April, Historically Speaking

Without compiling the events for the other eleven months, it’s difficult to say how one month will stand out in comparison.  After a month of working with April’s history, however, I’m not surprised T.S. Eliot called it the cruellest month.

April is not only home to the Boston Marathon bombing, but also the Oklahoma City bombing and the Columbine and Virginia Tech massacres.  It’s the month that has seen the Titanic sink, Martin Luther King, Jr. get assassinated and Chernobyl melt down.

It’s also quite a month for wars involving the United States…

April-US-Wars-700(click to enlarge)

Not that it’s all bad.  As most of the months will certainly be, April is a mixed bag.  It’s the month that we first heard about the double helix structure of DNA, and completed the Human Genome Project.  In April, Albert Hofmann pedaled his bike into new dimensions during the first LSD trip and CIA director Allen Dulles launched the MKULTRA mind-control project.  Fidel Castro first declared himself to be at war with Cuba in April and is also the month he eventually resigned from the Communist Party of Cuba.  April is when the United States made the Louisiana Purchase from France, bought Alaska from Russia and welcomed Hawaii as a territory.  Not to mention that it’s the month that Nixon released the Watergate tapes and Bush and Cheney had their unrecorded hearing on 9/11 in the Oval Office.

It also seems to be a busy month in the history of space exploration…

April-SpaceHistory-700(click to enlarge)

… though we’ll need more data to say.

No month will ever be defined by a single event nor even a group of them, but what can be said for the months, historically speaking?  Looking at a single day in history feels like having blinders on and I hope in the coming months to continuing laying out our past within the new format of the Periodic Calendar.

What will May be like?  Stay tuned!

This Week in History w/P-Cal – Week³ of April

This is the second time in less than a year that I’ve tried to start a series with “This Week” leading off the title.  The first was an experiment with headlines from the New York Times I did last summer and which had completely slipped my mind when I started working on This Week in History with the Periodic Calendar a month ago.  Obviously I want to organize information in time…  I’m just working out the format and focus it will take.

Anyway, below I’ve included some events from week3 of April, but now that I’m working with a sample of historical data for the whole month of April, a week suddenly seems as paltry a portion as “This Day in History” seemed to me last month.

April-Week3_700(click to enlarge)

Rather than weekly posts, this might turn into a monthly endeavor and eventually, I’ll go ahead and call it now, a landmark coffee table book.

By further expanding our scope and focusing on sagas from Aprils past, we get a sample of what lies ahead…

April-Sagas-700(click to enlarge)

While the particular day of the week an event occurred on isn’t always conceptually significant, a stable chart would seem to trump an inconsistent one every day of the week.  Below we have the same events as portrayed by 2013 calendars.  Note that only the Titanic’s story remains in place, due to 1912 being a Tuesday Year, just like 2013.

April-Sagas-regcal-700(click to enlarge)

Next year of course, 2014 calendars will tell a completely different story, whereas the chart based on the Periodic Calendar remains the same no matter what year it is.

This Week in History w/P-Cal – Week² of April

I don’t know if I’ve got the time and resources to continue the video portion of this weekly presentation…

… but am going to work to keep these charts going at very least.  Anyone interested in where this is going, here’s a taste in the form of the first two weeks of April’s historical timeline as never seen before…

April-TwoWeeks-sm(click to enlarge)

This Week with the Periodic Calendar (or, Dear World, I Think I Might Have Broken Your Calendar)

I knew from the beginning that the Periodic Calendar would disagree with our current calendar on birthdays and anniversaries in most years, but when considering one date at a time, it seemed more like a technicality in P-Cal’s favor than a reason to get out the pitchforks. As soon as I started looking at whole weeks of history, however, the inconsistent nature of our old calendar suddenly became a problem for which the Periodic Calendar seemed to be the solution.

… Or at least, that’s what it looks like to me.  Though I believe that the Periodic Calendar truly represents a new way to look at time, I’m still learning about it myself.  In an attempt to highlight the ramifications of this new calendar system, this week I am excited to present the pilot episode of a series in which we will explore both history and the Periodic Calendar a week at a time…

The quickest way to see the difference is to line up this week as represented by each calendar…


With our regular calendar, we only see one dimension of the week.  Mention April 1st and Monday April 1st represents them all, ignoring the fact that most years April 1st is not a Monday.  Meanwhile, the Periodic Calendar captures this lost information via the band of Gregorian Isotopes running across each element.  The isotopes tell us what day of the month each element exists as given the type of year.  2013 is a Tuesday Year and so you’ll notice that this week according to our old calendar, ie. April 1st-7th, is represented by the orange isotopes.

Now consider the historical events laid out in the video as represented by the Periodic Calendar…


… and compare it to how our regular calendar would place the same events in 2013.


The events in orange originally happened in a Tuesday Year, so they match in both versions.  However, in 2014, our old calendar will move every event to a new day of the week and it will be the Wednesday Year events that line up.


In total, there will be seven different versions of history created along the way, whereas with the Periodic Calendar, the arrangement stays the same no matter what year it is…


While initially it might seem meaningless to worry about what particular day of the week something happened on, which day of the week would you rather have a holiday on, Wednesday or Friday?  Would you rather tomorrow was Saturday or Monday?  When you think about it, we are able to derive far more information from the day of the week than our ever-shifting days of the month could ever offer.

For more on the conceptual importance of the day of the week in regard to an historical event, check out my post about Pearl Harbor.  Otherwise, stay tuned for episode two and see if I figure out how to explain it all better next week!

Why Pearl Harbor Should Not Be Mentioned Today

Don’t believe the hype.  It might be December 7th, but today has nothing to do with the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Yes, the attack did take place on December 7th, 1941, however, the 7th here has less meaning than we usually suspect.  The date simply refers to the seventh day in December, but that doesn’t make all December 7ths the same.

What the difference?! The Newburyport Daily News highlights it quite well, despite writing about it on the wrong day:

In the early morning hours of that sleepy Sunday morning, waves of Japanese fighters and bombers descended on the unsuspecting U.S. Pacific fleet…

The difference is, the attack on Pearl Harbor happened on a Sunday, not a Friday.

9-to-5ers didn’t hear about it at work.  It happened on a day known more for picnics and driving slow.  Furthermore, the day after wasn’t a Saturday.  The American people didn’t reflect on the meaning of it all while off the clock, because December 8th in 1941 was a Monday!

When should we be commemorating this infamous event?  This year, the answer is Sunday, December 9th, soon to be better known as Element 410…

The problem with regular calendars is that, given the year, any day of the month can fall on any day of the week.  This year December 7th is a Friday.  In 2013, it will be a Saturday.  And then, in 2014, it will be on a Sunday and the days of December will fall as they did in 1941.

The discrepancy can be solved using the Periodic Calendar, which is built on the notion that there are seven different types of years, each with a distinct layout of days, weeks and months.  1941 was a Wednesday Year, meaning it started on Wednesday, Jan 1, and featured a Thursday Christmas.  Meanwhile, 2012 is currently a Monday Year, with Christmas soon to fall on a Tuesday.

Before the Periodic Calendar, there was no way to keep track of these things and the years went by with birthdays and holidays seeming to fall randomly on whatever day they wanted.  Now that we have the Periodic Calendar though, the world is faced with a question.  Are we going to continue to ignore this meaningful aspect in our shared conception of time or are we ready to unlock a new facet of the fourth dimension?

Really, the question is much easier than that.

All you have to ask yourself is, do you want this calendar?

Or do you want this calendar?

The Periodic Calendar is now available on Indiegogo.

First-edition prints start shipping next week.