Monday, February 29, 2016

Still Life with Robin: Extra for Leap Day

By Peggy Robin

Usually the “Still Life with Robin” column comes out on Saturdays, but with an extra day in the month, it’s time for an extra column. Or more like a quarter-of-a-column, as this one is just a pointer to another column, Slate’s “Bad Astronomy” by Phil Plait, who takes as his subject the complicated question of why this leap year, 2016, is different from some other leap years. As he notes in a preface/warning, there’s math involved. But he’s a good explainer, and if you are enough of a nerd to care about the way leap days are added or dropped in different cycles (of 4, 100, 400, and 1,000 years), then you should come away from his column with a deeper appreciation for the mechanics of time. I know I did!

Happy Leap Day!
by Ekushi, via Creative Commons

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