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365.24 days

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An ancient calendar

An ancient calendar

This is, again, another mystery to me.

Why are there EXACTLY 365.24 days in a year? Did we somehow come to decide it or was there a better reasoning behind it? Well, being the curious (and perhaps, illogical) person I am, I set out to investigate it.

By our reckoning, a year translates to the following:

1 week = 7 days

4 weeks = 28 days

1 month = 4.34812141 weeks

1 year = 12 months = 12 × 4.34 × 7 = 364.56

…which is roughly equivalent to the exact number of days there are in a year.

But of course, if we were to discuss days, weeks, months in general, we can’t talk of one and not of the history of calendars.

Historic artifacts have shown that our earliest attempts at recording time dated all the way back in 10000 – 28000 BC back in the early Stone Ages, or the Palaeolithic Era, as some may know it.

From then on, three types of calendars have proliferated across cultures and religions.

1. Lunar

A lunar calendar, eponymous to its name, depends on the phases of the moon to have a date assigned to it. If I understood Wikipedia correctly, apparently, every lunar year, it drifts from the solar year (one that is most used around the world) by 12 days, which doesn’t realign until every 33 years. However, most lunar calendars aren’t actually pure lunar calendars, since they won’t be in sync with the rest of the world otherwise (imagine that your year has 11 less days all year, that’s disastrous!). We call those lunisolar calendars, which are, simply, lunar calendars, except for the addition of an intercalary month (an extra month) that helps balance out the disparity.

2. Solar

We’re probably most familiar with this one. The solar calendar that’s also the most widespread in the world is the Gregorian calendar, after Pope Gregory XIII, who proposed it for ubiquitous use after Dr. Aloysius Lilius’ model of recording time. Surprisingly, for a calendar as accurate as this, it spread slowly throughout the ages since its decree (24th February 1592). This reflects accurately the relative position of Earth while orbiting around the sun, and thus, the four seasons caused by our orbital track.

3. Lunisolar

As mentioned above, some cultures prefer to use the lunar calendar for various reasons, however, because it’s unable to synchronize with the solar calendar perfectly, which is more widely used that a lunar calendar, they have to add intercalary months to help even out the difference. An example would be the Chinese calendar.

So, why exactly are there 365 days in a year?

Well, as we’ve seen, 365.2425 days, or 365 days, 5 hours, 49 minutes and 12 seconds is the amount of time required to orbit around the Sun, which gives us seasons, and since they interchange on a rotary basis, one such cycle would qualify for a year, logically.

The real question, then, would be: why are there 7 days in a week when:

365 days / 12 months = 30.42 days

30.42 days / 4 weeks = 7.60417 days / week ?

Probably…because we can’t conceive the notion of having 7 days 14 hours 30 minutes per week. If we rounded up, we’d have more time that actually exists, so the viable option, then, is to round down.

Pretty long-winded for something so trivial, eh?

What do you think? Do drop in a comment here!! XD

Source of photo:

Written by imicrothinking

November 2, 2009 at 4:45 pm

The cleanaholics complex

with one comment

Today, I had a revelation. Through one of the stupidest mistakes I could make.

When summer started (27th of June for me, to be precise), I initiated some of my efforts at online marketing as a sideline project, however, it was unstructured. I had a look at several emerging trends online, well, it should be ‘emerged’ trends, strictly speaking. Social media is the Zeitgeist now. Everybody’s talking about it, more like talking on it, because of its increasing spread in popularity. The idea is simple, after I watched some videos from Perry Belcher, my ‘social (media) hero’ (1), it’s simply social network aggregation. For me, though, it was a new thing, because I’d never log on to check the status of my social media profiles in various platforms, no matter how often my friends bug me to do it. Well, now’s a pretty good chance to check it out, isn’t it? XD

Towards the end of the summer, after a long rest (euphemism for laziness…XP), I started looking at various aspects of online marketing and started educating myself on the sideline  about things like:

–          HTML/CSS
–          Graphics design
–          Booklet design
–          Marketing theories
–          Social psychology theories
–          Social media exploration
–          Social media aggregation

…and spent about a week on each of these since the 20th of August. So, strictly speaking, this is the sixth serious week of my online marketing effort, because all the stuff I did before was either irrelevant, or simply, was too fractured for documentation. (Trust me, all the experts have a lot to say about taking action, but it’s not action that’s difficult, it’s documenting what you do that’s both onerous and difficult!)

However, it wasn’t until the fourth week that I saw a need for a timetable, a structure which I can use to help implement and direct my marketing efforts. In the beginning, it just wasn’t necessary. I mean, if you’ve ever delved into HTML, CSS, graphics and booklet design, you’d know that it’s pretty much fixed, in terms of the stuff you learn. For example, there’s only so many CSS attributes and HTML tags that you can ever use(2). Graphics tailored online are only ever designed in a certain software environment (I use Fireworks primarily, since it’s the easiest, I think), and for novices, like myself, if you wanted to integrate graphics with learning web design, the basic level design skills are easily learnt using existing tools in-built in Fireworks, so that’s pretty much done and all that.

Up until then, I was following tutorials from the W3C (3) (the NPO which develops and maintains web standards) and from Smashing Magazine (4), so all my efforts at learning can pretty much be summed up in one word – regular.

So, what happened?

On the fourth week, I started to get spurs of inspiration. Inspiration not to do with graphics, nor web design (heck, as you see with my graphics, you’ll see that I don’t do a lot of creative work XD), but to do with marketing. Up till then, it was all technical, technical, technical stuff, while everything was up and available on the WWW already! i.e. pre-designed templates

So, I started designing timetables, marketing and networking curriculums, and looked at productivity measures, so I can keep track of my pace of working. For two weeks, I studied marketing, social psychology and social media following that timetable, and then I realized this: I WASN’T GETTING ANYWHERE WITH THIS SCHEDULE!!!

This was bad. I had initially planned for this to be a one-time spinoff of my exploration towards the marketing field until the end of December (DX work on my birthday!!!), and I’m already halfway and still haven’t made a single dime, not a significant number of followers, nor a list, NOTHING!!!

This is big.

And I realized. Realized the irony in this. While implementing a framework for my work, I was SORELY LIMITING MY WORK TIME!!! (5) I was doing six one-hour sessions on a daily basis, and three hours of programming, excluding time to rest, but because I was flitting between some completely different (but not unrelated) areas on the same day, I wasn’t getting anything done!

Principle #1: Focus, focus, focus. (6)

So, in the end, here’s the dilemma and compromise.

The dilemma: well documented action (slow implementation) vs. not-as-well documented action (fast implementation)

…and the compromise: To keep doing what you’re doing (and lose out) or to throw away all the efforts at organizing your life and use extension strategies to better your life (and wait for the amelioration).

That’s pretty much my story. I feel so much more inspired now that I’ve written this entry!

But there is one thing left. You might be thinking now, ‘how’s the heck is this related to being a cleanaholic?’

I called it a cleanaholics complex because it’s exactly that. On the side, we might watch cleanaholics, namely – housewives  (our mothers or female spouses) tidying the house every day, but not seemingly doing much or doing it in an organized way. WRONG!!! When you have kids especially, it’s impossible to keep an orderly state in our houses. It’s impossible, I can guarantee you that. (Inspired by a show on Discovery Home and Health in which there’s a relative/friend of a mom with dissenting opinions about how they manage the household and take over for the weekend. Rate of success? Flat-out zero.(7))

So, the solution?

Something that I learnt from face reading (8). You find orderliness in chaos (and vice vesa), which I just learnt from marketing…manifested.

Tell me what you think! XD

Download links

Download here: My naive timetable XD


  1. Visit Perry’s blog with awesome content at and . Truly an inspiration to all marketers!!! (UPDATE: 30.09.09, later on in the day: Just found out he’s discontinuing his blogs!)
  2. Not underestimating the power and beauty of CSS! Heck, I’ve just started Java, and I still think CSS is more complex, in terms of its variations!
  3. The web consortium’s official portal for learning XHTML, HTML, CSS, XML, JavaScript, PHP, MySQL among many other languages.
  4. Houses one of the best web designer consortiums online. It has some excellent tutorials in various design software, most popular including Fireworks and Photoshop.
  5. My naïveté…
  6. by Mark Joyner, feature on Wall Street Journal, a program which comes completely at no cost targeted towards self-improvement. It’s really a sockdolager of a program. XD
  7. If you guys happen to remember the name of the show, do tell me! Email me at: . Thanks !! XD ~
  8. 「故男相,虽固属阳,但必须带阴,以和之。女相虽固属阴,必须有阳,以顺之。」- 李英才师傅

(gu4 nan2 xiang4, sui1 gu2 shu2 yang2, dan4 bi1xu1 dai4 yang2, yi3 he2 zhi1. Nu3 xiang4 sui1 gu4 shu2 yin2, bi1 xu1 you3 yang2, yi3 shun4 zhi1.)
What this means, literally, ‘A male, though whose countenance has a tendency towards yin, must bring yang, to neutralize. A female, though bearing a visage heavily yang, must contain yin, to equalize.’ The implications are simply this: a state cannot exist on its own. It must bring a wisp of its extreme counterpart, lest its existence ceasing. If you’re trying to become organized, it’s almost certain that you’ll have times of non-conformity (when things don’t go according to plan.) Don’t worry about it! As they say, ‘a good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.’ Ancient sages are rarely wrong, if ever.

Written by imicrothinking

September 30, 2009 at 9:07 pm