Today In Pop Culture: Leap Year And The Time-Space Continuum

Published on February 29th, 2016 in: Science and Technology, Today In Pop Culture |

By Jeffery X Martin


It is Leap Day, and if you don’t believe that time is a man-made construct that we overlay onto our eternity just to keep work appointments and make sure we don’t get to the movies late, then today should be a real challenge for you, buddy. How is it that we can just arbitrarily decide to add an entire day to our calendar once every four years? If time were real, wouldn’t it prevent us from breaking its own laws with something crazy like Leap Year?

What is this madness?

Everyone knows there are 365 days in the Gregorian calendar year. However, it takes our planet 365 days and six hours to make it around the sun. Do the simple math: six times four equals 24. After four years of spinning our way blithely around the sun, we accumulate an entire extra day. We can’t just write it off, because that would be a waste of time. We can’t do that, can we, busy people?

How Leap Year doesn’t meet Daylight Savings Time and have a Jets vs. Sharks hair grease knife fight is beyond me. We spring forward and fall back and then, that’s just what time it is, gaining and losing hours out of our lives, and we accept it because we don’t really know what time is, do we?

Is today your birthday? Congratulations! You are what’s known as a leapling. Have fun taking that shortcut through the Mines of Moria, leapling. Don’t tell the elf.

Technically, if you were born on this date, you only have a birthday once every four years. That sucks, if you still get cards and presents and whatnot. The thing that really sucks is you still get older. Imagine a world where you can be alive for 16 years, but still be only four years old. That would blow all kinds of laws out of the water. You’ve been alive 24 years, but according to your birthdate, you’re only six years old. Can you buy a drink at a bar? Could you be drafted? Can you drive a car? What is the statute of limitations for a crime committed on Leap Day?

Who decides these things?

James Milne Wilson, the eighth premier of Tasmania, was born on Leap Day and died on Leap Day. Ask yourself: did he even exist?

If today is your birthday, do you?

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