Complimentary days
Complimentary days 2
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It was the 18th of Serenum, the six month in the Pax Calendar...

One morning, not so long ago, my youngest son and I were making the best of lockdown school at home. My wife and I are tag-teaming our kids’ schooling, her a REAL TEACHER and I, a curious creator. And so it came to pass that we found ourselves going through a photocopied page of math questions. The last of which was this:
lazy question-80
As per usual with maths questions, the tone is definitive - there is only one answer, so work it out.

But hold on a minute there, a keen eye acutely aware of how their own age counting works, may suggest to the grand inquisitor here that a satisfactory answer would depend on knowing the precise date of the sad demise of Professor Newton, and whether that occured before or after his date of birth in the calendar year. And as per usual with maths questions, there is no way to make such a suggestion, because the grand inquisitor is a piece of paper.

Oh, come on now, just take one number away from the other and move on. That’s clearly what this question is asking for!

I know, I know - but I don’t have time for lazy questions. So it’s device-out and straight to the biggest bucket of knowledge on the internet for me and my youngster >>> Wikipedia.


As it turns out, the answer is not that simple. You see, Sir Professor Isaac of Newton was so clever, he was born in BOTH 1642 and 1643.

The Julian calendar, proposed by and named after Julius Caesar (even though it was actually Greek thinking) was the calendar used in Britain during the lifetime of Isaac Newton. The Gregorian calendar wasn’t adopted in Britain until 1752, roughly two centuries after a Pope called Gregory decided it would be a good idea to give the Julian calendar a bit of a tweak.
Rabbit hole
So, Isaac Newton was born on 25th December 1642 (according to the Julian Calendar) and 4th Jan 1643 (according to the Gregorian). I’m starting to think that Wikipedia wasn’t around when these maths questions were formulated…


So you can just create your own calendar? The young feller boldly asks.

That’s nothing, I say, you want to check out what the French were up to post revolution, with the French Republican calendar. Turns out pretty much anyone can make a calendar. Making it stick with the citizens though, is another thing entirely.

The French Republican Calendar consisted of 10-day weeks (how very metric! I bet the workers simply loved it…) with 3 weeks in a month. 12x3x10 = 360, so they added 5 or 6 complimentary days to the end of each year.

But there are some lovely ideas here too. Keen to unpeel society from the superstitions of the church, the saints days were replaced with earth-related names. Grape day. Horse day. Sandstone day. They renamed months too, giving them names that related to the seasons, rather than old deities. Windy month. Misty month.

Suddenly liberated by this new knowledge of old patterns, an unmissable opportunity presented itself to change the world forever. For surely, only a 9-year-old in Lockdown has the keen sense of awareness to set in store a brave new order of time itself.


Having an appreciation of patterns and order, my young apprentice immediately adopted a 28-day month consisting of 4 weeks of 7 days (power to the workers!) 13x28 = 364, with the 13th month incorporating one or two extra days (holidays for the workers!) to make up 365/366.

And with the help of Google Translate, to each month he gave a Latin name, inspired by the current school curricular focus on the Romans (thumbs down to the Romans, thumbs up to the Celts!), which provided a layer of abstraction and an air of irrefutability.
28th of Rutilante
Pax Calendar
And with the help of The Noun Project, he bestowed on each month an icon, and then set about making some special days. Because we all need special days.

And he saw that it was good. The sun set, and the sun rose.


17th of Messis
Then came a new problem and a new question. How do I calculate which day today is, in the Peace Calendar? (For that was the name it had been given.) After a few hours on Scratch, and some help from his big brother, a computerised Pax Calendar was created.

So… feel free to adopt this new calendar for this new time as you see fit. It took some time for the Gregorian Calendar to catch on, so it might be a month or two before this goes truly global...
The original pax calendar
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