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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day


It only happens once every four years, and today it happened.  An extra day on the calendar, and since it is a Wednesday, I have to work.  Is it really fair to have that extra day as a work day ?  The Mayans didn’t care, and did not even add in the variation in the solar orbit, as they were more concerned with the seasons and when to plant and harvest crops.

There are some interesting things in regard to the Leap day, how it came to be.  This is the first year that I have really given it much thought.


No calendar used today is perfect. They are off by seconds, minutes, hours or days every year, when compared to the tropical year, as per the table below.
Name of calendar
When introduced
Average year
Approximate error introduced
AD 1582
365.2425 days
27 seconds (1 day every 3,236 years)
45 BC
365.25 days
11 minutes (1 day every 128 years)
365-day calendar
-
365 days
6 hours (1 day every 4 years)
Lunar calendar
ancient
12-13 moon-months
variable

Why do we need Leap Years?
Leap Years are needed to keep our calendar in alignment with the Earth's revolutions around the sun. It takes the Earth approximately 365.242199 days – or 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds (a tropical year) – to circle once around the Sun.

Women propose to their men
According to an old Irish legend, or possibly history, St Bridget struck a deal with St Patrick to allow women to propose to men – and not just the other way around – every 4 years. This is believed to have been introduced to balance the traditional roles of men and women in a similar way to how Leap Day balances the calendar.
They should never have put Feb. 29 on the calendar. Imagine what you and I could do with one day in which we didn't have to bind ourselves to a numbered date, one day with no prescribed obligations, no appointments, no work, no boss, no meetings, no mail, no media programming. That day would be a get-out-of-jail-free card, a day with a blank slate, a day of unordered possibilities, a day wiped clean.
How would you spend such a day?

This day in history” On February 29, 1940, Gone with the Wind is honored with eight Oscars by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. An epic Southern romance set during the hard times of the Civil War, the movie swept the prestigious Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, Cinematography, Art Direction, Film Editing, and Actress categories. However, the most momentous award that night undoubtedly went to Hattie McDaniel for her portrayal of "Mammy," a housemaid and former slave. McDaniel, who won the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award, was the first African American actress or actor ever to be honored with an Oscar.”

By the time I write the blog, it is already 9pm, and my phone is ringing.  There is a problem at work.  As I said above, the day should be a freebie, a day off.  Instead, it is almost "gone with the wind".

Hello March !!

Photo of the day “Leap Day”


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