Friday, February 29, 2008

Leap Year: An Extra Day

Today is a special day on the calendar, one that only shows up every four years. Unfortunately, the number of times the earth rotates is not a nice round number for every revolution of the earth around the sun. In fact, one trip around the sun is 365.25 days, giving us one full extra day every four years. And even that is not completely exact, as the leap year is skipped on certain lengthy intervals, and I think there is even a leap second or minute but it's really too small of an amount to be concerned with. Leave that up to the people who manage such things.

Anyway, all this comes about because of the human need to track time, and have as much consistency as possible. Before the leap year system was created, the calendar slowly went out of sync until it was a few months off. According to what I've read, when they corrected the system, they actually jumped about three months ahead, overnight! Imagine, having your birthday totally skipped one year!

Now we have a near perfect system, but still people are unhappy. A group of postal workers is protesting that because they are on salary, they are essentially working for free today. That is completely ridiculous and displays a total lack of understanding of what is really going on. They're not working for free, they're making up the 0.25 days they skipped work on for the last four years!

Take advantage of the extra day to improve your situation, advance your career, or just relax and have fun. I plan to do all of those today.

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1 Smart Remarks:

Anonymous Heather said...

My brother was due February 29th. My Mom was in labor that day but went over midnight when he was born. So his birthday is March 1st. I wonder if that is the same for Dallas Koenig. His birthday is also March 1st, 1964.

5:50 PM  

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