Monday, February 29, 2016

Leap Day

It's February 29, Leap Day. If you somehow didn't notice on your own, the Internet will be happy to tell you about it. Repeatedly.
I know Leap Day only comes around every four years (mostly), so it's something out of the ordinary. Still, the sheer number of times I came across it in just my normal daily routine surprised me. Without going out of my way to look anything up, it still popped up quite a few times.

First there were the ad emails. I had four by noon, and I expect a few more will come in later on. Not surprising, as marketers will seize on anything to try to sell you something. My favorite was from the Bacon Freak "Bacon of the Month" club. It's so obvious...nothing says "only once every four years" like "give me new bacon every month," right?

I spotted Leap Day mentions on the Google Doodle, Facebook, Twitter, and various places in my RSS feeds. Everyone wants to you to notice that it's February 29. And comment about it on their site, of course.

The Farmer's Almanac has a nice little write-up of the history behind the leap year. Goes all the way back to the Roman and Julian calendars. Although as I said back on January 1, it's a bit arbitrary to pay attention to a particular day in the year. Still, if you're going to pick a day to be special every four years, why not February 29?

Leap Day always reminds me of the leap second, which happens much less regularly and doesn't get nearly as much press. I guess that's to be expected from something with zero impact on most people. I remember having to apply various patches to the computing systems I helped to manage to account for it, though. Even the smallest change in timekeeping does have its impact.

Anyway, Happy Leap Day! Enjoy your 24-hour reprieve from the beginning of March.

No comments:

Post a Comment