It's That Time Again, Happy Leap Day!
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
We woke up this morning to the rarest of dates: February 29th - the odd, extra day that comes every four years, since there are apparently more than 365 days in a year.
JIM LATTIS: 365.2422, or something like that.
MONTAGNE: That's Jim Lattis. He's director of the University of Wisconsin's Space Place, an education and outreach center for the school's Astronomy Department.
LATTIS: And that's simply counting the number of days and the time that it takes the Earth to orbit the sun.
MONTAGNE: Lattis says days and years are not defined by us, but by the natural world.
LATTIS: Because there are 365-and-not-quite-a-quarter-days in the time that it takes the Earth to orbit the sun, we have to deal with that leftover fraction.
MONTAGNE: So every four years, we get a leap day. Making some sort of adjustment is key. Otherwise, the calendar would slowly become out of sync with the seasons - not quite Christmas in July, but it might feel that way.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
Of course, the big question: What does this all mean if you're a leap day baby, born on February 29th? Well, Rose Bunch of El Cajon, California remembers that, as a kid, it involved some teasing.
ROSE BUNCH: I would say: I'm going to have a birthday party, and I'm going to invite Mary and Janie and all my friends, right? And my dad would say, but wait a minute. I think you better go to the calendar and - I don't think there's a birthday there. And so I'd go to the calendar and I'd flip it up, and I didn't see it and I'd start crying. And my mom would get so mad at him in the background and say don't tease her like that.
MONTAGNE: Rose Bunch says there's an upside now. She was born 64 years ago, so technically, today, she's turning 16.
BUNCH: It's great to be able to be able to say I'm 16, because I'm not lying about my age. And you know how women don't like to lie about their age.
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