20091229

The 00s

There are only a couple of days left in this decade and I still don't know what to call it.  The ohs?  The zeros?  The two-thousands?  The hundreds?  The aughts?  The BBC is calling it the noughties.  Most people seem to refer to it simply as "this decade".  Next week, they'll be calling it "last decade".  What is the proper name for the years 2000-2009 of the Common Era?

MJD 55194.5

20091225

Metric time

Many, perhaps most, references to decimal time of day refer to it as "metric time".  I have noticed, however, that advocates of the metric system get annoyed by those who want "metric time" added to the metric system, because time is already included!  Although the original metric system did not include a unit of time interval, the modern SI metric system does: the second.  Standard metric prefixes are commonly applied in scientific use, including milliseconds, microseconds, nanoseconds, etc.  However, larger metric units are not as common, and SI has compromised by allowing non-decimal multiples, such as minutes, hours and days, to be used with metric units.  So the problem with metric time is not that there is none, but that metric and older units are being used together.

Any arbitrary unit of time would work as a metric base unit.  The second has been adopted, but it could have been the day or hour or anything else.  The real issue is how to divide the day so that people can organize their activities.  The metric system does not help, since there are 86.4 kiloseconds in a day.  So instead we still use hours and minutes.

MJD 55190.3

20091222

An introduction to decimal time

I just came across this page on the world-time-zones.org website.  It does a pretty decent job of describing decimal time.  I have a few comments about the actual decimal times displayed there, however.

20091215

New Stardates

I just watched the newly released DVD of the Star Trek movie, and I noticed that the stardates are different from the original series and its spin-offs. 

20091214

Decimal time in science fiction

My first encounter with decimal time was through science fiction.  Star Trek used stardates, which were originally four digit numbers plus one decimal.  In college, I learned that astronomers actually use numbers similar to that to date star observations, called Julian Dates, which use the decimal to represent the time of day.  Decimal time standards are also found in various other science fiction works, like Battlestar Galatica, Metropolis, Asimov, etc.  The Doctor does not use decimal time AFAIK, but I would not be surprised if some alien race did at some point in the lengthy history of the show.

MJD 55179.7

20091212

Doctor Who

There's not enough decimal time stuff happening to keep this blog active, so I am going to talk about other interests, one of which is science fiction.  I have discovered that BBC America is going to air new Doctor Who specials for the next three weeks.  Here are the dates and times:
  • The Waters of Mars: Saturday, December 19, 9:00 pm EST/PST  (JD 2455185)
  • The End of Time, Part One: Saturday, December 26, 9:00 pm EST/PST (JD 2455192)
  • The End of Time, Part Two: Saturday, January 2, 8:00 pm EST/PST  (JD 2455199)
The two specials that aired a few months ago are being repeated this week, which means that all the episodes for the entire year will be shown in the coming month.  These are the final episodes with David Tennant playing the Doctor.  There will also be a one hour doc saluting him.

MJD 55177.7

20091209

Times on this blog

To the right you can now view the "current decimal time", which I will explain.

The local decimal time is in French Revolution format, with ten decimal hours per day, one hundred minutes per hour and one hundred seconds per minute, counting from local midnight.  Unlike the French revolutionaries, I made the midnight hour be 0 instead of 10.

MJD is the Modified Julian Date, in which the digits left of the decimal are a count of days, and the digits to the right are the time expressed as a fractional day counted from midnight GMT/UTC.  Thus, .98765 is the same as 9hd 87md 65sd GMT.

Swatch counts 1000 .beats per day, from midnight at their HQ in Switzerland, which is one hour ahead of GMT.  Thus, @987 is the same as 9hd 87md Central European Time.

MJD 55174.3

20091203

Temps Decimal

I found an interesting book in French on Google Books called Temps Decimal by J. de Rey-Pailhade, civil engineer of mines, published 1894.  He proposed  using the centijour (centiday), abbreviated , with metric submultiples such as decicé, etc.

MJD 55169.0

20091201

There's an app for that

There are, in fact, several decimal time apps for the iPhone.  I found three which display French decimal clocks.

First Post

I don't expect anyone to follow this blog, but in case someone stumbles upon it, I'll explain why I created it.

Before the Web, many individuals, including myself, speculated about the decimal reform of time, mostly in isolation from each other and from a wider audience. The early days of the Web saw many of these individuals posting their ideas online. Many of them were different from each other, while some shared similarities. I determined to make a survey of all of them, and to provide a forum for the proponents to interact. Alas, I was almost too late. Most of the existing sites were already stagnant, their authors having moved on to other interests, and with these sites already existing, and then with my own comprehensive site and later with Wikipedia, it seems that speculation was stifled by the glut of information on the subject.

My site never had more than a handful of followers, and eventually it was mostly me, talking to myself. When my site went down unexpectedly, I decided to simply let it go. I have not thought about it much since then, but recently I have come across a few things that I would have posted about on my forum, and I thought, why not just blog it?

So here is a place I will post occasional things about decimal time, or anything else that crosses my mind.

MJD 55167.0

[I've imported posts from an earlier version of this blog from 2008, which were "off-topic" for the old Decimal Time board.]