📆 February 28, 2020 6:47 AM   Subscribe

End of another long week, let's carve out a space to talk about something other than politics for those that need that space. 2020 is a leap year, which means we all get an extra day, and this year, for the first time in almost 30 years, 29 February falls on a Saturday (tomorrow). Let's open up this space to talk about leap years, leap days, birthdays, anniversaries, weddings. Basically anything related to numbers and dates in general. Were you born on a leap year/day? If so, how do you celebrate? Or maybe you were married on a leap day? I'm sure that makes for some interesting anniversary celebrations. Whether its you or your friends or family members, let's talk about the days, weeks, months, the calendar. As always, remember to be kind to yourself and to others.
posted by Fizz to MetaFilter-Related at 6:47 AM (45 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I'll turn 15,000 days old in a week or so.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 7:04 AM on February 28 [9 favorites]


Twelve people have served one full term as President of the United States. Eleven of the twelve served for 1,461 days. John Adams served for 1,460, because his term included February 1800, which did not have a Leap Day because it's every four years except every 100 years except every 400 years. William McKinley similarly "lost" a day from his first term in 1900, but Bill Clinton did not in 2000.
posted by Etrigan at 7:11 AM on February 28 [15 favorites]


I was listening to MPR this morning and heard about the party being planned by this family. The three women are turning 84, 52, and 40 (or 21, 13, and 10). So Granny is celebrating the big 21 along with a new teenager and a kid entering double-digits. That's a big birthday!!

Not a Leap Year birthday, but a friend of mine once lost an hour of his birthday to Daylight Savings Time. Later that year, we had a one-hour long birthday party for him on the day when Daylight Savings switched again and he got that hour back. I could see Leap Year babies having major blowout parties on Leap Year to make up for missing the prior three.
posted by Gray Duck at 7:27 AM on February 28 [6 favorites]


The October Revolution took place in November.

Not very interesting, I know.
posted by Pyrogenesis at 7:30 AM on February 28 [1 favorite]


On this Leap Saturday I will be attending what my parents have dubbed a "boat party" which will be held at a ridiculously expensive and large house on the north shore of Long Island. At said yachtsman's ball will be a bunch of people close to my age that I have not seen since high school, which was A Long Time Ago. Also, lots and lots and lots of Boat People. I am no longer a Boat Person so it is up in the air as to how much fun this party will or will not be. I am also unreasonably concerned about appearing both stylish and casual. I will be happy when the mariner's mingle transitions from Something I Am Kind Of Dreading to A Story About That Time I Went To The Sailor's Soiree.
posted by grumpybear69 at 7:36 AM on February 28 [2 favorites]


So, this month my partner and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary. That is very cool.

But..here in the Netherlands it turns out that one of the milestone wedding anniversaries is - your 12-1/2 wedding anniversary!

That's right, 6 months beyond your actual marriage date. And it is a huge thing. Many companies give you a day off for this big day. The logic of course is that you are halfway to your 25th.
posted by vacapinta at 7:40 AM on February 28 [22 favorites]


So it's more about hours then dates. Spring hours start today which means I get to leave the house an hour later- and stay at work an hour later. Never though I'd look forward to daylights savings. Spring hours always kick in at my job a little before the time change but it's much more springy this time of year as opposed to past February s which is kinda shocking. It's behaving like March or April in the garden- despite it being winter cold at night. I had to put the bee bath out! Gonna be a scorcher this year, and I'm not sure I'm ready.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 7:44 AM on February 28 [6 favorites]


I once impressed my trivia team by knowing which summer Olympic Games were not held in a leap year.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:40 AM on February 28 [6 favorites]


One of my favorite leap year traditions is that many of the local theater groups bring out their productions of "Pirates of Penzance." :)
posted by Melismata at 8:58 AM on February 28 [3 favorites]


This reminds me of the other Y2K problem we could have had. Since years divisible by 100 are NOT leap years, software that only knew about the every 4 years rule would have done the wrong thing in Feb '00. Except there's yet another part of the rule that says if the year divides by 400, that makes it a leap year after all, so from 1901 to 2099 you only have to know the 4 year rule.

I'm also amused by the existence of leap seconds and that there can be no rule to guide them. Whenever one occurs on a weekend I like to say "enjoy the long weekend". No one ever gets the joke.
posted by FishBike at 9:28 AM on February 28 [4 favorites]


I don't know why they're called that; I've never leapt during one.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:50 AM on February 28 [1 favorite]


An acquaintance of mine has a party every leap year where she invites all the women she knows to a party on leap day. There the attending women have a prepared list of things they would like to accomplish and/or change in the next 4 years and a list of things they have accomplished or have not accomplished in the preceding 4 years. While there is usually a lot of drinking and good food, it is very much about supporting each other with kindness and optimism.
posted by Ashwagandha at 9:53 AM on February 28 [6 favorites]


Leap years remind me that I wish we could implement some sort of calendar reform. It's at least twenty pages deep on the ranked list of problems that need to be fixed and I know I'm tilting at windmills.

But, the existing system is absurd. I can sort of buy the arguments for clocks divided into 12 and 60. (Though, if it were up to me, I'd switch immediately to Republican Decimal Time.) But, 12 divisions of random length that are incommensurate with a 7 day week, don't line up with the lunar orbit, and also has a completely arbitrary day/year adjustment procedure? It's not even actually Babylonian or duodecimal, it's some nonsense dressed up to look like it it is 'cause you added extra tick marks to the ruler at random.

If you're going to add a new day every four years or so, it's pretty obvious that you add it to the New Year and make it a holiday. "This random month in the middle of the calendar just has an extra day sometimes" is a solution nobody would ever choose. (I know there are historical reasons for it. But, that doesn't mean we need to be bound by them.)

Some day, solar-system-scale engineering projects will allow us to have a perfect decimal relationship between the day, the year, and the lunar orbit. I'm fond of a 10 kilosecond hour, a 100 kilosecond day, a 30 megasecond year, and 2 megasecond month. That won't change things too much. But, we've got twenty thousand years to pick the best option.
posted by eotvos at 10:02 AM on February 28 [5 favorites]


Oh thanks, this reminded me that tomorrow is my uncle's wedding anniversary.
posted by kevinbelt at 10:30 AM on February 28


My favorite Leap Day story is the AskAManager letter looking for confirmation that it’s totally cool to skip birthday celebrations for an employee who was born on 2/29 (#3 at the link).
posted by eirias at 11:10 AM on February 28 [6 favorites]


Only if she gets 5 days off and 5 gift cards when it really is her birthday. (The extra day and gift card are interest.)
posted by jacquilynne at 12:01 PM on February 28


Leap years remind me that I wish we could implement some sort of calendar reform

xkcd has got you covered
posted by backseatpilot at 12:31 PM on February 28


I'll turn 15,000 days old in a week or so.

I always enjoy counting time by non-standard units. A few years ago my friend Sara called me up and said, "Hey, guess how old I am as of this afternoon!" I pondered briefly -- let's see, Sara is 31, her birthday was in April, we are a couple of weeks before Christmas... after a space of maybe two heartbeats, I said she was a billion seconds old. "How the fuck do you know that?" she demanded. I was right, but he had figured she could stump me.

My favorite Leap Day story is the AskAManager letter looking for confirmation that it’s totally cool to skip birthday celebrations for an employee who was born on 2/29 (#3 at the link).

I once worked at a place (with maybe a dozen co-workers) which had a small, sad birthday party for each employee as their birthday rolled around. I adjusted mine back a few weeks to February 29 hoping to avoid eating bad cake off paper plates with the accountant and the marketing person.

In this house, both the wife and the daughter were born in leap years, both born in early March, and both were due on February 29. If they had been slightly more punctual in their gestating, I could now be married to someone with a number of birthdays suitable to a high school sophomore and father to someone with a birthday count much like a primary school student. Eww.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:38 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


The only numbers on my mind right now are the rapidly decreasing ones in my retirement accounts. I am not a little freaked out and it’s too late to do anything, I’m strapped in for the ride. I’m too close to retirement age and too far from retirement goals to be able to absorb this if it takes longer than a year to get back to where we were. And it usually takes a lot longer than that. I can’t believe this is actually happening. If anyone wants to talk me down, I’d be grateful.
posted by HotToddy at 12:59 PM on February 28 [5 favorites]


Not on Leap Day, but my birthday was this same week - my 50th Birthday. It was on Tuesday. The same day as Mardi Gras. When your 50th Birthday is the same day as Mardi Gras the party pretty much plans itself.

I flew down to New Orleans on Saturday last, and just got back home yesterday - two dear friends met up with me there, on their way back home to Denver following a trip to Cayman. And holy absolute hell I needed that. I stumbled upon a grass-roots parade of artists at about 7 am the day before while I was up taking early morning photos, got a recommendation for making a mojo bag (my first act on my birthday), and joined the Society of St. Anne Walking Krewe on Mardi Gras day - St. Anne is basically a big horkin' walking costume party that anyone can jump in on and I heartily recommend it. Although, the bigger you can go with the costumes the better - I only had a t-shirt declaring it to be my birthday and I added a wacky hat, but felt distinctly underdressed when I saw the whole family dressed as flamingoes, three completely different people in three completely different chandelier costumes, about 27 Waldos, and someone who somehow hacked together a portable luchador wrestling ring, complete with wrestlers.

I had the dollar bill on my shirt, as was the custom, and made about 15 other bucks. But people who didn't have money gave me other things instead - two jello shots, a hand-painted brooch, a couple granola bars, a hot dog, a sticker from a child dressed as a pinata who said she was with a family of "pinatas against violence", a dab of glitter makeup, use of a bathroom, and a third place ribbon from a horse show from 1986. I also ate my way through an entire king cake in 3 days, spent a completely delightful hour getting blanketed with parakeets at the Audobon Aquarium, and had yaka mein for the first time.

And thankfully, the day before I left for the trip, I got an offer for a new job, and I start on Monday. So I could really enjoy myself.

I NEEDED that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:21 PM on February 28 [34 favorites]


My happy story from this week is that my friend caught the orange cat that had been hanging out under our house, and through the local facebook lost pets group, we were able to send him home after a month lost.
posted by freethefeet at 3:09 PM on February 28 [9 favorites]


On October 2nd this year i will have spent exactly as much time living in Canada, as I did in England before I emigrated. A lifetime split in half, that has to be worthy of some kind of celebration.
posted by valleys at 3:48 PM on February 28 [7 favorites]


My best friend has a theory/plan that everything non-essential should shut down on February 29th. It's an extra day, so everyone should get to use it to take a break or do whatever they want with it. I support this plan.
posted by Weeping_angel at 3:48 PM on February 28 [5 favorites]


It's the second anniversary of my moving to Canada on 1st March. However, when we landed they stamped my landing document with 29th February 2018. So, according to Canadian immigration, 2018 was also a leap year.
posted by Kris10_b at 4:06 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


Not much on days except I happen to remember that one sister was born the day before and one sister the day after the day Elvis died. Can't remember which is which though.

My favorite trick was when I re-wrote history and decided that my birthday was close enough to 1/1/1970 that I'll just assume a UNIX epoch birthday and make age calculations easy. It's awesome to find out that X happened in 1996 and immediately know you were 26. That's my trick for being able to look at a date and know how old I was, where I was, who I knew then, etc.

A New History for Humanity – The Human Era - it's really 12,020.
posted by zengargoyle at 4:41 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


I got one mile in vertical feet skiing this week (actually, it was a bit over--i got the one mile notification before we were done for the day). We rode a lift with a guy on track to hit a million vertical (lifetime) earlier this week. That's more a numbers thing than a leap day thing, but I was happy with it, considering how little natural snow fell out here this year.
posted by crush at 5:05 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


I'll turn 15,000 days old in a week or so.

I hit the Brimley Line in September. It's the day you're 18530 days old, the age Wilford Brimley was when _Cocoon_ premiered.

Brimley Line calculator
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 5:07 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


My eldest had a due date of April Fool's Day, but because it was a leap year her birthday fell on March 31.

It is a fun story for her to tell.

All 3 of my kids were born on their due dates, which apparently is unusual.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 5:19 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Hey Empress - thanks for sharing your DELIGHTFUL birthday week New Orleans trip with us - and CONGRATULATIONS on the new job! I am SO happy for you!

Happy birthday!
posted by kristi at 6:26 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


Happy Leap Day, everybody. Here it's all coronavirus precautions all the time, emphasis on precautions. Knock wood and hope for the best. But the baseball kids are still practicing in the park in the early mornings.

I assume that the AskAManager letter eirias mentions up above was written by the Pirate King from G&S, naturally.

I've been on a Seong-Jin Cho binge on YouTube lately--he's made a name for himself playing Chopin, but his performance of the Berg piano sonata absolutely blows my mind, and he plays the Brahms G minor quartet looking like he's having so much fun he almost can't stand it. Fantastic pianist.
posted by huimangm at 6:36 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


On Thursday the 28th I managed to get to the comics shop to pick up that week's comics, then to a French bakery for a moment of tea/cake/comics tranquility. They happened to have an out-of-season galette des rois, because someone had ordered one and the chef had made a test one for the shop first. So I bought a slice with some camomile tea, and my slice had the bean in it! Suddenly I was the king. Unsure what to do with all this power, I took my royal butt home to do some work.

But it felt like the luck carried over into today (despite constant rain, leaky shoes and a downhill skid that left my trousers spattered with mud). This morning I had a good meeting; then I had a good audition; then, just as I was preparing my cold and soggy self for a quiet evening in, a friend called with last-minute £10 staff tickets to the opera. So I ended up hearing Luisa Miller at ENO with a great cast, in the company of a good friend.

With the very last of my bean-conferred kingship, I decree that everyone who needs some luck shall have it. Good meetings, good auditions/interviews and unexpected opera tickets (or whatever your equivalent fave happens to be). May it be so.
posted by Pallas Athena at 7:47 PM on February 28 [8 favorites]


(Thursday was the 27th
I don't know what day it is
this is not a haiku)
posted by Pallas Athena at 8:10 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


I was 2222 weeks old this Valentine's Day. Of my 3 brothers the middle one turns 10/40 tomorrow.
posted by mce at 8:25 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Mmm I forgot the nearly interesting part relating to Feb 15th - today would have been the 15th of Feb 202 on the Julian Calendar. So nearly synchronous.
posted by mce at 8:34 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


If they had been slightly more punctual in their gestating, I could now be married to someone with a number of birthdays suitable to a high school sophomore and father to someone with a birthday count much like a primary school student

Just realized that of course they would register as a year younger than I initially thought, as 2000 was not a leap year. Even more ew.

today would have been the 15th of Feb 202 on the Julian Calendar.

No, it was only like two weeks’ difference, not eighteen centuries.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:47 PM on February 28


Metafilter: constant rain, leaky shoes and a downhill skid
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:32 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


Not a leap year thing but a numbers thing I never figured out anything cool to do with:
My birthday is April 24, 1974, which, having been a Wednesday, means I was born on the fourth day of the fourth week of the fourth month of a year ending in 4. Four fours. Numerologists might be able to make more noise out of that, but to me, it’s... Well, there’s definitely a lot of fours in there.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 10:26 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


Gorbachev was arrested on 8/19/1991. That is the day I got married. My marriage finished off the USSR. You are welcome.
posted by COD at 5:28 AM on February 29


Happy 228th/55th birthday to my favorite leaper, Gioachino Rossini, who composed such beauty and silliness, and inspired gleeful mayhem for generations.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 7:39 AM on February 29 [4 favorites]

Just realized that of course they would register as a year younger than I initially thought, as 2000 was not a leap year. Even more ew.

today would have been the 15th of Feb 202 on the Julian Calendar.

No, it was only like two weeks’ difference, not eighteen centuries.
2000 was a leap year: 2100, 2200 & 2300 will not be. And, yes, I did miss a digit there in 202-0. Looking back I can see that taking 2 posts to complete a single thought and still getting a typo was a good indication that I was up later than I should have been :)
posted by mce at 8:10 AM on February 29


I don't know why they're called that; I've never leapt during one.

You still have time -- get out there and do some Leaping, everybody!
posted by Rash at 9:42 AM on February 29


The very idea leaves me feeling jumpy.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:10 AM on February 29


I have added
a day
to your year
your tenth

in which
you were probably
saving
for a doll

Forgive me
they meant calendars
so rare
I got rich
posted by bendy at 6:51 PM on February 29


In the span of two hours at the local coffee hangout today, I saw a bride and groom in full wedding finery AND witnessed another couple get engaged! I normally don’t shed tears if there is coffee nearby but today was an exception.
Also, Leap Day seems like a good day to get brave enough here to come out of lurk-land and say hi.
posted by 27Daisies at 8:45 PM on February 29 [1 favorite]


Yeah but now that sets up a precedent for only commenting once every four years or so... ;) Nevertheless, hello!
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:19 PM on February 29


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