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What is Leap Year? And more importantly, why?

by Social Media Specialist Social Media Specialist on ‎02-26-2016 12:53 PM


We take the calendar for granted. We all manage our lives hour by hour, day by day, week by week, but we seldom consider the truly strange thing that the measurement of time actually is. For example: do you know how Election Day is reckoned? How about knowing when Easter will occur, and why it will happen when it happens?Leap Year.jpg


You know, the day isn’t even as long as you think it is; it’s shorter by four minutes. This adds up to a quarter day every year, or a whole day every four. More or less. Kind of. Maybe.


To reconcile this incongruity, every fourth year (except in certain centuries) is a Leap Year. Why a “leap” year? Well, because in common years, the advancement of the calendar puts fixed-date holidays on subsequent weekdays each year, i.e., Christmas is on Tuesday, then Wednesday the next year, then Thursday, etc. In leap years, Christmas would “leap” over Thursday to Friday.


Are you with me so far? No? That’s okay. I had to read it three times myself before I realized that I’d rather be watching superheroes. Again.Marvel.JPG


In the modern calendar, the extra day is put on February 29. If you’re born on this day, do you have one birthday every four years? Technically yes, but the law looks at it somewhat differently so, depending upon where you live, your birthday anniversary will be set under law to February 28 or March 1 in common years. Regrettably, your immortality is not secured, you will not be 21 in your 84th year; you will still feel the ravages of time. Sorry to be a buzzkill.


So, with time travel and immortality out of the question, where are we really? There won’t be another February 29 for four more years. A lot can change in that time:


Vinyl will fade to obscurity again, but 8-track tapes will be on the rise.


The “man bun” will become the modern equivalent of a mullet and half-beards will be the new men’s fashion trend.


Hover boards, which are barely a thing right now, will be phasing out in favor of anti-gravity sneakers.


SUVs will be bigger, slower, and uglier than ever. But on the plus side, their energy efficiency won’t be too much worse.


Mankind will have failed to go to the moon again, much less Mars. Except Curiosity will still be cruising around, almost but not quite finding evidence of ancient alien bacteria.


The LIV (54th) “Big Game” will be played in your living room on a 9K TV, 4K having gone the way of the dodo. This time, the Vikings will play. Will so! Shhh!!Drone.JPG


The oceans – and the robots – will rise. No fate, baby.


But you know, I’ll be right here, just like always. Time marches on — leaping or not — but there’s no place I’d rather be than Best Buy. Except maybe the beach. Or  a malt shop. Or sleeping.

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