Friday, February 29, 2008

Ahhhh, the first of March..I mean the 29th of February

Leap year...hmmmm, never really thought of what it was about. Our poor ancestors. Their calendar changed by 11 days one year! Crazy!!! I'm thinking we really shouldn't have to go to work today. Besides it is only ONE DEGREE (Farenheit) and a good day to stay under the covers.

But because I KNOW you all are really wondering about Leap year, I give you the following exciting information as to why we need February 29th.....

Our solar year (the time required for Earth to travel once around the Sun) is 365.24219 days.

Our calendar year is either 365 days in non leap years or 366 days in leap years (Feb 29th inserted).

A leap year every 4 years gives us 365.25 days, sending our seasons off course and eventually in the wrong months.

To change .25 days to .24219, we need to skip a few leap days (Feb 29ths) .... century marks not divisible by 400. So with a few calculations tweek the calendar by skipping 3 of 4 century leap years to average out our calendar year to 365.2425, which is pretty darn close to the solar year 365.24219.

Here’s the history: The Romans originally had a 355-day calendar. To keep up with the seasons, an extra 22 or 23-day month was inserted every second year. For reasons unknown, this extra month was only observed now and then. By Julius Caesar’s time, the seasons no longer occurred at the same calendar periods as history had shown. To correct this, Caesar eliminated the extra month and added one or two extra days to the end of various months (his month included, which was Quintilis, later renamed Julius we know it as July). This extended the calendar to 365 days. Also intended was an extra calendar day every fourth year (following the 28th day of Februarius). However, after Caesar’s death in 44 B.C., the calendars were written with an extra day every 3 years instead of every 4 until corrected in 8 A.D. So again, the calendar drifted away from the seasons. By 1582, Pope Gregory XIII recognized that Easter would eventually become closer and closer to Christmas. The calendar was reformed so that a leap day would occur in any year that is divisible by 4 but not divisible by 100 except when the year is divisible by 400. Thus 1600 and 2000, although century marks, have a Leap Day. The calendar we use today, known as the Gregorian calendar, makes our year 365.2425 days only off from our solar year by .00031, which amounts to only one day’s error after 4,000 years.

Class dismissed.

Afterthought..when we read the history books are we looking at accurate ages of people we learned about, did they really "die young"? Does it matter? Have I worked in law too long? Should I get another Pug? Are you still reading??????

12 comments:

girlville said...

yes! you should definitely get another pug and maybe one more cat as well. thanks for the knowledge today.

ladypug said...

OHmigod, brilliant question about people "dying young" - or was it just the way the calendar system was? Were they really 132 years old instead of 41?? Are we really in the year 2008 - does the past calendar systems explain an old versus young earth theory??

Perhaps pugs have the answers to all these questions.....they're just not telling.

(unless you offer them a pretty handsome treat - then they'll think about it)

Goodboy Norman Featherstone said...

Another Pug!

rpm said...

professor punchy...get another pug. This reminds me how I zoned out in some classes in school.

AM said...

Oh sure, what's one more pug? :)

Pam said...

I always find it fascinating how they figured the calendar out. Also, interesting question! I think some people died young in more recent history (meaning post Gregorian calendar) just because of poor health care and diseases but talking about pre-calendar bibical times, Roman Empire, etc. That really is a good question. hmmmm. my head hurts now. lol!

Priscilla said...

What! You're getting another pug? Really?

EXCELLENT!

Page said...

yes, you must get another pug. and thank you for the lesson. i really didn't know all that!

Christine & Giggs said...

Very interesting. You've got a good point there... Then you distracted me by asking if you should get another pug. YES! YES! Hmmmm. I need another pug.

The Devil Dog said...

Yes, mom is still reading. Wow is all she has to say. That was very interested, really. Mom did not know all that. As for another pug, mom respectfully declines to answer. Two is enough for her.

Roxy

The Devil Dog said...

Ack, I think it just ate mom's post. Yes, she was reading it all. Yes, she found it fascinating, truly. No, she is not answering about getting another pug. two are enough for her.

Roxy

♥PugPosse♥ said...

Go ahead get another pug..if you do I will okay!...Really what is one more?

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