Happy Leap Day 2012! Mathmatics, Myths, & More | Community Spirit

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Happy Leap Day 2012! Mathmatics, Myths, & More
Happy Leap Day 2012! Mathmatics, Myths, & More

Happy Leap Day! What is Leap Day anyway? Why do we need an extra day every 4 years? Ever wonder the ansewrs to these seemingly assinine questions? However ridiculous they might sound, there are many mathmatical and mythical beliefes as to why this extra day is necessary. In this article you will find some of these specuations, calculations, and other fun pieces of history associated with this mysterious "extra" day every 4 years known as Leap Day.

The History of Leap Year

Information compiled from:

Who Invented Leap Year According To , About.com GuideMathmatical Equation Of the Extra Day:

Leap years are years that have 366 days, instead of the usual 365. Leap years are necessary because the actual length of a year is 365.242 days, not 365 days, as commonly stated. Basically, leap years occur every 4 years, and years that are evenly divisible by 4 (2004, for example) have 366 days. This extra day is added to the calendar on February 29th.

However, there is one exception to the leap year rule involving century years, like the year 1900. Since the year is slightly less than 365.25 days long, adding an extra day every 4 years results in about 3 extra days being added over a period of 400 years. For this reason, only 1 out of every 4 century years is considered as a leap year. Century years are only considered as leap years if they are evenly divisible by 400. Therefore, 1700, 1800, 1900 were not leap years, and 2100 will not be a leap year. But 1600 and 2000 were leap years, because those year numbers are evenly divisible by 400.

The Mythical Side of The Story:Julius Caesar, Father of Leap Year

Julius Caesar was behind the origin of leap year in 45 BC. The early Romans had a 355 day calendar and to keep festivals occurring around the same season each year a 22 or 23 day month was created every second year. Julius Caesar decided to simplify things and added days to different months of the year to create the 365 day calendar, the actual calculation were made by Caesar's astronomer, Sosigenes. Every fourth year following the 28th day of Februarius (February 29th) one day was to be added, making every fourth year a leap year. In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII further refined the calendar with the rule that leap day would occur in any year divisible by 4 as described above.

Leap Year / Leap Day

Information compiled from:

History, Traditions, and Folklore

By , About.com Guide

Mythical Beliefs About Birthday's on Leap Day:

Leap year / leap day folklore

Persons born on leap day, February 29, are called "leaplings" or "leapers." However fun it may be to rib them for enjoying 75 percent fewer birthdays than the rest of us over the course of their lives, they do have the special privilege, between leap years, of celebrating their nativity a full day earlier if they so choose. It was once thought that leapling babies would inevitably prove sickly and "hard to raise," though no one remembers why.

Ironically, notwithstanding the fact that the whole point of adding an extra day to February every four years was to align the human measurement of time more closely with nature, in days gone by folks apparently believed that monkeying with the calendar like that might actually throw nature out of whack, even hampering the raising of crops and livestock. It used to be said, for example, that beans and peas planted during a leap year "grow the wrong way" — whatever that means — and, in the words of the Scots, "Leap year was never a good sheep year."

February 29 Famous Leap Day Birthdays

Information compiled from:        http://www.on-this-day.com


Ann Lee (Anne the Word or Mother Anne) 1736 - Founder of Shakerism in United States

Gioacchino Rossini 1792 - Opera composer ("The Barber of Seville")

John Philip Holland 1840 - Inventor of the first submarine accepted by the U.S. Navy

Herman Hollerith 1860 - Engineer, teacher, inventor of first electric tabulating machine (forerunner of the calculator)

Theodore 'Theo' Hardeen 1876

William Wellman 1896 - Screenwriter, director

Jimmy Dorsey 1904 - bandleader

Pepper (John Leonard Roosevelt) Martin 1904 - Baseball player

Dinah Shore 1916 - Singer, entertainer ("The Dinah Shore Show")

Arthur Franz 1920 - Actor

Michèle Morgan 1920 - Actress

Howard Nemerov 1920 - Poet

Al Rosen 1924 - Baseball player

Joss Ackland 1928 - Actor ("The Hunt for Red October")

Tempest Storem (Annie Blanche Banks) - Actress

Jack Lousma 1936 - Astronaut

Henri Richard 1936 - Hockey player known as "The Pocket Rocket", he played on 11 Stanley Cup champion teams

Alex Rocco 1936 - Actor ("The Godfather", "Herbie Goes Bananas")

Gretchen Christopher 1940 - Singer (Fleetwoods)

Joe Giglio 1940 - Singer (The Four Aces)

Dennis Farina 1944 - Actor ("Law & Order", "Striking Distance")

Steve Mingori 1944 - Baseball player

John Niland 1944 - Football player

Patricia McKillip 1948 - Science-fiction writer

Al Autry 1952 - Baseball player

Tim Powers 1952 - Science-fiction writer

Chucky Powers 1968 - Basketball players

Bryce Paup 1968 - Football player

Antonio Sabato, Jr. 1972 - Actor


Leap Music History for February 29

Information compiled from:        http://www.on-this-day.com


1792 - Composer Gioachino Antonio Rossini was born.

1852 - Composer Sir Frederic Hymen Cowen was born.

1932 - Bing Crosby and the Mills Brothers teamed up to record "Shine."

1972 - John Lennon's U.S. immigration visa expired. It was the beginning of a 3 1/2 year fight for Lennon to stay in the U.S.
John Lennon Merchandise

1980 - Buddy Holly's glasses and the Big Bopper's wristwatch were found in old police files by the Mason City Sheriff. The items were worn by the men when their plane crashed of February 3, 1959.

2000 - In Guilford, Surrey, Eric Clapton had his driving privileges suspended for six months and was fined about $570 dollars for speeding.

2000 - Puff Daddy pled not guilty to charges that he had attempted to bribe a professional driver to take responsibility for a 9mm handgun that had been found in a vehicle with Puff Daddy following a shooting in 1999.

2000 - The city of Autlan de Navarro, Mexico announced plans to build a public monument to tribute Carlos Santana.


February 29 Historic Leap Day News Bits

Information compiled from:        http://www.on-this-day.com


1288 - Scotland established this day as one when a woman could propose marriage to a man. In the event that he refused the proposal he was required to pay a fine.

1860 - The first electric tabulating machine was invented by Herman Hollerith.

1904 - In Washington, DC, a seven-man commission was created to hasten the construction of the Panama Canal.

1940 - Hattie McDaniel became the first black person to win an Oscar. She won Best Supporting Actress award for her role as Mammy in "Gone with the Wind."

1944 - The invasion of the Admiralty Islands began with "Operation Brewer." U.S. General Douglas MacArthur led his forces onto Los Negros.

1944 - Dorothy McElroy Vredenburgh of Alabama became the first woman to be appointed secretary of a national political party. She was appointed to the Democratic National Committee.

1944 - The Office of Defense Transportation, for the second year in a row, restricted attendance at the Kentucky Derby to residents of the Louisville area. This was an effort to prevent a railroad traffic burden during wartime.

1952 - In New York City, four signs were installed at 44th Street and Broadway in Times Square that told pedestrians when to walk.

1964 - Dawn Fraser got her 36th world record. The Australian swimmer was timed at 58.9 seconds in the 100-meter freestyle in Sydney, Australia.

1972 - Jack Anderson revealed a memo written by ITT's Washington lobbyist, Dita Beard, that connected ITT's funding of part of the Republican National Convention.

1988 - "Day by Day" premiered on NBC-TV.


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