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Thread: Trivial (or not so trivial) stuff that makes you happy.

  1. #5731
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    Further research into my Bösendorfer grand piano indicates that the only number we could find on the piano actually could be its Opus number. I didn't believe that in the past because it would make it a very early one: Opus 1401. All Bösendorfers are numbered continuously, so this Opus would place it in the early 1840's. I used to think my piano was from around 1900. But Bösendorfer styling has changed very little over the decades and I've been able to trace back styling elements from my piano as far as 1860, so it's possible. What is particularly interesting with an early 1840's date is that a single piece cast iron plate was only patented in 1840. Add to that some time for Bösendorfer to adopt the principle, and that would make my piano a very early example of the technology.

    Somewhere in the past centuries my piano has had its legs and likely music desk replaced for more modern looking items, so I might one day ask a quote for reproduction items. I fear the cost migh be more than I'd want to spend though.

    But the piano is in good, playable condition and I'll cherish it even more now that I know it might very well be extremely old. For context: Dvorak's Bosie was from 1879; Liszt's historical Bosie performance was in 1838. So early 1840's places it in the glorious early years of the company, still under its founder Ignaz.
    Last edited by Nicolas; 2021-Apr-04 at 09:51 AM.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  2. #5732
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonM435 View Post
    While out son was learning about computers in school, I'd get those digital candles and put his age in binary on the cake. You know: 01101 for thirteen, 01110 for fourteen, 010000 for sixteen and so on.

    It was cute. Must have depleted the store's supply of zeroes and ones, however. Local ten-year-olds were out of luck with regard to digital candles.
    I’d rather have my age in Hex; i’d be 42 again.

  3. #5733
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    I’d rather have my age in Hex; i’d be 42 again.
    How lucky are the people born on 29 February.
    So . . . does this look as bad as it looks?

  4. #5734
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    Quote Originally Posted by 21st Century Schizoid Man View Post
    How lucky are the people born on 29 February.
    Being born on February 30th (a real date in Sweden in 1712) must have been slightly depressing, though.

    Grant Hutchison

  5. #5735
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Being born on February 30th (a real date in Sweden in 1712) must have been slightly depressing, though.
    I know about that one - my favourite date on the calendar!

    ETA - well I guess I mean my favourite date not on the calendar. Since I don't have a Swedish 1712 calendar.
    Last edited by 21st Century Schizoid Man; 2021-Apr-04 at 01:54 PM.
    So . . . does this look as bad as it looks?

  6. #5736
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    Here you go. February, at least.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1712.jpg 
Views:	16 
Size:	27.1 KB 
ID:	26032
    (I made it for a blog post about February 30th a few years ago.)

    Grant Hutchison

  7. #5737
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    One time I had the thought that the calendar should be made up of 5 31-day months and 7 30-day months (or 6+6 on leap years). It would balance things out and make date calculations in computer programs simpler.

    I always found February having 28 (or 29) days while every other month having 30 or 31 to be odd. Perhaps there's a historical reason I could research, but I'm lazy. I know the "month" concept originated with the Lunar cycle, but modern months have little resemblance to that.

    Or we should just switch to metric dates. 100 seconds in a minute, 100 minutes in an hour, 10 hours a day, 10 day weeks, 10 day months, 100 day years... I guess that would really mess things up with the solar year though. haha. Or switch to stardates like in Star Trek. A linear format with no months/weeks.

  8. #5738
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    Hey, the number of weeks doesn't even fit in a month. Don't try to make sense out of the calendar. It's a trainwreck.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  9. #5739
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    French Revolutionary time involved trying to make both clock and calendar metric and went over very badly. It is fascinating to discover that they'd also named every day of the year, which went about as well as you'd expect as far as running out of things to call days.
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  10. #5740
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    I liked the idea of daylight time being divided into 12 every day, thus shorter working hours in winter, and you could go further with 7 day weeks in spring, six day weeks n winter and eight in summer. Then with three day weekends, you have an ergonomic calender.
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    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
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  11. #5741
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpatz View Post
    ... I always found February having 28 (or 29) days while every other month having 30 or 31 to be odd. Perhaps there's a historical reason I could research, but I'm lazy. ...
    The story I recall is that the months were once uniform in days. However, the Romans decided to honor Julius Caeser by renaming a month in his honor, and to highlight his importance they added a day taken from February. Along came Caeser Augustus ... same thing.
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  12. #5742
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    As I've said here before, I kind of like the idea of the Shire Calendar: 12 months of 30 days, with five or six days that don't belong to any month. Tolkien put two of those at the Winter Solstice as the first and last days of the year, and three or four at the summer solstice, but that seems a bit unfair to the southern hemisphere. Seven-day weeks don't quite work, maybe change them to six. Or just abolish weeks altogether.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  13. #5743
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Here you go. February, at least.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1712.jpg 
Views:	16 
Size:	27.1 KB 
ID:	26032
    (I made it for a blog post about February 30th a few years ago.)

    Grant Hutchison


    It took me a while to confirm that this month should start on a Thursday, in the unique hybrid Swedish 1704-1712 calendar system. But it did.
    So . . . does this look as bad as it looks?

  14. #5744
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    I really hope that's a misspelling of sentimentality.
    Yeah... that makes me very unhappy.
    Solfe

  15. #5745
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpatz View Post
    One time I had the thought that the calendar should be made up of 5 31-day months and 7 30-day months (or 6+6 on leap years). It would balance things out and make date calculations in computer programs simpler.

    I always found February having 28 (or 29) days while every other month having 30 or 31 to be odd. Perhaps there's a historical reason I could research, but I'm lazy. I know the "month" concept originated with the Lunar cycle, but modern months have little resemblance to that.

    Or we should just switch to metric dates. 100 seconds in a minute, 100 minutes in an hour, 10 hours a day, 10 day weeks, 10 day months, 100 day years... I guess that would really mess things up with the solar year though. haha. Or switch to stardates like in Star Trek. A linear format with no months/weeks.
    February has 28 days just to be odd. Literally. Romans thought that even numbers were unlucky, so they wanted to have the number of days in a year to total to an odd number. An even number of equal length months would total an even number. The Romans were not exactly exact with math and observation, so their years had a different number of days than 365 and tended to roll through the seasons.

    It creates a horrible mess when you read that the harvest was happening in July, December or August and held up military campaigns. It happened a lot in the Republic. Citizen soldiers and all of that. That ended with Julius Caesar because he had the calendar modified and totally destroyed the Republic, putting an end to citizen soldiers that had to worry about the harvest.

    But since there really is an odd number of days in the year, that's the way we still roll.
    Solfe

  16. #5746
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpatz View Post

    Or we should just switch to metric dates. 100 seconds in a minute, 100 minutes in an hour, 10 hours a day, 10 day weeks, 10 day months, 100 day years... I guess that would really mess things up with the solar year though. haha. Or switch to stardates like in Star Trek. A linear format with no months/weeks.
    We'd "just" need to alter how long a second is. Work backwards from the Solar year in decimal increments. "Microyear", etc.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  17. #5747
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Or just abolish weeks altogether.
    How would that work?
    No weeks means no weekends, which are kind of important to certain folks.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  18. #5748
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    We'd "just" need to alter how long a second is. Work backwards from the Solar year in decimal increments. "Microyear", etc.
    Two microyears would be slightly more than 5% over a minute. For a lot of applications, calling a minute two microyears would be good enough. "I'll be right over in five minutes" or "I'll be right over in ten microyears" - probably the level of precision in the statement is coarse enough already that 5% approximation error won't matter much.

    A day would be about 2.7 milliyears, so that would be a bit rough. Maybe we can alter the planet's rotational speed so that the number of days in a year is a power of ten.

    People would have to learn the metric prefixes, even in countries that are pretty much metricised - I came across someone who was completely mystified when I used the "mega" prefix on a unit of measurement that is more commonly prefixed by "kilo". And that person has progressed through the highest levels of the higher education system. Just not in natural sciences.
    So . . . does this look as bad as it looks?

  19. #5749
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    How would that work?
    No weeks means no weekends, which are kind of important to certain folks.
    Is it important to have a couple of days off, or is the important part having them at the same time as most other people?

    I've wondered whether it is practical or desirable to have different people take their "weekends" on different days.
    So . . . does this look as bad as it looks?

  20. #5750
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    Quote Originally Posted by 21st Century Schizoid Man View Post
    Two microyears would be slightly more than 5% over a minute. For a lot of applications, calling a minute two microyears would be good enough. "I'll be right over in five minutes" or "I'll be right over in ten microyears" - probably the level of precision in the statement is coarse enough already that 5% approximation error won't matter much.

    A day would be about 2.7 milliyears, so that would be a bit rough. Maybe we can alter the planet's rotational speed so that the number of days in a year is a power of ten.
    We could measure from the day to extrapolate the year? I'm fuzzy on the math. Divide the current day into decimal units... a centiday is 864 "imperial" seconds under the current measure. Should we make a metric second longer or shorter than today's?
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  21. #5751
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    Quote Originally Posted by 21st Century Schizoid Man View Post
    Is it important to have a couple of days off, or is the important part having them at the same time as most other people?

    I've wondered whether it is practical or desirable to have different people take their "weekends" on different days.
    I was thinking the same thing. The days off are crucial for most working folks (and IMHO we should get at least three, not two per "weekend", though that could ultimately hinge on the length of the "week").

    Having everyone have the same days off is handy when planning social things with friends/family, but staggering them helps when you need to run errands at places that are only open the same time you're usually working, like the bank, doctor or DMV. So it's six of one, half dozen of the other. Maybe a system where there's 3 day breaks but they alternate for different people so 2 of the days are the same days off for everyone and the 3rd rotates between "Friday" and "Monday".

    Maybe a better system would be where every day is a "work day" and employees choose their own days off (say any 3 per 7 day period). I'm sure there will be companies that will abuse that though and make people work on their days off, but then they do that now with vacations/holidays/weekends/overtime.

  22. #5752
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    As I've said here before, I kind of like the idea of the Shire Calendar: 12 months of 30 days, with five or six days that don't belong to any month. Tolkien put two of those at the Winter Solstice as the first and last days of the year, and three or four at the summer solstice, but that seems a bit unfair to the southern hemisphere. Seven-day weeks don't quite work, maybe change them to six. Or just abolish weeks altogether.
    The Mayans had a calendar called Haab', which had 18 months of 20 days, with a period of 5 extra days.
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  23. #5753
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    How would that work?
    No weeks means no weekends, which are kind of important to certain folks.
    Ok, six day weeks then. Four working, two off.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  24. #5754
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    Quote Originally Posted by 21st Century Schizoid Man View Post
    Is it important to have a couple of days off, or is the important part having them at the same time as most other people?

    I've wondered whether it is practical or desirable to have different people take their "weekends" on different days.
    A fairly large percentage of people don't have their weekends on the weekend, because they're in the service industry. I will say that I don't believe companies should be able to shift schedules so people work seven days or more in a row, but it doesn't take much thought to come up with a long list of jobs where people are working Saturday and Sunday.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  25. #5755
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    A fairly large percentage of people don't have their weekends on the weekend, because they're in the service industry. I will say that I don't believe companies should be able to shift schedules so people work seven days or more in a row, but it doesn't take much thought to come up with a long list of jobs where people are working Saturday and Sunday.
    Schedules vary but the typical North Slope oil worker ("sloper") has a 'weekend' of two weeks, followed by a 2-week "hitch" of 12-hour days, or longer. I could go for that kind of weekend but I'm no longer up for that kind of schedule...or work.
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  26. #5756
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    A fairly large percentage of people don't have their weekends on the weekend, because they're in the service industry. I will say that I don't believe companies should be able to shift schedules so people work seven days or more in a row, but it doesn't take much thought to come up with a long list of jobs where people are working Saturday and Sunday.
    One of the many embarrassing things about the junior doctors' strike we had in the UK a few years ago was listening to an earnest young doctor explaining to a TV journalist that she was contractually obliged to work weekends, which was really inconvenient and really interfering with the rest of her life.
    "I have a similar contract," said the journalist. "And I presume the people who keep the shops open and the buses running do, too. Do you feel you should have particular sympathy for some reason?"

    Grant HUtchison

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  28. #5758
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    A logging firm for which I worked operated in remote areas on the coast, accessible only by air or water. The crews worked 8 hours/day, 7 days/week, for three weeks, then were off for a week.

    The aluminum smelter where I worked summers as a teenager ran 24 hours/day. The smelting and casting departments' shifts were 8 hours (paid lunchtime) for 6 days, then 2 days off. And the shifts rotated from days, to afternoons, to nights. Very tough on a body.

  29. #5759
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    I recall as a child when the US tried to teach grade school kids to "go metric". Instead of something reasonable like, I don't know, showing us what metric measures and weights looked and felt like, they had us painfully convert Imperial measurements into equivalent metric form. Remember, 1970s, so no calculators or computers in the classroom. Laborious conversion charts, lots of long division and fractions-into-decimals.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  30. #5760
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    Wow, this kind of drifted off the "makes you happy" stuff! So, I'm happy I got my grandmother's clock back! Bing-Bong!!
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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