The Education Show

| February 29, 2008 | 0 Comments 

Thanks to all at the Education Show for a really enjoyable day.

It was great to meet up with so many people. Thanks to Helen Freeman from Scholastic for a LONG, really open and productive meeting about future plans… WATCH THIS SPACE.

Thanks also to the 2Simple, Shoofly, Education City and the Q4Technologies folk for some good laughs too!

HAPPY LEAP DAY… TOP 50 LEAP YEAR FACTS:

1 The original Roman 355 day calendar had an extra 22-day month every few years to maintain the correct seasonal changes. By the time Julius Caesar took reign, the seasons no longer occurred during the same months they once had.

2 This was remedied in 45 B.C. by removing the extra month and adding the extra day to a few months instead.

3 Julius Caesar proclaimed the last day of February as Leap Year Day, skipping it three out of four years. Back then, February 30th was the last day of the last month of the year, which is why he picked it.

4 Julius also threw in a month in honour of himself (Julius – July).

5 Around 10 BC, it was found that the priests in charge of computing the calendar had been adding leap years every three years instead of the four decreed by Caesar (Vardi 1991, p. 239). As a result of this error, no more leap years were added until 8 A.D. Leap years were therefore 45 BC, 42 BC, 39 BC, 36 BC, 33 BC, 30 BC, 27 BC, 24 BC, 21 BC, 18 BC, 15 BC, 12 BC, 9 BC, 8 AD, 12 AD, and every fourth year thereafter (Tøndering), until the Gregorian calendar was introduced

6 In 4 A.D. Emperor Caesar Augustus corrected a counting error in Leap Years. He also had the month of August named after him, and took the last day of February so that August can have 31 days, just like Julius’ month. Now February has 29 days in Leap Years.

7 The calendar was finally perfected by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 who predicted Easter and Christmas would eventually fall on top of each other without his intervention.

8 Pope Gregory determined that Leap Day should fall on any year divisible by 4 but not 100 (except when the year is divisible by 400).

9 Century years were made leap years if they were divisible by 400. So, 2000 was a Leap Year, but 1900 was not.

10 At the same time, Pope Gregory moved the end of the year to December 31st.

11 He also moved the end of the year back two months so that Easter would occur in the spring.

12 Today our year is 365.2425 days, off from our solar year by .00031, or one day’s error over 4,000 years.

13 Leap Seconds! Some years are longer than others. This is mostly due to weather. Every few years, scientists agreed to add or remove a second from a year right at midnight on January 1st or July 1st. This is called a Leap Second.
Newsflash: Scientists have now discovered that the Earth is not rotating as fast, and have deemed this practice unnecessary!

14 Leap Moons! Many countries use a lunar calendar to celebrate religious holidays. Whenever the lunar calendar falls behind the solar calendar by more than a moon month, a Leap Moon Month is added to the lunar calendar.

15 If you’re a “Leaper,” you will have beaten the 1,506 odds against being born on Leap Day

16 There is now in existence the Worldwide Leap Year Birthday Club and the Worldwide Leap Year Festival.

17 Leap Year was the traditional time that women could propose marriage. When the rules of courtship were stricter, women were only allowed to pop the question on one day every four years – February 29th.

18 It is believed this tradition was started in 5th century Ireland when St.Bridget complained to St. Patrick about women having to wait for so long for a man to propose. So, according to legend, St. Patrick said women could propose on this one day in February during the Leap Year.

19 According to English law, February 29th was ignored and had no legal status.

20 Folks assumed that traditions would also have no status on that day. It was also reasoned that since the leap year day existed to fix a problem in the calendar, it could also be used to fix an old and unjust custom that only let men propose marriage.

21 The first documentation of this practice dates back to 1288, when Scotland passed a law that allowed women to propose marriage to the man of their choice in that year.

22 They also made it law that any man who declined a proposal in a Leap Year must pay a fine. The fine could range from a kiss to payment for a silk dress or a pair of gloves.

23 In the United States, some people have referred to this date as Sadie Hawkins Day, with women being given the right to run after unmarried men to propose.

24 There is a Greek superstition that claims couples have bad luck if they marry during a leap year. Apparently one in five engaged couples in Greece will avoid planning their wedding during a leap year.

25 Herman Hollerith developed the first computer on Leap Day 1860. He had been a special agent for the US census, and developed punch cards and electric tabulating machines in time to process the census returns, reducing considerably the time needed to complete the clerical work. Hollerith’s venture became part of what is now the IBM Corporation.

26 Leapship – A friendship or relationship between 2 Leapies!

27 The Gotthard railway tunnel between Switzerland & Italy was completed on Leap Day 1880.

28 Dutch scientists produced solid helium on Leap Day 1908.

29 The discovery of the first pulsar in space was announced on Leap Day 1968.

30 LeapGramp and LeapGran – The Grandparents of a Leap Day Baby!

31 There are currently around 4.1 million ‘Leapers’ in the world today.

32 Ann Lee (founder of Shakerism) was born in Manchester Leap Day 1736

33 Rossini (composer) was born on Leap Day 1792

34 John Holland, American inventor of the submarine, was born on Leap Day 1792

35 Jimmy Dorsey (bandleader) was born Leap Day 1904

36 Ja Rule (Rap Artist) born Leap Day 1976

37 1964 Olav Henriksen born – The 2nd of 3 siblings born on consecutive Leap Days

38 Leapophile – People who are not themselves Leapies but like and celebrate Leap Day!

39 Leap Year cocktail – never order a Leap Year cocktail by name. Instead, call out the ingredients: 1.5 oz gin, 0.5 oz Grand Marnier, 0.5 oz sweet vermouth, and a squeeze of lemon. Shake with crushed ice and pour into a chilled cocktail glass.

40 Leap Year Day Babies will never have a “Golden Birthday”. A Golden Birthday is when your age matches the number of the day of the month you were born on. Leap Year Day Babies will have to be 116 before they turn 29 on the 29th!

41 Longest Reported Leap Day: Jon Hayanga Leap Year Day Baby 1960, had his birthday in Taipei one day then crossed the international date line going
east and had his birthday again the next day in Spokane, WA, USA.

42 Shortest Reported Leap Day: Ed Chatfield Leap Year Day Baby 1940, crossed the date-line in a ship (going west) the night of February 28th and woke up on March 1st. So he lost his birthday entirely.

43 Leapicide – People who celebrate on Feb 28 and Mar 1 as well as Feb 29!

44 Leap Year Day Babies born in 1884 had no birthday during their entire teen-age years. Why? Because 1900 was not a Leap Year.

45 The Order of 29’ers was operated by the Pittsburg, Kansas, Headlight-Sun newspaper, from the 1920’s through the 1960’s. Their motto was “semel quatuor annis,” and they sent out certificates to people born on February 29th. The certificate was yellow and had a picture of a baby, bracketed by a stork on one side and father time on the other.

46 There was a time when Leap Year Balls happened all throughout the Leap Year. Women were given the “right” to ask a man for his hand in marriage. They were afforded a lovely place to display themselves, and propose their man of choice, at lavish and fantastic Leap Year Balls. If the man declined her proposal he had to provide her with a silk dress and a kiss on the cheek.

47 Leap Year Dances were common as well. Here, a woman may do the asking for a dance. The women attending either a Leap Year Ball or a Leap Year Dance may ask her man to marry her. It is “OK” for a woman to ask in a Leap Year.

48 The premise of Gilbert and Sullivan’s musical The Pirates of Penzance is based on the birth of the main character on a leap day. Frederic was, as a child, apprenticed to a band of tenderhearted, orphaned pirates by his nurse who, being hard of hearing, had mistaken her master’s instructions to apprentice the boy to a pilot. Frederic, upon completing his 21st year, rejoices that he has fulfilled his indentures and is now free to return to respectable society. But it turns out that he was born on February 29, Leap Year Day, and he remains apprenticed to the pirates until his 21st birthday (when he’s 84!).

49 Make a Leap Year Kiss Cake – Take one armful of pretty girl, 1 lovely face, 2 laughing brown or blue eyes, 2 rosy cheeks and 2 lips like strawberries. Mix well and press to lips. The result will be astonishing. For frosting take 1 piece of dark piazza and a little moonlight, and press into 1 large or small hand so as not to attract attention, 2 ounces of romance and 1 or 2 whiskers. Dissolve half a dozen glances into a quantity of hesitation and 2 ounces of yielding. Place kisses on blushing lips or cheeks. Flavour with a slight scream and set aside to cool.

50 Yes, Superman is a Leap Day Baby! He is a comic book character, so he can have whatever birthday his creator decides to give him. An article in TIME magazine, March 14 1988, proclaimed Superman to be born on February 29. However, If you figure it out, there is no way anyone can be 50 ‘years’ old on February 29, of any Leap Year. They would have to be 48 or 52. And, if someone did turn 50 ‘Leap Years’ old on February 29, 1988, they would have been born in 1784!

Category: 1) Events and Training days

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