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timeanddate.com logoApril 2010

Monthly Poll

Each newsletter will now have a monthly poll to let readers voice out their opinions on various topics related to timeanddate.com.  This month’s poll gives you the chance to tell us what you think about our new look. If you are having troubles with the vote function below, you can also vote online.

What do you think about our new look?

What's New with the World Clock

You may have noticed a few additions we’ve made to each World Clock city page recently. These changes may be small but we hope that you find them useful:

  • Country flag – a visual element to help identify the country of the World Clock city. There are some World Clock cities with the same name but are located in different countries.
  • Illustrative clock – another visual aid that shows the current time for the World Clock city. It is important to note that while this clock is seen in some web browsers, it may not be visible in all browsers, such as Internet Explorer.
  • Airport listings – to help people, particularly those travelling to and from a city, find the nearest airport(s).
To see an example, check out our World Clock city page for London in the United Kingdom (UK). We will continue making other enhancements on our website, so if you have any suggestions, email us at: webmaster@timeanddate.com.

All the Time in the World

by Allan Eastman

A Month of Sundays

Allan Eastman Allan Eastman left behind his successful career as a Film and Television Director and Executive Producer to travel the world. He has visited over a 100 countries on all six continents. He spends most of his time reading, writing and thinking about things. He is an amateur historian, a music archivist, a reasonable chef and a seeker after happiness .

The Peasants Are Revolting

The black hooded Executioner yanks the rope that releases the guillotine blade from its locked position at the top of the tall wooden framework. It swishes down its internal grooves, then the razor sharp angled leading edge efficiently lops off the head of another Enemy of the State. The Executioner lifts the spurting severed head by its hair from the wicker basket into which it fell and brandishes it around to titillate the jeering crowds that throng the Place de la Concorde.

It is 22 September, 1793.

And in Paris, the Reign of Terror is just getting into full swing.

Having beheaded King Louis XVI 9 months earlier and decapitated a good proportion of the Landed Nobility that hadn’t already run for their lives out of France, the Revolution has now turned inward and is beginning to devour its own.

No fool, Lafayette high tails it for the Swiss border.

The French Revolution had too many causes – Hunger, War, National Debt – but what truly animated the overthrow of traditional Royal Power was a new kind of thinking, thinking that wanted to destroy Feudalism once and for all and bring into being a Brave New World of Democracy and Reason and Rational Thought. And still, despite all the blood and chaos and horror on the streets, many very serious people are working hard to create this New World they envision.

On this very day, a new Calendar is proudly proclaimed to replace all previous methods of telling Time and quantifying dates. It promises to sweep away all the illogical and superstitious underpinnings of a system that had come down through the Ages and substitute a scientific order on the way Humans measure Time.

It declares confidently that this is the First Day of Year One.

This radical calendar takes its method from the new Decimal measurements of distance, weights and volumes that are also being instituted at the same time – metres, kilometres, grams, kilograms, litres, et al – and this new way of measuring Time is also based on the Metric system.

A Year still has 12 Months but every Month is an equal 30 days long. An extra 5 or 6 days is added to the end of the year as a kind of Festival to keep the calendar in step with the actual astronomical year as well as account for the quadrennial Leap Years.

Each Month consists of 3 Weeks of 10 Days. Each Day has 10 Hours, each Hour has 100 Minutes and each Minute 100 Seconds.

What could be more logical?

Well, we all know how that ended up...

Although the efficient metric system of distance and weights eventually caught on everywhere in the World– except the USA – this Metric Calendar was used only in France and lasted exactly 12 years. People hated the new Calendar because it only gave them 1 day off in 10 instead of the traditional 1 in 7 and they couldn’t get their heads around an Hour that lasted for 144 Minutes, or a Minute that lasted 86.4 Seconds.

Nobody knew what Time it was anymore.

The self crowned Emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte abolished the new Metric system in 1805 and France went back to the dusty old Ancient calendar and clock.

Still, it was a brave attempt by those Revolutionary Modernists, applying the principles of Science to reform a system that had grown out of mystical practices in the dim prehistory of Human civilization. That old system had became a standard that most of us still accept but very few of us know how it came into being.

Or really, if you think about it, how arbitrary it all is.

So that’s what we’re going to attempt to dig into this month here on timeanddate.com.

Oh, and by the way, if that French Revolutionary Calendar had caught on in the same way as metres and kilograms and litres, the date as I write this – Friday, 9 April, 2010 – would be Decadi, 20 Germinal, 218.

Just as well...

Read more of Allan Eastman’s article A Month of Sundays, found at our guest feature section All the Time in the World.

Message from the Team

Hi and welcome to the April edition of our monthly newsletter! We hope you enjoyed reading our first newsletter, which was launched in March 2010.

Last month we announced our new brand image, comprising the new-look website and logo. So far, we’ve had mainly positive feedback – both from our readers and from user testing results during the design’s pre-testing stage.  You can read more about why we revamped our site and our logo rationale.

We are currently planning ahead for more enhancements, so keep in touch with our website for new or upgraded tools to help you find all the time and date related information that you need.

If you are reading the newsletter from our website and wish to subscribe to it so that it is automatically sent to your email address on a monthly basis, you can subscribe your email address here. Don’t forget: please check if our confirmation email has been automatically forwarded to your Spam folder!

FAQ/Tip of the Month

There are multiple designs that are available in our Calendar. Those who wish to be more creative with designing their calendar can go to any calendar (by country) and use the Advanced customization link in the gray box, which is found above the calendar. A form should then appear above the calendar. There are multiple tabs at the top of the form. Click on the Design tab, which is the fourth tab from the left. Here, you can preview alternatives when choosing a template and major features (including background color and font), as well as how you want your month and date boxes to look.

There is the Basic Customized Calendar form, also known as the Basic Calendar Customizer. This form is for those who prefer a simpler way of customizing their calendar. 

Did You Know...

...In 2010, Russia reduced its number of time zones. Starting Sunday March 28, 2010, Russia had nine time zones instead of 11. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin recently signed decrees to abolish the time zones of four Russian regions.

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Time Zone News

All-Year Daylight Saving Proposed for Louisiana
A new proposal has been made for the state of Louisiana, in the United States, to observe daylight saving time on a year-round basis.

Morocco Starts Daylight Saving Time May 2, 2010
Morocco will officially start daylight saving time (DST) at midnight (00:00) local time between Saturday, May 1, and Sunday, May 2, 2010.

San Luis Province Keeps Daylight Saving
Daylight saving time (DST) has been extended for Argentina’s San Luis province in 2010.
No Daylight Saving in Pakistan in 2010
Pakistan will not observe daylight saving time in 2010. Earlier, both April 15 and April 1 were announced as start dates.
Gaza and West Bank Start DST on Different Dates
Gaza and West Bank will both start DST, but on different dates in March 2010.
No Daylight Saving Time in Bangladesh in 2010
Bangladesh will not turn clocks forward in 2010, as originally planned.
Get the latest Time Zone News updates on places around the world that make changes to their daylight saving schedule or time zone.

About timeanddate.com

timeanddate.com provides facts and information on time and date. The website features the World Clock, which includes time zones from many cities around the world, and the Calendar, which has customized features according to country, language, year, and other personal preferences. These are just two of many useful tools to help people get what they need about times, dates, and other related information worldwide. Our website has more information about the company behind timeanddate.com.

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