Leap Year Day

29 February 2012

February 29th: the most disruptive weekday of all time.

The leap year, or leap day, is the most disruptive aspect of the Gregorian Calendar. Not the leap year day itself, which keeps the calendar year aligned with the seasons, but making a leap year day a weekday throws what would otherwise be a reasonable calendar system out of whack.

If leap day were not a weekday, then it would be easier to follow the Gregorian Calendar. If we only look at the 365 days of the year, then the weekdays would progress regularly. Jan 1st 2012 fell on a Monday. Without a leap day, Jan 1st 2013 would be Tuesday, 2014 a Wednesday, 2015 a Thursday, 2015 a Friday, 2016 a Saturday, 2017 Sunday and so on. An even schedule of progressive weekdays. This would be the same situation for birthdays, holidays and observations based on dates (Groundhog’s Day, Halloween, Christmas and so on). However, because February 29th is a weekday, every four years (with omissions 3 days out of every 400 years) this progression is thrown off.

Also, observing the leap day two months into the year is more disruptive than if it were added at the end of the year (March used to be the first month of the Roman Calendar. The switch to January 1st didn’t include a change in the leap year observation. As a result, instead of the cycle of months and weekdays repeating itself every 7 years, they repeat themselves every 400 years, with lesser cycles every 28, but these are thrown off every century.

There are a number of strategies to deal with aligning one’s calendar to the year.

Lunar and lunisolar calendars (Chinese, Hebrew, Hindu, Muslim) avoid this by inserting embolismic lunar months periodically, so they are excluded from this comparison. They follow the moon and don’t have the same problems as do purely solar calendars.

The Egyptian Calendar had 12 months of 30 days, and an extra five days left over. They didn’t insert a leap year day (at least not initially, they were later brought into alignment with the Roman Calendar). This isn’t necessarily a big deal. The Mesoamerican calendar does the same dance. The Winter Solstice would fall one day later every four years. At that rate, it would take 1460 years for the calendar to drift with respect to the seasons to come around to its starting point again.

The way we measure the year varies a great deal. We generally accept the mean tropical year of  365.2421897 or 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, 45.19 seconds (as of Jan 1st 2000). The leap year is meant to account for that fraction of 0.2421897 or 5 hours, 48 minutes, 45.19 seconds. There are a number of schemes to account for it, some of which are more accurate than others.

Here’s a comparison of some of different leap year schedules:

Mean Tropical Year

0.242 189 7


Leap Year Schedule




1 day per 4 years

0.25 + 0.007 810 3


1 day per 4 years

- 3 days every 400 years

0.242 5 + 0.000 310 3

Persian Calendar

8 days every 33 years

0.242 198 52 *see below


1 day per 4 years

- 1 day every 128 years

0.242 18 75 -  0.000 002 2

*the Persian Calendar system is much more complex than indicated above, as it uses astronomical observations to determine its leap year schedule. As a result, it is the most accurate of the periods measured above, as it doesn’t measure itself against the mean tropical year, and takes variance into account.

The advantage to theAbysmal Calendar is the simplicity compared to the Persian. Also, the Leap Year day can be added or removed to ensure seasonal accuracy without disrupting the year of 52-weeks. This is one of the biggest advantages to observing the leap year day at the end of the year, and excluding it from the cycle of weekdays. One can add or remove leap seconds, minutes, hours or days, while keeping the rest of the year perpetual.

What do you think?

296 Days to Dec 21st 2012

Fractal Time

28 February 2012

Book notes that tie much of theAbysmal ramblings together.

Fractal Time – the Secret of 2012 and a New World Age (2001) by Gregg Braden

[check out the Cycles of Time posts from theAbysmal that touched on some of these same subjects]


p3 Time Code 1: We’re living the completion of a 5,125-year-long cycle of time – a world age – that the ancient Maya calculated would end with the winter solstice on December 21st, 2012.

p4 Time Code 2: Our ancestors recorded their experience of the last “end of time,”showing beyond a reasonable doubt that the close of one world age is the beginning of the next, and not the end of the world.

p11 “If we were to find that every aspect of our world is part of an ancient and ongoing cycle, such a discovery would give us a powerful new way to think of ourselves. It would imply that everything from the beginnings and endings of jobs and relationships to the exact years when war is waged and peace is declared is all part of  a cycle – a pattern that makes it possible to reveal the conditions for the future that we’ve already experienced in the past.”

p12 Time Code 3: New discoveries show that we can think of time as an essence that follows the same rhythms and cycles that govern everything from particles to galaxies.

Time Code 4: We can think of the things that happen in time as places within cycles – points that can be measured, calculated, and predicted.

p 13 Time Code 5: If we know where we are in  a cycle, then we know what to expect when it repeats.

p 14 Time Code 6: The Time Code Calculator shows us when we can expect the conditions of the past to repeat, not the events themselves.

[n.b. this emphasis on the conditions, not the events, needs to be stressed - not everything manifests itself in the same manner]

Chapter One – The Time Code Program: Finding our Future in the Cycles of our Past

I believe the future is only the past again, entered through another gate. –Sir Arthur Wing Pinero

Time is an indivisible whole, a great pool in which all events are eternally embodied… –Frank Waters

p20 “When we look a little closer at nature’s cycles, we find that each is part of  a larger one that unfolds within an even larger one and so on – nested cycles of time and energy that govern the rhythms of the universe and life. The familiar experience of day and night is a perfect illustration of how these nested cycles work. The hours of light and dark that we see daily are due to the way Earth rotates with respect to the sun, a cycle that takes about 24 hours. How long the light and dark of each day last, in turn, is linked to the way Earth tilts toward or away from the sun while it’s orbiting: the cycles that create the seasons of the year. How much our planet tilts is part of an even greater cycle that determines how long the seasons last over thousands of years.”

p24-5 “…if we know when a cycle begins and the pattern it follows, then we also know where and how it will end. Perhaps most important, if we know the conditions that a cycle brings, the we also know what to expect each time it reappears.”

Chapter Two – Our Journey Through Time: the Doctrine of World Ages

The Hindu religion is the only one of the world’s great faiths dedicated to the idea that the Cosmos itself undergoes an immense, indeed an infinite, number of deaths and rebirths. –Carl Sagan

our distant ancestors understood the true astronomical meaning behind the doctrine of World Ages. –John Major Jenkins

p37 “…the Hopi description of the events that ended each era is eerily similar to the history of the earth as it is preserved in the geological record. … there was a period of earthquakes and volcanic activity around 20,000 years ago. The ice age peaked about 11,000 years ago, and there was a deluge that is believed to have been the biblical Flood, which occurred approximately 4,000 to 5,000 years ago.”

p39 Time Code 7: Ancient traditions divide Earth’s 25,625-year orbit through the 12 constellations of the zodiac – the precession of the equinoxes – into five world ages lasting 5,125 years each.

p45 “[the Dendera zodiac disc] is obviously about here and now. … specifically…a celestial clock that is still ticking away the changes in our relationship to the heavens.”

p47 Time Code 8: the position of the earth within our galaxy creates powerful changes that signal the end of one world age and the beginning of the next. The knowledge of these cyclic changes is known as the doctrine of World Ages.”

p53-4 “The anonymous author of a 9th-century text, The Book of Thousands, describes a pattern of galactic cycles that last for 180,000 years each, ending with the conjunction of all the planets of our solar system in the beginning of the zodiac sign of Aries. What makes this account so interesting is that the last occurrence of such a conjunction was the same time that a global “deluge” covered the earth. According to the author’s calculations, the date of the conjunction was the day before the Kali Yuga began: February 17, 3102 BC.”

p54Time Code 9: The Vedic traditions describe an extended time of devotion expressed in action (bhakti), that began around 1898 and lasts well beyond the 2012 Mayan end date.

Chapter Three – the End of Time: Our Date with 2012

The ancients knew something which we seem to have forgotten. –Albert Einstein

p67 “In the absence of high-speed computers and complex software, [the Maya] calculated the movement of the earth and our entire solar system as it relates to the core of our own Milky Way galaxy.
“The key to the Mayan ‘galactic time’ was a 260-day count called the Tzolkin, or Sacred Calendar. Intermeshed with another 365-day calendar, called the Vague Year, the Maya viewed these two cycles of time as progressing like the cogs of two wheels – progress that would continue until the rare moment when one day on the Sacred Calendar matched the same on the Vague Year. That rare and powerful day marked the end of a 52-year cycle and was part of the even larger expanse of time known by the Maya as the great cycle.”

p70-1 “At the end of the cycle, our solar system, our sun,and our planet move into alignment with the core of the Milky Way galaxy, or more precisely, with the equator of the galaxy – an alignment that will not happen again for another 26,000.”

[n.b. the centre of the Milky Way, is a supermassive black hole called Sagittarius A*, which is 26,000 light years away from us]

p71 Time Code 10: The present world age began on August 11, 3114 BC. Its end is signalled by the rare alignment of our solar system with the core of the Milky Way galaxy on December 21, 2012 – an event that last occurred 26,000 years ago.”

Chapter 4 – the Key to the Universe: Time and Nature’s Most Beautiful Numbers

The history of the universe is, in effect, a huge and ongoing quantum computation… The universe is a quantum computer… As the computation proceeds, reality unfolds. –Seth Lloyd

p82 “The more we learn about our relationship to nature and time, the clearer it is that patterns and the cycles of time are more than simply an interesting phenomenon of life. The cycles of time are life. In fact it’s fair to say that for everything from the biology of DNA and the laws of physics to the history of our planet and the evolution of the universe, our world of matter follows very precise rules that allow things to ‘be’ as they are.”

p82-3 “Regardless of the scale, whether the cycles last for a nanosecond or for tens of thousands of years, the keys work the same way

  • The first key is the principle of fractals. These are the patterns that nature uses to fill the space of the universe.
  • The second key is the golden ratio. This is the number that determines how frequently nature repeats the fractals that fill the space.

p87 Time Code 11: Nature uses a few simple, self-similar, and repeating patterns – fractals – to build energy and atoms into the familiar forms of everything from roots, rivers, and trees to rocks, mountains, and us.

p89 Time Code 12: Everything we need to understand the universe lives in the simplicity of each piece of it.

To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour. –William Blake

p91 “Phi with an uppercase P is 1.618; and its close relative phi with a lowercase p, is .618. both are forms of the golden ratio.”

[n.b. Phi: uppercase Φ, lowercase φ, or math symbol ϕ]

p92 “Following are the first 20 members of [Leonardo] Fibonacci‘s numbers, which are known as the Fibonacci sequence: 1; 1; 2; 3; 5; 8; 13; 21; 34; 55; 89; 144; 233; 377; 610; 987; 1,597; 2,584; 4,181; 6,765; …”

p93-4 “The proportions of the human body are governed by the golden ratio:

  • ratio of navel height to total body height is .618
  • ratio of length of hand to that of forearm is .618
  • ratio of human face from brow to the chin is .618 of that from the chin to the crown.
  • the body’s ratios continue with additional proportions and even the location of organs determined by .618.

“The orbits of planets, such as Mercury and Venus, are approximated by the golden ratio.

“The spirals that form everything from the arms of the Milky Way galaxy to the vortices of a hurricane to the way hair grows on the human head and the pattern of seeds in a sunflower are governed by the golden ratio.”

p94 “…one complete turn of a DNA strand is 34 (angstrom units) in length and 21 wide. Each of these lengths is a member of Fibonacci’s sequence…”

p108-9 “In 1913, the mathematician Elie-Joseph Cartan (1869-1951) proposed a new kind of mathematics that would explain some of the mysteries of space-time that Einstein’s relativity theories couldn’t account for. The result was the Einstein-Cartan theory describing space-time as something that moves in a special way and follows a special path, which creates a special effect. The path is that of a spiral, and the effect is called a torsion field.”

p110 “The spiral that we see so commonly in the world is actually a special kind that is made from the numbers we explored previously as the Fibonacci sequence. It’s called a Fibonacci spiral.”

p110 “The evidence of spirals in energy and nature suggests that the waves of time follow the paths of those spirals. As they do, they create the torsion fields that move in cycles throughout the universe.”

Chapter Five – History Repeats in Love and War: Fractal Warnings for the Future

The eternal flow of time goes through cyclical periods of manifestation of the universe… –Alexander Friedman

p125 Time Code 13: Our knowledge of repeating cycles allows us to pinpoint times in the future when we can expect to see the repeating conditions of the past.

p140 Time Code 14: The Time Code Calculator can pinpoint personal cycles of love and hurt, as well as global cycles of war and peace.

Chapter Six – the End of Time Revisited: What Can We Expect?

The future has already happened, it just isn’t very well distributed. –William Gibson

p153 “From the results revealed to date, however, three principles have become apparent:

  1. the conditions of nature, including human events, do repeat themselves in cycles
  2. the conditions of one cycle often repeat with a greater magnitude of expression in a later cycle
  3. It’s the return of the conditions, rather than the events themselves, that can be predicted”

p154 Time Code 15: Patterns identified for an earlier time in history tend to repeat themselves with greater intensity at later dates.

p156 Time Code 16: Using a template of human events, Earth events, and celestial events gives us a consistent way to view the past as a realistic window to 2012

p159-60 “In 1993, an international team studying magnetoreception, the ability of our brains to detect magnetic changes in the earth… published the remarkable finding that the human brain contains ‘millions of tiny magnetic particles.’ These particles connect us, just as they do other animals, to the magnetic field of the earth in a powerful, direct, and intimate way.”

p160 “…magnetic fields have a profound influence on our nervous systems; our immune systems; and our perceptions of space, time, dreams and even reality itself.”

 What Can We Expect?


Early 2008

1,155 BC

13,824 BC



~7.5 Units ~10.5 Units ~5.2-7.25 Units



Sharp Increase Sharp Increase Sharp Increase



* Warming .6+/-.2C*Polar-Ice Collapse*Sea-Level Rise *Warming +1C*Polar-Ice Collapse*Sea-Level Rise *Warming +2C



*Multiple Wars*Collapsing Economy*Overextended Military *Collapse of Egypt’s 20th Dynasty*Multiple Wars*Overextended Economy *No Civilization as We Now Know It

 p166 “this summary shows the key conditions for the 2012 reference dates indicated by the Time Code Calculator for both the 5,125-year world age and the 26,000-year precession cycle. The similarities in teh conditions between these two vastly different times in our past are striking. If the cycles of nature follow the patterns of the past, these indicators give us a concrete idea of what we can expect in the 2012 transition between world ages.”

p169 Time Code 17: There is nothing in the geological record to suggest that Earth’s magnetic fields will reverse before or immediately following the 2012 cycle end date.

p170 Time Code 18: The Time Code template shows that the human, Earth, and celestial conditions of today are in the same range as the key reference dates of the past. In other words, the changes happening now are just what we’d expect for the end of the world age.”

Chapter Seven – Choice Point 2012: Armageddon or the Second Eden?

p188 “herein lies the key to understanding what quantum physics and the Mayan calendar may really be saying to us about our power in the universe. A growing number of scientists have arrived at an inescapable conclusion: there’s a place where all things begin, and that place is the realm of quantum energy. It’s the same realm that’s influenced by our thoughts, feelings, emotions, and beliefs. In this ‘no-man’s-land’ where all things are possible, the laws of time and space seem to break down and what scientists call ‘quantum weirdness‘ takes over. It’s also in this place that the atoms of matter are influenced by thought, feeling, emotion, and belief to become the reality of our world.”

p190 Time Code 19: There is a consensus among the best minds of our time that the current depletion of natural resources, exponentially growing population, global poverty, and competition for the necessities of life are converging toward a ‘bottleneck’ in time.

p192 Time Code 20: The results are conclusive: heart-based focus and living will have a direct effect upon the way we experience 2012 and our time of change.

p194 “It is well documented that the human heart generates the strongest magnetic field in the body, nearly 5,000 times stronger than that of the brain. This field creates a doughnut-shaped pattern that extends well beyond the physical body and has been measured at distances of five to eight feet from the physical heart.”

p194 “Certain layers of Earth’s atmosphere, along with the earth itself, generate what is now being called a ‘symphony’ of frequencies (between .01 and 300 hertz), some of which overlap the same ones created by the heart in its communication with the brain.”

p195 “In the words of Heartmath researchers, the relationship between the human heart and Earth’s magnetic field suggests that ‘strong collective motion has measurable impact on the earth’s geomagnetic field.'”

[Elizabeth Rauscher - Global Coherence Project/Initiative]

p195 Time Code 21: Faced with the greatest number and magnitude of potentially world-ending challenges in 5,125 years of human history, we now discover that the key to our transition lies in our collective feelings about the change.

p202 Time Code 22: December 21, 2012, s a rare and powerful window of opportunity for our collective emergence into our greatest potential

Time is the substance I am made of.
Time is a river which sweeps me along, but i am the river;
it is a tiger that devours me, but I am the tiger;
it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire. –Jorge Luis Borges

Selected Endnote Links:

Appendix A

The Time Code Programs

Note 1: conversion to absolute dates. For ease of use, the ‘modern’ dates (Gregorian dates) are converted to absolute dates in terms of the cycle itself.For dates after the year 0, this conversion is accomplixhd by adding 3113 (the number of years between the beginning of the Mayan great cycle in 3114 B.C. and the year 0) to the seed event (example for the year 2012: 3113 + 2012 = 5125)

Note 2: conversion of decimals to months. Some of the calculated dates create numbers to the right of the decimal point. These are portions (fractions) of the year indicated and may be converted into the corresponding month for greater accuracy using the following formula.

  • (Number to right of decimal / 12) x 100 = percent of the year
  • (Percent of the year x 12) / 100 = month of the year

Mode 1: When Can We Expect Something That Has Happened in the Past to Happen Again?

We need to pieces of information:

  • Input 1: the target date in the past
  • Input 2: the totla length of the cycle

Apply these steps:

  1. identify Gregorian date of seed event
  2. convert the Gregorian date to an “absolute” date in terms of the total cycle.
  3. calculate the lapsed portion of the cycle, and divide by the total length of the cycle
  4. calculate the phi ratio of the cycle’s lapsed portion (multiply by .618)
  5. calculate the cycle balance from the seed to the end
  6. apply phi ratio of lapsed cycle to the balance of the cycle to find the interval in years between the seed date and the next time it repeats
  7. add the interval to the absolute date to find next repeat (new seed date)
  8. convert back to Gregorian date

Example 1:

  • Input 1: the target year and month in the past (here using December 1941 for the attack on Pearl Harbor, 1941.12)
  • Input 2: the total length of th ecycle that tells us where we are in present time (5,125 years)
  1. identify Gregorian date: 1941.12
  2. convert to absolute date: 1941.12 + 3113 = 5054.12
  3. calculate lapsed portion of cycle as ratio: 5054.12/5125 = .986
  4. calculate phi of lapsed cycle: .618 x .986 = .609
  5. calculate cycle balance: 5125 – 5054.12 = 70.88 years
  6. apply phi ratio of lapsed cycle to the balance of the cycle to find the interval years: 70.88 x .609 = 43.17 years
  7. add the interval to the original seed date to find the next repeat date: 5054.12 + 43.17 = 5097.29
  8. convert back to Gregorian date: 5097.29 – 3113 = 1984.29 (March 1984)

using March 1984 as the next input date produces March 2001, and continuing along we then get September 2007 and finally April 2010. September 1983, the Soviets accidetally shot down Korean Air Flight 007, which heightened tensions between the USA & USSR. The USSR was planning a pre-emptive strike against the USA, who they were assuming would retaliate. The conditions for an attack were present, but did not come to be. In September 2001, the attacks on the Pentagon and WTC are well known. Unsure what situations would apply to the dates in 2007 & 2010.

297 Days to Dec 21st 2012

Rethinking a Good Night’s Sleep

27 February 2012

Eight hours  uninterrupted or segmented? – hmmzzz.

an article at Slashdot brought to my attention research that points to interrupted sleep, particularly in two segments, as the way in which we used to sleep. Interesting. I have read enough to know the importance of REM sleep to good health, but that doesn’t necessarily exclude sleep in two segments.

Book Notes on Chronobiology, Circadian Rhythm and Sleep:

from The Myth of the Eight-Hour Sleep

[historian Roger] Ekirch found that references to the first and second sleep started to disappear during the late 17th Century. This started among the urban upper classes in northern Europe and over the course of the next 200 years filtered down to the rest of Western society.

By the 1920s the idea of a first and second sleep had receded entirely from our social consciousness.

A few of Ekirch’s references include:

  • “He knew this, even in the horror with which he started from his first sleep, and threw up the window to dispel it by the presence of some object, beyond the room, which had not been, as it were, the witness of his dream.” Charles Dickens, Barnaby Rudge (1840)
  • “Don Quixote followed nature, and being satisfied with his first sleep, did not solicit more. As for Sancho, he never wanted a second, for the first lasted him from night to morning.” Miguel Cervantes, Don Quixote (1615)
  • “And at the wakening of your first sleepe You shall have a hott drinke made, And at the wakening of your next sleepe Your sorrowes will have a slake.” Early English ballad, Old Robin of Portingale
  • The Tiv tribe in Nigeria employ the terms “first sleep” and “second sleep” to refer to specific periods of the night

“People were becoming increasingly time-conscious and sensitive to efficiency, certainly before the 19th Century,” says Roger Ekirch. “But the industrial revolution intensified that attitude by leaps and bounds.”

Strong evidence of this shifting attitude is contained in a medical journal from 1829 which urged parents to force their children out of a pattern of first and second sleep.

I haven’t read Ekirch’s book, however, the commentary bears reading. If we are better suited to two segments of sleep, then best to change our behaviour, see what benefits, if any it holds, and schedule our nights to accomodate this new (or renewed) pattern.

Here’s Ekirch’s article in the NYT, Dreams Deferred.

298 Days to Dec 21st 2012

the Rise and Fall of Getting Together

26 February 2012

How to Use Our Time for the Greater Social Good

Previous Related Posts:

Once upon a time, there was this thing called the Olympiad. Starting in 776BC, the games were as much religious celebration as they were competition. Hostilities ceased in order that competitors might travel to the perform in the games without being molested. This is the spirit of the games that is completely and utterly absent from the current incarnation, which has become a corrupt money grab that uses athletes as product. It’s quite an undermining of the spirit of the events themselves. Athletics of the highest level.

The aspect of the ancient games I wanted to look at is the timing of it. The events began on the new moon, and ended on the full moon two weeks later. This is not the only such observation. Many cultures schedule activities during the waxing days of the lunar cycle, and consider the days after unlucky (or some equivalent). I find this whole idea of singular interest when organizing large groups of people for a common activity.

Think of the two weeks from the New Moon to Full Moon in terms of light. It starts in darkness, and progresses in 14 steps to bright, reflected sunlight. Aside from the pull on the tides, the Moon shifts from out of the Sun’s path to the opposite side of earth. The shift in gravity from one source (the Sun and Moon together at the New Moon) to two sources (the Sun at one side of the earth, the Moon at the opposite side). Along with this increasingly distinct gravitational pull comes the increase in reflected solar light and energy.

In part, this is the reason for planting according to the phases of the Moon. Not only does the Moon effect the tides, but groundwater levels as well. A very general rule of thumb is to plant above-ground plants at the New Moon, and let the Moon pull it out of the ground, and underground plants at the Full Moon, where the gravity diminishes. It’s more complicated than that, but that’s the general idea.

So too with group activities. Bring together people and resources at the New Moon. As the pull of the Moon, and as light & energy grow, put our collective energy together towards whatever the project’s goals are, in time for the Full Moon. After this the winding down, whether that be filling out reports, cleaning up, and taking time to recuperate will give everyone a breather until the next New Moon.

Using this same pattern with the annual fluctuations of the day length (note: only helpful in the higher latitudes). Beginning a longer-term project at the Winter Solstice (it is theAbysmal New Year after all), when the length of daylight is shortest, working the project for 6 months until we come to the central month of the year: 4 weeks of the event itself, whether it be a concert, conference, or holiday (Paris empties out in August, a ritual we would do well to emulate). Then the following 6 months are denouement, preparing for the winter months indoors (or underground to use the lunar gardening model).

Activities that encourage participation are a good start, whether it be a community lantern festival, or a non-competitive sport like Chinlone, the more we participate in the preparation, the more stake we have, and the more we tend to enjoy it, as opposed to simply showing up as an audience, or worse, as a consumer.

theAbysmal Calendar has several time periods which could be used in this way. There is the day itself, which I think we’ve got figured out, in terms of starting in the morning, peaking at noon, and winding down in the afternoon. This also follows our circadian rhythm, as a post-lunch slump in energy level is typical.

The Week is a seven-day cycle, although the work week tends to be Monday to Friday, with Wednesday as the peak (or hump, as we say in the parlance of our times).

The period of 13 is effective this way as well. 13 months/year, 13 weeks/quarter, and why not 13 days? The Mesoamericans used them. The 7th is the central period with 6 months/weeks/days before and after. It would be a better way to plan, as it schedules the peak of activity and gives everyone a breather, which is in keeping with the natural order, as opposed to the ongoing sustained levels of the mechanized world (breakdowns nonwithstanding).

So here’s the deal – December 21st 2012, we collectively agree to get together, on a global scale here, and work together towards Month 6 on theAbysmal Calendar. In Canada, the Summer Solstice is Aboriginal Day, however, I feel it would be better to take the whole month, and do it right. To celebrate the first peoples of wherever we are, to integrate the subsequent peoples and their cultures, and play nice together. I personally recommend drums, dancing, ball games and food. Don’t forget to dress up in costume, because we want to set this apart from the everyday.


299 Days to Dec 21st 2012

Stargazing in the Modern Era

25 February 2012

Polluting Darkness with Light

Part of the living in our age of technological marvels are the drawbacks. Certainly the advantages are mentioned with greater frequency, but there are disadvantages that need to be acknowledged in order to be addressed. We haven’t looked too much at the troubles associated with the electrical infrastructure. At least until there’s a blackout, and then, somehow, we manage.

Being bathed in light 24/7 rivals the moon for attention. Before the modern era, the Full Moon would have illuminated the night with startling brightness. It would have been natural to be attuned to its rhythm. Now we’re lucky if we notice it at all. And therein lies one of the biggest disadvantages to surrounding ourselves with light all through the dark hours. We hide the biggest marvels from ourselves, preferring astronomy apps.

If we are truly going to determine what future we want for ourselves, it is critically important to remember from where we’ve come. Our physical selves are tied to the natural cycles of light around us, and so, too, are our cultures. To wash these away in the latest gimmicky gizmos is to do our entire history a disservice.

300 Days to Dec 21st 2012

the Body Clock Guide to Better Health

24 February 2012

Listening to the pulse of your own rhythms.

The Body Clock Guide to Better Health – How to use your body’s natural clock to fight illness and achieve maximum health (2000) by Michale Smolensky and Lynn Lamberg

1. It’s about TIME

p5-6 “We report evidence from studies at leading medical centers worldwide showing that:

  • Many illnesses disrupt body rhythms.
  • The signs and symptoms of many illnesses vary across the twenty-four-hour day over the month, and around the year.
  • Time of day patterns help identify causes of many illnesses.
  • Chronotherapy, or timed treatment, aims to correct these underlying causes or reduce their adverse impact.
  • Glitches in the body clock itself may undermine health.
  • The time of day you take diagnostic tests or undergo medical procedures alters the results.
  • Time-of-day norms are known for many rhythms.
  • The time you take medicine matters.
  • Nondrug treatments may help correct underlying disturbances in the body clock.
  • How you organize your daily life, with respect to sleep, meals, exercise, and other factors may make  symptoms better or worse, and hasten or slow your recovery.

p9 “…the way your body absorbs, uses, and excretes drugs varies over the day. The same dose of medicine may be too much at one time, and too little at another. It may not even work at all.”

2. Your body is a Time Machine

p13 “In any one person, in all of us, body temperature, blood pressure, pulse and breathing rates, concentrations of hormones in the blood, hand dexterity, sensitivity to pain, and all other bodily functions differ markedly over the twenty-four-hour day. These variations are not random. They occur in synchrony with our habitual daily pattern of activity and rest.”

The Best of Times

p19 “Drug studies typically are conducted in the daytime for the convenience of both scientists nd subjects. Tests often begin early in the morning so they can be completed by the end of the normal workday. Ludicrous as it may seem, even some sleeping pills undergo testing this way.”

4. How Your Body Clock Works

p33 “The time at which the body is most sensitive to light comes when body temperature is lowest, around 4 AM to 5 AM.”

p35 “Signals from the eyes travel on two pathways to the brain in humans and other animals. Conscious vision travels by one route, and circadian vision, the other… Some blind people also function well on a twenty-four-hour day. They may not consciously recognize light, but still may receive circadian clock-setting light information…”

p36 “Light tells us it is daytime. The hormone melatonin tells us it is night. both day- and night-active species secrete melatonin mainly in the dark.”

“Melatonin is produced by the pea-sized pineal gland just behind the hypothalamus. Dusk tells the SCN to tell the pineal to turn melatonin secretion on, and at dawn to turn it off. We secrete melatonin longer in the long nights of winter, and for a shorter time in the short nights of summer. Changes from day to day alert animals that days are growing shorter or longer and, if they breed only in certain seasons, that it is the right or wrong time to breed. Melatonin may play a role in human reproduction, too.”

5. Are You a Lark, an Owl, or a Hummingbird?

[note: Lark = early bird, owl = night owl, hummingbird = in between, in a ratio of 1:2:7]

p41 “Some of us think of ourselves as night people, but humans can’t truly claim the night as home territory. We are programmed to function best in the daytime. We can’t see in the dark.”

“Lark and owl traits influence many aspects of daily life, including when we feel most alert, or when we sleep best. These traits determine when we most enjoy meals, exercise, sex, and other activities.”

p48-9 How Larks and Owls Differ




Most alert (self-report) Around noon Around 6 PM
Most productive (self-report) Late morning Late morning and late evening
Most active Around 2:30 PM Around 5:30 PM
Best mood Between 9 AM and 4 PM Steady rise from about 8 AM to 10 PM
Temperature highest Around 3:30 PM Around 8 PM
Age Most persons over age 60 Most college students and twentysomethings
Bedtime Go to bed two hours earlier than owls; fall asleep faster More variable bedtimes, stay up later on weekends and holidays
Waketime Awaken at desired time Awaken about same time as larks on workdays, 1-2 hours later on days off
Use of alarm clock Don’t need it Need multiple alarms
Temperature lowest Around 3:30 AM Around 6 AM
Quality of sleep Lifelong: sleep more soundly; wake up more refreshed, usually 3.4 hours after temperature minimum, daily low point on body clock Lifelong: get less sleep wake up sleepier, usually 2.5 hours after temperature minimum
Nap Rarely Take more and longer naps; fall asleep more easily in daytime
Mid-sleep time Around 3:30 AM Around 6 AM
Favorite exercise time Morning Evening
Peak heart rate Around 11 AM Around 6 PM
Lowest heart rate Around 3 AM Around 7 AM
Mood  Mood declines slightly over day Mood rises substantially over day
Morning behavior Chatty Bearish
Evening behavior Out of steam Full of energy
Mealtimes Eat breakfast 1-2 hours earlier than owls Often skip breakfast; eat other meals at same times as larks on workdays, 90 minutes later on days off
Favorite meal Breakfast Dinner
Daily caffeine use Cups Pots
Personality More introverted?(still debated) More extroverted?(still debated)
Shift-work adaptability Work best on day shifts Work best on evening shifts; tolerate night and rotating work better
Travel More jet lag Adapt faster to time-zone changes, particularly going west
Peak melatonin secretion About 3:30 AM About 5:30 AM

7. A Good Night’s Sleep

p66 “It is increasingly clear that good sleep, and enough of it, is critical for both mental and physical health.. Too little sleep has wide-ranging ill effects.”

p67 “Missing sleep lowers the body’s production of natural killer cells, an important part of our self-defense system. … To fight infections, we produce chemicals called cytokines that make us feel sleepy.”

p70 “Sleep gates open and shut roughly every 90 to 120 minutes… Sleep gates explain why you may find it hard to fall asleep if you go to bed early.”

p77 “When people are tired, Donald Blimise notes, they eat more, and they eat more often.”

p77-9 Timewise Tips for Good Sleep

  • regularize your schedule
  • Program yourself to sleep with daily rituals
  • Keep your bedroom dark, or wear eyeshades
  • Keep your bedroom quiet
  • Keep your bedroom cool
  • go to bed only when sleepy
  • Reserve bed and bedroom for sleep and sex
  • If you can’t fall asleep within thirty minutes, get out of bed
  • If you nap, limit time lying down to thirty minutes in midafternoon
  • Take a hot bath ninety minutes before bedtime
  • Exercise regularly
  • Avoid caffeine within five hours of bedtime
  • Don’t drink alcohol or smoke near bedtime
  • Learn relaxation techniques

9. Fitness by the Clock

p92 ” How strong you are, how fast, how accurate, how flexible, how quick-witted, how focused, and how able you are to keep going are among the numerous factors that vary over the day, some modestly and others markedly.”

“Exercising at the times your body is most suited for it has many pluses: you’ll perform better, be less likely to get hurt, and probably enjoy it more.”

“As a general rule, physical performance is best, and the risk of injuries least, in late afternoon and early evening.”

10. Time to Eat

p110 “Body rhythms call for different mixes across the day of the three essential macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins and fats.”

11. Time for Sex

p122 “Among both married and single heterosexual couples, sex is most frequent on the eighth day of the woman’s menstrual cycle, counting from the first day of menstruation.”

“Sexual desire and fantasies in women peak about a week later, at mid-cycle, when they ovulate.”

p123 “Although popular culture links spring with romance, people have sex most often in the fall. This is true for the population as a whole, despite vacations, religious practices that either encourage or discourage sex, and similar events that may alter the frequency of sex for some individuals and groups.”

Menstrual Cycle Clock

p128 “Light exposure, crucial for strong daily rhythms, also may ensure menstrual regularity.”

“Evidence that fertility rates are lower in areas where people spend most of their time indoors suggest light’s importance. … Fertility rates are higher closer to the equator, where daylight hours are longer, than in far northern latitudes.”

“[Menstruation] starts sooner in girls who live at sea level than in those who live at higher altitudes, with higher light intensity. First menstruation also shows an annual pattern. It begins most often in the late fall and early winter, particularly in girls who live in rural settings, suggesting a tie to changing day length.”

13. Clockwatching at Work

p166-8 “…research suggests how sleep loss may have contributed to some of the twentieth century’s most grievous industrial catastrophes.”

  • the crisis at Three Mile Island nuclear power plant
  • the Exxon Valdez spill
  • the space shuttle Challenger explosion
  • the meltdown and explosion of a reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear plant
  • the chemical disaster in Bhopal, India

14. A Time to Heal

p193-4 “Charting your own body rhythms is a good first step in health maintenance and disease prevention. You need only a few simple tools.”

With a pencil and paper you can chart

  • your mood across the day
  • your alertness across the day
  • your wake/sleep cycle, and the time and type of disturbances of sleep
  • what you eat and when you eat it
  • symptoms of pain, fatigue, urinary frequency, etc…

With a wristwatch you can chart

  • your heart rate
  • your breathing rate

With a thermometer you can chart

  • body temperature over the day
  • body temperature across your menstrual cycle

With a blood pressure cuff

  • blood pressure over the day”

the Worst of Times

Health Around the Year

301 Days to Dec 21st 2012

Cycles of Time – Book Notes

23 February 2012

A New View of the Universe that made my head hurt.

Cycles of Time – An Estraordinary view of the Universe  (2010) by Roger Penrose

2.1 Our Expanding Universe

p60-1 “One should not think of the Big Bang as being localized at some particular region of space. The view that cosmologists take in accordance with Einstein’s perspective of general relativity, is that at the time that it occurred, the Big Bang encompassed the entire spacial spread of the universe, so it included the totality of all the physical space, not merely the material content of the universe. Accordingly space itself is taken to have been, in an appropriate sense, very tiny at the time.”

2.2 The Ubiquitous Microwave Background

p75 “…at the present epoch of the universe’s evolution, the greatest entropy contributions, by far, lies in black holes, like the one at the centre of our own Milky Way galaxy, with a mass around 4,000,000 times the mass of our Sun. The total entropy in such objects completely swamps that in the CMB [cosmic microwave background], which had previously been thought to represent the dominant contribution too the entropy present in the universe. Thus, the entropy has greatly increased via gravitational condensation from what it was at the creation of the CMB.”

p77 “…the energy that the Earth receives from the Sun by day is essentially equal to that which the Earth returns to the darkness of space! If this were not so, then the Earth would simply heat up until it reaches such an equilibrium. What life depends upon is the fact that the Sun is much hotter than the darkness of space, and consequently, the photons from the Sun have a considerably higher frequency (namely that of yellow light) than the infra-red photons that Earth returns to space.”

p78-9 “So what the Sun does for us is not simply to supply us with energy, but to provide this energy in a low-entropy form, so that we (via the green plants) can keep our energy down, this coming about because the Sun is a hot spot in an otherwise dark sky… This applies, also, to the Sun’s ability to raise water from the oceans high up into the clouds, which again depends crucially on this temperature difference.”

2.3 Space-time, null cones, metrics, conformal geometry

p93 “If m is a particle’s mass (assumed to be constant), then we find that it has a rest energy E given by Einstein’s famous formula


which is fundamental to relativity theory. the other, almost equally famous formula – fundamental to quantum theory – is Max Planck’s


(h being Planck’s constant), telling us that this particle’s rest energy defines for it a particular frequency v of quantum oscillation. In other words, any stable massive particle behaves as a very precise quantum clock, which ‘ticks away’ with a specific frequency

v=m (c2/h)

in exact proportion to its mass,via the constant (fundamental) quantity c2/h.”

2.4 Black Holes and Space-Time Singularities

p98 “Whereas the Big Bang is seen as the beginning of time, the singularities in black holes present themselves as representing the end of time – at least as far as the fate of that material that has, at some stage, fallen into the hole is concerned. In this sense, we may regard the problem presented by black-hole singularities to be the time-reverse of that presented by the Big Bang.”

p117 “Yet, if we take the very very long view, and bear in mind that the exponential expansion of our universe will, if it continues indefinitely, lead to a vast cooling in the CMB, we would expect it to get down to the temperature of even the largest black holes that are likely ever to arise. After that, the black hole will start to radiate away its energy into the surrounding space, and in losing energy it must also lose mass (by Einstein’s E=mc2). As it loses mass, it will get hotter, and gradually, after an incredible length of time (perhaps up to around 10100 years for the largest black holes around today) it shrinks away completely, finally disappearing with a ‘pop’…”

3.3 Earlier pre-Big-Bang proposals

p171″[Lee] Smolin makes the tantalizing suggestion that when black holes form, their internal collapsing regions – through unknown quantum-gravity effects – become converted to expanding ones by some kind of ‘bounce’, each one providing the seed of a new expanding universe phase. Each new ‘baby universe’ then expands to a ‘full-grown’ one with its own black holes, etc., etc.”

302 Days to Dec 21st 2012

Rhythms of Life

22 February 2012

Book Notes on Chronobiology and Photoperiodism.

Rhythms of Life – the Biological Clocks that Control the Daily Lives of Every Living Thing (2004) by Russell G. Foster & Leon Kreitzman

p2 “The big difference between us and other living things is that to some extent we can cognitavely override these ancient hard-wired rhythms. Instead of sleeping as our bodies dictate, we drink another cup of coffee, turn up the radio, roll down the car window and kid ourselves that we can beat a few billion years of evolution.”

“When [daily circadian rhythm] is disrupted we suffer from the relatively mild symptoms of jet-lag through to serious and poetntially life threatening conditions such as depression and sleep disorders.”

p3 “[Biological clocks]… are reset at sunrise and sunset each day to link astronomical time with an organism’s internal time.”

p5 “All of us in the developed world now live in a ’24/7′ society. This imposed structure is in conflict with our basic biology. The impct can be seen in our struggle to balance our daily lives with the stresses this places on our physical health and mental well-being. We are now aware of this fundamental tension between the way we want to live and the way we are built to live.”

[see Colin Pittendrigh]

p38 “Every atom in our bodies is oscillating at around 1016 Hz.”

“The rods and cones in the retina respond to light oscillating at between 1015 – 1014 Hz. The brain’s electrical activity…has a frequency of 101 Hz… The heart beats at approimately 100 Hz…and respiration occurs at about one breath every six seconds.”

p97 “Although at some level everything about a simple living organism is implied in its genes, on the other hand, you really have to understand the products of the genes and how they interact, which is more complex than just knowing the sequence of the genes.” –Clyde Hutchenson (1999)

p102 “Anticipation is the key to…biological survival and hence success… The anticipation we are talking about is deeper and more profound because it tunes in an organism to its broader environment. Francois Jacob, one of the great pioneers of molecular biology, said, “one of the deepest, one of the most general functions of living organisms is to look ahead, to produce a future.”


  • the VLPO (ventrolateral preoptic nucleus) of the anterior hypothalamus promotes sleep. Neurones from this nucleus release GABA (gamma-amino butyric acid), an inhibitory neurotransmitter of the nervous system. The neurones project to and inhibit the activity of the nuclei of the ascending arousal system, and the lateral hypothalamus (LH).
  • The ascending arousal system (AAS) of the brainstem and hypothalamus promotes wakefulness in the forebrain. Neurones from five regions in this complex (LDT, PPT, DR, LC, TMN) release several excitatory neurotransmiters. In the brainstem, neurones from teh LDT (laterodorsal tegmental nuclei) and PPT (pedunculopontine tegmental nuclei) project to the thalamus, and from there to the forebrain. These two nuclei are responsible for the release of acetylhoine. The LC (Locus coeruleus), also in the brainstem, has neurones that project the forebrain and release noradrenaline. the DR (dorsal raphe nucleus) of the brainstem has neurones that project to the forebrain and release serotonin In the hypothalamus, neurones from the TMN (tuberomammillary nucleus) project to the forebrain and release histamine.
  • The lateral hypothalamus also promotes wakefulness. Neurones from this nucleus release orexin (also called hypocretin), a very recently discovered neuropeptide. Neurones project to the nuclei of the ascending arousal system, the forebrain, as well as the VLPO.
  • The NREM/REM oscillator is a cluster of five separate nuclei in the brainstem that provides the switch between NREM and ReM sleep. Three of these nuclei, the LDT, PPT and BRF (brainstem reticular formation), are interconnected and excite the activity of both themselves and the two other nuclei involved in the NREM/REM oscillator. the LC and DR form a second functional unit. .The LC and DR are interconnected and inhibit the activity of both themselves and the LDT, PPT and BRF functional unit. This reciprocal set of interactions generatess a flip-flop switch that produces a roughly 90-minute oscillation in NREM and REM sleep.
  • The suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) regulate the various sleep structures of the brain either directly by neural or chemical outputs, or indirectly by teh release of the pineal hormone melatonin. Melatonin is high throughout the night, and when administered has been shown to increase the propensity for sleep in humans.

Rhythms in Humans





00:00-02:00 ↑sleep initiation

↓gastric motility


↑cerebral infarction

↑growth hormone

↑uric acid concentration

02:00-04:00 ↑gastric ulcer crises

↑gall bladder symptoms↑asthma



↑triacyl glycerol



04:00-06:00 ↓body temperature


↓deepest sleep

↓urine production


↑gastric ulcer crises









06:00-08:00 ↑sleepiness/tiredness ↑rheumatoid arthritis

↑allergic rhinitis







↑plasma catecholamines

↑fight or flight system

↑platelet viscosity

↑blood viscosity

↓fibrinolytic activity

↑NK-Cell activity

08:00-10:00 ↑bowel movement

↑blood pressure

↑heart rate

↑myocardial infarction


10:00-12:00 ↑concentration

↑Short-term memory

↑logical reasoning

↑blood pressure

↑myocardial infarction



12:00-14:00 ↑concentration

↑short-term memory

↑logical reasoning

↑urine production

↑airway patency

14:00-16:00 ↑insulin
16:00-18:00 ↑osteoarthritis


18:00-20:00 ↑body temperature


↑cardiovascular efficiency

↑muscle strength


↑grip strength

↓sleep propensity

20:00-22:00 ↑gastric acidity ↑skin sensitivity

↑menopausal flushes

303 Days to Dec 21st 2012

the Lost Millennium

21 February 2012

Casting Doubt on our Confidence in our Collective Chronology.

The Lost Millennium – History’s Timetables Under Siege by Florin Diacu

Introduction – Where Did the Time Go?

p2-3 quoting Tudor Ratiu in conversation. “[Anatoli Fomenko's] work in choronology has convinced him that the Middle Ages never happened. Apparently the authorities who fixed the dates misinterpreted the ancient documents, and their mistakes have been perpetuated ever since. Fomenko believes that the history of humankind is about a thousand years shorter than we think.”

p6 “I read once about a star catalogue attributed to Ptolemy of Alexandria,” Ernesto [Perez-Chavela] said. “The trouble is, the sky configuration recorded there appeared only a thousand years after him.”

[ref. article from Saturday Night Magazine "Time Warp" by Timothy Taylor]

p9-10 “[Wieslaw Krawcewicz] had invited a Russian mathematician, Gleb Nosovski, to his university to give a talk about chronology. Nosovski had been a student and long-time collaborator of Anotoli Fomenko…”

“…In the first part of his talk, Nosovski criticized the traditional chronology founded by the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century scholars Joseph Scalinger and Dionysius Petavius. He offered astronomical explanations for why the Peloponnesian War between the Greek city-states of Athens and Sparta couldn’t have taken place in the fifth century BC, but, rather, must have occurred in the eleventh or the twelfth century AD, and why the eclipse described in Livy‘s history of Rome must have happened in the tenth century AD instead of the second century BC. He compared the dynasties of kings considered to have lived more than a millennium apart and outlined statistical arguments why many of them had to be duplications. He mentioned a book by Isaac Newton which claimed that the chronology of ancient Greece was too long by about three centuries. He also analyzed several Egyptian horoscopes and concluded that they showed configurations of the sky which appeared much later than the dates attributed to them.”

[see Nicolai Morozov]

1. Catastrophe and Chaos

p35 “A perfect [elliptical planetary orbit] would appear only in a solar system with one star and one planet. When two or more planets exist, they affect each other’s motion through gravitation.”

2. A New Science

“Time is the proper dimension of history” — Elias Joseph Bickerman

p48 “Astronomy played an important role for understanding the structure of and the relationship between various calendars. it also proved essential for determining when the total eclipses or the passage of teh comets described in chronicles had taken place.”

“[Scalinger's] colossal work [De emendatione temporum] treats in detail the astronomical bases of more than fifty calendars.”

p57 “The dating of the Peloponnesian War was particularly important because it relied on the occurrence of three eclipses with well-known relative dates. Descriptions of such phenomena are rare in history…”

p61-2 “It is astonishing to see Morozov shortening Chinese history by almost four millennia. After all, Chinese documents exist that record daily events for hundreds of years.But other Western sources appear to support Morozov’s view. For instance, the respected British historian Sir Herbert Butterfield wrote in his book The Origins of History: ‘The cataclysm of Chinese history seem to have spared little of the historical writings of the pre-Confucian days [before 550 BC]; and from early times there seems to have been controversy about the genuineness or the textual accuracy of the thing that did survive.'”

p64 “Also connected to astronomy was the Gregorian reform of the Julian calendar, which Fomenko and his assistant Gleb Nosovski analyzed in detail. They challenged the accuracy of the ten-day correction made by Pope Gregory XIII in the sixteenth century. the reform relied on the date of the Nicaean Council, which Crusius had fixed to AD 322 and Scalinger to AD 325. But the Russian mathematicians caculated that the council had met some five and half centuries later.”

p65 “The long lists of kings and queens in various parts of the world seem to contradict a shorter chronology…. In addressing this problem, Isaac Newton identified two parallel kings who had been made consecutive, and Morozov indicated several monarchs who had been duplicated but under different names. Fomenko went further by pointing out fourteen pairs of overlapping dynasties.”

4. Historical Eclipses

“Chronology is nothing but the computation of celestial motions.” — Sethus Calvisius

p98 “…astronomical results are among the most reliable data to be found in the field of chronology…”

“A landmark document for the classical age of ancient Greece is ThucydidesHistory of the Peloponnesian War.”

p99 “[The war] between…Athens and Sparta lasted for twenty-seven years.”

“…Paulus Crusius…calculated that the conflict started in 431 BC. …he based his dating on two solar eclipses and a lunar one, all of them described in Thucydides’ book… The first event took place soon after the outbreak of the war…”

“The second eclipse occurred seven years later… Then eleven more years passed until the third event…”

p104 “…Morozov pointed out a sequence of eclipses that agreed with the observations: AD August 2, 1133; March 20, 1140; and August 28, 1151. In the 1970s Fomenko found another sequence: AD August 22, 1039; April 9, 1046; and September 15, 1057… These solutions are the only ones that agreed with Thucydides’ descriptions.”

p109 “From…contextual information given by Livy and Plutarch, researchers concluded that a lengthy total lunar eclipse occurred on the night of September 4 to 5 (Roman Calendar) of an unknown year, after the summer solstice. Traditional chronology computed the Julian date of June 21, 168 BC, but this day fell before the summer solstice, in violation of the historical text.”

“Fomenko found three candidates, one in each of the years AD 415, 955, and 1020.”

5. the Moon and the Almagest

“When I follow the windings of heavenly bodies, I no longer touch the earth with my feet, but stand in the presence of Zeus and take my fill of ambrosia – food of the gods” — Claudius Ptolemy

p126 “Ptolemy wrote the Almagest during the reign of roman emperor Antoninus Pius, which is traditionally set from 138 to 161. .. Divided into thirteen books, the work touches on the main problems of astronomy, from the nature of the universe to lunar and planetary motion. It also contains detailed star catalogues and records of eclipses, occultations, and equinoxes.”

p136 “Fomenko’s statistical analysis showed that the only time interval in which Ptolemy’s errors are smaller than 10 minutes of arc is between AD 600 and 1300.”

p137 “the Almagest mentions four occultations…”

p139-40 “Fomenko didn’t object to the identification of the stars, but he disagreed with the dating of the events… [The Russians] found two solutions. the better one had a four-year precision, which was within the margin of error they expected from Ptolemy…”

  1. on AD September 9, 887, at midnight, Venus came within 1 arc minute of η Virgo
  2. on AD January 27, 959, at 6:50 AM, the angular distance between Mars and β Scorpio did not exceed 3 arc minutes.
  3. on AD August 13, 994, at 5:15 AM, Jupiter and δ Cancer were separated by no more than 20 arc minutes, this value being close to the absolute minimum of teh angular distance between the two celestial bodies in the time interval from 500 BC to AD 1600.
  4. on AD September 30, 1009, at 4:50 AM, Saturn was at an angular distance of 50 arc minutes below γ Virgo.

p141 “There was a third independent verification to do, and Fomenko, Nosovski, and Kalashnikov were eager to learn what this approach would offer. The Almagest describes twenty-one lunar eclipses in an interval of 855 years…”

p143 “[Their] chronology shifts the traditional dates forward in time by more than a millennium. It may solve some problems, but it certainly raises others.”

6. Ancient Kingdoms

p145 “…horoscopes are helpful in determining chronology.”

“At its most basic level, a horoscope merely depicts the positions of the Sun and Moon and the planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn among the constellations at any given time. ..there are 3,732,480 possible configurations of these heavenly bodies.”

p146 “In the 1990s Anatoli Fomenko decided to check several Egyptian horoscopes.”

“To Gleb Nosovski, it was a dream come true. For years he had deciphered zodiacs and horoscopes, but only from published drawings. Now, in June 2002, he would finally see the original work.”

p160 “From his study of Egyptian at, Fomenko concluded that the dates arrived at by his team support his shift theory. Their conclusion is that the history of Egypt is much shorter than anyone else had acknowledged and that, as a result, Egyptian culture flourished between the eleventh and the fourteenth centuries AD.”

“The horoscopes that have been decoded by Egyptologists offer more confidence; still, even those readings are not absolutely certain Morozov, and then Fomenko, added various elements to the interpretation, not all of which are consistent.”

p162 “Even if all of Fomenko’s solutions were correct, the number of cases he has studied is too small to justify drawing any conclusions.”

7. Overlapping Dynasties

p163 “If Fomenko had, in fact, identified a dozen or so parallel dynastic pairs in the distant past, then he had a strong case for his dating system. He considered these results the backbone of his theory.”

p166 “After composing thousands of dynastic sequences, he found thirteen pairs that seemed to overlap.”

p167-8 “Using the same method, Fomenko compared the events and medieval Greece, 10th to 3rd centuries BC and AD 10th to 16th centuries, and noticed that their sequences were very similar. He finally found statistical duplicates within different periods of the Trojan War. In his view, these results indicate that time frames with similar chronologies are identical, and therefore history is much shorter than has been assumed.”

p171 “theologians and historians alike have recognized the importance of the papacy as the only European institution connecting the present to the ancient past.”

“[A key document written by Eusebius of Caesarea and Liber Pontificalis] often contradict each other, and researchers are still struggling to compile an accurate history of the first pontiffs. Nevertheless, theologians and historians agree upon a significant amount of information.”

p178 “the first overlap Fomenko noted is the one between Carolingian kings (681-888) and the emperors of the third Roman Empire (324-527).”

p183-4 “Fomenko regards ancient and medieval history as a puzzle in which many pieces are missing. Most documents that have survived this period are vague and incomplete, and therefore open to interpretation. To solve the puzzle, historians need a backbone, a basic structure, which is provided by the landmarks of chronology. Once these generally accepted landmarks are in place, historians can arrange the existing pieces and fill in the missing ones with more or less good guesses.”

9. Scientific Dating

p219 “Perhaps the most influential dating method after radiocarbon is dendrochronology…”

“A cross-section of a tree trunk shows that the rings vary significantly in thickness. In general, each ring corresponds to one year’s growth. Size depends on several factors: age, seasonal temperature and humidity, and what part of the trunk is sampled.”

p220-1 “to avoid mistaking thin tree rings corresponding to volcanic activity for those due to drought, researchers also examine the ice-core of Greenland and Antarctica.”

p222 “One [other way of verifying results] is to look at coral deposits. .. When [coral] die, their skeletons form limestone sediments, which grow into reefs, atolls, and islands. Researchers find the age of a deposit by analyzing its layers.”

“An alternative dating technique is based on light emitted, in addition to the usual glow, when a crystalline material reaches a temperature of about 500 C. This energy, called thermoluminescence, is stored in crystals long after exposure to nuclear radiation. Pottery contains minerals with high emissions – feldspars, calcite, quartz. When pottery breaks and shards are buried, the process of building up energy starts again. The quantity of thermoluminescence found in these fragments indicates their age.”

p224 “If the atoms of an element such as uranium, which is prone to the spontaneous nuclear degeneration called fission, are trapped inside the crystal structure, the released radiation ‘scratches’ the inside of the rock. An electron microscope can detect the marks, whose number provides the age.”

p225 “Another method used for the range of history is archaeomagnetic dating. Its goal is to establish the age of objects by comparing their magnetic information with changes in the Earth’s magnetic field.”

p230 “The accelerator mass spectroscopy technique has many advantages over the classical way of measuring the ratio of carbon-14 to carbon-12. This method needs only tiny samples of between 1 and 3 milligrams, rather than…30 grams.”

10. Finding a Consensus

[see Arnold Toynbee A Study of History]

304 Days to Dec 21st 2012

Lunation 3 Year -1

21 February 2012

Counting down to December 21st 2012 and the beginning of the world.

Here we have theAbysmal Calendar‘s lunations. They count every day (including the leap year day, as observant readers will have undoubtedly noticed). Once the calendar is officially launched, the days will count up one by one to infinity and beyond. Same with lunations and years. theCalendar counts each starting with 0. The idea is that this will make translations between lunar calendars and solar calendars easier.

This day count also aligns with the Maya system, which is unique in many ways with respect to world calendars.

The lunations begin with the New Moon (at Universal Time as per NASA). The lunar months in other calendars may begin at first crescent or other times, however, suffice it to say that those are the lunations equivalent to this one. This is a key function of theAbysmal Calendar as a means of translating between different calendar systems.

Also, astronomical phenomena can be tracked along with this portion of the calendar, such as the Equinox (Spring in the Northern Hemisphere) and the Mercury at Inferior Conjunction (directly between Earth and the Sun).

304 Days to Dec 21st 2012


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