Emperors take credit for everything, including leap year Julius Caesar

Emperors take credit for everything, including leap year

If you’re feeling a little—I don’t know—off today, blame the calendar—and Julius Caesar.

It’s true, today is leap day in a leap year. For my money, the only competition for confusing calendar impositions is Daylight Savings Time—which I also cannot explain with any accuracy.

But it’s worth pointing out that the existence of leap year and its maddening February 29 implicates certain legal considerations—beyond the faux sadness of our friends who happen to have been Leap Year Babies. (Waaaa!)

But because you readers are ever focused on the work at hand, you ask, “Legal? Really?”

Indeed.

Consider, first, that it was government (via Julius Caesar) that first sought to correct a problem caused by our celestial body being askew. (That’s not my body, or your body, but all of our bodies.) Later, to complicate things, the Catholic Church tweaked the calendar again, baffling us and showing what can happen in church–state mashups.

Second, consider that women—even ones you may know—have historically been encouraged to propose marriage on this every-four-years occasion. It’s true, we think, at least as true as the mists of time allow us. Unmarried women in Scotland grew tired of tapping their feet while their male neighbors dawdled, hoisted pints, and burned peat (I’m guessing that’s a good description of the average work week), and so they were permitted to step up, kneel down, and make honest men out of their male compatriots.

Leap year in Scotland once meant women could propose marriage (Special Collections at the University of Arizona Libraries).

Leap year in Scotland once meant women could propose marriage (Special Collections at the University of Arizona Libraries).

Third, Leap Year can get legal, because. Well, because lawyers. Read this examination of a case in which a man was convicted of a year-long sentence, but it occurred in a leap year, so how many days would it be? As it turned out, it was an important question.

And here is a story that covers more leap year facts than you’ll ever truly be interested in. And it comes from the Daily Telegraph, so it must be correct, right?

Finally, because we’re all tired, and it’s Monday, and our brains hurt already, here is a video from Vox about How Leap Year Works.

And don’t miss what Google tells us about the topic (along with today’s charming Doodle).

leap-year-2016-Google home page doodle

Leap Year via the Google Doodle

You’re welcome. See you in four years.