Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Leap Year!

Everybody celebrating their birthdays today better party like it's 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 because you won't get a chance again until 2016.  How weird would that be (huh, Sue)? It's like counting in "dog years." It certainly saves family and friends on gifts.

Why do we complicate things with this "extra" day? Because it takes 365.242 days for the earth to go around the sun. This fact adds about 6 extra hours/year which will eventually lead to months getting out of sync with the weather. Well, that's happening anyway due to climate change...A number of calendars have been created to deal with this. For Christians, it started with Julius Caesar (or his Julian calendar) which added an extra day every four years, but that wasn't quite right either. Pope Gregory XIII created the Gregorian calendar which added the following caveats: a leap year must be evenly divisible by four; and any year that is evenly divisible by 100 is not a leap year — unless it is also evenly divisible by 400. ?! I think I need to brush up on my math skills. There are lots of other calendars out there, all more complicated than the next, so if you're in a religion or country that goes by those, good luck with your birthday celebrations!

All I know is if I was born in a leap year, I wouldn't want anyone calling me a "leaper."