.date.php

B Swatch Internet time 000 through 999 [".beats" per day]

Still in use on some game servers. Can't get rid of it now. Well played Swatch, well played.
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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby webdude » Wed May 30, 2012 5:37 am UTC

cream wobbly wrote:
webdude wrote:What happens if/when we finally become a space-based race?

You're still going to need an external cycle of roughly 24 hours (give or take 25%) of light approximating Sol's spectrum in order to manage the sleep cycle.


24 hours? Not necessarily. I mentioned spelunking due to the early human chronobiology work done by cavers. That work was predated by work on rats, investigating relationships between hormonal cycles and circadian rhythms. "Natural" human cycles, at least for cavers, have varied from 25-48 hours; none were 24 or fewer hours.

Research on astronaut rhythms is ongoing. See this link from March 2012:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/stati ... -Long.html

Here's another link, with a relevant quote:
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/sc ... st04sep_1/
"...scientists still need to answer some basic questions in order to develop countermeasures against unwanted wakefulness. For instance, what exactly controls the master clock? What intensity of light will trigger it -- and which colors? Does gravity itself provide a cue? All these questions will grow in importance as humans move farther into space.

Take the exploration of Mars, for example. On Mars, daylight is primarily yellowish-brown. On Earth, it's blue-green. How will the human clock respond to the unearthly color of Martian skies? Some research indicates that it could make a difference. Melatonin production, for example, is suppressed more by some wavelengths of light than by others."

One more, an abstract from a 1998 paper:
"J Biol Rhythms. 1998 Jun;13(3):188-201.
Sleep and circadian rhythms in four orbiting astronauts.
Monk TH, Buysse DJ, Billy BD, Kennedy KS, Willrich LM.
Collaborators (1)
Source

Sleep and Chronobiology Center, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, PA 15213, USA.
Abstract

This experiment measured the sleep and circadian rhythms of four male astronauts aboard a space shuttle (STS-78) orbiting the Earth for 17 days. The space mission was specially scheduled to minimize disruptions in circadian rhythms and sleep so that the effects of space flight and microgravity per se could be studied. Data were collected in 72-h measurement blocks: one block 7 days before launch, one early within the mission (3 days after launch), one late in the mission (12 days after launch), and one 18 days after landing. Within each measurement block, all sleep was recorded both polysomnographically and by sleep diary. Core body temperature was sampled every 6 mins. Actillumes were worn continuously. All urine samples were collected separately. Performance was assessed by a computerized test battery (3/day) and by end-of-shift questionnaires (1/day); mood and alertness were measured by visual analogue scales (5/day). Circadian rhythms in orbit appeared to be very similar in phase and amplitude to those on the ground, and were appropriately aligned for the required work/rest schedule. There was no change from early flight to late flight. This was also reflected in mood, alertness, and performance scores, which were satisfactory at both in-flight time points. However, in-flight sleep showed a decreased amount of sleep obtained (mean = 6.1 h), and all four astronauts showed a decrease in delta sleep. No further degradation in sleep was seen when early flight was compared to late flight, and no other sleep parameters showed reliable trends."


CONCLUSION
After all the work that's been done on astronauts, spelunkers, and extended-dive ocean dwellers, there's still a heckuva a lot we don't know. The ideal light-dark cycles on missions to Mars or other destinations might vary during the trip, according to varying gravitational pulls, trajectory relative to solar angles, etc. Think about that - dynamic vs. static light cycles.

Any time-keeping system we adopt needs to address human needs, including the need to get work done safely, with reasonable alertness and reasonably good moods to minimize social problems.

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby AvatarIII » Wed May 30, 2012 9:33 am UTC

jqavins wrote:
AvatarIII wrote:
caractacuspotts wrote:I think Randall missed the biggest calendrical problem of them all here. Weeks. The fact is a 7 day week is exactly the worst of all possible numbers of days. 5 days of work is too long and 2 days is too short a weekend. So we all walk around stress all the time and that's why we're so mean to each other.

The correct number of days in a civilised week is 6. Then you can have 4 days of work and a 2 day weekend - not stressful at all. You can even break it up into 3 day mini-weeks - 2 days on, 1 day off. Or if you're doing shift work you can do 3 on 3 off and your business doesn't need to have people absent on weekends at all - just stagger the work week. All of which is infinitely preferable to 5 on 2 off.

And then the calendar is really easy to do. 5 weeks in a month makes 30 days. 12 months makes 360 days. And you do a 5 day holiday called Yule at the end of the year. Slap in a 6th Yule day every 4 years instead of hacking February.

What a beautiful world we would live in if only a week was 6 days long. It would be a paradise. And such a simple change ...


it wouldn't work, it would reduce the number of working days in a year from 260 to 240, meaning either people would have their pay docked by 10% or to have 20 days less annual leave a year which means people would have to work 5/6 days a week for 4 weeks just to build up enough lieu time for just one week off, would you want to work 5 days on 1 day off for a quarter of the year just to be entitled to 4 weeks annual leave? more if you are giving everyone a free holiday at the end of December

Better would be 9 day week with a 3 day weekend. giving 243 working days a year, people would have the option of doing 3 on, 1 off, 3 on, 2 off, weeks, shift workers could do 3 on 3 off, and get every other full weekend off guaranteed, unlike your scheme in which one shift would always work weekends the other would always get them off. and to build up annual leave they could do 3 on, 1, off, 4 on, 1 off weeks to build up one day of leave a week they would only have to do it for 17/40 weeks to build up 20 days of leave, or alternatively 6 days on, a half day on 2 full days off. (or i guess earn 9% less to make up for the less time worked)
9 days weeks could give rise to 10x 36 day months, with 5 extra days, or 5x 36 and 5x 37 day months, (get rid of July and August so September, October, November and December are the 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th months again)

Personally, I like 10 day weeks, three of them each month, with a 3 on, 1 off, 4 on, 2 off work schedule. That's 36 weeks per year at 7 work days per week, or 252 working days per year. That's a loss of 8 days per year relative to the current week, which the world's economy could manage all right. (It's a mere 3% loss. If we even out the international norms for vacations, shut-downs, holidays, etc. we could hide those 8 days in the noise.)

The other five day days would fall "outside" any month or week and be holidays, as many have already suggested, but I would make them quarterly, on the average dates of the solstices and equinoces; that way there's a quarterly three day weekend. The leap day would would be added to the new years holiday, which is the winter or summer solstice, depending on one's hemisphere. (We can just flip a coin for which hemisphere gets the quadrenial four day weekend in which season.) All leap seconds are saved up through the year and added to the new year holiday.

The month names could remain as we are used to, or July and August (or any two months, really) could be moved to the end to fix September though December. The days could use the seven names we're used to plus Uranaday, Neptuday, and Pluday; Saturday and Sunday should still be the regular two day weekend, so it'd go Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday (off,) Uranaday, Neptuday, Pluday, Saturday, Sunday.

To give credit where credit is due, this is adapted from the calander in a friend's D&D world, which has exactly 364 days in a year. (And his month and day names are altogether different, and there are two moons which complicates lycanthropy quite a bit, but I digress.)



i like it, although not sure about naming the new days like Saturday, i much prefer naming days after Germanic gods, how about Baldrsday, Heremodsday, and Dellingrsday?

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby jqavins » Wed May 30, 2012 1:32 pm UTC

AvatarIII wrote:
jqavins wrote:Personally, I like 10 day weeks, three of them each month, with a 3 on, 1 off, 4 on, 2 off work schedule. That's 36 weeks per year at 7 work days per week, or 252 working days per year. That's a loss of 8 days per year relative to the current week, which the world's economy could manage all right. (It's a mere 3% loss. If we even out the international norms for vacations, shut-downs, holidays, etc. we could hide those 8 days in the noise.)

The other five day days would fall "outside" any month or week and be holidays, as many have already suggested, but I would make them quarterly, on the average dates of the solstices and equinoces; that way there's a quarterly three day weekend. The leap day would would be added to the new years holiday, which is the winter or summer solstice, depending on one's hemisphere. (We can just flip a coin for which hemisphere gets the quadrenial four day weekend in which season.) All leap seconds are saved up through the year and added to the new year holiday.

The month names could remain as we are used to, or July and August (or any two months, really) could be moved to the end to fix September though December. The days could use the seven names we're used to plus Uranaday, Neptuday, and Pluday; Saturday and Sunday should still be the regular two day weekend, so it'd go Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday (off,) Friday, Uranaday, Neptuday, Pluday, Saturday, Sunday.

To give credit where credit is due, this is adapted from the calander in a friend's D&D world, which has exactly 364 days in a year. (And his month and day names are altogether different, and there are two moons which complicates lycanthropy quite a bit, but I digress.)

i like it, although not sure about naming the new days like Saturday, i much prefer naming days after Germanic gods, how about Baldrsday, Heremodsday, and Dellingrsday?

Not a big thing I guess. I was thinking more of the planets than the gods, so they fit with Sunday and Monday as well as Saturday. But whatever. My friend's days are Onesday, Twosday, Threesday, etc., and that works too. It's not really important. They could just as well be Kirksday, Spocksday, and Scottsday (y'know, after the gods of modern mythology.)
Last edited by jqavins on Wed May 30, 2012 1:41 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby kkt » Wed May 30, 2012 1:38 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
kkt wrote:
DST favors morning people and so is a major pain in my ass as an evening person, because there is no way in hell I'm ever going to be awake early enough for it to maybe be still dark out if the clocks weren't pushed around an hour, but pushing clocks around an hour, together with the natural shortening of the days, means that in winter I basically never see the sun except from my car on my way to work in the morning. Without DST, I could at least catch the sunset after work.


One of us is confused, and I think it's you. DST puts daylight in the evenings instead of early mornings. In June here (Seattle) in standard time it would get light at 4 AM and get dark at 9 PM. With DST, instead, it gets light at a more reasonable 5 AM and dark at 10 PM. This favors evening people, not morning people.

Apparently you are correct. Winter time is Standard time, summer time is DST.

I guess what I was saying then, properly put, is that summer time should be the standard time, and we should never move off of it.


However, most people also want sunrise to come about the time they wake up. Again in Seattle, if we kept daylight time year round, in December sunrise would be about 9 AM. That means waking up in the dark, the morning commute is still dark, kids walking to school in the dark, and it still wouldn't give very much light in the evenings (sunset would be about 5:30 instead of 4:30).

Daylight time haters really just hate living on a tilting planet.

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby Fire Brns » Wed May 30, 2012 2:42 pm UTC

cream wobbly wrote:
Mercurywoodrose wrote:funny how we have a 7 day week, in honor of the bible

The 7 day week predates the bible and the material that was cribbed from by quite a chunk.

Incidentally the chinese calender has 7 days, the last of which translates quite literally to Sunday.
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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Wed May 30, 2012 6:41 pm UTC

Tevildo wrote:We should all refuse to use any scale that isn't based on Planck units, so when we encounter other intelligent life we'll be doing keg-stands by day 3 instead of trying to figure out what a bleptominute is in Zeta-Ridiculan time.

I like this idea!
Fire Brns wrote:
cream wobbly wrote:
Mercurywoodrose wrote:funny how we have a 7 day week, in honor of the bible

The 7 day week predates the bible and the material that was cribbed from by quite a chunk.

Incidentally the chinese calender has 7 days, the last of which translates quite literally to Sunday.

I'm guessing that the 7 day week standard probably comes from the lunar cycle.
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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby J Thomas » Wed May 30, 2012 7:09 pm UTC

kkt wrote:However, most people also want sunrise to come about the time they wake up. Again in Seattle, if we kept daylight time year round, in December sunrise would be about 9 AM. That means waking up in the dark, the morning commute is still dark, kids walking to school in the dark, and it still wouldn't give very much light in the evenings (sunset would be about 5:30 instead of 4:30).

Daylight time haters really just hate living on a tilting planet.


Simple solution -- get your boss to agree that you should show up about an hour after dawn, or however long after dawn seems appropriate. Maybe a bunch of bosses will agree to some particular schedule.

Complicated, kludgy, inadequate solution -- Daylight savings time.
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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby invisobill42 » Wed May 30, 2012 10:54 pm UTC

Wow. What a terrible comic. Remember when xkcd used to be funny?

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby CZeke » Thu May 31, 2012 2:08 am UTC

Fun fact: 0.9144 wasn't a random choice. It's the number of meters in a yard.
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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby AvatarIII » Thu May 31, 2012 9:41 am UTC

jqavins wrote:
AvatarIII wrote:
jqavins wrote:Personally, I like 10 day weeks, three of them each month, with a 3 on, 1 off, 4 on, 2 off work schedule. That's 36 weeks per year at 7 work days per week, or 252 working days per year. That's a loss of 8 days per year relative to the current week, which the world's economy could manage all right. (It's a mere 3% loss. If we even out the international norms for vacations, shut-downs, holidays, etc. we could hide those 8 days in the noise.)

The other five day days would fall "outside" any month or week and be holidays, as many have already suggested, but I would make them quarterly, on the average dates of the solstices and equinoces; that way there's a quarterly three day weekend. The leap day would would be added to the new years holiday, which is the winter or summer solstice, depending on one's hemisphere. (We can just flip a coin for which hemisphere gets the quadrenial four day weekend in which season.) All leap seconds are saved up through the year and added to the new year holiday.

The month names could remain as we are used to, or July and August (or any two months, really) could be moved to the end to fix September though December. The days could use the seven names we're used to plus Uranaday, Neptuday, and Pluday; Saturday and Sunday should still be the regular two day weekend, so it'd go Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday (off,) Friday, Uranaday, Neptuday, Pluday, Saturday, Sunday.

To give credit where credit is due, this is adapted from the calander in a friend's D&D world, which has exactly 364 days in a year. (And his month and day names are altogether different, and there are two moons which complicates lycanthropy quite a bit, but I digress.)

i like it, although not sure about naming the new days like Saturday, i much prefer naming days after Germanic gods, how about Baldrsday, Heremodsday, and Dellingrsday?

Not a big thing I guess. I was thinking more of the planets than the gods, so they fit with Sunday and Monday as well as Saturday. But whatever. My friend's days are Onesday, Twosday, Threesday, etc., and that works too. It's not really important. They could just as well be Kirksday, Spocksday, and Scottsday (y'know, after the gods of modern mythology.)


I was under the impression that all 7 days were named after gods, since Saturn is a Roman god and the Sun and Moon are pagan deities. then there's obviously Tiw's day, Odin's/Wodens's day, Thor's day, Freyr's day.

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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby orthogon » Thu May 31, 2012 1:12 pm UTC

Fire Brns wrote:
cream wobbly wrote:
Mercurywoodrose wrote:funny how we have a 7 day week, in honor of the bible

The 7 day week predates the bible and the material that was cribbed from by quite a chunk.

Incidentally the chinese calender has 7 days, the last of which translates quite literally to Sunday.


It's Interesting that (according to Google Translate) Chinese has "Sun-day" but the other days are just numbered 星期一 ("weekday 1") to 星期六 ("weekday 6").
In Japanese all seven days have names like "sun-weekday": specifically (for Mon-Sun) moon(月) fire(火) water(水) wood/tree(木) metal/gold (金) earth (土) sun(日).
Those characters also correspond to the astronomical objects: Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Sun; this is more or less the same mapping as in the Romance languages (lundi, mardi, mercredi...). Presumably this mapping was adopted from Europe at some time.
Saturday and Sunday presumably changed to "sabbath" and "Lord's day" in Latin round about the time of Emperor Constantine.

Question: did Chinese previously use the Sun+Moon+five "elements" names, but later drop them in favour of numbers except for Sunday? Was this a Communist-era "simplification"?

I've only just realised that in Japanese, 土星, which ought to mean "Planet Earth" actually means "Saturn". I predict that this will cause serious sat-nav screw-ups in the future.
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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby am3930 » Thu May 31, 2012 11:52 pm UTC

Redefining the second would be catastrophic. People seem to be forgetting all the units that are based on it.

Suddenly you have to recalculate the Newton, Pascal, Watt, Joule, etc...
To much work.

Aside from that I wonder what the point is to any absolute time scale. Unless someone comes up with some formula that incorporates time since the big bang it doesn't matter and all practical purposes require precision over size. Generally speaking people aren't interested in accurately remembering 10 digit numbers. People seem to prefer to handle daily life with two.

I never understood the point of DST. The only explanation that I've ever heard was the claim that it somehow helps farmers who were under no obligation to plan their day by the clock to begin with. I can't help thinking that only one good thing has ever come of it. There was one morning I accidentally got up an hour earlier then necessary. That was the day I came up with the theory that all you need to be a morning person is a little music.
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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby J Thomas » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:12 am UTC

am3930 wrote:Redefining the second would be catastrophic. People seem to be forgetting all the units that are based on it.

Suddenly you have to recalculate the Newton, Pascal, Watt, Joule, etc...
To much work.


Physicists would go right on using the seconds they're used to. Americans would go right on using the seconds they're used to. 40 years ago some technically-minded Americans said that the USA had to switch to metric or we'd have trade problems and we'd lose our economic dominance. But hardly anybody listened. It would cost us a lot to retool, and we mostly didn't try. Now we've lost our economic dominance as predicted, and we still don't consider going metric. If somebody set up a reasonable timekeeping approach we'd ignore it, except for the military.

Aside from that I wonder what the point is to any absolute time scale. Unless someone comes up with some formula that incorporates time since the big bang it doesn't matter and all practical purposes require precision over size. Generally speaking people aren't interested in accurately remembering 10 digit numbers. People seem to prefer to handle daily life with two.


If we actually tried to use a system that simply counted seconds, people would use the last N significant digits. As many as they cared about for the current purpose. They would by convention drop the least significant digits they didn't care about, too. So if they counted them as decimal, for many purposes they might count in 100-second intervals, or even 60 second intervals if that's how it turned out. If they're looking ahead a day they might keep around 80,000 or 100,000 seconds. Five digits, or 3 digits if it's in decaseconds. I don't know that people would care to do that even starting fresh after some catastrophe, but to my way of thinking it beats time zones. Trying to simultaneously have a system where people in different places can easily communicate about time, and at the same time have the clock start near midnight every day all over the world, just fails. Those requirements just don't fit together.

I never understood the point of DST. The only explanation that I've ever heard was the claim that it somehow helps farmers who were under no obligation to plan their day by the clock to begin with. I can't help thinking that only one good thing has ever come of it. There was one morning I accidentally got up an hour earlier then necessary. That was the day I came up with the theory that all you need to be a morning person is a little music.


I knew dairy farmers who bitterly objected to DST. The trucks came for the milk an hour early, all of a sudden. So they had to milk the cows an hour early, all of a sudden. The cows didn't understand.

I think it was supposed to be good for workers who had to be at work when the whistle blew. When artificial light was expensive, then in the winter when you get say 10 hours of sunlight, you use part of one of them getting ready for work and getting there, then you work for 8 hours, with a lunch break, and you use the rest of the daylight getting home and getting a little done before dark. But in the late spring when there's 12 hours of sunlight, you're better off to have two hours to do things after work than you are to have one hour of sunlight in the morning ad one hour in the evening.

Nowadays when people don't give much thought to the cost of artificial light, it doesn't make much difference.
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Re: 1061: "EST"

Postby billyswong » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:55 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:
Fire Brns wrote:Incidentally the chinese calender has 7 days, the last of which translates quite literally to Sunday.


It's Interesting that (according to Google Translate) Chinese has "Sun-day" but the other days are just numbered 星期一 ("weekday 1") to 星期六 ("weekday 6").
In Japanese all seven days have names like "sun-weekday": specifically (for Mon-Sun) moon(月) fire(火) water(水) wood/tree(木) metal/gold (金) earth (土) sun(日).
Those characters also correspond to the astronomical objects: Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Sun; this is more or less the same mapping as in the Romance languages (lundi, mardi, mercredi...). Presumably this mapping was adopted from Europe at some time.
Saturday and Sunday presumably changed to "sabbath" and "Lord's day" in Latin round about the time of Emperor Constantine.

Question: did Chinese previously use the Sun+Moon+five "elements" names, but later drop them in favour of numbers except for Sunday? Was this a Communist-era "simplification"?

I've only just realised that in Japanese, 土星, which ought to mean "Planet Earth" actually means "Saturn". I predict that this will cause serious sat-nav screw-ups in the future.

"土" is not exactly the same as "earth" in English. In everyday use (in Hong Kong), 土 means soil and does not represent the ground so much. The planet Earth is called 地球, the "ball of ground", or Geo-Globe.


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