Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Enjoy your extra day!


Fun Facts About Leap Year

2012 is a leap year, with 366 days instead of the usual 365 days.


It was the ancient Egyptians who first figured out that the solar year and the man-made calendar year didn't always match up.

That's because it actually takes the Earth a little longer than a year to travel around the Sun — 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds, to be exact.

Therefore, as the hours accumulated over the centures, an extra day was occasionally added to the calendar, and over time the practice became more or less official.

The Romans first designated February 29 as leap day, but a more precise formula (still in use today) was adopted in the 16th century when the Gregorian calendar fine-tuned the calculations to include a leap day in years only divisible by four - 2012, 2016, 2020, 2024, etc.

Another stipulation ruled that no year divisible by 100 would have a leap year, except if it was divisible by 400. Thus, 1900 was not a leap year ... but 2000 was! Go figure.

Thankfully, all this intricate plotting will continue to keep us in tune with the seasons over the next several thousand years.

Born on a leap day?

According to astrologers, those born under the sign of Pisces on February 29 have unusual talents and personalities reflecting their special status.

Most have to wait every four years to "officially" observe their birthdays, but leap year babies typically choose either February 28 or March 1 to celebrate in years that aren't leap years.

Some famous people born on February 29

Born 1976 - Ja Rule, rapper
Born 1972 - Anthonio Sabato Jr., model & actor
Born 1916 - Dinah Shore, singer
Born 1904 - Jimmy Dorsey, bandleader.
Born 1792 - Gioacchino Rossini, Italian opera composer

February 29, 2012 event calendar

On the international scene, 56 countries will observe Rare Disease Day on February 29, 2012 calling for more research into ailments that have no known cure

On a lighter note, international women's football meets to compete on February 29, 2012 in the annual kick-off to the Algarve Cup in southern Portugal.

Leap Day traditions - no man is safe!

How to propose to a guy

While leap day helped official timekeepers, it also resulted in social customs turned upside down when February 29 became a "no man's land" without legal jurisdiction.

As the story goes, the tradition of women romantically pursuing men in leap years began in 5th century Ireland, when St. Bridget complained to St. Patrick about the fair sex having to wait for men to propose. Patrick finally relented and set February 29 aside as the day set aside allowing women the right to ask for a man's hand in marriage.

The tradition continued in Scotland, when Queen Margaret declared in 1288 that on February 29 a woman had the right to pop the question to any man she fancied. Menfolk who refused were faced with a fine in the form of a kiss, a silk dress, or a pair of gloves given to the rejected lady fair.

A similar modern American tradition, Sadie Hawkins Day, honors "the homeliest gal in the hills" created by Al Capp in the cartoon strip Li'l Abner. In the famous story line, Sadie and every other woman in town were allowed on that day to pursue and catch the most eligible bachelors in Dogpatch. Although the comic strip placed Sadie Hawkins Day in November, today it has become almost synonymous with February 29.

Leap year on stage & screen

The day also plays a pivotal role in the fictional The Pirates of Penzance, the most famous Gilbert & Sullivan comic opera that was translated to Broadway and the silver screen.

In the story, the hero Frederic realizes his apprenticeship binds him until his 21st birthday, but since his birthday falls on February 29, it means that technically he is only a young lad - and won't reach his 21st birthday until he is in his eighties!

A leap year poem to remember it by

Thirty days hath September,
April, June and November;
All the rest have thirty-one
Save February, she alone
Hath eight days and a score
Til leap year gives her one day more.


vikeau said...

Nantz--great information as always. Now let me go out and find me some man to engage; that is since Vincent is already spoken for. ;-)

Sandy said...

Very interesting, Nantz!! The best man is already taken(Vincent), so good luck!!lol. Nice to have you back. Stuck here with a spring snow storm No one going anyplace, except my husb and who has to go pick up milk from the farmers. Darn cows don't have a shut-off valve!

Ruby said...

Great info, Nantz! I don't remember ever hearing the END of that poem before! And a note about the photo...poor Leonard! :( (Verif. word: erneLOCI)!!

Rose said...

I never knew that about Sadie Hawkins Day, I loved those dances! Stay safe will all the snow you are getting Sandy.

Rose said...

I know this doesn't have anything to do about Vincent, but since I think a lot of us are sort of around the same age group, it is so sad that Davy Jones from the Monkees, just died. The Monkees were so much a part of growing for me, and I'm sure many of us. RIP Davy

Rose said...

Thank-you Nantz for posting the picture of Davy Jones. Been listening to Daydream Believer, and remembering the Monkees.

vikeau said...

Lil' Anber gave us Sadie Hawkins and Daisy Dukes(the really short shorts) go figuar. Read Nantz's post re: Davey Jones. RIP

Karen said...

awesome pic lol

JoJo said...

One of my friends suggested I pop the question to my boyfriend yesterday but alas, I am waiting for him to do it. I'm traditional that way I guess. lol It was a 'lost' day at my house. I never got out of my PJs, and we watched TV all day. I coloured, grieved over Davy Jones and then we got pizza.

Nantz said...

Davy trended on Twitter for almost 2 days straight. A lot of fans are shocked by the news. Maybe they will show 'The Monkees' on TV again which would be very cool.

Nantz said...

Thank you for your support, Sandy...you're a sweetie.