Re: Metric Time (was Re: Why not 13 months? (Was La Systeme Metrique))

Joel Rubin (
14 Oct 1995 15:35:43 GMT

Actually, some calendars DO have 13 months sometimes. The Jewish, Chinese and
Moslem calendars are all based on lunar months. But 12 lunar months is about
11 days short on a year. The Moslems don't do anything (probably because they
started out as desert nomads) and, as a result, Ramadan is not in the same
season in different years.

However, the Jews and the Chinese add an extra month every so often. The
Jewish-Babylonian calendar adds an extra month 7 times in 19 years according
to a formula. The Chinese add it when they perceive, according to observation,
that it is necessary. (and there is a big deal right now because a leap month
may be the eighth month and that is bad luck)

I don't think that metric is that big a deal when you can do calculations on
computer or calculator. Computers generally use binary (although there are
some decimal instructions in some CPU's) so who cares if there are 100
centimeters in a meter or 12 inches in a foot?

However, in a smaller world, we DO need standardization. The Imperial gallon,
used in Britain and Canada, is 160 ounces; the U.S. gallon is 128 ounces and
the ounces are a bit bigger than Imperial ounces. There is probably nothing to
standardize on but metric.