Wednesday, February 29, 2012

That's One Giant Leap......

Today is leap day.  In what has become an Obstructed Views tradition, we figured we have some fun with leap day and leap years.  What is exactly is leap day or a leap year?  Well, most people assume that it takes the Earth 365 days to go around the sun.  Most people would be wrong. It actually takes a little longer than a year to go around the Sun — 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds, to be exact.


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So why not add an extra 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds to each year?  First of all that’s not practical.  Besides, it would mess up Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin Eve.  The ancient Egyptians were the first to realize that man screwed up and that the solar calendar and the manmade calendar didn’t’ match up.  The Romans were the first to designate February 29 as leap day, but a more exact formula was adopted in the 16th century when the Gregorian calendar included a leap day in years only divisible by four.  2012 for example.  Another part of the formula is that no year divisible by 100 would have a leap year, except if it was divisible by 400.  So 1900 = not a leap year and 2000 = leap year.  Confused?  There will be a test at the end.

Fun Facts

·         People born on Leap Day are Pisces and are said to have unusual talents and personalities reflecting their special status

·         People born on Leap Day are called leaplings

·         Women are supposed to propose to men today – a tradition that dates back to St. Patrick and St. Bridget in Ireland

·         U.S. Presidential Elections and the Summer Olympics occur during Leap Years

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·         In Greece it is considered bad luck to get married during a leap year…..thank god I’m not Greek

·          The chances of having a leap year birthday are 1 in 1,461

·         George Washington put Jay’s Treaty into effect in 1796

·         Gone With the Wind won 8 Academy Awards in 1940

·         The first Playboy club opened in Chicago in 1960

Leap Day Birthdays

1916 – Dinah Shore, Singer

1936 – Henri “Rocket” Richard, Hockey Player

1944 – Dennis Farina, Actor

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1960 – Tony Robbins, Motivational speaker

1968 – Bryce Paup, Football Player

1972 – Antonio Sab├áto Jr, Actor

1976 – Ja Rule, Rapper 

1980 – Simon Gagne, Hockey Player

1984 – Cullen Jones, Swimmer

Well that’s all for the Leap Day edition of Obstructed Views.  To my local Philly fans out there, keep in mind that during the last Leap Year back in 2008 our Phillies became World Champs.  Just saying.  Until next time this is Jimbo saying, Happy Leap Day.


  1. And, of course, the newest Leap Day "tradition:" keeping on the lookout for Leap Day William! For those unfamiliar, just google it....

  2. OK Ja Rule!! Holla Holla!!!!!

  3. You left out one of the most famous Leap Day traditions: Women have the right to propose!

    Supposedly, the tradition began in 5th century Ireland, when St. Bridget complained to St. Patrick about having to wait for men to propose. Patrick finally relented and set February 29 aside as a day 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. Furthermore, 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. A woman could clean up on dresses and gloves, if properly handled.

    Finally, I read the Wikipedia thing all the way through, but I still don't understand Leap Day William. Please explain.......

    Kay in Hawaii

  4. My sister-in-law got married on leap year, she loves confusing people by saying things like "We got married a year before Simone who is 18 was born but we have only been married for 4 years"