Friday, February 29, 2008

Happy Leap Day

some Leap Year facts from :

February 29, 2008

The year 2008 is a leap year. If you look at a 2008 calendar, you will see that February has five Fridays–the month begins and ends on a Friday. Between the years 1904 and 2096, leap years that share the same day of week for each date repeat only every 28 years. The most recent year in which February comprised five Fridays was in 1980, and the next occurrence will be in 2036. February 29, the leap day, has been associated with age-old traditions, superstitions and folklore.

What is a leap year?

A leap year is a year in which one extra day has been inserted, or intercalated, at the end of February. A leap year consists of 366 days, whereas other years, called common years, have 365 days.

Which years are leap years?

In the Gregorian calendar, the calendar used by most modern countries, the following three criteria determine which years will be leap years:

  1. Every year that is divisible by four is a leap year;
  2. of those years, if it can be divided by 100, it is NOT a leap year, unless
  3. the year is divisible by 400. Then it is a leap year.

According to the above criteria, that means that years 1800, 1900, 2100, 2200, 2300 and 25002000 and 2400 are leap years. are NOT leap years, while year

It is interesting to note that 2000 was somewhat special as it was the first instance when the third criterion was used in most parts of the world.

In the Julian calendar–introduced by Julius Caesar in 46 BC and patterned after the Roman calendar–there was only one rule: any year divisible by four would be a leap year. This calendar was used before the Gregorian calendar was adopted.

Why are leap years needed?

Leap years are needed to keep our calendar in alignment with the earth's revolutions around the sun.


The Earth's motion around the sun
Note: The illustration is not to scale.

The vernal equinox is the time when the sun is directly above the Earth's equator, moving from the southern to the northern hemisphere.

The mean time between two successive vernal equinoxes is called a tropical year–also known as a solar year–and is about 365.2422 days long.

Using a calendar with 365 days every year would result in a loss of 0.2422 days, or almost six hours per year. After 100 years, this calendar would be more than 24 days ahead of the season (tropical year), which is not desirable or accurate. It is desirable to align the calendar with the seasons and to make any difference as insignificant as possible.

By adding a leap year approximately every fourth year, the difference between the calendar and the seasons can be reduced significantly, and the calendar will align with the seasons much more accurately.

(The term "day" is used to mean "solar day"–which is the mean time between two transits of the sun across the meridian of the observer.)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

ever wondered what the inside of a beanbag looks like ?

This is what Dan walked into after coming home from work today. Maybe Jake thought the footstool thing was a pinata. Looks like he had fun. The bean-filling covered the entire living room floor. And because they were made of styrofoam, those little buggers stuck to EVERYTHING.

Monday, February 25, 2008

bring back the Shamrock Shake !

For the past few years, I've noticed the absence of McDonald's Shamrock Shakes during the month of March. I wasn't sure if this was a regional fluke or if they were gone for good. According to McDonald's website, they are sold exclusively in Ireland - and a "select" number of US stores during March. There's even a website devoted to locating the elusive treat.

A 1997 article from the Onion.......Sinn Fein Leaders Demand Year-Round Shamrock Shake Availability.

Friday, February 22, 2008

the ticket to job-free happiness...

With $270 million, I could make SO many people happy. Even a small fragment of that would go a long way....

Good luck to everyone else playing !

Thursday, February 21, 2008

my Monday - Friday view...

This was the first morning in quite some time that it wasn't totally dark out when I arrived to work. This photo was taken around 6:45 a.m. The sunrise was pretty intense. Now only if I enjoyed my job as much as I enjoy my view.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Holy Cow

Today marks the 10 year anniversary of Harry Caray's death. I'll share some of my favorite quotes of his :

"Now, you tell me, if I have a day off during the baseball season, where do you think I'll spend it? The ballpark. I still love it; always have, always will." - on his reason not to retire

"Aw, how could he (Jorge Orta) lose the ball in the sun, he's from Mexico."

"When I die, I hope they don't cremate me 'cuz I'll burn forever. "

"I know it is the fans that are responsible for me being here. I've always tried in each and every broadcast to serve the fans to the best of my ability."

"I knew the profanity used up and down my street would not go over the air... So I trained myself to say 'Holy Cow' instead. "

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

Ah yes, the day of overpriced flowers and turn-and-burn dinners for two. Additionally, this day always reminds me of the infamous St. Valentine's Day massacre of 1929 on the north side of Chicago.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Obama 4, Clinton 2

Just got home from my precinct's caucus. My district has a total of 6 delegates. 4 went to Obama, 2 went to Clinton. I just hope this is representative of the rest of the state. I didn't make it to the Obama rally yesterday. It was his biggest rally to date - 18,000 packed inside Key Arena with an estimated 4,000 turned away when the arena reached capacity.


Joshua Trujillo/Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Friday, February 8, 2008

Obama in Seattle today...

Barack will be making an appearance at a rally today at 1:00 pm at Key Arena. I'm hoping to get a chance to sneek away from work and go. Our Governor endorsed Obama today (about time) on the eve of our caucus.

To my fellow Washingtonians, GO TO YOUR CAUCUS tomorrow. If you're a registered Democrat, use this website to figure out where you need to be: Still confused about the caucus ? The Stranger had a good rundown of what to expect tomorrow.

Happy Friday too !

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

more rockers for Barack....

Music producer and Black Eyed Peas member wrote a song inspired by Senator Barack Obama’s speech after the New Hampshire primary. Jesse Dylan, son of Bob, worked with Will to create an inspiring music video in song called “Yes, We Can.”

Grateful Dead and Deadheads reunite for Obama

Saying Barack Obama embodies political hope absent since Robert Kennedy was slain 40 years ago, three surviving members of the Grateful Dead rock band reunited on Monday for the first time in four years to back the presidential candidate. The concert started with this short video from Obama, filmed on an airplane, thanking the band.

Monday, February 4, 2008

rock around Barack

straight from the pearl jam website:

Stone Gossard and members of PJ spearheaded the recording of a new rendition of an old-school tune "Rock Around The Clock", cleverly changing the lyrical content to "Rock Around Barack".

Here's what Stone has to say about the recording: "Hello everyone. This is a track I've been thinking about for a while. Rock Around The Clock was the first mainstream rock and roll hit in 1955 and it had a transforming effect on American music. At that time, rock and rhythm and blues music was traditionally only played on black radio. I am, by no means, an expert on the history of rock & roll, but this was a big deal. The rhythm of rock music and its energy were so overwhelming that traditional barriers of race and culture broke down with an enormous crash. So here's to new energy, rock and the breaking down of cultural barriers: Barack Around The Clock!"

Drums - Matt Cameron
Bass - Jeff Ament
Rock and Roll Piano - Boom Gaspar
Lead Guitar - Mike McCready
Vocals and Rhythm Guitar - Stone Gossard
Background Vocals - Barrett Jones

Paid for by Stone

Listen to the song here.

Edit: As of 2/7/08, the pearl jam website deleted the news blurb and the song clip. Sorry. Apparently, Ed is on the fence about his candidate of choice. (wtf Eddie ?!)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

no perfect season for the Pats...

It really didn't matter to me who won the Superbowl today. Dan likes the Patriots and I guess it would have been nice for them to have had a perfect season. Thank god the game picked up in the 4th quarter. I was a bit bored. And not overwhelmed by the commercials. Some were good, but none made me throw up my arms, exclaiming "now THAT was a good one !" Here were my favorites:

Saturday, February 2, 2008

no shadow today...

It is Groundhog Day and there's no way one such oversized rodent would see its shadow here today. I really do hope that means winter will be ending soon in our neck of the woods. The actual Punxsutawney Phil did see his shadow.

(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Here's a clip from one of Bill Murray's classics and a definite favorite of this household, "Groundhog Day":