20120616

Captain Picard Day

I was listening to the Skeptics' Guide to the Universe today and the first thing they talked about was Captain Picard Day.  This refers to an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation in which there is an annual event to celebrate the ship's Captain, Jean-Luc Picard.  Since the episode occurs on stardate 47457.1, this was used as a basis to determine the calendar date.  If you know anything about stardates, you know that there is no reliable way to convert between stardates and calendar dates, although there are a number of different formulas used by trekkers.

Apparently, someone calculated this stardate to correspond with 2370 June 16 (186850), so every June 16 is Captain Picard Day.  Of course, someone else figured it is November 4 (186991), while others apparently go by the television air date on 1994 January 10 (49362).  There are plenty of other possibilities, e.g. March 11 (186754).  Plus, the stardate was given later in the episode, and probably refers to a date several days after Captain Picard Day.

If we accept, as most do, that there are 1000 stardates in a year, and that 47xxx represents one year, then 47457 is 45.7% from the beginning of that year, or about 167 days.  If the stardate year starts on January 1 and 47xxx represents 2370, then day 167 would be June 16.  Of course, this contradicts some references in various episodes, so the stardate year may begin on some other date of the calendar.  For instance, 54868.6 must take place on 2378 April 6 (189702), suggesting that 47000 is 2369 September 10 (186572).  There are some who even dispute that 1000 stardates are exactly one year long.

At the risk of sparking a holy war, I would say that since it's all bullshit, it does not matter what date we pick.  Happy Captain Picard Day!

MJD 56095.1

MetricTimeAngle.com


I originally started this site to sort out all the various decimal time and metric time proposals.  I imagine that in the past many people thought up the idea in isolation, rarely getting much notice, until the Internet and World Wide Web came along and then suddenly there was a plethora of web sites devoted to different versions of decimal time.  I collected all the proposals, compared and discussed them with others.  It sure seemed like a lot of people were interested in the idea, and many of them were promoting their own ideas.  Then it stopped.  It seems that once the information was out there, there was no reason for people to reinvent it.  Instead, they could just read about it on Wikipedia, or on sites like mine.  They could learn that it had already been tried hundreds of years ago, that it is currently in use by scientists, that there have already been many proposals to reform the way we tell time, and that not much is likely to change any time soon.

But occasionally, a new one pops up.  MetricTimeAngle.com defines a new metric unit, the earth-second or esecond (e), equal to the French decimal second, or 0.000 01 day.  "Earth clocks" divide the day into 100 ke (kilo-earth-seconds) equal to 14.4 standard minutes.  This just happens to be the traditional Chinese name for the same interval, although this is not mentioned.  It is also equal to de Rey-Pailhade's cé.  "Earth Time" starts from midnight UTC with 00.00, with no local time zones.  He also defines new degrees for angles and coordinates, dividing the earth's circumference into 100 kd.

The author says:
get a 100 ke earth clock. You may download one from www.MetricTimeAngle.com, and very soon your mobile phone company will provide you a downloadable one. And the best news is that a couple of clock manufacturers have started designing these new earth clocks and watches that you can buy shortly. Watch the news at www.MetricTimeAngle.com.
Will the world embrace this proposal for metric time and angle? Based upon hundreds of years of very similar proposals, I'd say not likely.  Of course, when the mobile phone apps are published I will post about it here, along with all the existing decimal time apps.

MJD 56094.827