Author Topic: Happy Leap Day!  (Read 13 times)

Offline noquiexis

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Happy Leap Day!
« on: February 29, 2020, 06:43:07 PM »
Happy Leap Day!
February 29, 2020
(All quotes are from Wikipedia.)

     For centuries, people have been trying to come up with a calendar that would be reliable month after month and year after year. Mostly they have been frustrated be what they did not know.

What time is it?

     In the 1942 film Casablanca, a drunken Rick Blaine (played by Humphrey Bogart) asked Sam (played by Dooley Wilson),
     "If it's December 1941 in Casablanca, what time is it in New York?"
His friend and singer / piano player Sam's startled reply was,
     "What? My watch stopped."

     In October 1582, Pope Gregory XIII introduced what we now call the Gregorian calendar. This calendar has seven (7) months of thirty-one (31) days: January, March, May, July, August, October, and December;
four (4) months of thirty (30) days: April, June, September, November
and February, which either has twenty-eight (28) or twenty-nine (29) days.

     From Thirty Days Hath September:
"Thirty days hath September, April, June and November.
All the rest have thirty-one, except February alone,
which has twenty-eight rain or shine,
except for leap year, 29."

     Logically, a day should have been taken off of two of the longer months and added to February, but Pope Gregory decided not to do that. (Seriously?) Another day could be then added to February for leap year, and it would still only have thirty-one (31) days.

     A leap year (also known as an intercalary year or bissextile year) is a calendar year that contains an additional day (or, in the case of a lunisolar calendar, a month) added to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical year or seasonal year. Because astronomical events and seasons do not repeat in a whole number of days, calendars that have the same number of days in each year drift over time with respect to the event that the year is supposed to track. By inserting (called intercalating in technical terminology) an additional day or month into the year, the drift can be corrected. A year that is not a leap year is a common year.

     The term leap year probably comes from the fact that a fixed date in the Gregorian calendar normally advances one day of the week from one year to the next, but the day of the week in the 12 months following the leap day (from March 1 through February 28 of the following year) will advance two days due to the extra day, thus leaping over one day in the week.

     For example, Christmas Day (December 25) fell on a Tuesday in 2012, Wednesday in 2013, Thursday in 2014, and Friday in 2015, but then leapt over Saturday to fall on a Sunday in 2016. Following that pattern, Christmas Day (December 25) was on Monday in 2017, Tuesday in 2018, Wednesday in 2019, but it leaps over Thursday in 2020 to come on Friday. See Leap year starting on Wednesday (Change the name of the day to link to other leap year calendars.)

     For more about the celestial mechanics of figuring out a year, look up Earth's rotation, Earth's orbit, Sidereal year, Tropical year, Ecliptic, and the various graphics on these pages.

:coffee: :coffee: :coffee:
"Like a bolt out of the blue
 Fate steps in and sees you through
 When you wish upon a star
 Your dreams come true"

   Cliff Edwards as Jiminy Cricket 1940
Trixie and Dixie "the twins" are Private Secretary inflatable dolls.
Esperanza is a Tera Patrick inflatable doll.
Feodora is an Anatomical Doll, Face 3 Body 3 Feodora Set 1 Feodora Set 2 Feodora Set 3 Feodora Set 4