Why some dates are missing in year 1752

An interesting tidbit, when you enter any dates on or between September 3, 1752 and September 13, 1752, you get some sort of error and this is the reason why:

The Julian Calendar was built on the premise that the year was 365.25 days long and consisted of normal 365-day years interspersed with a 366-day leap year every fourth year. In 730 A.D., the Venerable Bede (an Anglo-Saxon monk) announced that the Julian year was 11 minutes, 14 seconds too long, building a cumulative error of about 1 day every 128 years. Nothing was done about this for 800 years.

By 1582, the error had grown to about 10 days. That year, Pope Gregory XIII decreed that Thursday, October 4, 1582 would be followed by Friday, October 15, thus correcting the calendar by 10 days. This began the Gregorian Calendar that is in use today. It uses a four-year cycle of leap years, and eliminates each leap year that occurs on three of every four centesimal years. Only centesimal years that are evenly divisible by 400 are leap years. Thus, the year 1600 was a 366-day leap year, but 1700, 1800, and 1900 were each 365 days. The year 2000 is also a leap year, as will be the year 2400. (Source: IBM)

Did you know today is lantern festival?

Well, today is Yuan Xiao Jie (元宵节) also known as Lantern Festival. It’s something that China celebrates and Singapore doesn’t because we combined them and celebrate it on this mid-autumn festival somehow. I don’t know how that came to our traditions. Lantern festival is celebrated as it is the first night (15th on lunar calendar) of the year with a full moon.

The Lantern Festival (traditional Chinese: 元宵節; simplified Chinese: 元宵节; pinyin: Yuánxiāojié or traditional Chinese: 上元節; simplified Chinese: 上元节; pinyin: Shàngyuánjié; Vietnamese: Tết Nguyên tiêu; Hán tự: 節元宵) is a Chinese festival celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunar year in the Chinese calendar. It is not to be confused with the Mid-Autumn Festival, which is also sometimes known as the “Lantern Festival” in locations such as Singapore, Malaysia. During the Lantern Festival, children go out at night to temples carrying paper lanterns (simplified Chinese: 兔子灯; traditional Chinese: 兔子燈; pinyin: tùzidēng) and solve riddles on the lanterns (simplified Chinese: 猜灯谜; traditional Chinese: 猜燈謎; pinyin: cāidēngmí). It officially ends the Chinese New Year. (Source: Wikipedia)

I guess most would be having a good meal at home. This day marks the end of lunar new year, I hope my friends would have a good year ahead. Happy lunar new year, one last time!

2000-year-old Antikythera comes back to life

Curator Michael Wright shows off his model of the Antikythera mechanism. The Antikythera mechanism is an ancient Greek clockwork machine found in a shipwreck, that has taken more than a century to decipher. Wright’s handmade reconstruction is the first to include all the known features of this complex device.

Antikythera mechanism working model

Hotmail has a new user interface

BUT it doesn’t work well in my browser. I couldn’t reply, I couldn’t get back to the inbox once I click on a message. The whole thing is just a disaster for me and I don’t know how to change it back. Seems like Microsoft is pushing this update batch by batch to their users.

Here’s a screenshot of the new interface:

Microsoft Windows Live Hotmail does not play well with Firefox

(Microsoft Windows Live Hotmail does not play well with Firefox.)

Of course, it worked for Internet Explorer but…

Anyhow, I should note that I do like the cleaner design. The new calendar is better too. And the contacts. Everything’s better… if and only if it works.

[By the way, there is still a huge wide advertisement slapped above the mail interface. I just crop it away because it is an advertisement.]

Django 1.0 roadmap and schedule

Jacob Kaplan-Moss discusses on Django 1.0 roadmap and schedule. Some key notes includes:

  • 1.0 took long due to many features due to be included, notably newforms admin and a 100% WSGI-compliant Django.
  • Django 1.0 will be released in early September. Starts with an alpha, two betas, a final finally killing of with a huge party.

And now for the dates:

  • July 10-12: “newforms-admin” sprint in person at EuroPython and around the world in IRC.
  • July 20: 1.0 alpha
  • August 5: 1.0 beta 1
  • August 12: 1.0 beta 2
  • August 19: 1.0 rc 1
  • August 26: Earliest possible 1.0 release date, or perhaps rc2.
  • September 2: 1.0

Read the full entry here.

Looks like Django is on track for 1.0. This is encouraging.