Hot answers tagged

133

Is Neil Tyson's claim that the Gregorian calendar is the “most accurate calendar ever devised” true? TL; DR: The Gregorian calendar qualifies as "most accurate" if one defines "most accurate" as a calendar that has a leap year every four years except for years that are divisible by 100 but not by 400. Tyson didn't mean that. He made it ...


52

False. That little outfit called NASA says this: The Persian Calendar, also known as the Iranian Calendar, is made available in a similar fashion for it is the most accurate of calendars. These calendars are included for the millions of people who use them regularly. But this is quite complicated, as the term "accuracy" for a calendar might mean quite ...


44

The oldest confirmed use of any version of this quote that I was able to find is from Ray Cummings' short story The Time Professor, published in the Jan. 8, 1921 issue of Argosy All-Story Weekly (thanks to mgkrebbs for pointing this one out): "I do know what time is," Tubby declared. He paused. "Time," he added slowly -- "time is what keeps everything ...


22

It's a fair statement to make, even if not true (and especially not when taken out of context). From the context it's apparent that he meant predictive calendars in widespread use. Also one can imply that fairly simple rules can be qualification needed for everyday use. I think it's obvious that with today's knowledge of mathematics and physics even the ...


15

Basically, Tyson's claim is roughly true considering that more accurate alternatives in actual use are either: observation-based, i.e. tweak the calendar at is goes (current Persian i.e. Solar Hijri calendar), or purely predictive, but diverge from the Gregorian one well in the future: Milanković's (="revised Julian') diverges in the year 2800 (making it ...


12

Based on the links in the comments (particularly the Wired one), I'm saying "No". Iran has a history of publishing fake news stories on its state-run news website. Predicting chaotic systems such as the weather has a long history of scientific improvement and scientists have found that you need to feed a lot of data into your model and that the accuracy ...


9

This is based on an April Fools joke posted on the NOVA Next blog, April 1, 2015. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/next/physics/lhc-accidental-rainbow-universe/ "Jessica Czerniski", who is quoted in the article, is a made-up name, and all Google hits for that name lead to copies of this article. I found no other indication of anyone by that name having ...


5

Evidence for it seems to be lacking. This is the closest I've found to an exploration of the sources and the most likely source for the claim is the 1907 account of explorer Theodore Davis regarding the Tomb of Yuya and Tjuyu (emphasis mine): From the neck of one of the vases hung shreds of mummy-cloth which had originally covered the mouth of the vase. ...


4

Could the world have only one time zone? Yes, it could. For example, everyone could use Swatch Internet Time or simply UTC or Epoch time. The drawback would be that breakfast would happen at completely different times in different countries. For example, if the world used UTC (and nothing else) then Australians would get out of bed in the morning at ...


2

The problem with all calendars is that the Earth's rotation is not stable, but decreasing in an unpredictable and irregular way. Or, to put this an other way, the traditional Gregorian calendar is not accurate at all. To keep such a calendar accurate, we have to sprinkle with leap seconds and leap days. If you want a really absolutely accurate calendar, ...


1

The baha'i calendar is defined to start each new year at the spring solstice. Whereas with most other calendars you can precalculate the date of say march 21st thousands of years in advance (eg to find out on which weekday it will fall) and then ask: is this still coinciding with the actual spring solstice? In the baha'i calendar you first need to check ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible