“Seven days,” wrote Witold Rybczynski in the August 1991 issue of The Atlantic, “is not natural because no natural phenomenon occurs every seven days.” The year marks one revolution of the Earth around the sun. Months, supposedly, mark the time between full moons. The seven-day week, however, is completely man-made.
If it’s man-made, can’t man unmake it? For all the talk of how freeing it’d be to shave a day or two off the five-day workweek, little attention has been paid to where the weekly calendar came from. Understanding the sometimes arbitrary origins of the modern workweek might inform the movement to shorten it.
The events in Ferguson, MO, both the killing of an unarmed teen and the aftermath of civil unrest are having a spell-binding effect on people all over the world. A column by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in Time magazine describes the underlying issue that nobody on TV is talking about.
Just before school buses begin rolling with students adorned with new backpacks and fresh sets of pencils, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council are hoping to reverse some of the policies that led drivers to strike unsuccessfully 18 months ago.