Whims Whimper: Left over ideas, episode 1

Two thoughts that don’t merit a separate post of the own:


October 4th marked the 434th year since the introduction of the Gregorian Calendar.  The system for adding leap years reduced errors in the calendar to within one day every thousand years, and will only be wrong if the Earth’s orbit speeds up or slows down.

I am not entirely a fan.  We still need another calendar reform, to get rid of this “Thirty days hath November” nonsense.  If I were in charge, January to May would thirty one days (155 days in total), and June to December would have thirty days (210, thus 365 in total).  Leap days would happen on December 31st.  It’s simpler, easy to remember, and makes the calendar more consistent.  The only problem then would be technology (e.g. watches, software) that would need adjusting to the new calendar.

On September 29th, the google doodle was for Ladislao José Biro’s birthday.  Biro invented what has become one of the most environmentally wasteful products ever made, the ballpoint pen. Ballpoints are usually not refillable, easily broken, and mostly plastic.

As a left handed person, I especially loathe the ball point pen because it was made to be pulled, not pushed.  The balls jam and ink does not flow properly when writing left handed – a fault of the pen design, not the writer. In the past three years, I have switched back to fountain pens for multiple reasons.  They are refillable and thus less wasteful.  It is far easier to write left handed with a fountain pen.  They add a sense of style and uniqueness, and often get a reaction from people when I take them out to write in banks, offices or even with my students and their parents.