Blame It On Leap Day

Yeah, yeah, we all know that we get one “leap day” every four years to catch up on some missing minutes because math and science and revolution and rotation blah, blah, blah. In fact, if we didn’t have leap years, it would put the calendar way out of whack with the seasons, and by the year 2425, we would have “drifted” by one full season. Just imagine it. The Barley Creek ski team would be ripping it up in May and June, we’d be opening the Pint Size Park in late August, Summerfest would be at the end of September and Mady’s Snow Day around Christmas time.

But leap year math isn’t perfect, ya’ll. Did you know that every leap day actually brings us an extra 45 minutes? Over time, those extra minutes add up. That’s why every 100 years we skip leap day, unless the year is divisible by 400. Wait, what? Confusing? Yeah, tell it to the folks back in 1582. The buildup of leap minutes between Julius Caesar in 46 B.C. and Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 caused Easter to “drift” way closer to summer. The Pope said nope and basically hit the “reset” button, getting rid of 10 pesky days. In other words, you went to sleep on Thursday, October 4, 1582 and woke up on Friday, October 15. True story.

Today, there are a couple of Johns Hopkins University profs who want to simplify things again by taking away leap year forever. Their solution? Every year is 364 days long. No leap days, but every 5 or 6 years, there’s an extra “party week.” The kicker is that every holiday (including your birthday) falls on the same day every year. New Year’s Monday, Christmas Sunday, Birthday Wednesday? Yikes. They say having most holidays on Mondays would cut the economic costs of people taking extra time off. Up front costs to change the calendar would be less than $100 billion, but not having to print new calendars every year would “pay for the thing right away.” Opinions?

You know what? You have extra time to argue this idea because this Saturday is Leap Day! So, get over to Barley Creek’s mothership or the Tasting Room, we’ll pour you a cold one and let’s figure this all out. Cheers!

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