An innocent cosmic activity; the Earth rotating about its axis, dutifully following the laws of Physics. Makes a profound impact on the inhabitants of this beautiful blue planet; the germination of the notion of Days leading to more complex measures such as weeks, months, complete calendar systems and, yes, holidays. Now, what happens to the notion of days when you undertake a trek along the stars to explore new life and new civilizations? But I digress.
Quick Disclaimer: The idea for this post was not mine; it was sparked by Deepika’s (a.k.a DSingh) curiosity around my decision to use Stardates to mark my posts. Oh, and also the underlying question, what exactly is a Stardate and how is it computed?
According to the great oracle of our age, Wikipedia, “a stardate is a means of specifying absolute dates in the fictional Star Trek universe” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stardate). Given that, can you think of a better calendar system than this for a TNG fan (such as myself) to mark my ship’s log – umm, I mean blog – entries? The same post also discusses the inherent complexity in computing stardates for various episodes in keeping the timeline consistent. So, I rolled my own version of a stardate. In keeping with the TNG tradition, the first digit in my version of a stardate derives from the century. The next two are the year in the century, and finally the rest simply denotes the percentage of the year that has elapsed; CYYPP.pp
Let’s dissect “stardate 11003.6”, the first digit ‘1’ represents the 21st century, the next two digits ’10’ represent the year 2010, and the trailing portion ‘03.6’ is the percentage of time that had elapsed in the year 2010 when I started this blog post. Stardate 11003.6 is roughly equivalent to 1/13/2010 6:00 AM UTC. More on computation in the next episode – umm – blog post ;-D