From the looks of the lights from downtown tonight, I doubt it. However, I just read a really strange article which discusses the possibility that 297 years were added to our calendar.
The Phantom Time Hypothesis suggests that the early Middle Ages (614-911 A.D.) never happened, but were added to the calendar long ago either by accident, by misinterpretation of documents, or by deliberate falsification by calendar conspirators.
The author goes on to decide that the evidence isn't strong enough for there to be any credibility to the theory. Just think if this is 1708 then I was born in 1652. That is just plain weird. I've always thought I was born in the wrong century, but I'm not sure 297 years earlier was what I had in mind.
I also just read an interesting article in the Washington Post, "A Double Dose of Failure," by Sebastian Mallaby. Based on this article we could use some extra time to stockpile Tamiflu, the current hope against the avian flu.
France has enough of the drug on hand to treat 24 percent of its people. Britain expects to be at a similar level soon. But this policy of buying the drug from the patent holder works only for the countries that get in line early...
Already some 40 governments have placed orders. If every country ordered enough Tamiflu to treat a fifth of its people, it might take Roche a full decade to deliver.
The United States has failed to get in line early...
If the feds and the states resolve their burden-sharing arguments quickly, the earliest conceivable point at which the nation may have stockpiles equivalent to that of Britain or France appears to be mid-2007. In terms of getting access to Tamiflu, the United States has been a failure.
Heck, right now I would settle for a regular flu shot. Our normal provider of the flu shots had a sign on the door Friday that we should check back at the middle of the month. We didn't even try for a shot last year.
I used to think that the inherent inefficiencies in our government were a check against anything stupid happening quickly, but recent events seem to indicate otherwise. It does seem all the challenges can be fixed with a large dose of our (or our grandchildren's) money.
All that extra money seems to mean another company gets rich because we can't figure out how to be efficient with our government. The country ends up going farther into debt because we can't plan effectively or execute those plans once they're in place without paying overtime or making it very profitable for companies to pick up the slack from the government.
It's similar to the new product syndrome at Apple. Apple would start planning a new product with plenty of time to get the product from the far east to the US by inexpensive boats. Then Steve Jobs would intervene at the last minute with some "critical" new details. That would destroy the product's time line. Then the only way to get the product to the US on time was expensive air transportation. It was a huge drag financially on the bottom line a few years ago. Of course with the way Apple is manufacturing money these days, having to hire a fleet of air planes to bring in the millions of iPods probably isn't even an issue or a rounding error on the balance sheet.
Of course the US government doesn't have a huge cash horde like Apple, and it doesn't even sound like faster shipping will help us out very much since we haven't even locked down a supply yet.
In a recent post I mentioned taking a ferry to Canada just to get the flu shot that is included in the price. Now I'm thinking that I should check to see if they'll have me back. After all with global warming, Prince Edward Island might turn out to be the next Outer Banks.