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User Journal

Journal Journal: New Calendar

I though of a calendar system that is so simple and makes so much sense that I would have been surprised if it hadn't been proposed in the past (and it actually has).

It's a 13 month calendar with 28 day months, the 365th day would be special new year's day and not part of the count. It has many obvious advantages:
  • All months have the same length
  • All months start on monday
  • All years start on monday but new years day is still a day off (and a long weekend by definition)
  • Paydays would always be the same weekday
  • Financial Quarters (three months and a week) would always end on fridays
  • American style holidays (the third Thursday of...) could be given a date
  • Menstrual cycles would be easier to remember

Its disadvantages are rather limitations shared with the Gregorian calendar:

  • Since the lunar and solar calendar have by nature different periods, the lunar calendar would be out of synch with the new calendar.
  • A 365 day calendar would still need leap years (The earth would still take an extra 1/4 of a day complete a revolution around the sun). The guys at the "Calendar Change Splinter Group" propose a 13 day addition every 52 years but in my opinion having the solstice, equinox and other astronomical phenomena move by as much as 13 days is not acceptable. In fact any correction more than four years apart is unacceptable.
  • For getting rid of leap years we need to have 6 unaccounted hours per year. This obviously can not be done at once since the sun would rise at noon (that is why in the Gregorian calendar they are accumulated over 4 years, a whole day correction doesn't affect the time-of-day clock). Half an hour could be added every two months, but this being a 13 month calendar one year it would be the odd months and the next one the evens. It also is unrealistic to expect people to adjust their clocks 6 times a year.
    For the moment my calendar will have 48 hours new year day every four year, maybe in sync with the olympic games®


Journal Journal: G-mail: Ads are a Good Thing®

I've had G-mail for around two weeks. Besides being all around nice and better than the .mac account that I pay for, the ads can be a plus.
  A work related message came accompanied by an ad for lperf a free network performance tool from the University of Illinois' National Laboratory for Applied Network Research. I don't know why they would pay for a Google ad but this tool is exactly what we need. The rest of the ads haven't been useful but it's funny to see what comes up.


Journal Journal: AvantGo on MacOS X

On the same day that Palm announced that it will not be supporting the Mac in their next OS I found this wonderful conduit that allows AvantGo to work with MacOS 10.3 (Panther).
Apparently Mark/Space announced that they will fill the gap with their missing sync product. I've had a great experience with their software, since I've a clié that isn't supported natively by the MacOS. Visiting the Mark/Space site it appears that they also have a product to use AvantGo but MAL Conduit is free.
Unfortunately when I tried to see the Slashdot channel it said that my IP had been banned and I'm too lazy to try to clear this out.

Journal Journal: The Fine-Structure Constant

I consider myself a little bit informed regarding physics so I was somewhat surprised to read in John Rigden's fine book that "The Fine-Structure Constant is recognized as one of the most important constants in physics ". I used to know by heart the electron's charge and Planck's constant (for a solid-state class) but I had never heard about this constant. It's represented by the letter "alpha" and its value is 1/137.0359895.
The following measurements among others result in figures very close to this constant:
  • Planck's constant divided by the mass of the neutron
  • The square of the charge of the electron divided by Planck's constant
  • The magnetic moment of the electron
  • The energy state of the muonium atom, in which an electron orbits around a muon

OK, that last one was a reality check. It made me feel less informed than what I thought.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Moon Photography

It's amazing the cool moon pictures one can get with the cheapest telescope and even a 1.3 Megapixel camera. This renewed my interest in Astronomy (although not for long). Now I want a higher resolution camera to get some planets and messier objects.

Journal Journal: New MacOS stuff

The .mac addessbook was working for a short while. it took them some time (days) to change the message to "Coming Soon" so it's obvious that they had some problems, but now it IS working OK. the new apps were also delayed. I got iPhoto 2 but it really isn't that much of an improvement. I have no use for iMovie or iDVD but I'm trying to get a copy of Keynote for evaluation ;-)

-- An israeli was in the "Columbia" so the TV has been covering it non-stop the whole day. sight...

Journal Journal: New Apple stuff

Today was the MacWrold Keynote and there's lots of new wonderful stuff (besides the new powerbooks I mean). I had been playing with iSync and iCal already but now they turned on .mac synchronization which means I can see the contacts from clié in any browser anywhere. Safari, their new browser, didn't work too great for me, I'm back with chimera for the time being but it looks like a great beta anyways. I don't need iDVD so the new "pricing" for the iApps is OK with me and "KeyNote" is something that I would buy (but I'm not sure that for $100). You can subscribe to my Mexican Holidays calendar here (Supposedly because I'm not sure the URL is comming out OK)
User Journal

Journal Journal: GPS Drawing

Well, this is my first entry. I hope I can update this thing once in a while (not like my site that I've pretty much abandoned for a long time). This weekend I took the GPS for a drive and plotted the results in my site. Since the last time I played with it new software came out to interface the Garmin with an iBook under OS X. This one is in Japanese, the speed graphs came from it, but the coolest one up to now is flighttrack . Unfortunatelly the Garmin doesn't save elevation information for the trackpoints.
I'm still looking for a port of the BSD library that downloads the data from the GPS, I had it running under 10.1.5 but now it isn't running under Jaguar and I can not find the sources.

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"I'm not a god, I was misquoted." -- Lister, Red Dwarf