Thursday, December 31, 2009

What Saka (Indian civil calendar) year is it?

In 1752 America September 2nd was followed by September 14th. That's when the Britain and her colonies switched to the Gregorian calendar.

India still uses the Gregorian calendar, but, not surprisingly, they have many other calendars. The most official one is the "National Calendar of India, sometimes called the Saki calendar.

So what year will on the Saki Calendar when it's 2010 in America?
Calendar Converter

... A bewildering variety of calendars have been and continue to be used in the Indian subcontinent. In 1957 the Indian government's Calendar Reform Committee adopted the National Calendar of India for civil purposes and, in addition, defined guidelines to standardise computation of the religious calendar, which is based on astronomical observations. The civil calendar is used throughout India today for administrative purposes, but a variety of religious calendars remain in use. We present the civil calendar here...
This Fourmilab calendar page claims it's 1931, but elsewhere I've seen 1932. I hope the page is correct, because it has an awesome list of calendars including Julian, Hebrew, Islamic, Persian, Mayan, Bahai, French Republican and ISO-8601 (Y9K but not Y10K compliant):
ISO 8601 permits us to jettison the historical and cultural baggage of weeks and months and express a date simply by the year and day number within that year, ranging from 001 for January 1st through 365 (366 in a leap year) for December 31st. ... ISO dates in this form are written as “YYYY-DDD”, for example 2000-060 for February 29th, 2000; leading zeroes are always written in the day number, but the hyphen may be omitted for brevity.

All ISO 8601 date formats have the advantages of being fixed length (at least until the Y10K crisis rolls around) and, when stored in a computer, of being sorted in date order by an alphanumeric sort of their textual representations. The ISO week and day and day of year calendars are derivative of the Gregorian calendar and share its accuracy.
The Fourmilab calendar page is a very cool, very old fashioned web 1.0 page -- really a historic document.

So what, you might wonder, is Fourmilab?

Glad you asked ...
... This site is developed and maintained by John Walker, founder of Autodesk, Inc. and co-author of AutoCAD. A variety of documents, images, software for various machines, and interactive Web resources are available here; click on entries in the frame to the left to display a table of contents for that topic. Items which span more than one category are listed in all...
John Walker. A wealthy and eccentric geek of the first golden age of computing. Wow.

His personal web site is a blast from the past -- frames! There are links like "nanotechnology and eschatology", "consciousness studies" (including retrospychokinesis - martial arts students change past) and "Palm utilities".

Despite the charming HTML 1.0 feel, the site is not dead. He has a blog.

Funny world.

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