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Leap Day, to me, means ...

Displaying poll results.
Nothing at all
  16505 votes / 55%
A time-keeping annoyance
  4921 votes / 16%
A good excuse for a party
  2406 votes / 8%
Finally, another birthday!
  1524 votes / 5%
A chance to bring up alternative calendar ideas
  4167 votes / 14%
29523 total votes.
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  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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Leap Day, to me, means ...

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  • by tverbeek (457094) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @12:21AM (#39193737) Homepage

    This year is a special Leap Day, because it creates a very rare instance of a February with 5 New Comic Book Days in it! Every month periodically has 5 Wednesdays in it, which (as every comics geek knows) means 5 days upon which new comics are delivered to shops throughout North America. It normally happens during four months each year; this year it will happen five times. For it to happen in February can only happen during a Leap Year, and only when February starts on a Wednesday, a period of 4*7=28 years. It last was in 1984 (pre-Crisis!), and the next instance will be in 2040. With distribution moving toward digital, there probably won't be comic book shops (as we know them) by then, so enjoy this 5th-visit-in-February, comics geeks... it'll be your last.

  • There's no way (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Dr. Hellno (1159307) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @01:19AM (#39194097)
    There's no goddamn way 6% of Slashdot users were born on february 29th. Assuming all times of year are equal, by my math 0.068% ought to be closer to the truth.

    If it's really true, Slashdot is a hell of a statistical anomaly
  • Re:There's no way (Score:4, Interesting)

    by droopus (33472) * on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @01:55AM (#39194291)

    Well, are you accounting for the yearly Slashdot 5DigitUID Impregnation Day every June 1?

    Might be a correlation....and the reason they all look like Taco. B)

  • Re:Missing Option (Score:5, Interesting)

    by srjh (1316705) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @02:44AM (#39194519)

    Not a historian, but old faithful Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] has some interesting info on that.

    As I understand it, dates are not converted and are left in the Julian calendar if that was in place at the time. But for countries who didn't immediately switch over, there's some confusion and they sometimes specify "old style" or "new style". Actually, there's a fair bit of confusion:

    It is sometimes remarked that William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes died on the same date, 23 April 1616, but not on the same day. England was still using the Julian calendar in 1616, while Spain was using the Gregorian calendar. Cervantes actually died ten days before Shakespeare.

    Hence the October Revolution of 1917 is so called, despite having started on 7 November under the Gregorian calendar...

    For example William III of England arrived at Brixham in England on 5 November (Julian calendar), after setting sail from the Netherlands on 11 November (Gregorian calendar).

    Luckily modern computers don't have to handle these dates retrospectively, if some can't even figure out this year is a leap year.

  • Re:Missing Option (Score:5, Interesting)

    by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @08:01AM (#39195747)

    It becomes even more complicated when you take into account that this rule only applies to the Gregorian calendar. Other calendars have different rules and the Gregorian calendar wasn't always the standard, so for instance it would make little sense to calculate whether year 1000 was a leap year or not using the Gregorian calendar. I doubt historical dates have all been converted to Gregorian in history books, although if I'm wrong I'll welcome any informed input on this. Any historian here?

    Don't forget the sweet period the Swiss must have had between 1584, when the first administrative districts of the country adopted the new calendar, and 1812 (!), when the last ones did and the adoption was complete. :)

  • by mfarah (231411) <miguel AT farah DOT cl> on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @08:54AM (#39196093) Homepage

    In my previous job, they outsourced certain Java programming and database modeling and building jobs to an IT company (that shall remain nameles... let's just say it also produces cheap cars).

    The quality of their software was hideous. Among many, many other issues, their handling of dates and leap years was outright ridiculous. Before I was let go, I fixed some of those problems in the Java software they delivered, but many others remained. I'm willing to bet money that some of the SQL queries they wrote are still unpatched and must be blowing up in the company's face right now.

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @10:17AM (#39196773) Homepage

    I think most of the efforts at reforming timekeeping systems revolve around the fact that you're counting by 12, then kinda-30, then 24, then 60, then 60, and also by 7. The real kicker is that a lot of that stuff dates back to the Sumerians, and some of the other peculiarities of the calendar (including when Leap Day is) had to do with decisions made by Caeser Augustus.

    But hey, base 12 is just like base 10, if you happen to have 2 extra fingers.

  • by milbournosphere (1273186) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @05:43PM (#39202583)
    According to the US government, I increment age on the 28th. However, my driver's license still lists Feb 29 as my DOB, and this confused many a bouncer when I tried to go drinking for my 21st birthday on 28 February.

Not only is UNIX dead, it's starting to smell really bad. -- Rob Pike

 



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