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Re: [Phys-l] Newton's birthday

At 18:39 -0800 01/04/2010, Bernard Cleyet wrote:

Of course there was the claim that the calendar reform robbed the workers of 11 days pay -- damper on that:

There were, however, legitimate concerns about tax payments under the new calendar. Under provision 6 (Times of Payment of Rents, Annuities) of the Act, Great Britain made special provisions to make sure that monthly or yearly payments would not become due until the dates that they originally would have in the Julian calendar, or in the words of the act "[Times of Payment of Rents, Annuities] at and upon the same respective natural days and times as the same should and ought to have been payable or made or would have happened in case this Act had not been made".[3]

To get away from the details of the calendar shift, over which the debate will undoubtedly continue endlessly, I would like to recommend a diversion. I encourage everyone to read the charming children's book "Tibaldo and the Hole in the Calendar," by the physicist Abner Shimony (Springer-Verlag-Copernicus Books, 1998). It is written for the 9-15-year age group and shows how one boy dealt with a lost birthday when his twelfth fell among the days that were removed from the calendar when Europe (i.e., the Catholic Church) modernized their calendar in 1582.

There is good science entwined with a delightful story. It is somewhat anachronistic in that Tibaldo and others espouse positions that ran strongly counter to contemporary beliefs, but it is done convincingly and I enjoyed reading it even though I was considerably older than 12 when I read it.

Hugh Haskell

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