March 1

Roy’s Ramblings

February 29?? Leap Day?? What??

(The Following information was gleaned from Wikipedia)

What is leap day? Leap day is an extra day that gets added to the calendar. During a leap year, which occurs every four years, leap day falls on Feb. 29, giving the shortest month of the year one added day.

Why is leap day every four years? The reason there are leap days, and years, is because of the Earth’s orbit.

The amount of days it takes for the Earth to complete a full revolution around the Sun is not a whole number. The 365 days we experience is actually 365.242190 days, according to the National Air and Space Museum. And so, getting rid of those 0.242190 days adds up. That fraction allows seasons to correctly line up each year. If leap day was left off the calendar, the months during which we normally experience each season would eventually shift. This would impact other aspects of life, such as the growing and harvesting of crops. When added, four 0.242190 days roughly equal one full day, which is why Feb. 29 is added to the calendar.

Who created leap day?How did it come to be? The concept of adding leap days is not new and has been around for millennia. Some calendars – such as the Hebrew, Chinese and Buddhist calendars – contained leap months, also known as “intercalary or interstitial months”. And while Julius Caesar is often credited for originating leap days, he got the idea from the Egyptians. By the third-century BCE, Egyptians followed a solar calendar that spanned 365 days with a leap year every four years.

The Rambling Part: So What?? Why would this make any difference to anyone not born on Feb 29?? (I have a cousin that was born in 1956 that just turned 17). Well, as I pondered this, I came to this conclusion: There are some things in life that have scientific relevance … that some of us just find fun. I love sucking helium out of a balloon to talk funny … I love putting Daffodils in food colored water to color the edges … I love using a magnifying glass and the sun to burn a piece of paper or etch a piece of wood. Yes, I know all of the science behind each of these things but I just do them because it is fun.

Sometimes we need to do stuff just to have fun with it. Research finds that children laugh approximately 400 times a day where adults only laugh about 15 times a day. We need to have more fun in life – and sometimes have fun for no other reason but to have fun. So if you were born in the last century but just now are a teenager or if you like to play with food coloring or even if you just like to laugh. I encourage you to use all the days you are given to enjoy life to its fullest and even “Leap for Joy” (hope you see what I did there).

In any case – be blessed and a blessing my friends – Pastor Roy